Southern Utah - "Leave the rain gear at home" Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Bullseye, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    I've been up there on a beautiful Fall day... and while I was hiking, a cloud blew up and it started to snow... just out of nowhere! Powell Point is easy enough to run down from. The Doll House, on the other hand, requires long hours of riding through remote terrain including in and through washes, not to mention crossing the Dirty Devil River. We all hated to miss out on it, but it was the smart thing to do. We will be back!
    #61
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  2. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Perfect segue into our final day!
    The best thing about staying at Escalante Outfitters is that you can roll out of bed and walk right into the store for coffee and a cinnamon roll. Due to staffing troubles, they hadn't been open for breakfast during out previous time there. Luckily, this was Friday and they were staffed-up for the weekend. I took full advantage.
    We managed to get the bikes loaded and ready to roll in short order. Today's mission was to get back to Hurricane in time to load and drive home that afternoon. We took a fairly direct route... for a dirt bike! Highway 12 to Cannonville where we jumped on to Skutumpah Road. The Northern section of the road was just a little beat from the recent storms, but actually much better than last year. Last year, there were giant holes full of fesh-fesh on some of the climbs near Bull Valley Gorge.
    Talk about new bridges, I hate to tell you, but the bridge over Bull Valley Gorge is now a nice concrete bridge! The old bridge consisted of an old pickup truck wedged between the walls of the gorge and the road bed was just graded right over the truck. The good news is that the old truck is still visible wedged down in the gorge below. We briefly entertained the idea of descending into the gorge, but we needed too keep moving.
    The view from the top of the hill back towards Powell Point and Kodakchrome. (This is a nice little camping spot too)
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    From there it was a quick run to Glendale and into Zion from the East.
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    Traffic was great moving through the park. There was no wait at the tunnel, just straight through. Springdale was another matter. I was planning to stay on the road into Hurricane... but it was SLOW. We made a quick left onto Bridge Road for a little relief and one more section of dirt. Up and over Gooseberry Mesa and over to Highway 59. The climb up to Gooseberry from Springdale was BEAT! This area is seeing a lot more traffic these days as park visitors have learned that this is the closest free BLM camping to the Park.
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    From there, it was an easy ride into Hurricane. We sorted gear, loaded the bikes and headed home.
    Next year... I'm not going to bring a tent!
    #62
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  3. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Sadist.
    #63
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  4. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Skutempah was a fun, fast rip. Traffic got a little busy towards the Glendale side, but all manageable.
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    We'd gotten an early start, so by the time we stopped for gas and a bite to eat, it was only 10am or so. Hot dog it is!

    I've been through Zion once before, so it was nice to be able to cruise through and not feel like you had to stop for photos at every turn. We only stopped once to take some pics, and otherwise enjoyed a mellow parade lap through the park.
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    Personally, I really enjoyed the ride up Gooseberry Mesa - it was beat up on the way up, but not much loose rocks. I even passed Taylor after he pulled over for a breather - I must have been feeling good!

    But it was all fleeting. Soon we were back to pavement for the final push into Hurricane to load up the bikes. Much of the drive home was good - I always enjoy the scenery on the 15, especially through the Virgin River Gorge.

    Annoyingly, we started hitting random traffic snags that didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason - in other words, par for the course in California.
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    We made it home at a surprisingly reasonable hour.

    Definitely looking forward to getting back out that area to try some of those tracks again, and to attempt to get to the places we had to miss.

    And I'll definitely have a tent with me!
    #64
  5. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    I know you will... I remember how inspired you were at the sight of this well equipped adventure rig...
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    #65
  6. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

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    Great report and lots of excellent pictures guys. Thanks for taking us along.
    #66
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  7. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    That’s a great pic of @aanichols ’s bike :photog
    #67
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  8. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

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    Taylor, some of the pictures you posted of day 1 were clearly taken with a fisheye lens. Are those GoPro pictures or do you use a camera with a fisheye lens? I suspect GoPro due to the color profile, but either way, they look great.
    #68
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  9. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Nope! Standard IPhone 13 wide angle!

    I have better camera gear, but you can never beat the gear that fits in your pocket and is always readily at hand!
    #69
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  10. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

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    Those are all great pictures. I would definitely stick with the iPhone. I’ve been through those areas on the highway a couple of times but don’t remember them looking that good. I may have to go back.
    #70
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  11. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Thanks Biggie! I’m married to a photojournalist, so the bar is pretty high in my house!
    #71
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  12. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I'm no photojournalist, nor married to one, but I've gone through my share of expensive (read: bulky) camera gear and have been known to take a nice photo or two. These new multi-lens smartphones have really raised the bar and though I wasn't feeling particularly creative this trip, the lack of a 'real' camera isn't what was holding me back. Taylor was knocking it out consistently!
    #72
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  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    #73
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  14. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

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    My apologies Mark, for the spouse of a non-photojournalist, you took excellent pictures too, and always do. Don’t feel inadequate because Taylor’s tablet is an inch bigger than yours and his pictures were a little better. You’re still well into the right side of the curve. I’m mostly content hanging out on the left side, happy when I manage to click the shutter with my gloves on and not having the same gloves covering the lens. I know there are professional photographers that shoot exclusively with iPhones, and that’s no longer surprising. I’ll give Alan the benefit of the doubt because, helmet cam. His were excellent for context though. Awesome pictures aside, it’s great to see a ride report where everyone contributes, and does it in an interesting, informative and linear way.
    #74
  15. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    :lol3

    Don't forget his (Ram) balls are bigger, too.
    #75
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  16. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

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    My Sena 10c Pro helmet cam has some dust on the inside of the lens, which is not removable. Sena says it's supposed to be sealed and they're looking into a remedy. The pic I posted of the Escalante sign it was obvious it's gotten worse.
    #76
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  17. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    Wow the trip looked like a barrel of monkeys! Lotsa fun!

    Bullseye... sorry about the 65/85 mile legs.. guess you didnt match up to Stetina..ha ha. done that a time or two myself.

    Cheers!
    #77
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  18. TFC

    TFC Been here awhile

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    Ahhhh shit….look who’s late to the party. Sorry gentlemen! I ran into a buzzsaw at work (figuratively) and haven’t read through this thread until now. Gorgeous pics! Here’s a couple of general comments before I post some much crappier pics than Taylor, Mark, and Alan.

    1. This one is pretty clear already, but DO NOT follow Taylor’s weather instructions when it comes to either preparing for said weather or attempting to avoid said weather. You’ll come out on the short end of that stick every time. :) In fact, if you’re interested in becoming one of those storm chasers on the Discovery Channel, it may do you some good to just sort of follow Taylor around for a bit. (I kidddd!)

    2. Was this trip sponsored or what?? Sure was a lot of Klim gear on the group.
      I had told my wife before the trip that I already had everything I needed….then brown Santa delivered a tent, and some mosko bags, and a new Klim jacket. Needless to say I need some more trips to average cost this stuff out!!

    3. Speaking of good camera shots….Wow! So stoked to have the best looking bike on this trip! Sure there’s another Husky along, but those other 3 bikes might as well have been full-dressed goldwings. My mighty 501 was just the ticket though. Except when on the asphalt. Or when going 70 mph on the dirt. Oh oh oh and riding through sleet and hail and dense fog blows too. Forgot that one lol. It really wasn’t that bad, but I did ring the neck of my poor 501 and certainly had some bike envy each day on this trip.

    4. Big Thank You to Taylor. This was a last minute join-up for me too but it was great having the days already planned out and led by someone who’s been there and done that. A little weather never ruined a trip - and this one was a great one. Fantastic time!

    TFC
    (Totally F’n Cold)
    #78
  19. TFC

    TFC Been here awhile

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    DAY 1

    This is embarrassing to type out, but to me it represents the low point of the trip. What a horrible way to start a week-long adventure! Mark and Taylor are stand-up dudes for not even mentioning it, but I can only imagine what they were thinking when I couldn’t even get my bike out of the driveway at WillowWind.

    I hadn’t ridden my 501 since the DVNR back in March. Needless to say I was a little worried about having a mechanical issue sometime during the trip (which doesn’t make sense either…it’s a 2020 bike).

    So one of the things I wanted to rig up was a back up battery starter. I invested in an antigravity battery and opted to install the battery lead you can use in place of the alligator clips. Well, that was a story in and of itself, but I got it done. Eventually.

    Fast forward to early Monday morning and what happens?? Bike won’t f’n start. I knew it!! But I was prepared!!! I immediately start stripping the bike just enough to get to the panel that rips off to expose the air filter - that’s where I stashed the battery lead for the antigravity.

    I’m already sweating in full gear. I’m stealing glances over at Taylor and Mark. On their bikes. Bikes running. In the street.

    Jeez! What a jackass! (you know when Chris Farley would get hard on himself and curse under his breath? that was me!). I can’t believe this is happening!!!

    Hook up the antigravity, hit the magic button. Nothing…. Wha? Double check, hit the button again. Zero. WTF? This CAN NOT BE HAPPENING! I’m seriously pissed now.

    This is the point where I start thinking that I screwed something up when installing the battery lead. There’s really nothing you can screw up, but I’m thinking I probably found a way. Hmmmmm….there was some difficulty getting the battery bolt on the positive post now that I think of it….could that be it? Oh god, these guys are gonna kill me if I start pulling all my bags off and remove the seat.

    Wait.
    Wait a second.
    Who put a key on this 501? :baldy

    True story. Seriously. Low point displaying my mental acuity. I zipped things up and we were on our way! Yeah!!

    Here’s some pics so you readers will forget this story. ;p

    TFC
    #79
  20. TFC

    TFC Been here awhile

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    Day 1 pics

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    View of the bottom of the top bunk above me in Escalante:

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    Attached Files:

    #80