The Mormon Trail and beyond - The sequel

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by HellSickle, May 6, 2008.

  1. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    I’ve been taking a spring riding trip to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">SE Utah</st1:place> for almost 25 years. This year would be only the second time that I took an entire week for intensive Desert Therapy. It was also the second time I would be riding the Hole in the Rock Trail (HITR). This time we were taking three days to ride the HITR area, a couple of days in the Needles area, then a couple of days in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region>.
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    Whether the bikes and bodies would hold up to this kind of abuse remained to be seen.
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    Suffering acute vacationitis, we launched out of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Fort</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Fun</st1:placeName></st1:place> mid afternoon on Friday. We super slabbed to the Cisco exit and arrived at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Dewey</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placeName></st1:place> in time for cocktail hour with Crash and Annie. The next morning we surveyed the remains of the bridge and said our farewells.

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    In the morning, we took the Colorado River road into <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region> then down to Blanding where we loaded up on final provisions before heading into camp. There we met up with Catfish, Eastbay Dirtbag (aka Julie) & her husband Scott, and many others. Total head count was around 18 riders.

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    Once we had camp secured, we went out for a late afternoon warm-up ride to an overlook of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">San Juan</st1:City></st1:place> canyon. Having a mix of sand and rock gave everyone a good idea what would be involved with the Hole in the Rock Ride (HITR) the next day.
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    With a 45 mile round trip under our belts, we got back in time to refill our bikes and prepare for a ride double that length on Sunday. This was a good shake down ride for everyone to understand the terrain, their machines, and their capabilities. It was also a good way for Crash to get his first crash(s) out of the way. :evil
    #1
  2. ironbrewer

    ironbrewer Hopefully Riding

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    Was in Colorado now in The Northwet, Washington
    :lurk
    #2
  3. Moto Beak

    Moto Beak Professional Amateur

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    This reminds me how stupid I've been by not going to Utah every chance I get! :cry
    #3
  4. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Placerville Co.
    :lurk





    Is there an application or something I can fill out for next year?
    #4
  5. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO., USA
    and...!? and!!!??? :lurk


    (I hope this is good!


    I think this is going to be good!)
    #5
  6. Milhaus

    Milhaus Made in Denmark

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    This will be good.... :lurk
    #6
  7. cRAsH

    cRAsH Banned

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    Location:
    Nicetown, USA
    http://www.nctr.net/

    :deal


    :lurk
    #7
  8. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    And then.... And then....

    One of the advantages of old age: you forget about the ride within a few days and can relive it in the RR. :rofl

    One of my favorite pics is Cloud 9 doing a Disco Crash Dance on the HITR trail, while carnage unfolds around him.
    #8
  9. utahexplorer

    utahexplorer Access Addict

    Joined:
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    Grand Junction, CO
    On my way down to the ride Cloud9 and I stopped in Hanksville to pay homage to one of my favorite movies, Vanishing Point. Some think the one lane bridge they cross is Dewey but they would be wrong. If you look closely you can see the "Muddy Creek" sign before the Jag crashes in to the river. Helps if you pause and zoom in. (Yeah, I know I have no life.)

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    #9
  10. utahexplorer

    utahexplorer Access Addict

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    After a burger at Blondies, gas at Hollow Mountain, and a spirited drive on Hwy 95 we arrived at camp around 10pm.

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    #10
  11. gee

    gee Safety First

    Joined:
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    You guys are killing me here, I wanted to go on this ride SO bad:bluduh
    #11
  12. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Location:
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    Our plan for Sunday was to ride the HITR. This trail was originally created as a wagon supply route for early Mormon settlers. The determination of these early explorers is astounding. A lot of sweat & blood went into the creation and use of this route. They carved a tortured path to the top of Grey Mesa, then down to a crossing of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Colorado River</st1:place>.
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    For motorcycles, this is a long day ride to the end and back. For 4x4 groups, this is a 2 day trip.
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    I rode to the end of HITR 4 years ago on my first trip. We were unable to ride down to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Powell</st1:placeName></st1:place> at the Rincon trail due to a closure that has since been lifted. Given the choice, I was going to expend my energy riding the Rincon trail and bypass The Chute route to the end of HITR. The plan became reality, as I chose to escort some sagging riders back to camp (that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it).
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    Here’s Julie looking at Ruxton after he rode up a portion of the original route to the top of Grey Mesa. This portion of the trail was rerouted in the 50’s by mineral exploration crews.
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    At the far end of Grey Mesa, the entire group decided to head out to the Rincon trail. Many knew they would chose not to take the switchbacks down to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Powell</st1:placeName></st1:place>. What goes down, must come up (unless you could bribe a passing houseboat into giving you a ride).
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    Some very pretty slickrock swirls on the way to the switchbacks.
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    Other than some hard work, the trip down the switchbacks was uneventful. As we dropped, the temperature climbed. Before we knew it, we were on the shores of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Powell</st1:placeName></st1:place>, surrounded by scantily clad women who plied us with a steady stream of cold beers. OK, so all we saw was some middle aged fishermen. Still, it was nice to sit on the shore & dip my hot feet into the lake.

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    Before we knew it, the cry was rallied. “Tea time is over, back on your heads!” (Anyone who has ridden with me knows what this means). To the Switchbacks, where the carnage ensued.
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    My camera was one of the casualties. On the way up the switchbacks, it fell off, destroying the LCD screen. The rest of my pictures for this trip would have to be taken with the optical viewfinder.
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    It was 4pm by the time we rejoined the rest of the group on top of Grey Mesa. At this point I decided to accompany 4 other riders back to camp. I needed to put in a fresh air filter and new back tire before dark.
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    On the way back, we had loads of fun at the step after you drop off Grey Mesa. Not heeding my advice for best line selection, my group struggled. Cloud9’s “Crash Dance” probably wasn’t helping the others.

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    Having 2-way radios is invaluable on a ride. If someone has trouble, they can simply ring another rider to let them know what is going on. This saves a lot of time, confusion, and gas.
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    Wuds was getting pretty beat at this point. I got a call from him asking which turn we took on the way down into a canyon. Being a smart-ass, I told him to follow my tracks. It was the only set of Pirelli’s. :fitz

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    Recognizing that the group was quickly running out of steam, I persuaded them to continue on until we reached a <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Happy Place</st1:address></st1:Street> in the shade of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Canyon</st1:placeType></st1:place>. What a lush oasis that is.
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    Moi, courtesy of Jay (I think I need a bigger backpack)
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    I was welcomed back to camp by cold beer and a fresh IRC begging to be abused on tomorrows ride: The Dune of Doom.
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    To be continued…
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    #12
  13. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    OH, Oh, I see how it is! UE rides up the old wagon trail and you show the photo of him with a admiring pretty woman. I ride up it and I don't even get honorable mention. BUT THEN you make sure to show the one time of me with my bike down... (not that there aren't others) thanks... THANKS ALOT!! Yeah... I see how it is. :bluduh


    ...and the crash dance worked pretty darn well don't you think? :ricky

    (...because of the way I'm portaited here I have to do something to look like a decent rider. Even if that means doing what I can to make other good riders look a little worse than they are :evil )
    #13
  14. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Sorry, I only post them as I plagerize them. (A few of the photos were from Jay & others). :rofl

    On the "Crash Dance Steps", you can see my tracks up them as the line to the far right. If you hit that line with a little speed, it was really simple. Further to the left, you encountered steps with the worst possible spacing - bike length.

    Jay took the reflection picture of me at the water crossing when I went back to look for them. Thinking back, I should have told Jay the water was filled with quicksand, and that he needed to hit it really, really, really fast to avoid sinking. :evil
    #14
  15. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    WELL! I was going to show some photos of UE riding other notches, like this one. But now I'm not going to. :fitz
    #15
  16. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    UtahExplorer and I on the way to Hanksville.
    #16
  17. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    We were camped between the two eastern arms of Lake Powell. There's Powell in the distance on the HITR ride.
    #17
  18. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    Evening in the dez.
    #18
  19. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    After pulling the BA (Boat Anchor) out of the clutches of Doom, the four of us Mike, Jay, Rod and myself decided to check out Red Canyon Rd. and do some easy riding. (I'm getting better at taking photos on the fly)
    #19
  20. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    Lake Powell after dropping down the Rincon switch backs on the HITR ride.
    #20