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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Animal Instinct, Feb 15, 2021.
Thanks RedDog. Good to cross paths again. Appreciate you following along, Boss.
Crazy stuff, David!
Day 8, Saturday, September 19, 2020 -- Escalante Cabins & RV Park, UT to Green River KOA, UT
See the progression? RV park to KOA. I learned on this trip that this is not a sign of weakness, but, rather a consequence of age and going where you are nudged.
244 miles, ~8 hours
As completely exhausted as I was, I still had trouble sleeping with the lower back issue. I was still popping ibuprophen every 6 hours or so with minimal tangible relief.
As I was setting up the tent with my headlamp last evening, a young sentry marched up and down the road. I hailed the lad and thanked him for making this a secured area to sleep.
The next morning, he returned to provide Yeller with a protective barrier against the surrounding recidivists. Our hero's name is Landon, and he is currently stationed with his grandparents in the travel trailer in the background.
Yeller and I took off north on UT 12, doing a bit of backtracking. It was a welcomed ride, revisiting those areas we rode through in the waning hours of the day yesterday.
Unique landscape, right?
Caught a really forceful tailwind from the south today. The first truly windy riding day of the trip.
Wow. Eastward jag on UT 12 through Capital Reef National Park.
I'm unworthy. Good Gosh.
Exiting the park.
Met a fellow adventure riding dude on the road and he pointed up a little side rode. We didn't stop or anything, just passed on the road less traveled. Here's what he was pointing at.
Thanks man. The smoke in the pics does not do the view any justice.
So now, unlike the intro to todays segment suggests, the goal was to get to the northern entrance to Canyonlands National Park, you know, so we could check out the Shafer Trail. Kind of rolled the throttle a titch. Sorry Yeller.
Even at our velocity, the views were spectacular.
I mean, damn. Right?
A ride to remember. Ralph S. Mouse, you seein' this from somewhere up above?
I Love you man.
All the while, the tailwind is just carrying us along. Stopped here cause you have to. Yes?
Crazy cool rock formations brought about by Mother Nature's steady works.
And then, something entirely different.
Did a stint on I70 east to Green River, UT. Talked to a guy at the grocery store that told me about a place to camp right along the Green River, yeah, the one that Major Powell came down on the way to discovering the Grand Canyon.
Got supplies at said grocery store.
Explored and found the campground packed, but got to see the Green River.
Then headed east on I70 only to find that riding EW with that howling south wind was no fun. I hooked a U and headed back to Green River. Decided to take Old State Road, which parallels I70 on the north, to look for a spot to stealth camp. If all else failed, there was a brand new Super 8 in Green River with rooms available, I had checked before I took off to Canyonlands.
The already intense wind intensified. This was bad stuff, folks. It occasionally pushed us all the way from the left side of the one lane asphalt road to the right. Yes, I was trying to ride as far over on the left as I could as each blast just crammed us over to the right with incredible strength. It is always windy in Wichita Falls, but I have never ridden in wind like this and hope I never will again. It was really scary and I began to question myself for carrying on, but what other choice was there at this point?
My initiation to camping at odd places took place last night. I had seen a KOA in Green River when I passed through a couple hours ago. Why not? Right? $40.00 a night with showers and wifi. A very welcome shelter in a windstorm.
Found some kindred spirits here. A father and son team that had decided to take off when all this COVID-19 stuff got its head of steam and businesses were closing right and left. They had been on the road for over a month. They were slowly heading home to California. I gave them the 411 on the ride I had enjoyed today and recommended taking a day off of I70 and taking in the view. I drank a couple beers while my camera recharged and watched the pair fight the wind to set up their tent, wondering if they might be interested in helping me here in a second.
For whatever reason, the wind let up as I was setting my tent up. It gave one last blast that turned my tent on its side, so I put the pegs in for the first and only time on the trip.
What another great day!
Good stuff man...good stuff.
Very cool! Excellent photos too. I was out riding in Utah about the same time or a little after you. I love it out there. Been many times and it keeps calling me back, like someone else said above. I live right up the road from you in Oklahoma City. Even lived in Wichita Falls for a few months back in the 90s when I was doing Air Force tech school there at Sheppard.
Capitol Reef is one of our favorite places. Lots of great places to ride and hike. Next time, maybe you can spend a few days there. Cathedral Valley and the Henry mountains have fantastic scenery. Your photos are making me wish I was there now.
"Everywhere I look, something reminds me of her..." RIP Leslie Nielsen
Great report and I sympathize with your back pain. Most of my trips in the last couple years have involved looking for the most scenic and comfortable place to stretch and/or rest my back. I once found a boulder in the Bighorn mountains that was so perfect for stretching out on, I spent half an afternoon just lounging on it and enjoying the view.
Great ride report. Looking forward to more.
Thanks for all the fantastic positive feedback. I got caught up in some stuff that just could not be put off any longer. Such is life when you are not Adventure Riding.
Let's carry on.
Day 9, Sunday, September 20, 2020 -- Green River KOA, UT to CG on the bank of the Green River, UT
207 miles, ~8 hours
The lackadaisical pace I have adopted really suits me. Morning ritual.
I had my stuff all packed up before Eduardo and his dad though. These guys were characters too, and insisted on taking my pic before I took off. I always look like a stoner in photographs.
East on I70, sans the wind this time.
Then south on US 191. They were flocking out of Canyonlands NP like nothing else. Eduardo and his pop had assured me last evening that there were no camping spots to be found there. That's how they wound up at the KOA.
See the coyote?
UT 313 to the park entrance and eventually the Shafer Trail.
The mass exodus had thinned appreciably and the eye candy was thickening.
I soon discovered we were not the first ones here today.
Having paid the admission fee I was bound and determined to give everything a quick looksie prior to taking the Shafer Trail over to Moab.
The smoky haze was a little aggravating. It may also serve as a catalyst to coming back someday. The yin and the yang.
I think this is in the direction of where the Green River joins the Colorado River. I did a poor job of documenting what exactly I was snapping pics of. Honestly, my mind was impatiently obsessed with riding all the way down there on a series of switchbacks.
You know, these puppies.
Like the Burr switchbacks, these were steep enoungh to prevent good photo ops and my back kind of warned me not to be getting off and on Yeller too much today. The switchbacks were great, but I was also drawn to riding that ribbon of track off into the distance and what I might find there.
Occasionally there were unmarked forks in the road that left one wondering if they were still on the right path.
And then you encounter affirmation. The Colorado River would lead us northeast to Moab.
It was a little warm down here. A minor inconvenience.
If you recall from Day 6 I told you guys to remember the pics from the Anticline Overlook cause we'd eventually wind up on the other side of the Colorado River. You are now looking at part of the Intrepid Potash mining facility again, from down here.
I figured on seeing a lot more jeep peeps on this road, especially as I approached Moab. This was the first for the day, I think. They actually pulled over when they finally saw me in the dust.
Then it was back to asphalt along the Colorado River.
Road construction and single lane traffic was waiting on us in Moab. Eduardo and his Pop had warned me of this.
They also gave me a tip on UT 128 heading northeast out of town that was scenic and had campsites. Since it was Sunday, I figured I'd give it a look as many campers would be heading home. I got fuel and beer and headed out.
It was scenic, and the campsites were full. I elected to head back to Green River, UT and ride back out to that campground that was full the other day. If it was full again, there was always KOA. I was heading west from there tomorrow anyway, so it was a win, win. Moab, UT is congested and it's hard to find Coors Original on the shelves, FYI.
Can't figure out your obsession with Coors hahaha! The state liquor store next to Napa auto parts has a pretty darn good selection of decent independently brewed IPAs...
So, west on I70 and then north on the road that parallels the Green River.
And a camping spot! I was so excited that I took a few pics before setting up the tent. I carry a small can of OFF for those occasions when mosquitos are pesky. They were voracious here, requiring a liberal application.
I was standing on the bank of the river that Powell was exploring and wound up discovering and mapping the Grand Canyon!
....and my favorite pic of the entire trip. It was so special to be standing here.
Since 7 is my lucky number, and aside from the ongoing back pain ordeal, this trip was a lucky charm....
Oh, I almost forgot. That couple from AZ that I talked to on the ferry were camping a few spots down and came over and had a beer. Crazy, right? What are the odds?
Coors is the sap o' life. Possibly the fountain of youth. Been drinking it since I was 13!
It's a health drink, a recovery drink, and brewed with rocky mountain spring water.
"The Mouse and the Motorcycle" was one of my favorites growing up!