UTBDR North to South September 2018

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MotoPet, Apr 21, 2019.

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  1. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    After doing the TAT from East to West on the old route I followed the new TAT route from west towards east until Wendover. (If interested take a look here:
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/tat-old-and-new-mixed.1361161/
    for the report.)
    Being sort of close to the start point of the UTBDR and because I had to go south to Tucson anyway I thought it was a good idea to do this via the UTBDR.
    Here comes the report for the ride.
    #1
  2. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    I left Wendover (Bonneville race track) and headed east on the highway 80 towards Salt Lake City.
    A gas stop was planned to do at Lake Point. As I was waiting at the crossroad opposite of the gas station the bike died.
    F*** :permazot, what now? Is the battery dead again? What's the reason? I pushed the bike to the side, trying to start it. No luck, so pushing the bike to the gas station for some shade was the next step.
    Starting to look into the problem, and after some investigation I finally thought of the fuel QTY. When Did I last refuel the bike? :fpalm Surely enough I was just short of gas. The highway speed took its toll.:D

    Refueled the bike and myself and off I was again.
    Made it to Perry where another stop is used to clean the salt off the bike before heading north to Logan and than along Hwy 89 to Bear Lake.
    Bear Lake was busy and at the same time already in Off-Season mode. First Campground closed, the second had all these great amenities which I didn't want (especially not paying for them).
    After some searching I found a small campground with basic facilities in town next to a place called Crepes and Coffee.
    #2
  3. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    15th September
    Day 1 (Day 41)

    [​IMG]

    The following morning it did take full advantage of the coffee place being next to it.
    Had a nice breakfast with crepes and a coffee before riding to the start point of the UTBDR.
    It is still cool and as I climb up the mountain road I'm glad I didn't stay there last night. That would have been a cold night!
    But a nice view down to the lake.
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    Than the route turns south on to some trials in a high valley.
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    Here are still some herds for grazing looked after by some dogs.
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    And there are great views along the route.
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    The trees have nice colour. It is definitely autumn now.
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    In Woodruff should be a gas station, but I cannot find it. After turning around and passing the entry point from the UTBDR finally I have success.
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    Following the route is leading me into Wyoming . Bad preparation from my end is the reason why I don't have the GPS map loaded for that state. So I have to follow the blue line on my GPS without any information around.
    The trail south of Evanston leads through some Gas and Coal mining areas and than back into the mountains.
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    Some sections are a bit rocky and there small water crossings as well, but all nice and no problem.
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    Ahh those colours! I like it!:clap
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    Unfortunately there are some forest fire and the views are limited due to the smoke.
    I'm still lucky and don't need to detour from the UTBDR.
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    Shortly after passing the Currant Creek Reservoir the route joins the Hwy 40 to Fruitland.
    On the GPS it looks like a larger settlement but Fruitland is more or less just a gas station and a shop. Slowly I have to look where to stay this evening.
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    I do not want to turn back (there have been some campgrounds) and do not want to go too far away from the trail. So I head towards Strawberry Canyon where the Camelot Resort should be.
    Down in the valley had been some forest fires and you can see many houses are gone.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And than the road is closed, just before the Resort. So I pass the close sign and show up at the resort.
    It is a beautiful location in a flat area surrounded by vertical cliffs. But, the place is empty.
    On one end I see a house and a truck so I ride there to ask if there is any place to camp. The people are just coming home from work and I can barely ask the question as the answer comes: No, we are closed.
    Ok, I noticed that, but is the road up the canyon really closed and are there any campground nearby?
    After some time I hear more of the story what was happening here. 1st flooding, 2nd fire and after all of this again flooding. And than they invite to pitch my tent and come for dinner.
    People who have lost their business and much more are inviting me to share their food. I feel puzzled and uncomfortable with this. Because by now it is quite late, I'm happy to be allowed to pitch the tent but pass on the dinner.
    When I asked what to pay, all I got was a 'no way you are paying for this'.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Just another example for people being great!
    During the night some deers where visiting. Nature is recovering.
    #3
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  4. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    N!
    #4
  5. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    In, thanks for the link. :thumbup
    #5
  6. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    :lurk I'm in...
    #6
  7. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    :lurk
    #7
  8. MotoRojo

    MotoRojo Adventurer

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    Sad turn of events for the nice folks at Camelot Resort. Hopefully their kind gesture towards you will somehow turn their luck around.

    Count me among those that are following along
    #8
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  9. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    I hope that too!
    And maybe some people who are reading this will consider a stay with them in the future.
    If I will be ever again in that area I will do that for sure.
    #9
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  10. walt2896

    walt2896 n00b

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    Can't wait to get to Utah. Looking forward to a great report.
    #10
  11. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    16th September
    Day 2 (Day 42)

    [​IMG]

    In the morning the temps are quite low but blue sky. The people from the Camelot Resort told me that the strawberry canyon further up is closed but until the junction with the Timber Canyon it is cleared.
    As this is the UTBDR route I ignore the road closed sign (there where yesterday constantly passing by cars) and ride through the heavily fire and mudslide affected canyon.
    But some areas are not too bad. Even going up the Timber canyon (there where no fires) the mudslides at every little creek are present.
    [​IMG]

    As I climb higher it is getting colder because there is still no sun in the canyon. about halfway up the Water Hollow road turns of to the south, but keeps on climbing and the road has some deep erosion channels.
    And finally some sun!
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    After reaching the ridge the route follows more or less that with beautiful views and colours.
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    Great easy riding and than the road goes down into the valley with farmlands.
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    Following the very long Argyle Canyon Road down to the 9 mile canyon where are some Petroglyphs can be found.
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    And a balance rock.:1drink
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    The 9 Mile Canyon Road is all paved and runs to Wellington. While cruising along the landscape changes from fairly green to desert style.
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    I have been warned to follow the UTBDR further south as the trail shall be very desolate and a lot sections with deep sand. Nevertheless in a true Adventure approach I ignore that and continue.
    A short ride on the Hwy 191 and than the route turns south onto gravel again following again a ridge. If you look closely you can see the railway in the valley which needs to be crossed later on.
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    The trail varies in condition from sand
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    to rocky
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    and gravel.
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    Sometimes nice views. Unfortunately the Dinosaur Quarry is closed today.
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    As I get closer to Green River the trail is getting worse and the temps keep on climbing.
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    I'm very relieved as I finally reached a good graded road just north of the Black Dragon Canyon which led me into Green River.
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    At the gas station outside of Green River I refuel the bike and myself and evaluate my options.
    It is about 4pm and riding the trail to Moab is definitely out of question. So I decide to finish early and get a nice spot at the Green River State Park.
    [​IMG]

    Each spot has power and water and mine is next to a small creek. Very nice! Until a group of young typical generation twitter occupies the spots on the other side.
    Suddenly the peaceful atmosphere is gone as they have to comment everything they do. To inform everyone around them?
    For example: Oh I dropped my knife, I have to pick it up. Maybe I should drink some water. I'm cutting the vegetables. The water is good. etc.
    Thankfully there was a 10pm silence rule and all was good. :clap
    Till 6 am, :baldy all startet again.
    #11
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  12. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    Ever try wild camping? Campgrounds can be a pain sometimes.
    Love the fall colors.
    #12
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  13. resslerm

    resslerm Adventurer

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    In! Hoping to do this later this season.
    #13
  14. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Nice report, just talking to a friend about the sand in Cottonwood Cyn west of Green River :D
    #14
  15. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Occasionally I do camp wild. This was just a interesting experience (I admit one I could spare) as the campground was actually pretty full but these kids have been the only annoying factor.
    As you said, sometimes a campground can be bad. I still like the shower after a long hot day. :-)
    #15
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  16. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    17th September
    Day 3 (Day 43)
    [​IMG]

    The route runs north of the I70 and is a mix of some sand and good road. There are some nice and unexpected
    views along the way.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    The Sego Canyon Rock Art Site is a small but nice site.
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    The Sego Canyon Ghost Town was not very interesting but the short ride to it was cool. You can imagine easy how it was when it has been up and running.
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    After this the UTBDR crosses the HWY and soon the trail becomes very rocky. Along the route are some old mine remaining's, not much to see other than again interesting views.
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    [​IMG]

    Suddenly you hit the 128 and I'm following the Colorado River on the paved road down to the Dewey Historic Bridge.
    Unfortunately the not much of the bridge is left other than the main cables. I have been told the bridge was restored and later burned down due to a firework.
    No idea if true but for sure sad.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    After a short but scenic ride along the river I make a quick stop at the Fisher Towers. It is the wrong time of the day for pictures and it is hot.
    So I think about not going in the Onion Creek. Thanks good I said f... it, that's the route so I'm going.
    [​IMG]

    This was one of the best sections on the UTBDR. Many little water crossings, narrow canyon, sand, colorful rock formations, you name it.
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    And all leads into the La Sal Mountains.
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    Instead of riding to Moab and than again back across the La Sal Mountains I decided to visit 3 Steps Hideaway to treat myself.
    I had been riding Lockhart Basin South to North earlier in the year (https://advrider.com/f/threads/azbdr-and-beyond.1318833/).
    This was okay (kind of) with the loaded DR650 but no way I want to do this North to South.
    #16
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  17. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    A little note on the route I took.
    Coming into La Sal I was babysitting my bike on fuel. I knew it was low on fuel. How low I saw when the pump said 5 Gallons.
    The IMS tank officially holds 4.9 Gallons.
    #17
  18. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    Great report!
    #18
  19. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    18th September
    Day 4 (Day 44)
    [​IMG]

    After again a very nice evening and good night sleep at 3Stephideaway with Scott and Julie I rode back towards La Sal to join in again on the UTBDR.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    The route leads towards Monticello. After a quick stop at the newspaper rock I made the bad decision not to run on the track directly to Monticello.
    Instead I thought I could do the 'normal' route from GPSKevin's LA TAT portion around Monticello which I haven't done earlier in the year due to timing issues.
    It started nice but quickly turned into single track trail.
    [​IMG]
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    Still thought no problem, but it got harder and harder. I didn't take a picture on the scariest spot, but the following was just afterwards the downhill, looking back.
    It was a steep drop on the left and a fairly big rock on the right which pushed my rear towards the edge of the single track.
    I was feeling that it started to slip and applied the rule: when in doubt pull the throttle. Thankfully it worked.
    [​IMG]

    After a lot of steep and rough climbs my clutch was not separating anymore. Dammit, I fried my clutch.
    No I was sitting here about 2/3rd of the track to the pavement with a overheated bike. I heard a group of small bikes approaching so I pushed the bike to the side.
    [​IMG]

    Those guys had big eyes when they saw me with the fully loaded DR650. We had a chat and they offered to guide me out, but the bike definitely needed more time to cool down and I didn't want to spoil their day. They assured me that they are going to ride the same way back. This was at least comforting me a bit. In worst case, I still do not need to sleep in the woods tonight.
    I used the time to change the front sprocket and recover a bit as well.
    After maybe 1/2hour I started the bike to see if the clutch is now working again, and yes it did. (the clutch was already near the end of its lifetime before this happend)
    The rest of the track was not really easier, but I said to myself 'do not use the clutch' and it worked better than expected and feared.
    [​IMG]

    The pavement came quicker than thought and I was this time not disappointed.
    Fuel stop in Monticello and continue for the rest of the day through the woods with fantastic views and great gravel roads.
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    It was a long day and I was glad when I reached Blanding for the night.
    #19
  20. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    19th September
    Day 5 (Day 45)
    [​IMG]

    This morning the weather was not the best. Mostly dry but now and than a little bit of rain.
    From Blanding it is a short ride on pavement to join the track which runs through a valley with interesting rock formations south.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Along the route are some ruins which can be reached by doing a small side track and a hike from the parking lot.
    They are situated in a small washout and would be even nicer to see with some sun.
    [​IMG]

    And again south. Due to the light rain is the sand much easier to ride on.
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    Just before the route reaches Hwy 191 is the Wolfman Petroglyph Panel marked on the GPS.
    A very short hike brings you to the ridge and the opens the view down into a valley.
    [​IMG]

    I have no idea about these petroglyphs and cant' see where they should be. There are also no signs to point you the right direction.
    Luckily some other tourist where coming up the ridge and told me where to go.
    This is actually the path on the return, but you see that there is a big rock blocking the trail. That's also why it is a bit difficult to see where you need to go to.
    [​IMG]

    Once down, the petroglyphs are good to see. you can get really close.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Because the weather was not getting better I decided to stay at the Sands Island Campground just outside Bluff.
    Especially as the forecast was great weather for the next day. So relax, have a nice drink and read some.
    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and enjoy a very nice sunset. :D
    [​IMG]
    #20
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