Dad will be out of town this weekend . . . so when the opportunity for a Thursday afternoon ride presented itself . . .
About 45 miles of fun . . . good for the psyche . . . We went on pavement out to Kayenta, the out Old 91 to the Apex Mine Ride, the start of dirt. Up the Apex Mine Road, then down past the Bloomington Cave and eventually onto Navajo Drive (pavement) in Bloomington.
The ride is very similar to post 17 and post 44. Check out those posts complete with maps!!
Dad on his Honda, leading us through the roads of Kayenta. Fantastic development (very southwest) under the big red cliffs.
Aside: Quota -- I drove past the Sweet Pea Cafe and Bakery -- unfortunately, it is not looking good. I'll go back and more thoroughly investigate, but the first pass was not promising.
Our first break for a drink, on the Apex Mine Road (officially known as the Mojave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway).
The view down to the red cliffs of Ivins (Kayenta development). Pine Valley Mountain in distance. Great weather. Warm, and sunny.
We moved along pretty good, enjoying the ride and the changing views. Here's a pic at the start of our descent from the Apex Mine Road. From this point (high on the Utah hill, just under Jarvis Peak) all of western St. George is visible below. There are distant panoramic views to Sand Hollow Sand Dunes, the cliffs of Zion and the higher mountains near Brian Head (very distant). Pine Valley Mountain and all of its lower flanks (Snow Canyon State Park) are in prominent view.
On past rides, we have seen Rocky Mountain Sheep in the exact spot where this photo was taken. Fun!
At the side trail to the Bloomington Cave. Been to the entrance area before, but not today. All about the ride, not so much the photos. Some inmates in younger days may have spent time exploring the cave. My understanding is that in years past there was quite a lot of "activity" near the cave -- some of this info was gleaned from my nephews who grew up in the area. (I have only lived in St. George for ~5 years, so I don't have deep long-term knowledge.)
The road below here follows a wash. It is in pretty bad shape in a few spots. Looks like road grader is in position; perhaps some maintenance will be starting shortly. Enough loose rock (albeit) in flat sections, that I wouldn't take a really big bike through. You could make it, just too much loose crap. Our little bikes are just perfect.
This is also the stretch were Pop (father-in-law) dumped a couple of weeks ago. (No harm.)
A pic of the TW200 with the "White Hills" in the background. There is a way to snake through from this spot and come out in Santa Clara. It requires a bit of "maneuvering" but it can be done. The easy route from here is out to Navajo Drive in Bloomington.
Just put this Yamaha OEM rack on the TW. Seems like the right size. Thinking about the best tail bag. Anticipating a few longer trips (exploring, camping) on the AZ strip (North Rim of Grand Canyon) and out past Motoqua into Nevada, towards Caliente. The TW will need to carry quite a bit of extra gas (and water) for those trips.
Rack install was easy, except for coaxing one of the seat bolts to get started again. Painful waste of time. Today, the rack did fine on its initial shake-down ride.
Inmates and Lurkers -- if you get the chance to ride the Apex Mine Road and the area above Bloomington (Blakes Lambing Grounds), give it a chance. Nice variety of dirt and fantastic views. Very accessible from St. George.
Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe.