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Old 06-06-2012, 11:57 PM   #191
motoged OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Kamloops, BC
Oddometer: 862
DAY FIVE (cont'd):

The first order of the day had been some Canyon pics, a fast ride into Page, and gas. At the gas station, a local recommended the Ranch House Grill, and we had a good breakfast there. Reconvening outside, some tasks were assigned: Bobby was directed to get some vodka at the liquor store....and he returned with Everclear....

BobZ was a bit miffed, I think....probably because it might give his own moonshine a run for its worth. Travis One had decided to wash his bike at a car wash and apparently had a hard time starting it....or something like that. I was focusing on digesting my omelette and wondering if the cowgirl waitress would marry me.

We had a chance to mull over the next stage of the ride: we were headed towards the town of Escalante.

Back on the slab with full bellies, icewater in our Camelbacks, Everclear in our bar, and good intentions all the way around...



... and it appeared that we would once again ride through the moonscape east of Big Water, pass the junction to Crosby Canyon, onwards towards Glen Canyon Recreation Area (or so the sign said)....and continue up to a serious series of switchbacks to someplace where the ground was on fire.

This road was leading us up to the Kaiparowits Plateau... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiparowits_Plateau ,

The desert trail snaked its way up to the ramparts of a canyon wall. The switchbacks allowed us to rapidly gain elevation and look back to our approach:














Somebody coming around the corner...



Looking south from about half-way up the "wall"...



The road from Big Water and the Crosby Canyon junction......



Nearing the top of the plateau...






...where the riding was fast on some sweet red sandy double track punctuated with hard-pack gravel.



The guys found their way to an interesting spot where apparently lightening had struck the ground some years ago, hit some coal or something, and it was still smouldering...

Holy Smokes !!!!!




From this vantage point, we could see the valley floor we had ridden from...Laake Powel and PAge off in the distance...





The plateau eventually allowed us to come down through some juniper and slickrock, and while we were at about 7000 feet, it was hot...



The pace was brisk as usual and we were allowing for the dust. Every once and a while a few guys would stop and make sure we knew where the others were...

I was stopped at one point and someone rode up and said that BobZ was having bike issues again. He said he would ride ahead and connect with some of the group (ie. Kevin)...I said I would ride back and find Bob.

This was Bike Fuccup #3 for Bob.....and we were really in the middle of nowhere....the previous problems waited for camp, shade, and a picnic table . I found Bob at the side of the road in a pittance of shade offered by a Juniper...I parked my bike off the road, took my armor off as I anticipated a long break.

I felt badly for Bob: the perils of the 690 were slapping him around mercilessly this trip.

I will let him tell his version of the story...but it goes something like this:

--- Bike stops suddenly and won't start; he thinks:"Jeezuz, I changed the sparkplug, injector, fuel pump, and tidied up some wiring over the past two days...WTF could it be?" ...So I watch him take the Safari tank off again, fiddle with stuff, redo some wires and connections...and more.
--- I try to be helpful by staying out of his way and not offering suggestions....because I learned to do that as a kid when Dad was uptight....and because I am a moron with mechanical trouble-shooting...and because I don't know Bob well enough yet and what his boiling point is
--- Kevin arrives after a while (he also has a 690 and is mechanically adept)...he and Bob theorize, switch parts for a while (regulator, coil, or some fukkin electrical thing that confuses the shit out of my desert-parched peanut of a brain), only to find that Kevin's part won't make Bob's bike work and Bob's part makes Kevin's bike run like it is constipated and has dementia....
--- Bob wants to throw the 690 over a cliff but it is too far to walk to the nearest cliff...and I learn a few new things that a person could do with the KTM corporate structure...as well as what things KTM engineers could do with themselves that sounded biologically impossible to me ...but that Bob might introduce them to if he had the opportunity.
--- Then Bob seems to succumb to the pressure of it all as well as the mid-day heat (90's) ... when I hear him talking about getting an old air-cooled Honda 600 cc motor (e-button, of course) and cramming it into the 690 frame so he could have a reliable scoot...cuz the 690 at least has good suspension ...
--- Bob and Kevin decide it is time to dig out the tow rope...
--- I feel real sorry for Bob ...Kevin tells Bob, "I will ride your bike and you tow with mine"
--- Bob pretends to protest this suggestion and sets up the tow-rope system (intelligently so that the rope is pulling from a central point so as to not pull the bike to one side...
--- I overhear that we have probably 50 miles of road with rocks, sand, rock ledges, loose gravel, and shit we hadn't even thought of yet...
--- I say that I will follow....and we head north to God-knows -where


At least Kevin and Bob manage the towing without incident (ie. dumping the bike)



The mood lightens a bit if only because we know what the next step is: ride to Escalante and rent a truck...Bob is DONE with this fukkin 690 piece of..... because it is like and it just makes Bob want to

and the effin thing , because all it is doing to him is


We ride for a few hours looking for a way out of the situation...and come down into a wet canyon with water running on the road....mixed with deep loose pea-gravel, mud, rocks, and some cool canyon walls...








I overhear the guys talking about how cool it would be to camp here and sleep on these ledges......

and part of me agrees, but my understanding of basic physics, uneven surfaces, gravity, frictional co-efficients, momentum, and how heat-stroke affects simple cognition...I mention that I will ride ahead for 10 minutes to see what is ahead while they explore this cool narrow canyon...













I follow the narrow canyon, splashing through puddles, slopping in wet pea-gravel, and almost submerging myself in a "puddle" that, unlike its 4" deep brethren, nearly swallows me and I get drenched as I nearly go over the bars....I stop and make a crude rock detour wall in front of this homicidal wet spot, so as to warn the others if they continue....
I go as far as to come out of the canyon within 10 minutes to where the terrain flattens out and opffers meadow-like terrain.

Maybe we will camp here...I turn around and within a few minutes see the gang coming my way.

We agree to check it out and a few scouts take off in a westerly direction to see what's what.






__________________
Ged Schwartz
Kamloops , BC


Baja '05 , Baja 06/07 , Baja 08/09 , BC Alpine Single Track





motoged screwed with this post 06-07-2012 at 12:55 AM
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