06-17-2012, 09:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Day 9 – Were no Chickens, Hurrah
Over our extended dinner the night before we discussed that maybe an easier (read shorter) day tomorrow would be nice. A run down Kane Creek road and out over Hurrah Pass and out to Chicken Corners seemed to fit the bill. That morning after our daily trek to see the Muffin ladies we followed the gpx track that I had found on ADV. First I had to guide us through town out along Kane Creek road. This was a nice picturesque run along the river with plenty of spots to camp along the way ( I noted). We stopped by a funky brick rest area built against the hillside to lube the chains as we always did every morning once we warmed them up. The road soon graveled out and dropped into a deep narrow valley. The road ran across one tight paved switchback and along a huge rock wall. It wasn’t long before we found the sign (and my gps track was spot on) for Chicken corner.
First we climbed and twisted our way up Hurrah Pass. The trail was a decent width but had lots of rock steps and sharp turn over these steps and we had to pay attention. Just before the summit of the pass I came around a corner and to my right on a nice flat rock shelf was a Ford Fusion. I started laughing and later said to the guys “don’t get that in the shots, we’ll look like pussies” “check for rental plates”. When I got back from the trip I told my boss, whose wife drives one, “don’t ever get rid of that car, they are the toughest cars on the planet!” Seriously, I think Ford must have brought it up there with a chopper, it looked to clean and I really don’t think that it would have had the ground clearance to get there by itself. If it did then I would not want to see the underside of the car afterward.
From the Summit we could see something across the river valley near the Potash drying ponds. I broke out the 300mm lens, and had a look. It was a movie crew, and I could see a chopper, crew trailers and equipment trucks parked beside Shafer road. We would have to get a closer look in a day or two. We talked to a guy in a 4X4 pickup that was heading for Lockhart Basin road, and he was running ahead of us. He said he would pull over when we caught him. We lingered at the summit and took in the view for a while and never did catch up to him before the corner to Chicken. Along the way we encountered some deep, but short sand sections and I managed to surf my face into one deep pocket. Sand is so soft to Crash in, I like it! Thanks again to Paul for helping pick up the 990, you are getting good at it.
In one spot not far from the actual corner the trail becomes a bit hard to spot and I took a more rocky approach with large steps than Chris or Paul did (they stayed in the sand trough) but although stalling twice on the incline, didn’t crash (gold star for me, I tried).
It was a cooker this day and we would go through a lot of water and sunscreen (it mixes well with sand, who needs a loufa). We met a group of Quads at the Chicken, Lockhart Basin turnoff, and Chris talked to them briefly asking about the trail. They had told him,” If you made it this far the rest is easy”, Cool! Onward we went and Chicken corner was a bit anticlimactic but still very nice. We carried on past the point toward the trails end. I stopped to take a picture and heard a funny noise so I opened the fuel caps. This was a stupid thing to do in the blazing heat and I was sprayed with boiling fuel, good thing I don’t smoke (Ghost rider anyone?) I decided that I would get back to the corner where shade could be found and be ready for the guys and a picture shoot. I knew that they had very little trail left ahead of them by the gps track anyway. It was so hot the fuel stink went away quickly and the 990 with her boiling fuel was safely parked in the shade to cool down. What the hell did the desert racers do with these bikes if the fuel boils so easily? I even insulated the inner sides of both tanks before this trip to prevent this. Thankfully this would be the only day of the trip that I would have this issue.
After getting to the end of the trail the guys came back to the “Corner” and I took some action shots to prove they were no chickens. It really would be a bad place to run wide unless you were sporting a parachute. The guys after the photo-shoot relaxed in the welcome shade of the rocks as the quaders they had met at the trail’s end trundled by.
Having again achieved our objective we headed back. The sand was fairly easy going back across, I guess I am learning how to sand surf a little at a time. As we weaved along the rock face (just before the summit of Hurrah) I was filming the guys and running sweep as such. We were following around a small slash Canyon and as I took a sharp right around a rock outcropping I had to climb a 10 inch step. I was standing on the pegs and leaned over to the right, my front wheel went up and over the step and as the rear tire hit the step and started up, I found myself on the ground under the bike (AGAIN). Paul was right, “Gravity is fast!” I hit the kill switch and started honking the horn. Paul and Chris were around the tip of the slash canyon and right across from me. I saw Chris look over and stop. He had heard the horn. Paul was just a head of him and around the next corner by then so he had no idea. By the time Chris got back to me I was up but just couldn’t quite lift the big orange beast myself (especially with the hydration pack getting in the way) so he helped pick her up. We took refuge in the shade 50 feet up the trail for a minute and caught our breath. We met Paul at Hurrah Summit a few minutes later and explained what happened. The best I can figure is the rock step jogged my side stand and killed the engine mid corner. I must override that “safety” feature before it becomes a big problem one day!
The road back was just as much fun and we had a relaxing day at poolside when we returned.
Video of the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HnDOe8YOVA
I've learned so much from my mistakes. I'm thinking of making a few more.
09 KTM 990 Adv
Lycan1 screwed with this post 06-23-2012 at 10:39 AM