The following morning we got up fairly again but started moving sort of slow and I think we were on our bikes by 8:45. We had no real plan for this day so our plan was to head back to the West Winds
for a good breakfast and figure it out there. It happened to be Melon Days
in Green River which is their big event of the year. This was neat but also made it a little busy, so the luxury of another day of breakfast instead of just riding, seemed to take forever.
At the West Winds we started the route planning. At first we were thinking of going over to Dubinky
, and heading down to Moab that way and coming back, or possibly just rally over to Kolopelli to Colorado and get back on our original plan to Vernal in Northeast Utah.
But instead, we decided to head down into Hanksville, then head west over to Factory Butte, and head north back into the southern part of the San Rafael Swell where me and gisKEV had only lightly been to before. We were going to go through and area that only Jim had been to before (in his truck with his wife towing an RV) called Cathedral Valley
. We were all pretty excited for the route....
So sometime around maybe 10ish we hopped back on our bikes, zoomed right by our campsight again, and started heading south. No doubt that too much alcohol was also already taking its toll, and next time I will remember and promise to not give into the tempation of drinking too much too often..
There is a pretty crappy stretch of mostly just dusty graded road west of the Colorado River, east of Rt 89. I rode it 1-2 years ago and hated it, but I was also on my Honda at the time with its crappy stock suspension. However, Trackhead a year earlier pointed me to some single track he found in this area, but it was small and disappeared and reappeared at times. I really want to get to know this areas better because I know there is some fun stuff there.
The other issue is the Muddy Creek
separates the stretch by running west too it, and like the Price River before, all of the roads oddly stop at the river instead of going through it. Meaning.. With steep muddy banks, it's not passable at any points and you have to find a bridge.
So a bridge it is, and this kept us limited to roads that actually show up on the map, including the road I'd ridden before and didn't like. As a result, I was not psyched about this stretch of fast "ball bearing" road and when I rode it before, the weather kind of sucked. I remember it being hard clay in places and lonesome and desolate bland road with little to see, and that the road was kind of scary due to how easily you could go off the road, and just bone jarring terrain in the areas where the road was hard.
Needless to say my attitude was not good at this time. And I was hung over. And despite it being a beautiful day and the terrain and area actually being pretty good, I couldn't snap out of it. And I was also feeling a little stiff after two good nights of drinking and the breakfast helped a lot but I still wasn't yet on my A game. Then, maybe a couple miles past the camp site there is a super hidden corner over a lip, I was going too fast. I did all I could to stay on the road but basically just purposely bailed. I had the straps loose on my pressure suit and this happened...
It doesn't look like much but it hurt and was about the largest wreck I've taken on a moto. At probably 35-45 mph or so, mostly just a big dusty mental brain rattler. About 3 minutes later Jim came also flying around the corner but being in a better mood (and also having years of experience and being calm and collect) he was cool and just went off the road, staying on his bike upright the whole time. Basically what I should have done, if I hadn't panicked and bailed on purpose..
Kevin was way ahead but sitting on the hill a mile up and saw the whole thing happen. He turned around and came back and by the time he was back I mostly collected myself. The funniest part was that somehow the Seagam's bottle came out of my pack and Harcus picked it up, put it in his pack, and never even mentioned it.. Slippery Harcus...
This photos is a good example of this type of "ball bearing" road..