My friends and I had been planning a big Baja ride for months when they started waffleing. It went from 9 days lost in Baja to a weekend in Nevada. That wasn't the trip that I had taken a week off for, so I withdrew in a huff. Since when is work a reason to bail? It was so bogus and I was disconsolate. I was moping around the house when my wife Margy suggested "let's go to Utah, we can camp and hike and you can ride the White Rim or something?" Lightbulbs went off and I was fully restoked. We packed the van with gear, toys and our boy Jake and off we went.
In preparation I posted a "Are solo dual sport rides OK?" thread here on ADV. Riider for advice and inspiration. The responses were unanimously positive and the advice was good.
In the nights leading up to the ride my dreams were filled with danger and excitement. They ranged from crashing into the river or off cliffs to blissfully cruising for hours in the awesome desert southwest.
Finally the day arrived. We parked at the start of the Hosethief Trail and I nervously packed. Suddenly another solo guy on a XR 400 sped by. The nervousness vanished and I was totally psyched, YEE HAW here I go! I had decided to go counter clockwise since we had ridden it twice on mtn. bikes before (once in a day with Marge) and gone clockwise both times.
That is Jake in the background playing with his emergency vehicles.
The Horsetheif heads down to the river and soon you enter Canyonlands Nat. Park.
The road goes along the Green River for awhile and is super narrow. I had to pass one bike tour truck with inches to spare. The river loomed ominously below.
After a few miles the road heads away from the river and I stopped to take the jacket off and put my extra gallon in the tank. The extra gas was superfluous as the XR gets ~50 mpg and the tank is a 4 gallon rig. One bit of advice that I had received was to cruise, that is go about 80% of my normal group speed. So I had started extra slow, but after a while the fun factor kicked in and it was wheelies and chaw-airs off bumps. Still not fast but just fast enough to have fun.
I stopped at the Murphy's Hogback to check out the view and the outhouse. I was sitting there with the door propped open when I heard vehicles approaching. Quickly I scrambled out and got them to take my picture.
Continuing on I went out the spur road to the White Crack Campground for lunch. It sits on the point above the confluence of where the Colorado and Green rivers come together. There was nobody for miles around.
After lunch I stopped above Monument Basin for a view of the spectacular Standing Rock. I am a lifetime rock climber and had climbed it in ~1989 with Marge and a couple other friends. It is ~300+ tall and very loose as far as rock quality goes.
I cruised on and passed the only other dual sport guys that I saw. There was a guy on a WR, a DRZ and a KTM. Continuing past the Schaeffer Trail I stopped for this view of the Colorado River.
Soon the road approached the Potash Mine outside Moab where I stopped. The intense blue is a Potash evaporation pond near the mine.
The White Rim is a fun ride and the scenery is spectacular. You get out there miles from nowhere so the adventure value is high. There was nothing technical or dicey to get gripped about and is therefore a perfect choice for a solo.
Thanks for the advice and encouragement you all!