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Old 04-21-2009, 07:26 PM   #1
dave6253 OP
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Cool2 Identity Crisis II, The White Rim Trail, Utah Rocks!

The last time I did a Utah trip it was on a little Aprilia SPORT-tourer that wanted really bad to be a DualSport. This time however; It's the rider with the crisis of identity. After owning a 2007 KTM 990 Adventure for a short time I'm already a desert racer wannabe. Riding the Aprilia makes me feel like Valentino Rossi, but this big KTM makes me think I'm a badass like the late great Fabrizio Meoni.




In reality I'm far from it. Here's a little taste of what's to come.





















Let's GO!
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
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Awesome photos! Man that White Rim is a blast! I was ready to do it again the day after we did it but there were other things to check out. I can't wait to get back and try it again.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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Day 1 The Sequel

I decided to make this a sequel to last October's Utah ride because...


except for the bike...


the first 1.5 days...


will be almost identical.


With a 3 day weekend ahead I race home from work on Friday to get this ride started. By leaving after work I have 4 days to ride.


This landmark on the Navajo Nation is named the Elephant's Feet.


This silo stores coal from the Black Mesa Mine. The coal is transported from here by electric freight train to a power plant. I stop near the tracks off the US160 near Kayenta to layer up for the cool night ride...


and to watch the Arizona Sunset.




I make it to the Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park in Utah, 334 miles from Phoenix, at 9PM.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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Absolutely Stunning!!
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:52 PM   #5
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Looks awesome!
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:10 PM   #6
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Day 2

I stayed in the exact same spot as in October. It's much cooler so the tent goes up this time.



I kind of sleep in so I miss out on the best light for photos...



...of what's over the edge. It looked better in October.






I turn off the highway onto a gravel dead-end to check out Mexican Hat Rock.




The road ends at the river.


Sombrero?


Next, let's compare bikes on the Valley of the Gods Road.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
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The White Rim Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Three years ago I visited Canyonlands NP on a sport-touring motorcycle for the first time. I had tons of fun on the twisty paved Island in the Sky roads and took this photo at Grandview Point.



I looked down at the White Rim Trail. I saw Jeeps and a lone motorcycle running the trail below. I then looked over the edge at the switchbacks of Shaffer Canyon and told myself, SOMEDAY....



Someday I will own a bike capable of this trail... and I shall return to conquer the WRT!

TODAY IS MY SOMEDAY!


I crawl out of the tent and get on the road to Moab before daylight. It was cold. Temps were in the low forties. I stop at the gas station on the north side of town to fill-up.



I decided the run the trail counter-clockwise. I planned to run out to Mineral Bottom Road by the most direct route, the paved 313 up to Island in the Sky. I wanted to be at the top of the Mineral Bottom switchbacks when the sun came up. I hoped this would give me some good light for photos as well as plenty of time to complete the long trail in one day.

When I get there I find my plans require some alteration.



Thinking it was 5:30 I decided to not wait 1.5 hours to see if the road opened on time. I later realized local time was actually 6:30, Doh! I rode down the highway to Potash Road. A little detour... I should be alright on gas... Right?



First Light on Potash Road


































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Old 04-23-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Great RR and pics. That goat shot is amazing too! And to think I only got one day in Canyonlands before getting snowed out.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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More please.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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Wrt



Before I know it I'm on top of the Island in the Sky.


I run up to the Shaffer Canyon Overlook to shoot the switchbacks before doubling back to Mineral Bottom.




This ribbon of asphalt beckons... but not today




I took a sandy two-track shortcut for a few miles before finding the clay highway that is Mineral Canyon or Mineral Bottom Road.




I arrive at the Mineral Bottom Switchbacks a couple hours after I had planned.


The photos are deceiving you! The scenery looks better, and the trail is rockier than any photo can capture.










The west end of the trail follows the Green River.








I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't more than a little apprehensive about attempting this long remote trail alone and with little dirt experience. The switchbacks didn't worry me. I was worried about the three technical sections mentioned in most other WRT RRs. This section of deep sand, Hardscrabble Hill, and Murphy's Hogback.

I reach the first technical section. I have no experience with deep sand and have nothing to compare this section to. The fact it rained here last week probably made the sand a little more compacted than it could be.



The road crosses this wide sandy wash, up an island, and back down into the sand. It's probably a few hundred yards long.






I breeze through the sand with no real problems. I dabbed a foot once, but otherwise kept it under control.

My next worry? Hardscrabble Hill! Even the name is a little ominous...
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:08 PM   #11
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Great RR. I need to get over there and ride the White Rim Trail before it gets too hot.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 930


Great RR. I need to get over there and ride the White Rim Trail before it gets too hot.
Thanks 930. It got pretty warm with daytime temps in the upper 70s. There is almost no shade on this route. Bring lots of water. I took about a gallon, but should've taken twice that much.
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