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Old 04-22-2009, 09:58 PM   #31
dave6253 OP
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Highway 128 East of Moab

I checked a few commercial campgrounds in Moab for a tent site. I would've liked to have a shower after tomorrow's ride. Mountain bikers were everywhere, and being Saturday the Adventure Capitol of the World was full. I head east out of town to check out the scenery on the 128.


The 128 runs along the Colorado River and has a ton of primitive campsites,




But they are all full. I check every site from Moab to Castle Valley Road.


I give up and decide to turn around to head back to town.




When I find a just-vacated site at Drinks Canyon.

Not a long day.


A young couple in a minivan stuffed with mountain bikes are obviously doing the campsite search, just as I did. I know there are none left, so I let them share the spot with me. I set up camp and get a few shots of my surroundings.








I head back to town for dinner. My neighbors are off to hike Delicate Arch. I almost asked if I could tag along, but I want to get up early tomorrow. I return to camp, prep the bike for the big ride, and jump into the sack.

Someday....
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:34 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Greg
Love your pics of that amazing country. How would you rate the difficulty of those dirt roads? How about the tight switchbacks?

I've done a decent amount of off-pavement on my '06 Uly (way inferior to 990 in dirt, I know...) and would sure like to pass through that area on my way back from Seattle (home to Albuquerque) in late June.

I know, that time of year it is HOT there. But I'm used to it (bike, too).

Thanks!

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Doc,

Your Uly would have no problem at all with the Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway Switchbacks, or even the Burr Trail. I've done all three on a sport-tourer. The switchbacks on the White Rim Trail are somewhat maintained and could be ridden with your Uly with no problem, but you wouldn't want to take the rest of the White Rim Trail or even Potash Road on that bike (Although anything is possible, I guess). None of the switchbacks are very challenging, but you only have one chance to get each corner right. The pucker factor could have you making mistakes if you are afraid of heights. I found the White Rim Trail to be a handful for the 990, but then again I'm not very experienced off road. Take your KLX if you want to run the White Rim.

Burr Trail Switchbacks


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Old 04-23-2009, 07:30 PM   #33
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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   #34
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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   #35
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More please.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #36
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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   #37
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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, 10:34 PM   #38
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Hardscrabble







The ascent has lots of short, steep, loose, and rocky sections. Some have some pretty good sized rock ledges.


Often I'm to busy riding to get photos of the rockiest.














The steepest downhill section with a hairpin corner down below.


I saw the bicycles on the way up. I considered waiting for them, but decided to just slowly ride down this steep part. Once I get rolling though the surface becomes to loose to control all of my speed and...


...about 2 seconds later I'm at the hairpin! I needed all of the runoff area at the bottom of this section.


Second worrysome obstacle cleared!
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:43 PM   #39
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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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Old 04-24-2009, 01:05 AM   #40
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great and awesome pictures dave

those are by far the best photos of utah I ever seen
Thanks for sharing

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:28 AM   #41
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Thanks EUSKALHERRIA!

I have lots more! I'll post up some more later today.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:32 AM   #42
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Very cool, Great pics.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #43
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Great pics. Did I see you on the White Rim on Wednesday? I was going counter-clockwise on the SE-R.

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #44
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Moab rocks!

Hey Dave,

Great meeting you on the trail. Thanks for my picture in the other Moab thread. Yeah, I made it home fine....drinking a beer by the campfire by 6:30. I even went looking for you to invite you to join me. My desire for a beer overcame my desire to be social after I checked out the first two campgrounds and did not find you

There are enough Moab RRs goin on now...I will throw out my best pixs here:

Shot of the Colorado from the Shafer trail




Some of the many rock formations along the WRT


Day 2 of riding, I set out for the Harrah pass. Misread the sign and ended up in Kane Creek Springs Trail. This was a relatively short but very difficult trail, at least the end of it. Almost turned back a few times, since I was riding solo. I pushed on, probably unwisely, because the main road was only a few miles away. I hate out and back trails and always try and do a loop.

One of the many Kane creek crossings on this trail...This was the easy part.


As usual, the pictures of the tough part of the trail do not do it justice...so I won't even post them. Both the bike and I were a bit heated up after this trail, so we visited the La Sal mountains on the way home.


Riding day 3, I tried for Harrah Pass and the Needles part of Canyonlands again. This turned out to be the perfect ride. WRT was very beautiful and a 'must do', but besides the 2 big hill climbs, it was not a great off road ride. The end of the Kane Creek Springs trail was a little too much for the 950. The trail through Harrah pass to Needles was perfect. Including the cruise around Needles, the trip to Monticello for gas and the ride home on the slab, it was a 200 mile loop. Excellent views the whole way and just enough of a challenge on the trail to keep things interesting.

I think this is the pass after Harrah pass on the way to Needles.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:04 PM   #45
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Wow.

Just wow.

Great stuff!
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