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Old 07-06-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
lonecanyonrider OP
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rt 12 Utah dirt roads on a drz

Decided to take a break from lots of things. In particular, detoxing from 6 months of Hep C medication. So took my toy hauler and camped a week off of rt 12 by myself, near Escalante. I explored as many trails as I had time for starting up in the mountains near Bryce.

My bike is a hopped up DRZ-S 470 with almost no original parts



Day 1: My first trail was off of Kings Creek. Here's a bit of it.



About 3 miles down the trail I encountered a Spring. A great place to fill up the water bottles.



Next I turned right on to Kanab Creek. Which split off into an ATV trail that turned into 03.



About 8 miles up this road I came across my first overlook.








At the overlook I encountered 2 retired couples on ATV's. Palavered with one of them for some time. We both agreed our GPS's were worthless up here and had turned them off early on. We wished each other well and headed in opposite directions.

The trail split a number of times and I had to make decisions.




This trail skirts 4 ridgelines running about 50 miles. At the last one I came across burned trees and descended on to some gnarly, narrow, rocky switchback. Here's the top of it, you can't see it here but it got very very steep as it went down. Thankfully my brakes were working well. Note my tires were Avon Distanzias (street tires) that held up pretty well in the loose rock I encountered.






After surviving the switchback down I began to hear engine knocking. Being 50 miles from nowhere this was not a reassuring sound. Fortunately it did not turn out to be anything serious. When I drained my oil later, no shiny stuff in there. The oil had clearly overheated though (it was hot and I was in 1st and 2nd a lot).

Exploring alone, no matter how prepared you are, can be dangerous. Other than that couple, I didn't see anyone else the whole way. I was much more careful to leave info later on with both the camp ground people and park rangers on later excursions.

I will post a desert trail tomorrow.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:13 PM   #3
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Nice pics. I can't get enough of Utah. Keep them coming .
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:18 PM   #4
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Nice one, can't wait to see the desert pics...
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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Into the Desert

Day 2

Was headed for Grosvenor Arch about 20 miles from Cannonville. The dirt road started right after Kodachrome park. I traversed it many times from my camp, exploring offshoots that had petrified wood and supposedly large numbers of rattlesnakes, though I never saw any.





The sand got deep at times, but when you see roads like this you have to push on.




Never saw anyone on this road, though I started around 6am to avoid the heat. Check out the white wild flowers.





This was a small wash that I followed a bit.



The remoteness and sense of space was incredible
Damn, that's a sexy bike. Must be why I keep taking pictures of it.



The prize for climbing some short switchback


Trudging onward



It just gets nicer



A glimpse of the double arch





Close up






I think my bike likes being here, I know I did.



lonecanyonrider screwed with this post 07-07-2009 at 08:18 PM
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:12 PM   #6
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Looks good!
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
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good report & pics, Jim.. glad you got out. I've ridden in those exact same areas.. i recognize many spot you took pictures of. Did you ride any of the Casto trail near bryce? Some of those pics look like that trail.

Anyway, that is some great riding country. I did Hell's backbone last year out of Escalante.. easy ride, great views.

Good to see you out riding.

scotty
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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Sweet!!
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:22 PM   #9
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Day 3 more desert

The following pictures are from a run I took on Old Sheffield trail. It is an unmarked road just before that first great overlook 10 miles past Escalante heading towards Boulder.





Some very cool twisties reminding me of the road to Scotties Castle in Death Valley





More great views of the Staircase







Lots of red rock and zion like white stone



Calf Creek trail. Met a bunch of Cajun families rangering in this park. They invited me to sit with them and we swapped stories. A great bunch. Should have taken their picture.




Will try to get the Burr Trail/Wolverine pics in tomorrow.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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Hey Scotty,

None of the pics were from Casto canyon. I was in Casto two years ago with the bike. That is a beautiful red rock canyon.
I did, however do Hells Backbone after hiking the Calf Creek lower falls. Went from Boulder to Escalante. Didn't take my camera on that one unfortunately. It was, as you described, a road with great views of the staircase. A lot of loose gravel on the switchbacks however made it a semi-enjoyable ride on the bike.

Other places I went were: the Burr trail (including Wolverine loop), Hole in the rock, a bunch of trails I'd have a hard time describing how to get to, and Pine Lake (off of Johns Valley).

The desert road, in the last set of pics, was rt 400. It goes all the way down to Page I believe, but the road got impassable due to the rain and the clay mixing together making cement like substance.
I landed up rescuing a German couple who got stuck in a stream bed with their rented toyota that had this type of mud. The guy had walked 4 miles out of the desert barefoot for some reason when I encountered him . Got to use my skill with knots as the towline snapped trying to get him out with the truck.

Someday we need to hook up. After all Sedona's a mere 500 miles from my house. Some beautiful country there.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:23 PM   #11
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That is some nice riding.. a little hot, maybe, but not for a tough old bird like Jim.. :)

I'm hoping to get up that way this fall.. probably go up through monument valley, then maybe up to moab, across to escalante then either down smokey mountain trail or the burr trail. I think i'm going to do it camping along the way.. too poor these days for hotels.

Great pics too, Jim. Maybe when i'm in your neck of the woods we can get out for a ride!

scotty
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