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Old 08-10-2009, 10:01 AM   #16
BigWan OP
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I'm not sure what ride report etiquette dictates, but I wanted to mention that we appreciate the comments! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this - even if you are only waiting for the sh*t to hit the fan


7/27/09 Day 4 of the TAT: Monticello, UT to Moab, UT aprox.170 miles (104 of the TAT)

I thought we might be riding with the guys (Paul, Julian and Andrew) today, but they were still sleeping when we left. Poor guys, they deserved the rest...

Had a nice breakfast at the Peace Tree Cafe. Excellent coffee (best of the entire trip) and bagels.




We left Monticello and headed up into the mountains.


This would be our last forest visit for a while.



We wouldn't see 10,000 ft again, so we tried to savor the last of the cool, pretty forest. Took a water break and had a granola bar.




bye, trees. I'll miss you...



We saw a cougar in the aptly named "cougar canyon" - it quickly disappeared into the scrub before I could get the camera out, but it seemed to be a pretty good sized cat.

The terrain was quickly changing.



Starting to look like Moab...




As we were entering Moab, Matt saw a sign for Slickrock. He said he always wanted to go there on his mountain bike, so we turned into the parking lot. I had never heard of Slickrock, but the name made me nervous.



In addition to mountain bikes, we also saw some quads and small dirt bikes. Oh?
We watched them go in the entrance and we were discussing what to do when a guy in an RV waved us over. He was waiting for his son (a mountain biker), and didn't really know the rules, but he said there weren't any rangers around. So, we decided to go in.

The first rock at the entrance was steeper than it looked and I almost slid off when Matt stood up. This is going to be fun...


We turned left and went through a narrow gate. Wow, it seemed pretty difficult and tight for a ATV trail - how did those quads do it? We followed the white dotted line that indicated the trail. There were numerous signs stating that you MUST stay on the marked trail. Okey dokey!

I didn't take too many photos - it was really steep and got pretty technical so I had to hold on tight.







After following the crazy, twisting path across the rocks for a while, we stopped and looked for the quads and dirt bikes. Uh oh. Off in the distance, we could see a whole other set of trails - big wide ones, with black tread marks - and there were the quads and dirt bikes. How the hell did they get over there?

Then, we came to a sand trap in between the rocks and noticed that the only tracks in the sand were narrow little mountain bike tires. Definite Uh oh! I was starting to worry that we were going to get yelled at by a gang of irate spandex-clad bikers, and maybe get pelted by powerbars, but Matt was having too much fun to care.
I was amazed at what the KTM could do, and it was fascinating to see how well it maneuvered in tight spots.

I know that Matt would have enjoyed Slickrock more on his XR650, or even by himself on the bare KTM, but I was happy to have had the experience.



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Old 08-10-2009, 10:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themansfield
We tried to catch you in Nevada but Julian's KLR got, er, side-tracked by that silty pucker bush terrain.

Working on a ride report, but I'm afraid your trip was way more impressive than stitches in Colorado and Julian in a concussive state thinking Bush was currently president. Awesome.

Will stay tuned.

Oh, man, we thought you guys finished before us - we were rushing to try and catch you!
So sorry to hear about Julian and the KLR - we had a "rest day" in Battle Mtn (more on that later).
Definitely do a RR - we're dying to hear how your trip went!
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:55 AM   #18
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You mean you had a rest day in the same place we took Julian to the ER? Whew, I don't feel so bad now. I'll wait to see that part of your report before I give my take on the second half of Nevada. At one point we bailed on the roll charts and put our trust in your big ass Rally Raid track, that's all I'll say for now.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:40 PM   #19
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Hey Matt-N-Kelly
We, my wife and family, crossed paths with y'all on 727, the Willow Divide trail. We were up in that area for vacation, had rented a red Hummer H3 and were following a friend in his Toyota Land Cruiser up this trail. I kid you not, I had just thought to myself "I wonder how my 950 would handle this trail" when what shows up from around the corner, coming downhill, but a bigole Katoom 9fiddy with a pilot and a co-pilot! I loved it! Don't know if y'all remember seeing us. Wished I could have been on mine but at least I was in CO. Next time. Anyway nice to find out who was on the bike and that the ride went well.
[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/PAULMO%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.png[/IMG]
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #20
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What a ride! I was following you guys on the Spot GPS; dreaming of being on those roads. That with the pics and posts makes for one very nice ride report. Way to go guys.

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Old 08-10-2009, 03:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themansfield
You mean you had a rest day in the same place we took Julian to the ER? Whew, I don't feel so bad now. I'll wait to see that part of your report before I give my take on the second half of Nevada. At one point we bailed on the roll charts and put our trust in your big ass Rally Raid track, that's all I'll say for now.

If you were following us to Preston, NV - You're welcome!
If you were following us outside of Eureka, NV - A thousand apologies...
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTMandu
Hey Matt-N-Kelly
We, my wife and family, crossed paths with y'all on 727, the Willow Divide trail. We were up in that area for vacation, had rented a red Hummer H3 and were following a friend in his Toyota Land Cruiser up this trail. I kid you not, I had just thought to myself "I wonder how my 950 would handle this trail" when what shows up from around the corner, coming downhill, but a bigole Katoom 9fiddy with a pilot and a co-pilot! I loved it! Don't know if y'all remember seeing us. Wished I could have been on mine but at least I was in CO. Next time. Anyway nice to find out who was on the bike and that the ride went well.
[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/PAULMO%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.png[/IMG]
KTMandu - of course we remember you guys! You looked pretty comfy, warm, and dry in that thing
Hope you had a nice vacation - see you next time!
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #23
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Day 4 continued...


After Slickrock, we headed into Moab and found a room. We wanted to check out Arches Nat'l Park, so we left the bags and grabbed a bite to eat.
Here are a couple random shots of Moab. We didn't eat at McStiff's but probably should have.








On the way to Arches, we decided to go back to Slickrock and try the actual ATV trail this time.



I enjoyed the view while Matt played for a bit.



It was $5 per person to get into Arches and it was worth every penny.









This weird bug landed on Matt in the parking lot.








I thought this one looked like a dinosaur head. Matt thought it looked like a lioness. Who's right? (or are we both high?)






Arches was hot and packed wall to wall with tourists. We made the hike up to this arch, in all our gear (ATGATT), and got plenty of funny looks.







We went back to Moab and had overpriced Thai food for dinner. Afterwards, we spent the evening trying to decide if we wanted to do the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands, but by that point we were both feeling pretty rocked out.






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Old 08-11-2009, 01:19 AM   #24
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nice report, love the pic's. Funny i was just thinking if this trail would be possible on the mighty 990 two up. Well you just answered my question. I live in Santa Cruz mtns maybe we can meet up some day for a little ride?
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:50 AM   #25
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Great pics and report. Thanks for posting
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:54 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911racer
nice report, love the pic's. Funny i was just thinking if this trail would be possible on the mighty 990 two up. Well you just answered my question. I live in Santa Cruz mtns maybe we can meet up some day for a little ride?
Hey there! The whole TAT is definitely doable two up. However...if you guys are serious about it, we need to talk!

p.s a ride would be great!

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Old 08-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #27
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7/28/09 Day 5 of the TAT: Moab, UT to Salina, UT aprox. 270 miles

Today was a doozy. We were skipping the second dual sport bypass and I was nervous about the upcoming "very deep sand, big rocks and a nasty uphill climb" in Sam's notes.

Originally, we planned to spend another day in Moab to do the White Rim Trail. However, after going to the visitor's center and talking to the folks there, we weren't sure if we wanted to spend the 10 hrs it takes. Looking back, we realized that they meant it would take 10 hrs at the posted speed limit. So, we actually would have done it in 3-4 hrs.

Regardless, neither one of us wanted to spend another night in Moab (not that there's anything wrong with Moab, we just wanted to keep moving). I saw an interesting 4x4 loop mentioned in a Moab tourist pamphlet and we decided to give it a whirl. It looked like the loop would fit right into the day's TAT ride.

There were tons of these green bugs at the gas station - on the islands, pumps and all over the ground. They kind of look like edamame.



Had coffee, yogurt and terrible rolls for breakfast.



The ride out to Gemini Bridges was beautiful. Pretty rocks and red dirt everywhere. It was a fun little road.






After Gemini Bridges, we left the TAT and did the 4x4 loop. It worked out perfectly, without missing any of the TAT - at mile 124.74 where Sam says "RIGHT on #313," we made a left instead. Later, we would come back to this intersection and pick up exactly where we left off. We bought a 25 cent map of Canyonlands at the Moab visitor's center and it paid off - there's no info or maps available if you enter Canyonlands on this part of 313.

If anyone is interested, the loop incorporates Long Canyon Rd, Potash Rd, and Shafer Trail Rd.


Long Canyon was a fantastic road. Really pretty and a neat ride.



I shot a short video here. We had no idea there was going to be a rock to go under - that was a fun little surprise! At one point, I clunked Matt in the helmet with the camera, but he didn't seem to mind.









I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what photos are from what road. I think this is still Long Canyon.



Took a little water break and watched the river rafters.





hello, cactus.



[Ignore these extra photobucket thingies - I can't make them go away. Don't worry, there aren't any pics missing, either ]




This silty section surprised us (I think this is on Potash Road). We were zooming along when the bike got all wiggly. Neither one of us can remember if we had a get-off or if Matt just put his foot down. This is looking back at the silt...








The loop goes on part of the White Rim Trail - here's Island in the Sky







Looking back on Shafer Trail Road






Lots of switchbacks.



So tiny compared to the rocks...










This was a great little loop. After the tourist overload at Arches yesterday, it was wonderful to have peace and quiet. All this fantastic scenery and no people! It gave us a nice taste of Canyonlands and only added 37-38 miles to our day.


From Shafer Trail Road, we were able to get back onto 313 and mile 124.74. We reset the odometer and picked up the TAT right where we left off.




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Old 08-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #28
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Day 5 continued...


We got back on the TAT and headed to Green River. The roads were mostly flat and boring so I didn't take any photos. Matt was on cruise control and we got there fast.

We originally thought we were going to spend the night in Green River, but there was some confusion about the mileage (the day was 100 miles shorter than anticipated - Sam has you reset the odometer in Green River from 158.06 to 258.60). This really screwed us up, putting the most difficult riding of the day in the afternoon and not first thing in the morning as we had hoped. Oh well. It wasn't even noon yet and we both felt pretty good.


There was some more boring, ugly riding along the powerlines and then,
we were in Black Dragon Canyon.


The trail got rocky and sandy and pretty technical. It had been a while since we had done a lot of sand, 2up, so I was glad we had seen a tiny bit in Death Valley and at Slickrock. Still, I was pretty tense.

I think this is still in Black Dragon Canyon



Beautiful arch.



At some point, we discovered that my foot pegs stick out further than Matt's do. We were going around a rock and his giant size 15 boot cleared, but my left ankle got whacked on a rock. Hard. Really hard. Matt felt the bike move when my foot got mushed. At first we were worried that it was broken, but eventually I could stand on it and take a couple of steps.

We kept going on the trail and I quickly got used to bracing myself with just my right foot.


We took the customary under-Interstate-70-bridges photo.



and the tunnel one.



Next came the dreaded Cat Canyon. Sam wasn't kidding when he said it was "very deep sand." We had done sand 2up in Baja (Laguna Hanson to Rancho Santa Veronica, etc.), with full camping gear and it was fine. But there was something about Cat Canyon - maybe the sand was finer and more powdery, maybe the trail was narrower...

Either way, I had to get off and walk for the first time of the trip. It just wasn't working 2up. Fine with me! Sand freaks me out and even with my messed up ankle, I was happier walking that quarter mile...

The colors in the photos are kind of weird. It was a HOT day and there was a lot of glare from the sand. I had to fiddle with the contrast to get the details of the photo to come out and it made the colors all funny and retro.



That little dust cloud in the top right is Matt, plowing his way through.



Even once we got out of the sand, the rest of the trail took forever. The washes were so monotonous. The same gravely sand and rocks and the same turns back and forth through the canyons. Over and over...
Eventually, we got out of the canyons and it got better.

Funny black rocks. I should have zoomed in.



Took a water break here. Did I mention that it was HOT?




At some point we thought we saw 3 bike tracks - maybe it was the guys (P, J and A)? We got on the gas and tried to catch them. Unfortunately, the thrill of the chase, plus the heat, plus total exhaustion led to this:



Yeah. Cool. We were totally FUBAR'd.
It was a complete lapse of judgement on our part (one of several of the trip). Oh well.

We tried to take a better look, but the mud was like quicksand - it was devouring the bike and trying to pull our boots off. It was deep and sticky and wet under a deceivingly thin crust. Hmmm...
Matt was angry at himself and throughly frustrated, but I thought it was a great challenge. Trying to pull the bike out only made it sink in deeper. It was a mess.

Eventually, we were able to break the suction on the front tire - a gooey slime (like concrete slurry) rushed to the surface. We had to lift the bike up and over to the side (where the mud was slightly drier) again and again. No easy task when the damn thing weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 lbs. I picked up rocks from the nearby wash and placed them around the bike so we had something besides more mud to fall into. It took a while, but we finally got the bike out by lifting and moving it a little at a time. It was exhausting work and the heat and the thick smoky air (something near Salina was on fire) didn't make it any easier.




The front wheel had been completly packed full of mud. We had to scrape it off/out with rocks and sticks. Wish I had thought to take a before photo!
Oh well. Back to the trail...



We rode and rode and rode. Eventually, we got tired of the frontage road - it was so slow! We were tired, hungry and my ankle was on fire. So, when we had the chance, we got on the highway and slabbed the last 16 miles to Salina.

The clerk at the Roadway Inn in Salina was so nice. He let us use their hose to wash off the bike. He didn't really get the off-road thing, but he showed polite interest and said nice things about the bike. Also, the hot tub was working, which made me happy.




Tomorrow - the Paiute Trail and more sand and single track! whoo hoo!






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Old 08-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #29
kaia
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it looks like you two are having a great adventure! maybe i should have my wife read your report, then the little day trip excursions won't be so daunting!

quick question, when you get a second: how much experience do you two have riding offroad together 2up, and how much offroad experience does matt have? from your posts it seems like this trip is a somewhat common occurrence to you two...

have a great time, keep the posts coming!

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Old 08-11-2009, 05:10 PM   #30
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Great report. I want to do this next!
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