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Old 10-28-2009, 02:58 PM   #166
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Day 24: Thursday July 23rd, 2009

It was a cold night and a chilly morning when we awoke.
We were, after all, camping at 10K feet again.

We were a bit slow to get moving. We were slowly having breakfast and coffee when all of a sudden a small moose comes running out of the brush, and though our campsite.
And about 15 seconds later, Momma Moose comes crashing through the brush and though our campsite.

We were now wide awake!

So we packed and ride down the valley towards the only town nearby, Silverton CO. But it was a long cold ride. Ambient air temperature was probably around 30 degrees, and the damp air was cuttingly cold at 45 mph. I remember howling in my helmet in discomfort.
But once we stopped in town, we found a breakfast place and parked in front.




Food wasn't bad, but the servings were small, and I needed lots of calories to keep going.


So after breakfast, and many cup of hot coffee we headed out of town, filled up on gas, and came across this old bit of military hardware.



A few miles out of town, we left the pavement and followed the TAT over Ophir pass. Very nice.





Heading down the other side we came across this group of motorcyclists comming up from the other side.


One of the bikes broke it's chain. I did not have a chainbreaker, nor any tools to help out.
But this Unimog came along and one of the passengers has a munti-tool with a file.


With a little effort we were able to get the chain off.
At least now he could coast down the mountain and get closer to repair and parts.

With a few more words of advice and encouragement, we left them, and headed our way west.
The ride out of Ophir Pass.


We rode along valleys, and occasionally we would ride over a ridge, but we kept heading west.


It was after a "Special Fun Fun Fun" section of the TAT that we met John.
He was taking a break after a technical section of the trail he rode on his BMW HP2. Turns out Juhn was also riding the TAT.

I've always been a big fan of the HP2 Enduro. I've never had the chance to ride one on dirt.

The third sentence out of John's mouth was, "Want to ride my HP2?"
To which I immediately replied, "Well, actually, Yes I do!"

And we switched bikes!!! Just like that I was riding a BMW HP2 on the TAT in Colorado. We rode for about 30 miles before we switched back.

My thoughts on the HP2 had been confirmed and changed at the same time. I still liked the bike, and enjoyed it's long wheel base and subsequent stability at speed. I appreciated the smooth, and easy to service R1200 motor, but I was no longer sure the HP2 was my dream bike.
It was a handful, and I could not imagine trying to ride it on tight - slow technical trails. The small fuel talk was always an issue too.
I needed to rethink my options regarding my "One Bike that does everything" philosophy.

We rode with John till late afternoon and had a meal with him in Dove Creek, near the Utah border.



Then, after lunch we followed the TAT towards Moab and Canyonlands.


Once we crossed into Utah, we gained elevation and headed into a National Forest where we bagan scanning for a nice campsite.


Perhaps one with water and swimming.
A few hours of looking brought us to Dark Creek Lake.

We found this.

So we set up camp Snuggly, took swims, and bathed.

We were also well prepared to deal with Utah.
While in Dove Creek Colorado, we bought more supplies.
Our own personal Doctor, Dr. Rock, has been educating us as to how to survive in the wild.
He recommends this all purpose tonic in a lightweight traveler bottle.


It has a myriad of uses including: Antiseptic, degreaser, flavor enhancer, and mental anesthesia.

We followed his sage advice.
Thank you Dr. Rock!


After vigorous frolicing, and a good meal, we slept very soundly.

Stats for the Day:
191 miles.
Moving Average 34.3 Moving time 5:35
Stopped 4:00 Total 9:35.

Q~

Questor screwed with this post 10-28-2009 at 03:28 PM
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:23 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
One of the bikes broke it's chain. I did not have a chainbreaker, nor any tools to help out.
Questor...I hope you will in the future. Worth the extra weight.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:40 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Rusty Rocket
Questor...I hope you will in the future. Worth the extra weight.
Yeah. I'm going to spend the winter putting together a good tool kit for the KTM for next summer's adventure.

Perhaps I'll search for a thread on such a topic in Orange Crush.

Q~
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #169
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quote: after vigoruos frolicking and a good meal we slept great!

It just does not get any better than that!!!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #170
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:44 PM   #171
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Questor,
You said bikes were running well at 12000+. Is this simply because of MAG's carb having a new gasket fitted or did you get them rejetted ?
Great photos.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:33 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werewasi
Questor,
You said bikes were running well at 12000+. Is this simply because of MAG's carb having a new gasket fitted or did you get them rejetted ?
Great photos.
Well my DRZ seemed to run fine almost everywhere on stock jetting, albiet at reduced power (approx %20) above 10K feet.

MAG had her carb rebuilt with a new gasket, and a slightly different jet. Also the C-clip was missing from her needle jet so it kept "changing" her setting as she rode.
No wonder the symptoms kept going away and then would come back.

But once it was fixed, the bike ran great. I'll tell ya, that little DR-350 has a big heart.

Q~

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Old 10-29-2009, 03:34 AM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
Yeah. I'm going to spend the winter putting together a good tool kit for the KTM for next summer's adventure.

Perhaps I'll search for a thread on such a topic in Orange Crush.

Q~
Great report! Check out this multi year toolkit thread. Long but there is a ton of info . The first part is the best.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=262998

John
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #174
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Day 25: Friday July 24th, 2009

A little less than a year ago, I was on a big cross country trip on my BMW GS Adventure. I was attemptig to visit most of the National Parks in the US.
When I got to the Moab Utah area, I visited Arches National Park, as well as Canyonlands. At Canyonlands I was struck by the awesome beauty and remoteness of the area. I was drawn to the "Maze" area of Canyonlands. I wanted to ride down there and explore.
I attempted the first few turns of the Schaefer Trail and realised that riding the White Rim Trail, solo, on a fully loaded GS Adventure was not a wise thing to do, so I turned around. But I told myself - that one of these days I HAD to go back there, possibly on a smaller bike, and explore the area beyond the paved roads.

Today was going to be that day!

We woke up around 8:00am, broke down camp and rode the 1.5 hours to Moab Utah.
It was till cool in the morning as the sun started to rise.


But as we rode, we lost elevation, and the unique desert scenery of the Moab area revealed itself.



We had breakfast in Moab. The town was nearly empty. The last time I was here it was late September, and the town was almost too busy for my tastes - but today the town was empty.
That suited me fine. I did not want to spend the day waiting for jeeps to crawl along at their 5 mph speeds.

So after breakfast we continued to the Canyonlands area.
We passed the entrance to Arches National Park.


and took a left turn to the entrance of Canyonlands.


About 20 miles later we came to the road that would take us to the White Rim Trail.


After a brief conversation, to confirm that we were really ready for this, we committed; and rode down the road that would take us down into the canyonlands area below. I was really excited, and a bit nervous.


We rode and eventually go to the edge of the canyon.
From here the road make a series of switchbacks, and led us down to the river valley below. Can you find Motoadventuiregal in the picture below?


The road was exposed and there was nothing to stop one from riding off the edge.


Here's a shot from the riders perspective.


Eventually the road flattened out, and we found ourselves riding towards the Green River.




After all the reading of Ride Reports, reviewing maps, checking GPS files, I was fufillling a promise to myself.
We were here! We were riding! This was a dream come true!



The White Rim Trail followed the Green River for about 5 or 6 miles.


But there was no forgetting, we were in the deepest part of one of the most remote places in the United States - and it was a desert.


This is a place of incredible beauty, but also incredibly unforgiving.
If you have an accident or mechanical failure out here, things can go wrong in a hurry.

The coolness of the morning was now only a memory, and the heat was becoming a factor. After a difficult climb, we stopped at the only place we could find in the shade and took a break. It was beautiful, but it was also very HOT.


After the break, we rode on.


The trail diverged from the river and headed across the desert. Over the next couple of hours, we faced some tricky climbs, deep sand, and some death defying decending hairpin turns, but the trail kept going.


The riding was not always difficult, but again it was important to stay alert and be careful.

There were some incredible scenic overlooks with great vistas.


As well as long exposed sections of canyon cornices. Not a good place to make a wrong turn.


The trail continued, and we followed. It was all so huge. There was almost too much to see and take in.


We had been riding down here for over 4 hours, and we were starting to get tired and dehydrated. We had extra water, but we needed to take another break. We found a shady spot.


When we got going again, the trail did not dissapoint. More great views awaited us.


The trail kept going and going....


and the views seemed to get better and better...


Deep canyons...


Huge distances...


Evantually, when we had completed about 80% of the White Rim Trail, about 120 miles, we came across this....


Apparently, they had gotten a flat tire, and had been out here, exposed in the desert heat, fixing the flat for almost two hours. They were in the final stage of inflating the tire, but their tire pump had died. They could not get enough tire pressure.
Along comes Questor to the rescue! I let them use my air compressor, and a few minutes later the tube was inflating correctly.


It turns out they were riding the White Rim trail in the opposite direction we were. That means it was late in the day and they still had 120+ miles to go. We parted ways, and wished them luck.
(We later learned that they had several more flats that evening and had to abandon one of the bikes down in the canyon for the evening, as they rode out two up to civilization.)

About an hour later the trail began it's climb out of the canyon.


Again, lots more switchbacks and exposed ledges with thousand foot drop offs. (Again, can you find Motoadventuregal?)


A riders' perspective. It pays not to be afraid of heights here.


Once at the top, a final view of the amazing place we spent the day riding.
This is where I rode down to on my GSA the previous year, and decided to turn around.


So while we had completed the White Rim Trail, we were also exhausted.
I remember being cranky, and a bit brain dead. I was tired and just did not have the mental energy to do anything correctly.

I was also a bit concerned about the weather. All afternoon we had seen storms on the horizon, and had seen the rain comming down. I was concerned about what would happen if the trails became muddy and we could not continue. I'd seen how bad things could get. This anxiety wore me out as well.

Here's a picture of the kind of storms I was worried about.


We were exhausted. So we found the first out of the way place we could and set up camp.


Immediately after setting up camp, I took a nap.

Motoadventuregal went into town to get gas and food.
When I woke up an hour later, she was back with a warm Budweiser, and a gas station burrito.

We enjoyed a nice sunset as we looked across the valley to the East.


It was an exhausting day, but a great one.

Stats for the Day:
172 miles
Moving average 25.6 Moving Time 7:22
Stopped 4:41 Total 12:04

Q~

Tomorrow would be even more challenging...

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:22 PM   #175
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:15 PM   #176
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Amazing! Simply amazing.

Question - maybe you covered this before, but was getting fuel a problem? Going back to the Cinnamon Pass area up to this point you look as if you are miles from civilization. Are there towns just off the TAT that one refuels and, if so inclined, motel up?

Also, now that you covered that terrain on the DRZ, would you do it on the GS?
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:42 PM   #177
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Very cool my friends, very cool.

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:04 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by nevada72


Amazing! Simply amazing.

Question - maybe you covered this before, but was getting fuel a problem? Going back to the Cinnamon Pass area up to this point you look as if you are miles from civilization. Are there towns just off the TAT that one refuels and, if so inclined, motel up?

Also, now that you covered that terrain on the DRZ, would you do it on the GS?
When riding the TAT the general rule is, "Buy gas evey chance you get."
If you follow the TAT, you have an opportunity to get gas about once a day which is approximately every 200 miles.

Now that I have ridden the TAT, in hindsight I don't think I would take the GS. Once you get past Oklahoma, the trail just gets too gnarly, and the sand gets too deep for a big bike like the GS.

The next time I ride the TAT I'll bring "Tiger", my KTM 950 Adventure. It has better weight distribution and is a lot more "dirt" oriented than my GSA.
Perhaps the ideal bike, would be something like a Suzuki DR-650, a KTM 640 Adventure, or the BMW F800GS.

Q~

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:29 AM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
Perhaps the ideal bike, would be something like a Suzuki DR-650, a KTM 640 Adventure, or the BMW F800GS.

Q~
That's music to my ears.

Thnx for the trip report. Enjoying every picture ... the words are good to.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:32 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
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Perhaps the ideal bike, would be something like a Suzuki DR-650,
Q~
OH YEAH! lemme at it.
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