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Old 08-21-2012, 06:59 PM   #136
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MoToSalt 2012 Day 2

My luggage did not arrive last evening …not surprised any longer, so here was "plan b": the four of us would ride a loop around the La Sals, including La Sal and Geyser Pass and any super secret locals only single track in between (jb and jakbrand already had some intelligence on this from some guy they met at the storage unit, turn on your x left after this road, then here, then there, etc.), then descend toward the Colorado River and 128 using Onion Creek; then jakbrand and jb would continue on north, cross I-70 and camp somewhere along Bookcliffs while my son tbang and I would go back to Moab and continue to wait for our luggage (and dwip) tonight.

First order of business for me was find a shift lever that would fit. The upsetting thing was that I had almost bought a shift lever for this trip but decided against it. I almost had clicked "buy" in ebay….but I didnt'...I had ridden that bike for 9,000 miles in difficult terrain and crashed a few dozen times without the lever even bending. Anyway, I visited all motorcycle parts stores in Moab to no avail. I looked at dozens of shifters. Nothing. Eventually, the quest led me here:



Legendary Arrowhead Motorsports, specializing in KLR's…so I could knock on Fred's door, wake him up and ask him to weld the tip of the shifter.



And off we went for late breakfast at Zax:



And get gas, water, some ice for the cammelbacks, beef jerky, etc.



Here we are trying to find our way to La Sal Pass in what would be the first of many many re-routes on our way to Salt Lake City:



jakbrand will have some pics of the shelf road on a post below, which was a nice little rocky section to warm up.

La Sal Pass had perfect weather for single track hunting.



A few unsuccessful exploratory roads:



Some more promising than others:



At the end of a particularly promising jeep road with the typical "no trespassing" sign we all, except jakbrand, would grow accustomed to respect during MoToSalt, we met this cowboy who jb, the official singletrack tracking dog of MoToSalt, sweet-talked into opening up his gated ranch and tell us



open this gate, then follow the cow path here, then there:



and voila, singletrack. jakbrand has the pics. I was concentrating too hard trying to keep up with these guys.

we emerged somewhere around here as we made our way to Gayser Pass



and La Sal Mountain Loop Road



Thompson Canyon looked like a good place for, what else, beef jerky for lunch… and relaxation









before descending to Onion Creek...



At which point my motorcycle's electrical system died. No lights, no computer, no starter…the battery was OK because I could hear the fuel pump go…so I push started it a few times.

jakbrand may have pics of Onion Creek, not sure, but we parted ways on 128, they would continue MoToSalt, my son and I nursed my bike, again, back to Moab, to figure out what the electrical gremlin was all about, to wait for luggage in that evening's flight which would also carry dwip. The idea was for the three of us to slab it to Green River tomorrow morning and meet the other two riders to continue MoToSalt 2012.

We went to Moab Motorsports again right before the close and they were super nice, lent us their manuals, tools, voltmeters to make sure it wasn't the battery, etc., they even gave us a few extra 10A fuses. The bike started no problem. I recommend them without any reservations.

I called the airport and was told they had found the luggage and it would be delivered to the KOA that night at 9 PM , so we had enough time to eat. I also got a text from dwip that he was not able to get a connection to Denver from Houston to catch the Moab evening flight. I texted jakbrand who was already camping along Book Cliffs "Luggage arrived but not dwip" and that my son and I would meet them at La Cantina at Green River the next morning around 10 AM.

But on our way to ribs for dinner



the fuse blew again. In fact, it blew several times until I could figure out that it was a short somewhere with the turn signals that caused the fuse to blow. Late that evening I disconnected all of my motorcycle lights just to make sure.

Then I waited and waited for my luggage to no avail. Nobody answered the phone line either. Then dwip's airport ride stopped by the KOA to say "hey, your buddy didn't show up" meaning, I made the ride all the way there and now somebody needs to pay $50….so I did (dwip owes me big time. last trip I delivered a KTM front sprocket over hundreds of miles)…then he says, oh, and was your luggage a big black duffle bag? well, it was there in the flight, I just didn't know if it was yours…finally, after I told him about the single track up La Sals he says, how did you find it? You know, we built those trails over the last 7 years, nobody knows about them, etc. I told him a cowboy told us the secret. Anyway, it was a curt conversation.

I continued to wait and leave messages for the airline until midnight, at which point I gave up. I texted jakbrand luggage in Moab but not at KOA... I knew the airport would not open until noon Sunday…things were not looking good. To say I was is an understatement.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:22 AM   #137
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I've attempted to ride across La Sal Pass several times, but snow always defeated my efforts. This year the La Sal Pass and Geyser Pass would not turn me away.







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Old 08-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #138
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Secret (sort of) La Sal Single Track

JB sniffed out a few miles of single track on the east side of La Sal Pass. We even received a bit of assistance from a friendly itinerant rancher who showed us the difficult to find trailhead.













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Old 08-22-2012, 07:54 AM   #139
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Abbey Country

We crossed back over La Sal Mountain via Geyser Pass for one long last look into Moab. This may be Abbey's country, but I love this place too. After a short run on Kokopelli's Trail we dropped into Fisher Valley via Onion Creek.










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Old 08-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #140
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Book Cliffs

To compound ET's pre-ride fiasco, he needed to circle back to Moab to resolve more electrical issues and locate lost luggage. We parted ways at HWY 128, but planned to rendezvous in Green River tomorrow. Late in the afternoon JB and I crossed Colorado River at Dewey Bridge then continued north to Book Cliffs via a network of twisting washes and canyons behind Arches NP.










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Old 08-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #141
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Bush Camping

I felt sorry for Dwip, ET and Tbang, because as luck would have it Book Cliffs turned out to be the best camping of MoToSalt. Cool and dry with a spectacular view.

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #142
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MoToSalt 2012 Day 3

So today I continued to wait for our luggage. I had no hope since airport would open at noon and in all likelihood I would miss our meeting time at Green River…so all I had left was prayer…and around 10 am, this old guy shows up in front of the KOA with the luggage. He said he got lost the night before and could not find the cabin…too dark….anyway, now the luggage was there. We had to get ready, and find someone to ship what we were not going to use back home since shipping station is closed Sundays…Luckly the receptionist at the KOA was willing to do that for us, and we finally slabbed it to Green River to meet the other two riders at La Cantina, get a few supplies



and get on with some playing around:



we love this part of Utah, behind a gas station or a McDonalds, there is always a place to play, no permit, no forms to fill out, no rules other than common sense…





Then after a couple of miles on pavement, we began to cross the San Rafael Swell:



just one little section without an official trail other than what I could see on Google Earth which gave us a little trouble…there was a small canyon in the way...



but after jb's poking around a little bit, we found a place to cross it. And after a few more miles, we then found what we were looking for, a beautiful ATV-only trail bordering Cow Canyon:









Everyone got their postcard pics here...







the trail was in great shape and was fun to ride and every "peninsula" on the trail was an opportunity for a pic



This was the site of army underground explosives testing back in the 50's…

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:42 PM   #143
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MoToSalt 2012 Day 3 (cont)

The next obstacle we had to cross: the San Rafael River, which due to recent past rains, we had difficulty finding a place to cross…"Dangerous Crossing" says the Utah Atlas and Gazeteer...jb, as usual and on his own, created a new crossing at what looked to him like the best place to cross. The rest of us unloaded our bikes and crossed. Some of us needed more help than others…I was the last one to cross. The steep bank from the bottom of the river to the top of the other side was a challenge for me...of course the pictures don't do justice, yada yada yada…





vegetation was a little thick on the other end…



here we are back on track, resting and eating, what else, beef jerky.



As we approached the city of Ferron and the evening fell, jb hunted for a place to camp, this one is called Righteous Hill Campsite.



A little too windy for comfort that night and with a slight chance of rain, so against my better instincts (tbang and I don't carry a tent but a tarp), I sucked it up and camped up on Righteous also…



nice sunset too.

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Old 08-23-2012, 06:30 AM   #144
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More Book Cliffs

We broke camp and headed to Green River where we were supposed to rendezvous with ET and Tbang around noon. Good luck. I never stay on schedule. JB and I cruised generally west along arid Book Cliffs for a few hours. The secenery was easy on the eyes with the sun at our back. The rock formations shone brighly in the clear air and we saw one large ram grazing near a pond. He seemed very confident and did not run until we rode up beside him.

















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Old 08-23-2012, 06:41 AM   #145
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Green River Bad Lands

Descending through the Book Cliffs canyons you see colorful layers of rock that support the living trees and grass above. Coursing along the waterway in the bowels of the canyon, looking up rock walls more than a thousand feet high, you get a sense of powerful hydraulic forces at work transporting massive amounts of earth downstream. It boggles the mind. Billions of tons of material washed from the canyons eventually settles in the wide plains below near Green River creating a desert wasteland or moto playground depending on your point of view.









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Old 08-23-2012, 06:51 AM   #146
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Our Plan Comes Together

Amazingly, JB and I met ET and Tbang at the Green River cantina around noon. The four of us bought fuel and headed into the wilds of San Rafael Swell, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We rode an unintended cross country section through sagebrush and juniper and the fragrance was heavenly.

















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Old 08-23-2012, 07:06 AM   #147
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Camping in the Desert

I love camping in the desert except for the tarantulas, scorpions and rattlers. I don't think I'd sleep too comfortalbly under ET's tarp. Desert camping is usually dry and cool with memorable sunsets. Righteous Hill Campground near Ferron was no exception.




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Old 08-23-2012, 04:38 PM   #148
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MoToSalt 2012 Day 4

Early AM as we were breaking camp, we had a few drops of water…the only ones the whole trip…almost.



Breakfast burritos, scrambled eggs, supplies, gas at Ferron's Gilly's





The plan was to ascend into Monti-La Sal using Dry Wash…bad idea:



Eventually even jb was saying, we have to turn around…



This was one of those areas where at least I was holding on for dear life as we crossed terrain in which a fall could mean a busted shifter or worse, a lost motorcycle down a ravine…Wrong motorcycles for the job…maybe a GasGas trials bike…massive rocks, steep steep terrain, loose gravel on narrow ledges, etc. certainly way over my head…





This was to be one of many many reroutes from trails that looked great on google earth but not so good in person…
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #149
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Great thread!

When you were in littleton colorado you were right down the street frim me! I bought my S10 at the dealer in the background of the photo. I live 2 minutes from there!
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:05 PM   #150
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MoToSalt 2012 Day 4 (cont.)

So eventually, after playing around again at some unmarked motorcycle playground and more reroutes of which I have no documentation, we made it to Ferron Reservoir to intersect our original planned route...



Jet Flat Reservoir:



Lots of great ATV trails in this area. Some with mud…spring must be tough around here…











Even the dead-ends were worthwhile...



jb again playing around with the original route to sniff out the good stuff



the pace was relentless…no time for pics except during rest periods...



We did drop into Ephraim for lunch and gas. This was probably the best deal of the trip, huge plateful of really really good Mexican food for a few pesos…







Then back to the office…



going east climbing back up to altitude





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