ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #31
jglow OP
Two wheeled traveler
 
jglow's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Oddometer: 347
Into the San Rafael Swell

TAT Day 4


Today was going to be a super long day. The typical TAT day is Green River, UT to Salina, UT. We are going to run from Moab, UT to Salina, UT – which is about an additional 80, or so, miles. Of course, we are carrying camping gear, so we could throw down anywhere we want – which is a great option to have. I was really nervous about how difficult the riding would be today. The section between Green River and Salina is probably the most technical section of the whole TAT. I knew this full well, but I tend to withhold some info from Nikki (kinda like what I did with the bears in Alaska). I just didn’t want her to get freaked out, or assume she couldn’t do it – she can, and I am not a total moron… I wouldn’t have had her riding along with me if I honestly thought she couldn’t ride it.


We start the bikes and let them warm up as we load them up.





As we try to leave the campground, Nikki’s bike starts acting really weird. Every time she eases off the clutch, the bike bogs down and wants to die. Sorta seemed like the carburetor was loading up. I told her to just rev the hell out of it the clear it out, and that seemed to do the trick. We headed to the gas station to fill up before heading out. We fill up the bikes and pull away from the pumps, well… at least I do. Nikki’s bike is doing the same thing again, only this time revving the hell out of it is not doing the job. I circle back and we push the bike over to a parking area, and tore it down.





I thought that maybe the air filter was just really dirty, so I checked that. It was a tad dirty, but not too bad. We were carrying an extra, so I went ahead and put it in. I started the bike to test it out. It seemed to run fine while in gear on the kickstand, while I leaned it over to lift the rear wheel off the ground to allow it to spin. Notice anything funny about that last line??? Running, while in gear, kickstand down. Ah hah! It was that bloody, stupid kickstand switch thing.







It was shorting out. Apparently, revving it a bunch probably caused enough vibration to knock some sense into the switch temporarily, but I had a permanent fix:






So much for that early start we had hoped for. We ended up pulling out of Moab, at about 9 or 9:30 am.


Heading up Gemini Bridges Road.










Weren’t we in the mountains yesterday?








One of my favorite pictures we took on the whole trip:



(it just happens to be of me )



We took an early break in the sand .






Seems I chose a bad line, and Nikki being the devoted wife she is, followed blindly behind me .



Took a bit to get the bike up the incline.









Moving on…









We dubbed this stuff, “Prehistoric Pavement”.




You turn a corner, and suddenly you are in totally different terrain.




Very desolate through here.




Eventually we cross over I-70 and ride the old Hwy 50 into Green River.






We stop and grab some lunch, fill up our camel backs, and bottles with water, top-off our gas and head out.


If you have newer TAT maps, you will not have the luxury of experiencing this next section.




I don’t remember reading about anybody dealing with all these gates in such a short distance.


Gate #1




Gate #2




Gate # 3





Gate #4




Gate #5





All within less than a mile probably. Seemed like somebody was trying to make a very arduous task of passing through here. Maybe that's the reason Sam has routed around this ?

After the 5th gate I decided to just bushwhack over to pick up my track on the GPS.





And then it was time to deal with the train tracks.





I know there is an underpass, but I didn’t look real hard for it. I had read of so many others having issues here, that I just decided that we would cross over the tracks.


Sounds like a great idea from a distance.





But that rail bed is loose, and steeper than you think.




And those silly rails themselves are a might tall too.




Almost like they don’t want you to just cross anywhere .




This is a live rail by the way, so don’t mess up!


Back on route now after only a bit of spent hydration.


We are heading towards the San Rafael Reef.






Which just so happens to be part of the San Rafael Swell, a very harsh, and desolate place….

But boy, was it awesome.

Not saying I would want to live out here, but it is certainly something to experience.





A bit further down this road…




And we take a turn into Black Dragon Canyon.




We will traverse this wash clear through to the other side.








Simple enough, right ?





I guess… But sometimes it is quite difficult to tell which way the path goes, and which way is the actual wash. Sometimes you have no other choice – The path is the wash and visa-versa.




We stop to stomp around a bit.






The echo is crazy in here.


Even though Nikki and I are 40 ft apart, the echo makes it sound like she is talking into my ear.




She is having fun, and riding the terrain very well.






Typical riding through here:










The canyon felt huge...





It was at some point while we were traversing the canyons (which really could have been at any point in the day), when the enormity of what we were doing sorta hit me. We are riding through some crazy, rugged stuff – far from anything (and getting further). It kind of weighs on you a bit. Or at least it did me. Mechanical failures, bad wrecks, broken body parts. I have to say that if you ride the TAT solo, my hat's off to you. Major huevos amigo. But there is certainly something to be said about riding with your wife (or any other s/o). There is a dynamic there. For me it was a sense of responsibility for Nikki – Although she was a willing participant, at the end of the day, I am dragging her with me, you know? You can’t make somebody like something if they don’t, and you can’t make somebody ride something if they can’t. I was so relieved to see how well Nikki was riding. I could hear in her voice that she was enjoying herself, and I think she appreciated epic-ness of the moment.


...back to the RR


I think I had more issues in Black Dragon than Nikki did (although she did get lucky a few times).





And here… It’s quite obvious that the correct line is on the left…





I'm gonna feel this in the morning .





At the top of the steps, I notice a familiar site...





These huge reef formations:



I took this shot on our way home from Alaska last year:






It was taken at the rest area/viewing center off of I-70. At that point, I would have never fathomed that a year later Nikki and I would be traversing through that stuff on our bikes.




More in a bit.



Eagle, Devil's, and Cat Canyon coming up next......


Jordan
jglow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #32
=[BAD]=TEX
Adventurer
 
=[BAD]=TEX's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Lindale TX
Oddometer: 43
Just found this and got caught up. Great RR!!
=[BAD]=TEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 05:38 PM   #33
10Cup
Beastly Adventurer
 
10Cup's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: NW Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,511
Fantastic report, really enjoy the pictures and your comments about having the S/O along are easy to relate to as well. Keep it coming you guys are doing great!
__________________
10Cup - WR250R - BMW R1200GS
Trails of the West 2011 Moab/Western TAT 2010 Continental Divide Ride 09 Route 66 Ride SPOT Tracker
The cost of living's going up, and the chance of livin's going down.
10Cup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 06:31 PM   #34
Rwells
Adventurer
 
Rwells's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Kingwood, Tx
Oddometer: 86
Really enjoying your report. You know it's a small world, back at the end of June I tried climbing that very hill ya'll had your difficulties getting up, the rocks you are pushing your bike over is where I stopped. There were a couple of guys in a jeep watching me try to get up that hill (GS12, no knobbies). I was stuck, the jeep guys came up and wanted to winch me back down. DO WHAT? Just help me get pointed back down the hill and I will ride it down, winch me down, jeez. Back to your report. Subscribed. Have a safe trip, BTW enjoyed your Alaska trip.
Rwells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 11:01 PM   #35
larryboy
Paint it black.
 
larryboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Über Alles,Ca
Oddometer: 13,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by jglow View Post
It was at some point while we were traversing the canyons (which really could have been at any point in the day), when the enormity of what we were doing sorta hit me. We are riding through some crazy, rugged stuff – far from anything (and getting further). It kind of weighs on you a bit. Or at least it did me. Mechanical failures, bad wrecks, broken body parts. I have to say that if you ride the TAT solo, my hat's off to you. Major huevos amigo. But there is certainly something to be said about riding with your wife (or any other s/o). There is a dynamic there. For me it was a sense of responsibility for Nikki – Although she was a willing participant, at the end of the day, I am dragging her with me, you know? You can’t make somebody like something if they don’t, and you can’t make somebody ride something if they can’t. I was so relieved to see how well Nikki was riding. I could hear in her voice that she was enjoying herself, and I think she appreciated epic-ness of the moment.


Having done the western TAT alone, I wouldn't trade that moment in time for anything...however, I met some guys when I did the Nevada section again I really enjoyed the "tour guide" aspect and think that with more time I would enjoy "showing" it to others. There are still things along the route that I'd like to go back and find someday, like the Black Dragon 'glyph that the trail is named for.

Hope I'm not jackin' your thread, just loving the tale!!
__________________
Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. ~Lewis Carroll~
larryboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 02:10 AM   #36
C-Stain
Beastly Adventurer
 
C-Stain's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Canoodia, eh?
Oddometer: 5,124
So my only questions are these:

1. How many books did she take?

and

2. Did you get your wife a decent set of riding boots? :-)

Loving this year's report!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Horizons Unlimited Maritimes 2014 Meeting

Interested in attending the HU Maritimes 2014 Meeting? Click HERE!
C-Stain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 04:23 AM   #37
jglow OP
Two wheeled traveler
 
jglow's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Oddometer: 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
So my only questions are these:

1. How many books did she take?

and

2. Did you get your wife a decent set of riding boots? :-)

Loving this year's report!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good question. Well, she hasn't downsized to a kindle yet, but I guess the fact that Nikki was going to have to carry the additional weight on her own bike kept her packing light . She only brought 2 books this time and they were both soft cover . A vast improvement from the last trip.

As for the boots. I was certainly worried about potential injuries on this trip, given the terrain, so we had to upgrade Nikki's standard pillion riding boots (Cowboy boots, or i guess they would be cowgirl boots maybe ) to a pair of Alpine Star Scout Boots - not a whole lot of options out there for women (small feet) in what would be "dubbed an adventure touring boot". But we got everything we were looking for in those boots - Waterproof, ankle/shin/toe protection, etc... Very happy with those boots. 100% waterproof as opposed to my Gaerne Balanced Oiled Boots.


Jordan
jglow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #38
jagred
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jagred's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Oddometer: 110
Beautiful pics. I love your shots of the Black Dragon Canyon.
jagred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 09:25 AM   #39
The Toad
Let There Be Light
 
The Toad's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Location, Location.
Oddometer: 1,122
Great RR and pics.
__________________
MondoMotos - LED Auxiliary Light Kits - Tusk Panniers
RoadRUNNER Magazine - Blog
Ride Reports - Four Corners - Amish Country - Costa Rica - Expedition Michigan (or not) - Tellico Plains
The Toad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 09:28 AM   #40
Tall Mike
TAT Rookie (planning!)
 
Tall Mike's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Northeast Oregon
Oddometer: 542
Awesome!

I too enjoyed you Alaska Journey! Is interesting that I was on the ROAD (V-Strom) through that country a month prior...I was in Cheyenne WY, on Memorial day...spent a night in Trinidad,CO , up to Salida, over Monarch to Montrose, camped in Ouray...frost on my seat too! south on the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton, Durango, Cortez....backroad from Cortez to Bluff (nice!) 261 to 95 to Hanksville, 24 to Torrey, CR-12 to Panguitch, before slabbing through Nevada and Idaho to get home to Oregon.
Lots of beautiful country! It was a good teaser...can't wait to go back in the dirt for the TAT!! Enjoying the tale! subscribed!
__________________
Ride the Earth! (Pavement Optional)

stable: '05 DL1000,'06 DL650, '99 XR600R, '03 640ADV

Tall Mike screwed with this post 07-27-2011 at 11:02 AM
Tall Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 11:51 AM   #41
RideDualSport.com
TPB all the way
 
RideDualSport.com's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Texas at large.
Oddometer: 1,427
Congratulations on your incredible TAT adventure! My wife rides a DRZ400 and I am sure you feel as fortunate as I do to have your soul-mate participating in the adventure. I too, feel a great sense of responsibility for her safety and well-being so I have to monitor our fatigue and our risk levels constantly. Fortunately my wife loves doing it and is able to shake off any spills and keep motoring on!
We did the TAT from Arkansas to Moab, UT where we turned around and rode home to Austin,TX.
Thanks for the great report, I am savoring every photo!

Perhaps you can make it to our Big Ultimate Terlingua Tour (B.U.T.T)?
Cheers!
__________________
"Nobody understands what you're know what I'm sayin"
The RideDualSport Forum
Mountain State Super Tenere Adventure
Alaska Deep Adventure
RideDualSport.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #42
jglow OP
Two wheeled traveler
 
jglow's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Oddometer: 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
.... There are still things along the route that I'd like to go back and find someday, like the Black Dragon 'glyph that the trail is named for.

Hope I'm not jackin' your thread, just loving the tale!!

larryboy,

Do you have any idea where those glyph's are located in the canyon? Maybe near the beginning where that wooden fence thing is? I thought it would be obvious once in there (like maybe a crummy BLM sign with an arrow pointing that-a-way) , but it wasn't and I ended up forgetting about seeing them until we were through. I was kinda bumped about that - I was looking forward to seeing them.


Jordan
jglow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 05:52 PM   #43
jglow OP
Two wheeled traveler
 
jglow's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Oddometer: 347
Crawling through canyons

Day 4 Continued...


Once out of Black Dragon we picked up some faster roads...










that brought us by some shots I have seen many a time from other TAT Trip Reports .









And then by Swasey Cabin.






(I always find it funny when you see an iconic thing like the cabin in real life. Iconic in ADV terms of course, but it is funny how you build a mental image of the orientation of the structure vs. it’s surroundings, and then how much it varies when you see it in real life.)






Dunno ...






Again, we left our mark for any TAT’ers that followed






Looks like we got someone a day ahead of us on the TAT.


At this point it is probably getting near 3pm. Still a bit early to stop, and with it being so hot out, the thought of stopping wasn’t that appealing. We were both starting to wear down, and the transit section to here was long enough to lose the buzz from riding through Black Dragon. Time to get re-invigorated with some visual stimulants.




We drop down into Eagle Canyon .








Which was really fun .






Not as rocky as earlier...





but starting to get a little more sandy .






Coming to the rescue ...






I remember at one point thinking that this riding seemed easier than Black Dragon. It wouldn’t last…




And then we came to what is probably the most epic of all landmarks on the Western TAT: The I-70 Bridges.







It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I don’t know why.


We took the obligatory picture:






And Nikki left a marker in the sand, as this is probably a popular stopping spot.






We hung around for a bit, staring at the bridges. A ride like this certainly allows you to gain a sort of appreciation for infrastructure. Those people driving across I-70 have no idea how easy they have it. It takes all of 5 seconds to cross that bridge at 75mph, but this canyon would have just been a total route buster for the pioneers back in the day.



We push on…






I was hoping that the trail would get easier from here on out – we still had quite a bit further to travel if we were going to make it to Salina tonight, but I knew we still had a couple of canyons to get through first.


A gnarly climb up out of Eagle Canyon…


















Looking back down...










Then crossing back under I-70.






And crossing through Devil’s Canyon.









And finally into Cat Canyon.







This was by far the toughest section for us, and it was very slow going. We don’t have any sand riding experience, and there are a few miles through here of really deep sand .

Probably didn't help to have the bikes so loaded with gear through here either.







If there had been an easy bailout to I-70 here I would have taken it. I am glad there wasn’t. I am proud we rode through it all. It’s all part of traversing the canyons. I didn’t take hardly any pictures through this area. I should have. The pics I took don’t do the sand any justice. But it is all relative anyhow. If you are experienced at riding sand then you probably loved this section, and that’s cool .


I knew we must be getting close to picking up some faster roads when I saw this graffiti.






We were close to some better roads, but we were still quite a ways from any towns. I guess that stuff was done before gas got so high. Who could afford to drive all the way out here now just to do some graffiti ?


Soon we were passing by the giant turds. Or were they volcanic rock, I forget ?






And not too long after we were hitting the I-70 frontage road.






And passing through these tunnels.










They were really neat. I wonder how they were carved, as they are quite old. By hand?






I took this shot over my shoulder last year while we were coming down I-70:






Very cool to see them up close!


We make it in to Salina a little after 9pm, and snagged ourselves a well deserved Motel room and some Gatorade. It was an intense 12 hour riding day for us. Not too bad considering we don’t ride really fast. We stop a lot. Fall a little. And take a ton of pictures.

Mileage today: 212


I felt like we had conquered the toughest part of the TAT. I wasn't quite sure what tomorrow would bring us in the way of terrain difficulty - I knew we would be on some atv trails. I figured it was all downhill from here. But the problem for Nikki was, what if that downhill has ruts?




Jordan

jglow screwed with this post 07-27-2011 at 04:52 AM
jglow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 07:18 PM   #44
AZ TOM
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Prescott AZ
Oddometer: 3,497
Very well done. Bravo to you both.
AZ TOM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 07:51 PM   #45
RideDualSport.com
TPB all the way
 
RideDualSport.com's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Texas at large.
Oddometer: 1,427
Excellent work, getting through the sand and making those tough climbs! We were not able to go any farther than Moab on our TAT ride, and your report is inspiring me to ride the Western portion of it. Perhaps I'll do it as part of our ride from Austin to Seattle....
__________________
"Nobody understands what you're know what I'm sayin"
The RideDualSport Forum
Mountain State Super Tenere Adventure
Alaska Deep Adventure
RideDualSport.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 07:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014