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Old 08-18-2011, 04:38 PM   #16
jadedillusion OP
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Day 6 - Escalante

The sky was pretty foreboding this morning. The clouds were only getting darker, but so far it didn’t rain. We packed up camp and headed back towards Escalante.


We really wanted to make it back towards the Bryce area, but the weather doesn’t seem to be holding up.
After fueling up, we hit Hells Backbone and headed back into the Dixie National Forest. The main forest roads were pretty washboardy and unpleasant.


We took a left onto Whites Flat and up to the Barker Reservoir. It was chilly, and sprinkled on and off, but the views were still pretty fantastic. And this road was much better.


Oh, and the Aspens...oh the Aspens. So pretty, so white. I had to have a brief photo shoot among the Aspens: white bike among the white trees.


We hit 9600 feet above sea level, which I believe is the highest the Space Shuttle has been. It’s confirmed, we’ll be back to Escalante too. Barker would be a perfect rec place for our pups too.


I took a lot of pictures of cows on this trip. But this one is worth posting because they were chilling in trees.


On the way back down the mountain we spooked some deer. This guy was pretty hilarious. He ran behind a tree then craned his neck out to check us out. The photo is kind blase because of the overall gray of the day but still...


Lake at the bottom



A look back at the mountain. Oh and that there, I told Mike to buy me that log cabin. I don't think he thought me serious.



At this point, we thought we left the gray foreboding clouds behind...


Starving, we went to Escalante Outfitters for lunch. The boast of having “NY Times #1 pizza in Utah”, and I would have to agree. That was probably the best pizza we’ve had in a long time. We'd already demolished most of the pizza before I remembered the ADV tradition of taking photos of your food.



It rained a bit while we were eating but appeared to clear up.
The clouds were still gnarly so we opted for a small one room cabin next door, unloaded the gear and hit the saddle. We were really hoping to hit some more trails before the worst of the rain hit. No such luck. We made it, maybe 20 miles up the road when we saw the real storm coming.



We made it back to Escalante just as it started to pour. Headed back into the Outfitters for a coffee and chatted with fellow Adv’ers, David (Dman) and Eric (Wiggam810). Both of whom are headed on a 6 week bike trip from here to Burning Man and onto northern California on their respective KTM 950 and Vstrom.

The day was pretty shot since lunch due to the rains. We spent most of the afternoon lazing around in our cabin. Went back to the Outfitters (they have excellent food) for dinner and wound up chatting with a British couple about our respective adventures. On a whim, they bought camping gear, packed up the kids and flew to Vegas for a 2 week camping adventure. I like their style.

We may have not ridden as much as we would've liked but I thoroughly enjoyed today. We met some awesome people because we were cooped up from the storm.

After a hot and long shower (very much needed), we tucked ourselves away in our little bunk cabin for a good nights rest. I am just hoping that the rains don’t kill the roads we wanted to enjoy tomorrow.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:12 PM   #17
LittleWan
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Hey, you two!
(thanks for the heads up, jadedillusion)
Nice to see you guys back on the road

I really like this glamour shot (tried to quote it, but it didn't work )

Looks like you had a fun ride!
Aww, that little deer peeking around the tree is really cute!

waiting for more...
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:21 PM   #18
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Awesome!! Loving the report.
Funny---This is the only way I can get a photo of us 2up also.
I hope to add one like this to our collection.

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Old 08-19-2011, 01:04 PM   #19
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Last Day - Escalante - Bryce

Day 7...Last day

We woke early-ish, had a small breakfast and bid a final farewell to Escalante. Instead of heading back to Panguitch via tarmac, we opted to take Main Canyon Great Western OHV Access Route off of US12 through Dixie NF and up into the Escalante Mountains.



Mike had a general idea of what direction we needed to go and from there we just winged it.
The roads were phenomenal. Nice climbing forest roads with incredible views of the entire valley.



We took an off shoot that took us to 10,500 feet and a huge cattle field atop the mountain.

I felt like we could’ve touched the sky. It was 56*, half of the expected temperatures in Casa Grande.









Instead of his initial route, he opted to climb a road (more of a ATV trail) up towards Barney Top. We stopped in between two gnarly loose rock/steep climbs for A: the view and B: so he could scout the remainder of the climb.

Hmmn...do I want to drag the Space Shuttle up this?


He hoofed it up while I stayed put. He walked back down giggling because low and behold David and Eric from yesterday had camped at the top.
I videoed him climbing and walked to the top myself.



The guys watched him climb and were amazed. Apparently he made it look easy. LOL.

Mike, Eric (Wiggam810), and David (Dmann)



What a killer camp site!



Hey look PinkPillion, an actual picture! Its a rarity for us too..


We stayed and chatted about bikes for a while and David told us about Powell Point. The guys were going to ride it out and hike to the actual point. We just wanted to ride it out. We left the guys to finish packing and headed out.
On the way there we damn near had a head on with Jefe on his GS1200. We told him about Escalante Outfitters amazing pizza and bid him farewell.

Oh, and you know your at 10,000 feet, at the top of a mountain, when you pass a tower.


Its not mentioned on maps, or on the signs, but the road to the point is more of an ATV trail than a car/truck trail. It was great – tree roots, mud, awesome little forest route.






We laughed because we thought David and Eric would get a kick seeing us loaded to the gills and 2UP doing this trail. Sure enough on the way back we ran into them. I got a brief video of them passing us.



As long as it took us to climb to 10,600 feet (our highest yet), it barely took any time at all to lose elevation and head back to the plains. We were on such a high, the riding today even beat riding in Bryce on the first day, and even topped Moab. We just loved it.

A view from the bottom.



Mike had to take a brief interlude and stop to Widtsoe, which was supposed to be a ghost town. Not so much. You can’t call a place a ghost town when there are trailers and brand new houses in the same area.




After an extremely late lunch outside of Bryce, we back tracked towards Tropic to see the Moss Cave and Tropic Falls. It was a nice little hike, very touristy, but still nice.The pictures don't particularly do the falls justice.

Pre falls:





Window:



Why hello there little guy. We saw one of these at Calf Creek too.



While gearing back up, we ran into an old man we briefly met at the cabins last night. Mike never got his name. He is in his 60’s and riding a bicycle from York, PA to California. Talk about a goal, and he’s almost there. I want to be that ballsy when I’m in my 60’s.

By this time it was mid afternoon and there was plenty of sun left in the sky. From US12 we got back onto the Fremont ATV trail towards the Tropic Reservoir.




Can you tell we don't see much water in Phoenix? Utah just leaves it sitting around everywhere!

From there we linked up onto Paunsaugunt ATV trail towards Proctor Canyon with the end goal of Hatch. It was a nice lazy route back towards tarmac.




We had one last climb and descent before finally ending out off road adventures.

All told we did about 90 miles off road today, a lot of it on ATV trails. It was a fantastic way to end our trip.

Back to Panguitch, the bike was unloaded in record time and back in the truck. I can't believe the adventure is over.

I am not going to call this whole trip better than our honeymoon, but today’s riding alone has been the best we’ve ever done.

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:57 PM   #20
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Photos Re Deux

FYI:

I splurged and got a SmugMug account. Windowslive wasn't doing it for me for a variety of reasons: it wasn't very intuitive and I couldn't show off my pics at work because work blocked it.

So if you were previously having issues viewing the pics in the thread, be patient, I'm in the process of switching it over to SmugMug.

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Old 08-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #21
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:44 AM   #22
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Lovely report JI.
You're gonna love Smugmug.
Your pics could be bigger.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:16 AM   #23
Bob
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Great Southwest ride report!
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:13 AM   #24
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Great RR, thanks.

Like to do this type thing with the mrs.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:32 PM   #25
jadedillusion OP
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Thanks!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Lovely report JI.
You're gonna love Smugmug.
Your pics could be bigger.
Dave, are the pictures still too small? I just finished transferring them over to SmugMug and posted them in a medium format. One reason I hated Windowslive because I didn't have a choice in how they were displayed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afweinie View Post
Great RR, thanks.

Like to do this type thing with the mrs.
Thanks, if she needs convincing, show her this. And let her know we did our honeymoon on the KTM as well.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #26
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Dave, are the pictures still too small?
Nope. They are fine now. I was really squinting earlier.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #27
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Since the fun part of the trip report is finished, I thought I would add an after action review on the bike and gear. This is the second trip we’ve done on this bike with only a few changes since the first trip. We can't really can't say enough praise about the KTM Adventure. Each trip we find a little more difficult terrain and are constantly impressed at how capable it is. It never complained the whole trip, no mater how loaded or where we decided to take it. The biggest change was tires. We are running a Dunlop 908RR on the front and a Mefo Super Explorer on the rear. Both were a huge improvement over the stock Scorpions. We lucked out by not getting any flats the whole trip, especially considering some of the rocks we went through.

The only part of the bike that is really worse for wear is the skid plate. It’s still the stocker, and I think this was it’s last trip. It took several heavy hits and now has a new upward curve to the bottom that wasn’t there when we left home. We did put a Black Dog Cycles side-stand relocation bracket on the bike after the first trip. It definitely earned it’s keep. Along with skid plate, the side-stand took several heavy hits along the trip. After Barney Loop I’m betting at least one more ADV’er will be looking into these, right D-mann? The crash bars took a little abuse in the creek the first day, but after cleaning the mud off it’s only scratches.







Our luggage was the KTM hard bags, some dry bags we picked up at Sports Authority, a Camelbak and our Wolfman Rainier tank bag. The dry bags and bed rolls and a big Camelbak were held to the bike with Andy Strapz. Surprisingly the drybags didn’t move much, even offroad. The Camelbak tried to migrate to the taillight constantly one day, but we discovered we(I) didn’t tighten the shoulder straps that day. The biggest negative was width. Those KTM bags stick out a lot. On the ATV trails I had to jump sides constantly to avoid trees. I really didn’t want to find out what would happen if they tagged a tree. The other problem is we are trying to figure out how to downsize the load, yet keep the comfort of the Thermorest pads.

All in all, we were happy with our gear. It would’ve been nice to cut down on bulk, but its kind of difficult when you’re carrying camping gear for two. We still managed and did some technical riding 2UP, fully loaded. Her only complaint is not having handles to hang onto during faster paced off road stuff.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:55 PM   #28
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Great RR

Great RR! i spent a few days last summer in the same areas as you... wish i'd been off-road seeing the places you saw, but for whatever reason, the group i was with ended up mostly on-road (though, the roads around there are phenomenal, us 12 from escalante to boulder in particular.

you said that the GPS was recording tracks of your trip? care to share?
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaia View Post
you said that the GPS was recording tracks of your trip? care to share?
Thanks. We fell in love with Utah last year, and the love affair has yet to fade... If you get the chance, I highly recommend heading back and hitting the dirt. Totally worth it.

He has to download the GPS tracks from the Zumo and will get back to you shortly.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:04 PM   #30
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I didn't save each days trip log like I should have. Other than the ATV routes on the first day, most of it is here. Here is what it looks like.

[IMG][/IMG]

The GPX file is here. Attachment 284785
Attached Files
File Type: gpx Track-2011-08-25 17 17 57.gpx (818.1 KB, 34 views)
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