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Old 02-24-2014, 10:03 PM   #1006
RedRockRider OP
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New Motorcycle Stores coming to St. George

Thanks again for all the comments and PMs. Keeping the focus on motorcycles . . . a few pics from the weekend.

The Kawasaki / KTM store, also now known as Rocky Mountain ATV has plans for a new store, very close to the current store. We'll see if the building is ready by Fall. So far it is just a piece of dirt.




And the new MotoZoo store on Dixie Drive by I-15 has put up a big fancy sign, but building construction is moving along slowly. But these moto stores are making $$$ right now in St. George. Local real estate is hot and all the construction guys and retirees are buying toys!




Got out for a solo ride this weekend. Clearing the head for upcoming retirement planning. So distracted that I forgot to charge the camera battery. Killed it after only a few pics. Regardless, I logged 150 good miles on the WRR. Very enjoyable.

Here's one pic just as was getting started, about 30 miles south on the AZ Strip.




Camera battery had just enough juice to manage one final pic . . . way out there . . . a new sign board and map.




Thanks again for checking in. Ride safely out there.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:04 PM   #1007
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Congratulations!
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:46 AM   #1008
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RRR, Your retirement announcement brought back some horrible memories for me. 6-7 years ago my wife said I didn't have to work and that she would stay working. Me being a man thinking I "have to" be the bread winner said no and kept working. She quite working...dang it! I blew it!

Just a though...on your bad weather can't ride days, maybe you could volunteer to work at Rocky Mtn ATV.

At least we'll all get to see more adventures...possibly anyway!
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:11 AM   #1009
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I'll be in the St George area this weekend, looking to take a day trip on the dirtbike on Friday. Thinking the AZ strip / black rock mountain area looks interesting. Is this where the access to the south rim of the Virgin River gorge is?

RRR, any tips for a noob to the area? Must do trails? Places to avoid?
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:00 PM   #1010
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Curly Hollow & Goldstrike Mine

RRR,

Thanks for sharing your adventures. My family got to spend two days riding near St George last weekend. All I can say is that St George is a dual-sporters paradise! There are great trails in all directions.

We spent our first day exploring some of the trails near Bloomington - the Curly Hollow area. Most of the trails were easy, but a few sections were too rocky for my wife's liking.

My family bailed on day two, so I met up with a group from my work and some of their friends. We rode a 50 mile loop around Square Top Mountain on the Grapevine Wash trail, Goldstrike Mine, Motoqua road, and Manganese Spring road - similar to your reports #128 and #351.

For a detailed report and videos, check out my family blog:
http://gardinerfamilyadventures.word...mine-feb-2014/

Here are few photos:

My daughter gets to break in the new KTM 350 Six Days:



Virgin River Gorge:


My wife and son in the Curly Hollow area:


Near the Goldstrike Mine:


Along the Motoqua road:


Almost back to the car:
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:23 PM   #1011
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RRR congrats on the retirement! Sounds like a good thing for this thread :-)
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #1012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleDubs View Post
RRR congrats on the retirement! Sounds like a good thing for this thread :-)
+1!
Yes, Congrats on the retirement.
Looking forward to more rides together in the future.
Simba

RRR measuring this tank to add to his TW. Ride The World, Friend!
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:52 PM   #1013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Congratulations!
Thank you. So far so good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
6-7 years ago my wife said I didn't have to work and that she would stay working. Me being a man thinking I "have to" be the bread winner said no and kept working. She quite working...dang it! I blew it!
Admiral . . . perhaps not your best move ever. But hey, us TW guys have to stick together. Keep riding, keep posting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StiffCheddar View Post
Thinking the AZ strip / black rock mountain area looks interesting. Is this where the access to the south rim of the Virgin River gorge is?
South rim of Virgin River Gorge is accessed most easily from Black Road Road exit from I-15, just barely south into AZ. Follow dirt highway south to Gypsum Mine then continue on 1009 to 1022. Turn right onto 1022, Low Mountain Road, and start to climb. Enjoy! I might go out this way on Wednesday. It's been a while.

Here's a pic of the key sign.



Post #2 on page 1 is the South Side of the Virgin River Gorge. And post #276 on page 19 is Maple Canyon. This ride has the same start and a few maps show your general area.

Lots of other excellent rides, like the North Side of the Virgin River Gorge, leave from Navajo Drive in Bloomington. This is convenient to town and the good riding begins almost immediately. Many variations with different types of terrain possible. Fun place to explore. Gain elevation for the best views.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:54 PM   #1014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyRider View Post
RRR,

Thanks for sharing your adventures. My family got to spend two days riding near St George last weekend. All I can say is that St George is a dual-sporters paradise! There are great trails in all directions.

For a detailed report and videos, check out my family blog:
http://gardinerfamilyadventures.word...mine-feb-2014/
Very nice family blog. I recognize lots of places in your photos and videos. That is new construction along the Virgin River by the small diversion dam at about the 2 minute mark of your first video. The route down to the water used to be much more convoluted.

Enjoyed some more of your videos . . . Rogue River rafting . . . mountain biking . . . and especially the darling little girl running your Christmas trains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleDubs View Post
RRR congrats on the retirement! Sounds like a good thing for this thread :-)
Thanks, ElleDubs. Hoping that my only long absences from this thread will be when traveling. Look forward to seeing you around. Not that many local inmates. We gotta stick together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simbaboy View Post
+1!
Yes, Congrats on the retirement.
Looking forward to more rides together in the future.
Simba

RRR measuring this tank to add to his TW. Ride The World, Friend!
Thanks, Simba. I've been lurking in your upcoming Moab thread. Quite a collection of characters you have assembled. Checked out a few of the links. A few of those boys have some mad ledge hopping skills. Have fun, but be safe out there. No heroics. Nice and steady. I'm sure Mrs. Simba and your girls want you back in one piece.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:39 PM   #1015
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Elbow Canyon

Did this ride on Monday. First day of retirement. Excellent!

Riding with inmates is excellent, riding with Dad is excellent. Also like solo rides. There is a rhythm to riding alone. You set the pace and decide on the agenda. Elbow Canyon had been on my radar screen for quite some time. Today was the day.

Here's the map:




Slabbed it down to Mesquite and rode the canyon uphill, along the top of the Black Mountain area, then back into St. George. At times Elbow Canyon can be very rough. It has turned around good riders, and receives very little maintenance. I had recent intel, so I thought it would be in good shape (it was). But, if there were washouts or super steep sections with loose rocks, I wanted the option of turning around and going back down. Starting the canyon from the top and heading down could lead to tricky situation if one came to an obstacle, but couldn't easily turn around and climb back up.


The starting point is Scenic, AZ, very close to Mesquite.




Here is the left turn on to dirt towards the entrance to Elbow Canyon.




Selfie pic by the wooden sign at the left turn.




Looking down across Scenic, AZ. Carried extra gas on the TW but didn't need it. Just a habit or precaution when riding on the AZ Strip.




Healthy desert plants, and dirt that is more like gravel.




Sign has been expertly propped up. Quite a bit of ATV traffic from locals (Mesquite, Scenic, and Beaver Dam). Popular loop is up Lime Kiln and down Elbow Canyon.




Corral near the mouth of Elbow Canyon.




As you enter Elbow Canyon the grade gets steeper and remains steadily uphill for almost all of the canyon. Constant climbing. No super steep spots, but almost no let up. TW was great at tractoring up through the rocks.




Big views down from the top of a small rise. Still in the lower part of the canyon, but already quite high above the valley floor.




About halfway up there is a spring and running water. Probably seasonal.




A little wet ecosystem. The canyon really changes its nature as you climb. Big transition from desert to a micro climate of forest, rocks, and some water in the narrower upper part of the canyon.




View down the trail / road. Most of the worst rocks could easily be avoided. The steady flow of ATV traffic has created a two track pattern that is mostly clear of loose rocks. Still lots of fixed rocks that must be negotiated, but there isn't any really horrible steep loose stuff. And no washouts.




Looking up the road. This section wasn't particularly steep, but there are some steep spots. Nothing outrageous. For any local St. George inmates . . . the very top section of West Mountain Peak is much steeper and looser.




Another spot for a short break. Strip of some clothes, drink, and take a few pics. Really enjoying this "retirement" ride. Unless there some very nasty bits at the top, it looks like I'll go up this just fine.




Little tribute to the ADV sticker.




Some old fencing right by the road about 2/3 of the way up.




There is some water and even a few swampy spots near here. But this is still the desert. Excellent cactus farm!




View looking down on Lower Elbow Canyon with Mesquite on the valley floor.




This tree was off in a swampy area. Lots of small green leaves, almost like it is springtime in the desert. Looks like that might be a nice bird nest also.




More climbing.




About 3/4 of the way up there is a series of concrete slabs, some sort of an old homestead. Fantastic views down canyon. Would be a good place for camping.




Frehner is the family name. I've googled this a bit. Some interesting history. Definitely a very unique spot.




Local decorations.




Just above the concrete slabs is a small reservoir. Bright green.




Old gate to release water.




The old pipe has been capped, just below the reservoir.




Looking down on the Frehner homesite from the reservoir area.




Climbing the final steep stretches. There are three or four switchbacks, all well designed and in good condition. Nothing here is much tougher than all the sections that came below. If you made it this far, you'll get to the top. There is some loose rock, but generally there are good lines. Keep on the gas.




Some friendly ATV guys took my pic at the top. Entrance to Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument.



Signpost for #1299, shown as #299 on the BLM map at the beginning of this ride report.




Go past the summit and start down, veer to right on main road. This cabin is just five minutes past summit, essentially at a three way intersection. Good looking mountain cabin.




Someone with their sense of humor.




A look around the inside. This cabin has been featured in quite a few inmate reports. Common stopping point just past the top of Elbow Canyon. Roads are much easier from this point onwards.




Nice rock work on the backside of the cabin.




Nearby sign. I'm headed on towards Black Rock Mountain.




Through the gate and onto #1004, the main route skirting the edge of Mount Bangs and across the high shoulder of Black Rock Mountain.




This next stretch is one of the highest sections on the AZ Strip, similar to Mount Trumbull or Mount Logan. Combination of high desert and mountain. Big views in many directions. Designated wilderness, no travel off main road.




A few trees and the beautiful blue sky. Retirement is good!




Faster dirt, fewer rocks, and some more elevation gain. Large trees up on top, similar to Mount Trumbull on the road from the schoolhouse to Toroweap. Also prone to mud, but this is a very light snow/rain year on the AZ Strip. Most things are quite dry. Often at this time of year these roads would have snow and/or terrible mud.




Only a few patches of snow on the shady sections.




Enough to pick up some mud. But these sections are short and relatively firm. Nothing to stop forward progress. Although there is more shade cover on the roads near Mount Trumbull and Mount Logan. These might still be mud pits even though it is a light snow year. Always prudent exercise some degree of caution.




Distant view to the top of Black Mountain. Some type of fire lookout and communication equipment. Road to the summit is gated and locked. Not accessible.




The road runs along a series of high ridge lines. TW with views off the the north towards the mountain by the Virgin River Gorge.




And views to the south out onto the AZ Strip. Much of this is looking down several thousand feet. The Grand Canyon is about 100 miles south from here. Lots of open scenery, a few cows, and almost no one in between. It is vast and remote.




Desert plants and rock high on the shoulder of Black Rock Mountain.




The road through here is generally fast and easy. Nothing like the rocky climb up Elbow Canyon.




Hiking trail down to Sullivan Canyon which enters into the Virgin River Gorge near Cedar Pockets.




Burn area.




The small Lone Pine Reservoir marks the end of the Wilderness Area. Just past this there are several picnic table set up under large stands of trees. Camping is again permitted as this is now BLM land.




A few patches of snow on the north facing shady spots. And some big trees. The road is fairly open to sun so there are no bad mud spots. If there was steady shade, the road would be impassable.




Easy fast travel. Deep blue sky.




Good gravel on the road. Starting down the backside of Black Rock Mountain. As soon as you drop even a bit of elevation there are no longer any large trees.




The old signs have a lot of character.




Scenery up on top.




More scenery.




And the view back to the buildings on the summit of Black Rock Mountain. This is 180 from the first viewpoint.




Warning sign for the descent down Black Rock Mountain.




Looking down on the switchbacks. All easy riding. Road is well designed and well maintained.




Nice speed limit sign for one of the tight corners.




Old tank is just off the edge of the road. Easily visible from above. Over the years lots of effort and ingenuity have been expended in capturing and storing every bit of available water. Always interesting to see these contraptions.




Another old sign at the cutoff road down Maple Canyon and back to St. George. The road to Wolf Hole is much faster, but Maple Canyon is more direct and very scenic. Much more interesting riding. Check out Post #276 on page 19.




Route #1009 descends Maple Canyon ending at the Gypsum Mine and the Black Rock Road exit to I-15.




Late afternoon light on the hills in Upper Maple Canyon.




The road. In good shape the whole way. But quite a few twists and turns. Interesting riding. This is not a dirt highway like some of the other roads on the AZ Strip.




View of Mokaac Mountain, just before getting back to the Gypsum Mine.




Here's the sign for the cutoff on #1022 which works its way back upwards to a great view from the top of the south side of the Virgin River Gorge.




Route #1009 runs right through the Gypsum Mine.




Getting a pic with the TW and some of the old loading equipment.




The final stretch of dirt is very smooth and fast. It is used by trucks leaving the mine. Black Rock Road exit at I-15.




This is an excellent ride, in either direction. And can easily be combined with other loops and variations. Lots of variety. And the Elbow Canyon road is in good shape. Some steep spots, but very passable. I'd expect it to remain in good shape unless there are large rainstorms.

Thanks for riding along. Stay safe out there.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:40 AM   #1016
Hoot Gibson
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Mostly Stock

RRR...a ?

Is your TW Mostly Stock?

What have you added as off road protection....just wondering in case I decide to take mine to some more difficult locations than West Ohio has to offer.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:53 PM   #1017
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Great stuff as always RRR.

Fantastic detail on Elbow, for i've seen others mention it, been never highlighted it they way you have.

How the hec you keepin' that fuel box on that rack? You using ROC straps? Cuz bunjee's usually just don't cut it.

Add me to your list of congratulations on your retirement. I'm always looking for some part timers, if you're so inclined, the commute is not so bad, i've been driving it for years. Good time to scale back the tough sport of moto's & rocks and start golfing & bowling. I know someone that could help you with such endeavor's.

P.S. Stay away from those ledges...

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Old 02-28-2014, 09:28 AM   #1018
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You are living the dream brother! Give me another 10 years and I will be out there with you!
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #1019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot Gibson View Post

Is your TW Mostly Stock?

What have you added as off road protection....just wondering in case I decide to take mine to some more difficult locations than West Ohio has to offer.
Yes, Hoot. TW is 100% stock. Only added the standard Yamaha rear rack, and lots of little Wolfman bags.

Obvious things to add to a TW would be handguards and a bash plate. I try to just not drop the bike although my nephews have wrecked it a few times for me. The TW does sit low and has tractor-like gearing. It is an amazingly good rock crawler even though doesn't have super high clearance. A very good bike to take off-road as long as you are not trying to hop up 3 ft. ledges or power up massive sand dunes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samthg View Post
Great stuff as always RRR.

Fantastic detail on Elbow, for i've seen others mention it, been never highlighted it they way you have.
Thanks, Sam. On one of your future trips to St. George perhaps we'll make a loop down Elbow, lunch and gas in Mesquite, then back up Lime Kiln to St. George. Nice loop. A good way to spend the day with the benefit of lunch and no need to carry extra gas.

Heard a rumor that Mrs. Samthg might have just purchased a new scoot . . . in super cool retro blue & white! Are you guys going out on lunch dates on scoots . . . or planning some long distance scoot touring?

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You are living the dream brother! Give me another 10 years and I will be out there with you!
Yeah . . . living the dream . . . lucky and I know it. Still have about a month of wide-down work to attend to. But, the retirement decision has been made. The early going is looking good. Look me up when you come this way!
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:51 PM   #1020
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Heard a rumor that Mrs. Samthg might have just purchased a new scoot . . . in super cool retro blue & white! Are you guys going out on lunch dates on scoots . . . or planning some long distance scoot touring?



Yes and yes.

NSA, FBI, Seal Team 6....or are you just lurking somewhere else?
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