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Old 10-21-2011, 01:33 PM   #76
Paloma Paul
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Me

WOW You got more balls than me! Riding solo I would not have gone down that hill. Great picsu and report. Have you ever taken the other road instead of into Johns Canyon?
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:45 PM   #77
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clarify

Let me revise that question, In the Utah Delorme Atlas it shows a fork, Right follows a stream North. The left follows the San Juan Canyon. Is this correct? Anyways great report and the pictures I can't say enough about them.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #78
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Oh Shit!

A better photo of the hill shows mine is the only recent track here.




I pick out my line. I want to stay right, especially when I get about halfway up where the biggest rocks are. I know I need to carry plenty of momentum.
I take off gradually building up speed. I ended up on the right line way too early. The rear tire (Scorpion) was slipping around fighting for traction
and redirecting me at the whim of the loose rocks. I suddenly realized that to stay on the planned line would require a right turn up a loose rocky berm
and that I was approaching the area from the wrong angle. There was no way I could make that turn. Why is the best line always near the edge of the dropoff?
I didn't want to slow or stop though. The front wheel was heading straight towards the center of the track and the biggest steps. I
picked a new line towards the left side of the track. All of this was happening very fast! I tried to compress the suspension and leap over the
first step while giving more throttle. The front tire cleared the step and then....






BAM! The skid plate bottomed out HARD! Funny it's called a skid plate, because it certainly didn't skid. Over onto the left side the bike went, fast!
(Maybe instead of Skid Plate we can call this one a Sudden and Drastic Deceleration Plate.)



Next thing I know, I'm somersaulting down the hill. I felt the helmet slam into a rock and remember thinking, "I'm sure glad I'm wearing a helmet".
Luckily the bike decided to not follow me down. I rolled halfway down the hill before being able to get my feet in front of me to stop the slide.


I take stock of myself. Nothing seems broken or injured to bad. My left knee is tweaked, but I can move around on it.
I scramble back up the hill to check out the bike. There are a few things on this bike that could break in a fall like this,
but I was lucky. The damage seemed to only be a broken mirror and some new scratches and dents to the panniers.











It was a cool morning, but I'm suddenly sweating like crazy. I carry the tank bag up the hill and strip off my helmet, gloves, jacket, and two sweaters.
I take the right pannier off to lighten the weight I'm gonna need to lift. There is no one coming to help me. I must self-extricate.




Once I get the bike up, I find I was pretty lucky again. A rock behind the rear wheel is keeping the bike in place and there is a spot to put the kickstand down.



Nice parking job.


I carry the left side pannier to the top. I looked around for a better line out of this position, but with no help to move the front wheel around,
my line was already chosen. I get back on the bike. After a little spinning and rocking I managed to get the rear wheel up the rock.
This is where I wished I had a better off road tire. A square block with wider gaps in the tread would've grabbed the sharp edge of the rock much easier
and with less drama. I tried to keep the momentum going to get up the next step, but I didn't have enough room to build up speed.
The bike fell to the right this time. I had nowhere to get my foot down, so over we go again. I only rolled over twice before a sharp rock
in the back stopped me this time. Did I mention I was stupid? My helmet, gloves, and jacket had already made it up the
hill and were waiting for me at the top. I'm sure they thought it was humorous when the T-shirt failed to prevent injury.




I lift the bike again, and found there was no place to prop the bike up with the kickstand. The seat was at chest level making it pretty difficult
to throw a leg over while balancing the bike (or to take another pic). I somehow get back on the bike and make it up without much more drama.


Self Extrication Complete!


I left my mark on John's Canyon RD...





...and the road left a few marks on me.

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:02 PM   #79
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Paloma Paul, This is the route following the San Juan River. I'll check out the GPS tracks later, but I think it is about 17-18 miles from the asphalt of Goosenecks State Park RD. This was the first difficult spot. I think the end of the road is another 10 miles or so though. I may have to hike the rest someday. The spur further up John's Canyon RD is pretty short, I think, but I haven't explored that section yet.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:09 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ata View Post
you´re not stupid
You sure of that ata?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
Ah yes. The ol' steep, rocky downhil. And uphill....
Maybe I need a winch, Like CJRacer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Great pics Dave, but the suspense is killing me!
Think what it was doing to me.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:12 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bretedge View Post
Holy crap that's a gnarly looking hill! I think we've all probably made similar decisions at various times. I ride alone, not necessarily because I want to (although I do enjoy it) but because none of my friends ride. So, it's either ride alone or don't go. Not going isn't an option.

I can't wait to see what happens next. I might have to buy you a GoPro Hero for Xmas so we can all see video from your crazy adventures!
Xmas is to far away! My birthday is in a few days.

I used to play around editing video whan my kids were younger, but I don't think I have the patience for it anymore. I don't have any current plans to ride gnarly shit like that again anyway.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:17 PM   #82
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Awesomeness!!!!

glad you weren't severly injured. Make rocky uphills your favorite. (sorry lilwan if you're reading along) Great pics once again and beautiful scenery.
More please
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No, I don't know where that road goes, let's find out!
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:17 PM   #83
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Retreat


Defeated again, I retreat back towards the highway. I gotta get home today.









The only muddy spot.




If there is one thing I learned on my little trip into this canyon, it is that...










Sometimes reality bites!






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Old 10-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #84
Paloma Paul
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wow

You were fortunate you weren't stranded out there. Anyways again great report and the pics are incredible. Glad you were able to get out of there safely. Also you never made it to the fork I am concluding. I was planning to do both forks, but after seeing your spill I may decide otherwise.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #85
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John's Canyon Scout

Here are the tracks. I camped near the stream after the U-turn and intersections. I didn't go all that much further before turning around.




According to Google the road continues another 10 miles. The satellite image shows a faint, probable hiking trail, going even further. My turn around point was 17 miles from the start of the road.
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:43 AM   #86
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Very good ride report and fantastics pictures!

I went to Moab 2 times and every time I look at pictures like that, it make me want to go there again.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:58 AM   #87
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Fantastic pics and ride report! Haven't been out that way for a few years and I'm itching to get back.

You did good to get up that rocky hill after you fell, thought for sure you would have to go back down and hit it again.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:35 AM   #88
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Finale

I raced out of John's Canyon.







I made a stop for fluids in Mexican Hat. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, I was pretty sore as I hobbled into the store.



Blasted through Monument Valley and across the Navajo Nation.







I see the San Francisco Peaks ahead. It's still early. I decide to leave the pavement to look for autumn colors.



FS 418



The highest point in Arizona.



Finally found some color.











I was happy.



I rode up to Snowbowl Ski Resort, but surprisingly there weren't as many fall colors on this side of the mountains.







A couple hours later, I was home.



Although the trip went nothing like I planned, I still had a great time.
I'll definitely need to head back to this area again, someday.
(When it's drier and warmer)

It took over a week for the swelling in my knee to go down, but it is feeling okay now.
Most of my scabs have fallen off and I feel lucky to have escaped serious injury.



Thanks everyone for following along and for the nice comments. I hope more poeple get
to see beautiful John's Canyon. It is a fun place to explore, at least the first 17 miles.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:35 AM   #89
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Damn dude, that hill is G-G-G-Gnarled! For real! Scorpion?!?

Glad you managed to hoist the beast out so we can see the photos.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:34 AM   #90
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John's Canyon is now on my to-do list! Again, thanks for the awesome thread.
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