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Old 08-08-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
2up on a wee-strom in Canyonlands and dumber places

EDIT:There are footnotes in this RR. If you see a %% or a && or a ## or a (insert double symbols here) there is a footnote at the bottom. I enjoy writing them.

I knew I wanted to take 2 week moto trip and had originally planned on getting a bunch of my friends together and (thie was before I knew about ADV) riding around the western united states, or maybe jetting down and exploring the mexican side of the mexican/american border (can you already tell how bad some of my plans are?)

Thanks to advice from my friend Will who got me into motorcycling, the trip got exponentially shorter, and thanks to my friend Josh who showed me ADV, the trip also got a lot dirt-ier (in many ways).

I finished planning the trip out (Utah in late july, brilliant! Moto trip overlaps our lease ending and moving out, even better!) or finished not planning it, my girlfriend Lane maybe thought I knew what I was doing and hopped on the back, and we sent it.

This is the story of a motorcycle adventure across Colorado, into Utah to there, and back again.

RORJ screwed with this post 08-19-2014 at 09:16 PM Reason: insert more jokes that no one is going to get + Color + Footnote Disclaimer
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:11 PM   #2
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
day (night) 1

So July 18th, which happens to be a Friday, was our day of departure. I was planning for ~6pm, which would give us a arrival to camp time of around 8, 8:30. The entire week before we left we were moving out of our house and putting stuff in storage, so when I got home Friday I was doing tons of cleaning and last second moving.

Needless to say, we didn't hit the departure time of 6pm, and at 7:30 when we are finally getting packed up, our roommates that are moving to Equador who we won't see for 2 years decided to come with us at least on the first leg. I was quite stoked, we hadn't gotten to ride all 3 of us together yet, as Josh and Mal had just gotten their motos MAYBE a month before this.

 photo 20140718_193026_zpsb64ae838.jpg
baddest MC in the neighborhood $$

So as you can see from the photo, we left during the day time, made it out of Denver and started riding the great curvy fun part of 285 right as dusk began to hit. I was very much enjoying riding with Josh and Mal, josh was up front as he's riden motos before, and Mal was sandwiched in the middle so I could bring up the rear and made sure everyone was aight.

so dusk. dusk was fun, but as soon as night hit, i realized what a not fun ride this was going to be. we still had about an hour and a half to 2 hours left to go, and its black, no moon, and the 1980s head lights that Josh and Mal have are really not doing the job. I'm trying to help with my powerfull front headlight as much as I can, but my brights blind Mallory and I can't get too close because I don't like riding that close for safety reasons.

I figure its going to be fine, we're riding slower than we should, but the cars behind us are behind us and are not going to drive through us, we'll be fine.

Which worked until we got to passing lanes.
dotted yellow line passings lanes on a 2 lane road were slightly terrifying as cars were zooooooming past us as they were pissed that we had hindered their land speed record attempts.
Actual passing lanes where southbound traffic has 2 lanes actually were 100X worse. it was great that the cars could get around us, but as the passing lanes ended, we had to merge back in, and we were going WAY too slow to merge. My solution was to drop back from the pack a pretty far ways, gun it to match the cars speed, merge, then slow down until the cars were pissed again and Mal could sneak in ahead of me. Definitely one of the most pressure filled situations I've been in on a moto.

We finally stopped at the first gas station we could find (in fairplay, so you CO folks know the length of our disaster ride), where Josh's ankles has frozen (hello vans) and found the nearest camping we could, and called it a night.

TLDR: fuck riding in the dark, fuck riding on major highways, but holy shit my only riding with Josh and mal was an adventure.

If you guys get to read this from Equador, I know you know it was gnarlier than i explained, and I'm glad we got through it.

$$ - The Sons of Darkness clubhouse was 1 block away from our house.

RORJ screwed with this post 11-11-2014 at 06:22 PM Reason: tinkering
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:00 PM   #4
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
Day 2 morning

So after a night of petrifying, not being able to see riding, waking up that morning was fantastic. We could see the landscape, we could see the bikes from 100 yards away, it was a good morning.

We rode about 35 more miles down a fun curvy bright section of 285 until we got to the best truckstop in CO, Gunsmoke truckstop. Josh happens to have long hair, and it wasn't in a ponytail when we were riding, and it billowing out of his helmet in all directions was making me crack up in my helmet cause he looked like brunhilde and I was having a sing-a-long of Looney Tunes

 photo vlcsnap-7846439-1_zpse70f2479.png
josh's doppleganger (not an element, the other one)

So we made it to breakfast at the Cayote Cantina, best breakfast ever, huge plates, a total mess of food, tons of hot sauces, it's seriously fantastic, Filled up our water and said goodbye to our friends for a long time, and headed off to start the first dirt of the trip.

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Old 08-11-2014, 09:40 PM   #5
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
Day 2 marathon

So we headed out from Coyote Cantina to do Cottonwood Pass. I knew that it was going to be a split of dirt and road, but it was bound to be smaller than 285, and I really wanted to get off pavement with all the gear and Lane on the back to see how it was.

The road part going up the canyon was fantastic. Narrow and curvey. We got stuck behind a few cars, and while we were twiddling our thumbs waiting for a passing spot, a new best friend came up behind us.# (ever since reading the Sibirsky Extreme RR i've jokingly referred to riders with hard luggage as "hard baggers" and every time i see someone riding an adventure bike with soft bags I get super excited) sooo this dude on a 990 Adventure with soft bags and adventure gear pulls upbehind us and lane starts joking we found a new best friend to replace ours that were moving away. NEW BEST FRIEND!

We finally found room to pass, start booking up the hill. New best friend is right behind us. We get struck behind some more cars, and I'm hesitant to pass, but new best friend takes off! Obviously I jump out behind him and suddenly we're screaming up the switchbacks. I love riding with another person, and I was trying to keep up with him, but he slowly outpaced me and we got to see new best friend leave us behind as we worked our way down the first dirt of the trip.

up cottonwood photo 20140719_123208_zps48dac107.jpg
new best friend come back!

We eventually saw new best friend pulled over on a side road, apparently he was pretty young and handsome (Thanks lane...), but we saw him in passing and continued on our way to Gunnison/Crested Butte.

down cottonwood photo 20140719_153603_zpsf58bb34e.jpg
One of many many many helmet shots to follow.

We had one mission in Gunnison, to get a 4 gallon water container for Canyonlands. There is a mallwart in Gunny, so we ended picking up a super flexible plastic 5 gallon container with a few handles to tie down. Walking out of the store and tying it to the bike for the first time, I felt so smart. Rorj is so smart. sooooo smart. for further laughs here is a visual

We headed up to Crested Butte, and I finally got to drive the road that in winter has yards of snow piled up on it (see what i did there? YARDS of snow). Kebler Pass is a super mellow dirt road, but we got to go a little fast, see some pretty trees and scenery:

 photo 20140719_154350_zps8b712d54.jpg
You can actually get to Aspen from CB, 4 hours on a highway, or 1 or 2 over a super gnarly pass I'm going to do once I get a worthy bike.

We also took a short nap. Taking naps 1.5 days into a trip, really.

nap time! (after gunny, not water thingy) photo 20140719_161532_zps6a2f6591.jpg
also a first sighting of my smart water container!

We finished Kebler pass, dropped into the next town, Delta, saw a Texas-esque gather of high school students next to a building, decided to skip Delta, and headed onto the next dirt road, the Delta-Nucla Connector. We figured we'd ride this until we found a good camp spot. We were down by a creek, headed straight up and as soon as we crested onto the top of the plataeu I started wondering if I would ever get to hammock camp this trip.

hmmmmmm landscape change... photo 20140719_182626_zpsa99368c2.jpg
Doesn't look like the Colorado I know

We ended up pulling off on a random side road, finding a fire pit, a few trees big enough to sling some hammocks, and just a cool cool view that in retrospect, was slight foreshadowing.

 photo 20140719_184300_zps1eba27ff.jpg
hmm a streambed running upbetween cliffs...

 photo 20140719_184320_zps0e996e4f.jpg

 photo 20140719_184441_zps09ef603e.jpg
Thats a dang 'ole campsite if I ever seen one

never don't want to see one of these photo 20140719_201858_zpsba88b742.jpg
YAY not riding when this happened

Had a few beers that night, a good camp dinner of chilli and sausages and got to sleep in a hammock. Day 2 really really made up for night #1. Also, looking through all of our pictures, wow we did a lot of riding/ picture taking. This RR is going to be longer than I thought I think.

# One of my favorite work article writers, Lstiburek, uses tons of footnotes, that I just realized are totally going to ruin the flow of the RR, RIP footnotes
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:41 AM   #6
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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2up in Canyonlands, I bet this is going to be quite an adventure.

HoW (ForeverWest) 2014 CO/UT 2013
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:41 PM   #7
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
Day 3

So today was the day that we were scheduled to get to Canyonlands. I had made a reservation to camp at White Crack on the White Rim trail on Monday night. This morning was Sunday morning, so I figured we would make it to Moab, camp somewhere near outside Canyonlands, and get a nice early start on White Rim Trail in case it proved difficult (in case it proved difficult hahahaha, you know, just in case )

So we tore down and set up camp, yes it was still fun the third day, and started our way down Delta-Nucla road to Nucla.

Ran into some cows directly behind a cow guard, I always wonder if the cows try to get out, or if they were super nimble cows they could get out. Also, do those stop horses and deer and other ungulate (thanks Far Side, cannot find the comic for you all, so anyone who gets that joke, go you)?
Cows photo 20140720_114356_zps163640b3.jpg

Delta-Nucla was a fun little road. It was super smooth dirt, but not compacted dirt, which I really liked. Still felt like riding looser dirt, but without the jarring potholes and swerving.
Delta-Nucla Road photo 20140720_115449_zpsf5ebfc18.jpg

Finally got to and through Nucla. We came into the town I guess next to a bunch of fields and no real buildings in sight. Lane wanted to hit a grocery store and get some food to put in the saddle bags since last time we had filled up was Gunnison about a day ago, but I couldn't find a store of any kind, and I knew Moab wasn't too far, so we left Nucla after glancing at it and realizing it also, was not for us.

Not too far outside of Nucla was the Utah border.
Utah Sign photo 20140720_133236_zps9f1bd907.jpg
Gloves get back on the bike you're drunk.

The pass road (co-US90, UT-US46) from Nucla into Utah over the La Sal mountains was also super fun pavement. I knew there were some dirt cutoffs that we could have used to get to Moab, but I was planning on doing the UTBDR from Moab south to at least Monticello so I figured we'd be back up in these mountains.
Utah Scenery photo 20140720_140519_zps88e81b23.jpg

We arrived in Moab, and instantly got congratulatory celebratory beers. This was about 2 minutes after we sat down...
Moab Brewery photo 20140720_153039_zps3f5d50d4.jpg
Lane you drink so fast!

The meal of fries and pub cheese and jalapeno dust was awesome. Jalapeno dust is one of my new favorite things exclusively for its concept. I have no idea if it made the fries spicy or not.

So from MOAB Brewery we wanted to figure out somewhere to camp. We headed over to Arches to see if they had camping, and the very nice Ranger in the visitor's center directed us up the road another 8 or so miles to Willow Springs road. Great cool deserted campsite about 150 yards off the highway which I love. There is something super satisfying about being in camp, settled in, with beer - oops, no beer. Also happened to be Sunday in Utah, so liquor stores are closed. Liquor Store are closed. One liquor store in Moab. BUT... Turns out Utah's liquor laws are uber strange and it seems like everyone interprets them differently so we jetted to the brewery and got some 7% IPAs. Where was I?

There is something super satisfying about being in camp, settled in, with beers just watching all of the cars and truck speed down the highway like if they don't get where they are going the world is going to end. We were also about a mile past the turnoff to Canyonlands where the Adventure would start tomorrow, and getting to have a relaxing first night in Utah was great.

As much fun as I made of Lane for bringing flip flops, I would have loved flip flops. The desert is the worst place to walk barefoot. Here's a panorama of the hill above our campsite. Our camp is on the left by the trees.
Campsite Panorama photo 20140720_202237_zps58a6b479.jpg

So the next day was the day we were going to start Canyonlands. I was super excited, definitely nervous, and really had no idea what to expect.

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Old 08-14-2014, 06:45 PM   #8
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A lady who is up for adventure is a keeper.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Location: N.E. Louisiana
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2008 Yamaha Road Star
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2014 Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Two lane blacktop isn't a highway, it's an attitude.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:14 PM   #10
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
Day 4 Morning

The morning had finally arrived, and Lane did her best job at getting me out of my hammock. I think that the half-sleep I get right after I wake up and then go back to bed is my favorite. Every morning Lane was up making breakfast, or reading, or wandering around waiting for me to finally drag myself out of bed and start the long process of packing everything onto the bike.

The 5 gallon water thing was full and wasn't causing any problems, but Lane and I had drank all the water out of her nalgene and my camelback (so do I get a dollar a brand name drop?) and Lane was worried that we were going to run out of water in Canyonlands. The park service recommends 1 gallon per person per day, so I was figuring that we would use 4 gallons. Since the 5 gallon plastic floppy thingamajig was full, I thought we would be fine, but Lane convinced me that White Rim trail is not the time to say "nahhhhhh it'll be fine...", so we decided to go to the welcome center in Canyonlands before heading to White Rim.##

I think the planned schedule from the night before was get up at 6 or 7 and get to the trailhead. I got up at 8, earliest, and I think we got to the Welcome/Ranger station at 10am maybe?

On the way to the ranger station
 photo 20140721_090436_zps1a465f7b.jpg

Good thing we went to the welcome center, I had forgotten to print out our camping reservation, so the ranger printed it out, gave me some more papers to show the patrols (he made it sound like I was 100% going to get stopped), and Lane and I filled up our water bottles in the water fountain inside. Lane and I were obviously still in our moto pants and I thought it must have been pretty funny looking to all the tourists and europeans wandering around trying to stay super cool with tank tops and shorts.

I had decided to do White Rim counter clockwise (shoutout to "all the old dudes" as it was put in the threads I read who are smart and do it that way), and the Ranger at the desk agreed, as the sand is the worst at the start if you go CC, stretches of up to a mile he said ( a mile. might as well just go to the beach, hell, at least you can surf there).

We headed out and got to the dirt inlet road. 40-50mph in 4th-5th gear, my god how I would miss that by the end of the day. The first part of the road/trail (technically we hadn't reached the trailhead yet, but I'm calling this part of White Rim for ease since there was really no where else to go) were some straight down the side of a cliff switchbacks. I think Lane was realizing what we were getting into as we descended. We had done part of the COBDR the weekend before, but there was nothing as steep and shear as this, especially not with this tight of turns.

We got to the bottom, and Lane alerted me that the 5g water thingy was shoving her into me because it had shifted. I took a look, and yes, it had slung forward because the bike was tilted forward and going over bumps. I should have realized at the time what was going to happen but I didn't. I untied the 5g plastic essential water carrier and figured out another way to tie a floppy, flexible, plastic container with 40 pounds of water in it to my bike at the highest point I could (back of the bike behind Lane, on top of the tent and sleeping pad. Where do you put something that large? %%) with only 3 attachment points, which were themselves floppy (the handles, and a hole to hang the container).
 photo 20140721_102809_zps0b9c425a.jpg

I got the 5 gallon thingymajog tied up just perfect, I was very confidant I had solved the problem. Who am I kidding, I solved it. Solved it right then and there. With that problem solved, we kept riding looking for the official start of White Rim.
 photo 20140721_105505_zps5d1395cc.jpg
canyons for DAYS

Found the Entrance
 photo 20140721_105910_zps1b62bf70.jpg

maybe we should have stopped here and read this large sign with a map and, i imagine, warnings.
 photo 20140721_110029_zps0f28377a.jpg
Nah, we'll just blow by with enough of a stop to get a picture.

We weren't even that far past the signs, maybe 15 20 minutes when we saw an SUV coming towards us.
 photo 20140721_110406_zpscbf45d21.jpg

The guy stopped for a moment and jokingly asked us if we knew where the exit to this place was. i could tell he was joking around, but I also got a slight sense of panic off of him, which I never thought to be bothered by.

Some of this road was super cool to be riding on:
 photo 20140721_110749_zps254fe7c9.jpg

Other parts of it were not:
 photo 20140721_111052_zps605bf0aa.jpg
If you look close, you can almost see him lurking.

About at the end of the path (i refuse to call it a road) you can see it turn to the right. well the sand we were on when that picture was taken was mild sand, but as I turned left, suddenly the bike was out of the path, front wheel bogged down in sand and Lane and I were standing looking at my beached whale of a bike. Sand 1, Me 0.

Well we picked it up (thats a capital WE, I have no idea how much trouble I would have had without Lane there &&) and kept on. Right after this we hit Hardscrabble Hill. Such a good name. Hardscrabble. Scrabble to me was an onomatopoeia on this trip. The bikes in 1st gear headed straight up a hill, I'm standing trying to find the best line, Lane's staring at my ass, rocks are bouncing all over the place, we're flying up it because if we stop we're done for, and letting the bike coast the last 5 feet to crest over the top of the hill so we can make the 180 degree switchback I didn't know was there till my head crests the hill peak. My god I loved going up Hardscrabble Hill.

Going down Hardscrabble Hill on the other hand, was more difficult. One, I like going downhill WAY less. Is that a universal thing? Two, I discovered a thing I do that is terrible and I am trying to stop doing but its a subtle mental lapse I kept having on the trip - instead of rocking my right (throttle) wrist forward to let off the throttle and let the bike in 1st gear idle engine brake and get us down the hill, I would rock my wrist slightly down to have a tiny throttle on and then freak out when the bike wouldn't slow down at all. The back wheel is refusing to lock up and slide because I'm throttling past the brake. Just terrible. Eventually I would realize when the back wheel wouldn't lock up that something was wrong (YOU"RE DOING IT WRONG) but those seconds when I had no idea why the bike wouldn't slow down were not fun.$$

Finally past Hardscrabble Hill:
 photo 20140721_124508_zps1fd9cb08.jpg
View from the cockpit

## - whatever, I'm bringing footnotes back. If you don't like it, don't read them, you prolly wouldn't laugh anyways grumpy. So I just checked the park website to look up a map of canyonlands. The quote about water "Bring at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day - more if you'll be active." Active? Nahhh, i thought we were just leisurely touring the most difficult off-road I'd ever done solo, let alone loaded and 2up. I also like how I interpret "Bring at least 1 gallon" to mean "Bring just 1 gallon stupid"

%% - The answer is that you plan ahead so you can smartly carry the one thing that will keep you alive for an extended period of time if something happens, not just wing it a day or two before. And who said that I know everything? Learning something everyday .

&& - Less. Less gear, less weight, but also less fun!

$$ - In my defense to non-inmates, I was concentrating on like 8 things at once. Being ready to throttle (right hand), picking a line, being ready to clutch (left hand), using the rear brake (left foot), how steep the drop off was if i messed up, and all the other general senses like balance and how fucking hot I was.

DayTrippin #1 -Snow and Stealth Camping

RORJ screwed with this post 08-19-2014 at 08:28 PM Reason: broken links
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:33 PM   #11
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
Originally Posted by kiwi_outdoors View Post
A lady who is up for adventure is a keeper.

Honestly i think she keeps ME around, I better start planning something bigger and badder for next time!
DayTrippin #1 -Snow and Stealth Camping
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #12
They're Real Tasty
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Oddometer: 51
Originally Posted by RORJ View Post
Where do you put something that large? %%
Anyone else expecting the %% footnote to be a "that's what she said"?

In all seriousness, this is a damn fine report that deserves a for the terrain you're tackling two-up. Keep it coming
- Dalton -
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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Joined: Sep 2008
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when offroading you might regear down,my gladius in first you can get off at idle and walk beside it.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:15 AM   #14
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
Originally Posted by yokesman View Post
when offroading you might regear down,my gladius in first you can get off at idle and walk beside it.
I got a 15T front sprocket for the trip, down from a 16T. I think it made a huge difference, as I spent most all of a few days in first gear, and still had some troubles with not being geared down as low as I would like (mostly downhill or in sand)

I definitely could have gone lower if I wanted, but we did a few highway days where the bike did not seem happy to be running at 70 loaded 2up with knobbies
DayTrippin #1 -Snow and Stealth Camping
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:12 PM   #15
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 57
day 4 Afternoon

## or %% etc. is a footnote. you have been warned.

Lets start this post off with a picture.

 photo 20140721_130329_zps441c62e1.jpg
the crane is off the right side of the picture

Sleepy wee-strom! we had passed Hardscrabble Hill and were on top-ish of the canyons. I actually thought when I first looked at a map of Canyonlands that the White Rim trail went around the outside rim and we could look inward down into the canyon. I was wrong. The middle which you ride around is the tip top, White Rim is the middle, and then it drops away from you outward. Maybe thats why they call this part of Canyonlands "Island in the Sky", whatever. Maps.

We were riding in not terrible sand but I was pretty rigid and concentrating, and then suddenly the bike was riding the night train$$ to the left side and Lane and I ended up "riding" the bike while it was on its side. We were both pretty surprised to be lying on the sand with the bike. I discerned (and am also postulating) that the handlebars must have jerked left, which (due to my poor grip and control over the only steering mechanism on the bike) pulled the right handlebar away, making my hand roll on the throttle super hard, gunning the bike sending us into a death spiral of no hope necessary.

We picked up the bike, and started riding again. I kept hearing a tink tink noise coming from the front of the bike, and could not figure out what it was. Here is me trying to figure it out, and also looking like an astronaut.
 photo 20140721_131341_zps5bd392b7.jpg
I swear I'm about to activate my jetpack and fly away. 3...2...1...

I could not figure out what it was, so we just kept riding. It wasn't affecting the performance at all, and as we rode I was making up theories in my head. The one I settled on was: I have cast rims, the cast rims have slots in them (for strength maybe) and when I dropped the bike in sand, sand or rocks got in them and my wheel was now a rock tumblr. Anyways it eventually went away, which works with my theory, so lets just say I solved that issue too.

You must be wondering what the other issue I solved was. Let me tell you. I talked about in the last post I had solved the 5 gallon water thingjiggy. Well, here I am tying it after it slipped:
 photo 20140721_134401_zpsd5c39735.jpg

Here I am tying it again after it slipped again:
 photo 20140721_144547_zpsd72625c5.jpg

Man Rory, you just suck at tying that thing, get it right:
 photo 20140721_144744_zps0d5dbd0f.jpg

This one was after I dropped the bike after slowing down too much (read: stopping) on a steep switchback I could have made easy, and then trying to put my foot on the non-existant downhill side:
 photo 20140721_151258_zpsde6ef90e.jpg
Just tying it up again, I'll be here all day.

So those pictures comprise about maybe 2 hours of riding. For me, those pictures about sum up those 2 hours perfectly. Ride for a bit, stop take a break and re-tie the water. Rinse, repeat. For the savy looker-at-pictures (you can't read a picture, duh), you may notice that the 5g water thingamanightmare does not seem to be getting any smaller. That is because we were not drinking very much water <- he said nonchalantly. It was also hot. &&

From that last picture where I fell, to the top of Murphy Hogbacks was pretty fun. It was back to packed rocky uphills instead of sand ruts.

The scenery from Lane's vantage point after the crash:
 photo 20140721_151638_zps2df68e19.jpg

The final climb up to Murphy Hogback:
 photo 20140721_152511_zps2b8e9535.jpg
TrailDamage refers to this as "a fun descent"

Lane hiking up the last hill:
 photo 20140721_152214_zps9b71ac14.jpg

And the obligatory spreading my wings picture for my friend who thinks he is a bird:
 photo 20140721_152501_zps31f009cb.jpg
This one is for you steb

So for you who don't know about White Rim very well, it is a 100 mile offroad loop. There are about 7 campsites along the trail spaced out mildly evenly. So a campsite every 12 miles or so (maybe 17, maybe 9, but 12 on average). We were camping at White Crack. White Crack is the campsite after Murphy Hogback. So I knew we had another ~12 miles ahead of us. I also knew that 12 miles equated to about an hour of riding. at this point I knew I was pretty beat, but at that point you kinda have to keep going. The campsites are by reservation, and I didn't want to steal someone's camp spot or give up 12 miles away from our destination. So we started down Murphy switchbacks. TrailDamage's description: "The climb up the hogback is steep and loose, and there is no room for passing." Steep and loose, so I had Lane get off and walk it down while I wrestled the bike down. I'm 80% sure I did the stupid keep the throttle on accidentally thing again too here.

 photo 20140721_153235_zpsc1289df7.jpg
Ahhh too fast!!

Got to the bottom of the hill and what did I need to do? And you thought we were done with this montage...

 photo 20140721_155020_zpsa53aee16.jpg
Oh! Just tie up the water again. I'm seriously getting frustrated just having to write about it this many times.

Once I had it all tied up (JUST so, this time), we took a little break in the shade of a rock and hung out. We started going again, and I felt weird. I had been eating the whole day, and Lane and I had been filling up our water bottle/camelback and finishing them, which prolly meant we drank around 1.5 gallons each, but I was getting loopy. I stopped the bike at the first shady tree I found, not more than 15 minutes after our last break in the picture above. The tree was short and I was crouched down in the shade. I had been making Dune jokes in my helmet all day, but trying to hide in the shade in this special suit that was 100% holding all my moisture in, while I was dehydrated, delirious, I figured that must be what being a Fremen was. Yeah, go ahead and re-read that last sentance, I was crushed. Just Toast.

Lane and I talked, and there was really nothing to do but go on. We both knew I was pretty finished for the day, but I sucked it up, found some concentration and willpower and safely piloted the bike to the White Crack Trail Head.
 photo 20140721_164644_zpse0973ed6.jpg
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! wait. 1.4 miles to the campsite? fuck.

The ranger at the welcome center said there was a big ole sand hill on the way to the campsite, so I had Lane get off and walk up incase I beefed it one last time before bed.
 photo 20140721_165521_zpsc0430b0e.jpg
just ATGATT hiking, thank you lilwan for that term.

we got to the campsite, and there were 2 jeeps hanging out. The people eventually walked back from the scenic view and the guy who's trip it was was pretty impressed that we had made it through the sand at the beginning. He also told us he was camping at Murphy Hogback, and that they were going to "just drive on up there and set up camp" before it got dark. That was not at all what I needed to hear at that point. MMMMMMMMMMMMM it was a strugglefest of a day. I enjoyed all the parts I remember which is like 85% before the dehydration and delirium set in.

I zombie walked around the camp for a while trying to figure out the best way to set up the tarp to block the sun. First set up was great, then I thought I could make it better, and just ruined it. I finally had the good sense to go to bed.

 photo 20140721_203832_zps55999c62.jpg
#2 best campsite yet. I am super partial to the campsite outside of Canyonlands.

 photo 20140721_182213_zps735deefb.jpg
more pictures of Lane!

I got fantastic dead to the world sleep that night, and I knew that the next day would be easier. I also knew that Moab and beers were at the end of the next day, so it would be a quest complete with a princess and a kingdom of fries and margaritas when I woke up.


$$ - Shwwing! fakeout.

&& - Is there an understatement award I can win here? Did I at least medal?
DayTrippin #1 -Snow and Stealth Camping
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