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Desert Sledin Dummies Thumpin Utah

I don't buy it....not gonna work on me.....

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Stephen and I were just conversing with our comrades! Notice the similarities with the Coyote and the Minimalist Adventurer...
You may be on to something. And if one is so inclined to find evidence of the coyote's presence in the hinterlands, you can find numerous sites where he has burned meat and left evidence of his utensils behind. On my April/May Utah trip this year, I came across this. I thought Steve was just being careless, but I see now why he left these tongs behind, as he obviously prefers those pitch-forky looking cooking utensils now. :D

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Alright, where were we. I was thinking how my cousin always made me be Luke when we were kids. I think it was because Bo got to drive more. But let’s face it, Luke was the smarter one that held things together. Then I started thinking about Daisy and lost the plot.

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Sorry about that. I’m back. The crossing didn’t need to be jumped but there was no wayloning around. I walked it and noted to the group it was a little slippery at the entrance and exit but doesn't feel like a big deal. Hold applause on the glamor shot. But note the sexy tan lines. There is more available if you need it, they’re on my Dirtbags Only page.

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Ok, dip the bike in, steady as she goes. No worries. Easy crossing.

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We continue the ride heading deeper into the bush. I guess you could say more of the same, but that seems understated.

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Big Country. Very Lockhart Basin feeling in here….and I liked this ride better overall.

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We transition to start heading southwest, more picturesque desert stuff, headed into the sun rolling our way out of this zone. And at a much faster clip. Me likey!!

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Took a break and got back to it.

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Hit some pavement and cheated with this river crossing.

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It was getting late. We had some dirt picked out but we needed to move a good chunk east and there wasn’t an abundance of light left in the day, shadows were already getting long. So we blasted pavement, very scenic however, not a total loss.

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Pulled on the reins at the motel and cleaned up for grub. Not much in the way of pics, I was tired, ended up being like 230 miles for the day. Cut me some slack. And my big toes need some slack cutting too, they’ve been better.

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There are those that do….and those that dream of doing. Which one are you? Stevo

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Steve, what was with the boots and toes deal. Were the boots too small or what? That looks very uncomfortable.
Yes! What the....um, words that'll be censored go here. You need to see a doctor about that? Is that bruising or lack of flow or something? Seems bad.
 
Bruising/blood under toe nail. Partly my fault, two fold. Should be wearing hard enduro boots for this kind of riding. But my Gaerne Fastbacks that I have for that are not comfortable to wear for all day rides for a week straight and don't work as well with my big pegs on the 500, that I kind of need when running the 5.3g tank. The Fastbacks are great when I'm on my skinny 450 with stock pegs. My go to ADV boot has been Forma Adventure boots. I put probably 25K miles on the last pair in the last couple of years and they've been good to me. A good enough compromise when adventure riding....this Utah thing ain't really adventure riding, but, I made my choice. The Forma soles were splitting right before this on a Super Enduro ride, so I bought new boots, identical model and size. They felt tight when I got them, but I figured they just needed to be broke in. Well, not sure if they got broke in during those first two days of riding, but I definitely smashed both big toes in separate incidents and that didn't help. And on Day 2 I did a lot of "hiking" in them, going down was putting pretty good pressure in the toe box. I believe on Day 3 when I was starting to limp at the end of the day, I pulled the foot beds out to give me some relief from the tightness of the boot in the toe box and the bruising. So again, partly my fault for not wearing a harder core boot and for letting my toes take a hit. I guarded them much more carefully the remainder of the trip. The new pair have a 1000 miles on them now....but I still think they are tighter than my previous pair, I've been wondering if the manufacturer or production line changed slightly. I'm going to cut the insoles right behind the toes moving forward on this pair. At any rate......I'm going to lose those toe nails, I can feel them moving separately from my toe when I walk around 🤪 right now.
 
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It's strange how things change in manufacturing. I had a pair of Sidi boots that I loved and wore till they were falling apart. Loved them so much that I ordered another pair in the same size, newer model. The heel cup was huge, so much so that my foot moved around more than I was comfortable with. I went into a store and tried on all the Sidi boots and they all had the same huge heel cup. Ended up sadly switching manufacturers but have boots that fit like molded slippers. Sounds like something similar happened with your boots.

Moral of the story, never buy boots right before a big trip, or you'll have gross things to say about your toenails. Ugh, wishing for the best outcome for you on that front.

FYI, I read that bit to my wife and showed her the picture. She's cussing me out right now she's so grossed out.
 
It's strange how things change in manufacturing. I had a pair of Sidi boots that I loved and wore till they were falling apart. Loved them so much that I ordered another pair in the same size, newer model. The heel cup was huge, so much so that my foot moved around more than I was comfortable with. I went into a store and tried on all the Sidi boots and they all had the same huge heel cup. Ended up sadly switching manufacturers but have boots that fit like molded slippers. Sounds like something similar happened with your boots.

Moral of the story, never buy boots right before a big trip, or you'll have gross things to say about your toenails. Ugh, wishing for the best outcome for you on that front.

FYI, I read that bit to my wife and showed her the picture. She's cussing me out right now she's so grossed out.
Definitely agree on not wearing new boots on a long and/or challenging series of rides. I do something a little different on my boot purchases. I always buy a 1/2 size bigger than my normal fit and then use thick socks. I've done this for decades and even when I was racing the enduro circuit. If you insure that the socks are of a breathable material, you don't get the hot foot or really soggy results. It's worked for me since way back. I have always been a tenderfoot. Even as a youth my feet hurt. I don't have circulatory or nerve issues in my feet, but I'm just one of those people who have really sensitive feet. This boot and sock thing has kept me from any suffering as far as dirt riding goes. Don't know if would work for others, but it has worked for me.

Get those feet well and back on track, Steve. Wish you well.
 
Definitely agree on not wearing new boots on a long and/or challenging series of rides. I do something a little different on my boot purchases. I always buy a 1/2 size bigger than my normal fit and then use thick socks. I've done this for decades and even when I was racing the enduro circuit. If you insure that the socks are of a breathable material, you don't get the hot foot or really soggy results. It's worked for me since way back. I have always been a tenderfoot. Even as a youth my feet hurt. I don't have circulatory or nerve issues in my feet, but I'm just one of those people who have really sensitive feet. This boot and sock thing has kept me from any suffering as far as dirt riding goes. Don't know if would work for others, but it has worked for me.

Get those feet well and back on track, Steve. Wish you well.
Same for me. I wear those thick KLIM Mammoth thermal socks year round, even when it is 100 F out. They breathe well and the extra thickness helps keep my feet from hurting as bad (they ALWAYS hurt!).
 
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. TE Lawrence

Go back, read that quote again. Ok, now we can move on. Living the dream of the day with open eyes. We decided on a loop that involved the Needles. None of us had been in that zone yet. We slept in hard like teenagers and got a later start.

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We were all feeling pretty good despite the mileage on our carcasses at this point. We glanced at the newspaper and rolled on.

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The Needles. You roll in on a road that a lowered 66 Impala could make.

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Then you get introduced to Elephant Hill. Not too may Impalas going up that dude.

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We scale up and over like gazelles.

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The backside going down wasn’t exactly low rider territory neither.

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Little bit of a roller coaster trail.

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We find some shade at some point and take a break.

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Then we got into more rock crawling. Very scenic, really cool formations the further we went. And no people. Sprinter Vans and Subaru’s probably ain’t making this track!

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Shot of O’L One Sock getting it done!

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I really like the sand flats between some of the rock crawling.

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After scaling some of the climbs and descends, we needed a shade spot again.

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This will work, I suppose.

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And then back to riding with terrible scenery and backdrops.

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We are making progress and feeling like we are about out of the “basin”.

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Well, maybe not quite. I could see this climb from a good distance away and was thinking, that looks like a rimdinger of a climb. Surely that’s not our route. Rode past it and went down a two track I thought might lead out an easier way. Nope, soon after it was a dead-end. Circle back and go size this thing up.

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Alright, we got this, cowboy up. We had a group discussion, no hero action. Stop if you need help. We will get one bike up at a time if need be. Grape started flexing his muscles and saying “Grape Ape” out loud and took off first. I am usually the scout but I was glad to let him guinea pig this one.

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Bmullex and I watched together from the bottom. Saw a billowing cloud of dust, heard the bike die, heard the bike drop, heard some choice words and grunts. But Grape wasn’t having it, he righted his bike and charged on. He clawed his way to the top. One down. Or is it one up?

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The gauntlet had been thrown, Grape made it unassisted. Dadgum it. Bmullex and I said a little prayer for our old selves, and I took off. I hit the spot Grape bobbled, killed it but didn’t drop it. Thank goodness, didn’t need to add that energy exertion to the equation.

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Got the 5Hundo inching forward again and struggled to keep my body at the front of the bike. I would get back up there, sort of get control and on the pegs, then slide back from the angle, rocks rolling, dust powder pockets and ledge hopping.

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I have a semi bad habit of staying in the throttle no matter what for the momentum. While good, I need to work more on slipping in the slipping of the clutch a little more. I’m kind of all in or all out guy. It works most of the time for me….and it did this time as well. I knew if I hit a large solid rock section in front of me I would have good traction, I just needed to hang on, the 5 Hundo was doing it with or without me!

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I was sliding but the bike was climbing…..I held it as long as I could and was still moving up with one tire on the ground, then had to let the front end come back down when I could feel the loop out meter about to start beeping, it’s a familiar sound. The move worked, I was up this turd. Park in some shade and discuss the next victim, I mean rider to come up.

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Hard part over, just finish it out.

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Bmullex has a trick elbow from past exploits and it had been getting beat up this trip here and there. The worst thing for it is to squeeze hard to hold on while up and down difficult rock crawling terrain. Basically what we had been doing the past couple of hours off and on. And this climb was the muther of all of them that day. MasterMarine on ADVrider pointed out it has a name, Bobby’s Bunghole or something like that. We were just going to have Bmullex get his bike to the first tricky section and shut it down to avoid further injury. We would help get the bike up and keep this train moving. But Grape Ape mumbled some stuff, grunted and started hopping back down the mountain to ride it up for him. You go little big buddy, Make America Grape Again!!
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He knew the bad spots now and that there weren’t any crazy/hurt you type stuff on the climb. So he came up with a vengeance and power clutched his way to the top. Not too shabby Grapester!

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He went by me as I took pics and almost took me out with some rocks!

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We pressed on. Easy going from there on out.

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And we were back in BLM so we could fly the drone in some classic desert panorama.

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Eventually got up in the Abajo Mountains and rolled back towards civilization.

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It’s almost done. Trying to block the trip hangover blues. I could feel it all over me. Shake it off dummy. We were seeing some pretty country. Life is good.

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We skirted some more national forest. It was a pretty ride, good elevation and trees were still doing their thang here and there. Lots of hunters out glassing things. One we talked to had a muley buck tag and a black bear tag.

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Light fading. Coming down the backside of the mountain it got really cold in the mountain shade. Bmullex pulled out a jacket. Grape and I had nothing to put on. Just rode it out like men….or apes.

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And that was that. Trip was over. We had mixed feelings reflecting back that evening. We enjoyed our time with the TWT guys when we were all together and had 12 intact femurs. We enjoyed our time with JoeMoto and HotStuff immensely. And when it was just the three of us, that was special as well. We gel really well and it’s almost like we move as one unit. Ahhhh, that’s the good stuff, one big unit. The trip wasn’t all peaches and cream but it was one heck of an adventure and we lived it with our eyes wide open!!!

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Time it was and what a time it was.

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Licketysplat update.....he was released from the hospital this past Monday, after spending over a week in there. Has some extra hardware in his femur, around the fallopian tube area. They released him to fly shortly after, got back to Austin Wednesday of this week. He seems to be doing well, just struggling some to adjust to daily tasks while hobbled. Having to rearrange his 2 story house some. Thank you to everyone for thoughts and prayers. Comforting being a part of a riding community and having folks that were reaching out with well wishes as well as offering to help if needed. There is still good folks out there....especially on two wheels!!
 
****!...as awesome as ever. Yeah, that Bobby's Hole hill used to not be so torn up, but time, erosion, and serious 4WD can do that. Steve, there actually is a way around BH...BTW, I like your description of Bobby's Bunghole better. :lol2: I was on a big group ride with Hellsickle from over on ADV. Due to 2 or 3 of the riders in the group not wanting to do BH...not me, I was still a ****** back then:trust:...he knew an alternate route that had a decently rough downhill instead of a brutal uphill. It veered off to the west from the traditional route toward the Colorado River and eventually rejoined the track after BH. Half the group bulldogged their bikes down descent, but it was quite doable without carnage. I did a half-and-half...LOL!

I have a couple of good stories about Elephant Hill, but I'm not going to interfere with this epic literary and visual and epic adventure of yours. BTW, I didn't know you were such a cultured man of words and wisdom with the T.E. Lawrence quote. Now be honest...did you just get that from the movie or did you actually read "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"?:rider:
 
It’s almost done. Trying to block the trip hangover blues. I could feel it all over me. Shake it off dummy. We were seeing some pretty country. Life is good.

This... It is SO hard to keep your head in the game on the last day right up until the very end! I kept telling my kids the last few days of our trip that the trip was not over YET. I could see in their eyes and demeanor that mentally they had that switch in their heads that flipped to "done" mode. Once they had decided that we were going to end the trip in a few days instead of going another week or two, it was like their brains just shifted gears into "be home mode". I've had more than one trip where things didn't go well the last day because of this. So now I am especially sensitive to it. It's not over until the bikes are home!

The report and pics were awesome. Given the terrain, the fact that only one rider was injured is good. I've seen group rides on much tamer terrain that had far more carnage. Having a good group of riders that gel well together is priceless.
 
I just got back from the NMBDR and found your report. Great pics and write up. Thanks or taking the time. I rode some, and I stress some, of that earlier this year and am ready to go back. I think I could spend the week just riding back and forth through poison springs canyon. Shore is nice out there.

Glad to hear Lickety is back and doing better. Never good when someone gets hurt but it looks like it couldn't have "gone better" that it did.
 
Licketysplat update.....he was released from the hospital this past Monday, after spending over a week in there. Has some extra hardware in his femur, around the fallopian tube area. They released him to fly shortly after, got back to Austin Wednesday of this week. He seems to be doing well, just struggling some to adjust to daily tasks while hobbled. Having to rearrange his 2 story house some. Thank you to everyone for thoughts and prayers. Comforting being a part of a riding community and having folks that were reaching out with well wishes as well as offering to help if needed. There is still good folks out there....especially on two wheels!!

:-P

 
It was deficiently a great run. I'm struggling to put words to the experience. It was like three small trips all bumped together.

We started with the six of us and that was fun with the comradery and getting to know some guys better. @LlanoRiverMan Ross and @Eulogite Allan, these guys were a great inspiration to me. They hung on like a hair in a biscuit and they can say they rode the Tubes and Dead Cow Wash. These guys were totally new to the whole camp off your dirt bike and ride truly remote stuff. I hope when I'm their age I'm still willing to stick my toe in some unknown waters and see what it is all about. Big hat tip to these guys. @LicketySplit is a true hacker. He is one tuff customer, he makes Chuck Norris look like a girl scout. Heal well speak up if you need anything. Thanks to Ross for keeping track of John and getting him his stuff, and his bike back to Texas. We all had a great time weather we were laughing in a parking lot, restaurant, or around the campfire.

The next phase was when we met up with Joe Motocross and his wife HotStuff from ADVRider. JM is a desert rat and mountain goat cross. He rides smooth and quick across the landscape and knows the area we were in really good. He is also the maker of the adjustafork that we do our cooking on and the one that got @KsTeveM on the fat front tire who put me onto it. His wife HotStuff is a one of a kind and a perfect mate for Joe Moto. She is a solid rider and totally at home in a back county camp. We had a great time riding camping and sharing tips and tricks for living the minimalist dirtbag life.

The last phase was with Stevo and Stephen, these guys are like an extension of my family. When we join up we just fall into sync. Stevo said
We gel really well and it’s almost like we move as one unit. Ahhhh, that’s the good stuff, one big unit.
That is it we are one unit moving across the terrain. We all have strengths that complement the group dynamic. Stevo is the logistics specialist and history teacher. Stephen is the technical guy, GPS, camera, drone and he is an astronomer. These guys both have a couple of inches of inseam and fight in a weight class above me which comes in handy from time to time. They never hesitate to give me a hand when I'm in need, weather I'm on the ground and need to help to pick up my bike or on this trip they each rode my bike up an obstacle when I was just not feeling it. It is a scary thing but it is like can read each others minds. I'm not 100% sure why they let me tag along but I'm grateful that I can share time with these guys.

Bike prep, travel cost, trick elbows, busted GPS, busted mirrors, sleeping on the ground...This stuff all fades away but time with my friends old and new will always be stuck in my mind.
 
I am 100% sure why we let Garbear tag along. If you spend 10 minutes with the guy, it is obvious. Just a good human being, solid. His other attributes are right behind, a competent rider and good camp mate. And you can't leave out the fact that we are the recipients of his mechanic skills almost daily. There isn't another human on the planet that compares.
 
Great report and photos Steve! Sorry I had to bug out so soon. At least I left you guys with an air rescue show. No one can say I am a cheapskate.

Seriously though, all is going as well as one might expect. I am making slow and steady progress and expect to be moving around better in a month or two. Thanks again to everyone for the support

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I feel like this is a remake of the scene where Robert Shaw compares scars with Richard Dreyfuss.

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So I will have to raise your fractured fallopian with my black death undertoe. It's obvious who is worse off. Nothing more need be said....well maybe this.....Farewell and adieu ye fair Spanish ladies, farewell and adieu you ladies of Spain......

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