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Southeast Utah Dual Sport Ride June 2015

Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
4,594
Location
Out Riding
This was supposed to be ride report for a make trip of dual sporting based out of Ouray last summer but was a bust due to me having a stomach virus.

We did this instead last year:

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1302069&postcount=1

Because of a potential two week ride street ride coming later this year we decided to take an early ride this year. It was a little early for going to Ouray so we decided to go to Utah instead. Moab has gotten bigger and busier so we decided on Monticello 50 miles to the South. First we had to get there. John flew in on Friday afternoon and after some Mexican chow at his favorite neighborhood restaurant we finished getting loaded up.

Day 1 Fort Worth to Gallup, NM.

Hitting the road at 5:50 am.

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After 750 miles in the truck with some weird weather we called it a night in Gallup, NM. We found a Days Inn on old Route 66 and another Mexican joint a short walk up the street in the rain. It was an interesting place. Everyone in the restaurant was Native American except John and I. The food was great and we made it back to the Hotel right before it started pouring again.

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Day 2 Gallup, NM to Monticello, UT

It rained pretty good overnight was nice leaving in the morning.

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It would be a short day today to get to Monticello. We had a little extra time so we did some touristy stuff in Cortez. This store was right on the main drag.

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Not exactly what we were picturing when we walked in, but The Medicine Man didn't look any different than any other regular store.

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After we given the full explanation of everything for sale and what the prices were we told the poor girls we wouldn't be buying anything because we both worked on aircraft parts for a living. We found the sign next door pretty funny.

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Some rain showers and short while later we were at the Hotel. They had a room ready for us early so we checked in and and got the bike unloaded.

The view from our room.

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Within thirty minutes we unloaded and ready to go for a short 90 mile shake down ride. We headed South to Blanding and then West. It started drizzling a little but it was a nice afternoon. Soon enough we were on Indian land.

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At first stop for a drink. Being quite a bit higher than around Moab, it was a lot greener.

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The roads were smooth as blacktop but we were sliding all over. The combination of light rain and that a grader had recently been through meant with out warning the front wheel would just slide around like we were on ice.

At our next stop.

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We took a little detour to check out an Alpine Lake. It looked a little shy on water.

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We were getting up there in elevation.


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Upward we go.

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We stopped here for a stretch as the views were good from both side of the road.

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This was way down over the edge.


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The scenery continued to be great.

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Soon we would be at Bayles Cabin. It looked like it had seen better days, but had recently been worked on.

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Still going up.


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The first of what would turn a short afternoon loop into a long day...


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We started having to ride through more and more snow, but we were now following someone else s tracks so I figured they had finished the loop back to Monticello.

After going through a pretty deep and long section of snow, we came upon this.

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Three bikes headed our way. Good news, that meant the road was passable back to the hotel. Our joy was short lived. The three bikes had turned around because the snow was getting worse. The three guys were traveling through from Puebla, Mexico. Two were on F800's and the other on a 660 Tenere. They looked exhausted from pushing their bikes through the snow.

It was now 5:30 in the afternoon, and we were all getting nervous about running out daylight on the mountain. While back tracking there was only one real tough spot. We had ridden over the bank and around a very deep snowed in area. Getting back up this would challenge us all.

I couldn't get enough traction to make it through the snow. I turned around and gave it a second shot and did this.

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I have always been told it is not an Adventure until something goes wrong.

We were at 9500 ft and pretty winded by now. The photo doesn't really show how steep the bike was pointed down hill. We wound up dragging it around down hill to be able to pick it up. Two more tries and I made it through the snow to get back on ground I could ride on with our getting stuck.

The more we tried the tougher it was getting to get the bikes through the snow and mud, especially the bigger bikes the guys from Mexico were riding.

The mud was actually worse than the snow to ride through. The ground was only thawed a couple inches below the surface, so as soon as the rear knobbie spun it went through soft mud and hit icey frozen ground.

Back tracking after getting through the the tough spot.


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We wound up taking a big detour that added a lot of miles to get back to the hotel. We arrived at about 7:45 and hurriedly walked up the street for a late supper, hoping the sidewalks weren't rolled up yet in the small town we were in.
We had steak burgers and fries and called it a night.


Day 3 Monument Valley and Mexican Hat

The last time John and I were out this way on the ST1300 and ZX11 we didn't see much of Monument Valley due to a dust storm as we were passing through. This trip we decide to ride a little more blacktop than usual and do a little more sight seeing. Must be we are getting old! LOL

Fueling up the bikes and ourselves.


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First stretch in Bluff.

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A few miles up the road it was time to empty some water.

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In Mexican Hat.

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Back on the road to Monument Valley.

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All most there.

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We missed Forrest this trip.

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We are here.

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From Wikipedia. Monument Valley meaning valley of the rocks) is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000ft above the valley floor. It is located on the Arizona-Utah state line near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163.


Monument Valley has been featured in*many forms of media since the 1930s. Director*John Ford*used the location for a number of his best-known films, and thus, in the words of critic Keith Phipps, "its five square miles have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West."

There was no one a gate so we each saved $10. We checked out the visitor center and then took the 17 mile loop through the rock formations,


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At probably the most iconic filming location of Westerns.


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Our next stop would be at Goulding's Trading Post. We had seen some rain off in the distance earlier today and it had rained here at some point.

From Wikipedia. Goulding's Trading Post is a lodge,*trading post, and museum located just north of the Arizona–Utah border, adjacent to the Navajo Tribal Park in Monument Valley. Harry Goulding introduced director John Ford to Monument Valley where he shot several of his classic westerns. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 20, 1980.



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Movie set cabin.

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This was neat place with its one little museum from the era when lots of movies were being filmed here.

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Hangin' out with the Duke.


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In the movie room of the museum.


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It looked like it was going to pour again se headed back to Mexican Hat for the night. The wind picked up pretty good and started raining pretty good. We got passed by a bunch of guys on street bikes.

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We checked in to the Mexican Hat Lodge, which didn't look like much from the outside, but our room was one of the nicer and bigger rooms we have stayed at in a long time.

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We went for a short walk and got caught up in a nasty dust storm. We high tailed back to the Hotel and decided to have a Swinging Steak for dinner.


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After the dinner the dust had stopped was we went for another stroll. No idea what they were but the yellow flowers had an unbelievable sweet smell.

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A little water in the desert is a wonderful thing.

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Day 4 Mexican Hat to Monticello

Today would be mostly blacktop with a few neat views planned. It was sprinkling when we headed but looked like it clear later in the day like it has been every other day.

First stop Mexican Hat.

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Next stop Goosenecks State Park. It was spectacular even in the rain.

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Next Stop Valley of the Gods.

From Wikipedia. Valley of the Gods is a scenic sandstone valley near Mexican Hat in San Juan County, southeastern Utah. It is north of Monument Valley*across the San Juan River, and has similar rock formations to Monument Valley, albeit on a smaller scale, with tall, red, isolated mesas, buttes, and cliffs standing above the level valley floor, remnants of an ancient landscape.
The Valley of the Gods area may be toured via a 17-mile gravel road (FR 242) that winds among the eerie formations; this is rather steep and bumpy in parts but is passable by normal vehicles in good and dry weather. The western end joins UT 261 shortly before its 1,200-foot ascent up Cedar Mesa at Moki Dugway, while the eastern end starts 9 miles from the town of Mexican Hat along US 163 and heads north, initially crossing flat, open land and following the course of Lime Creek, a seasonal wash, before turning west towards the buttes and pinnacles. In addition to the gravel road, the area is also crisscrossed by off-road dirt trails.


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We are headed off to the high rocks off in the distance that we can't see the top of very well.


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We exited Valley of the Gods and turned left on towards Moki Dugway. It was now starting to rain pretty good.

Last time we road down Moki Dugway on street bikes.


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This time it would going up it in the rain.

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Up near the top I stopped to throw on a rain liner. We heard what sounded like Harleys off in the distance.


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Sure enough. These guys were tougher than most Harley guys I run across.


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They had a long ways to go to get back to Quebec.

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Next we were off to Muley Point, or so we thought. I was raining hard and the temp was in the low 40's on top Moki Dugway. Combining that with a wet red clay road that felt like we were riding on wet grease we decided to turn around. We figured as low as the ceiling was we would have no view from the point. Muley point will have to wait for another visit.

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Our next planned stop was to visit Natural Bridges National Monument. As hard as it was raining we turned East towards Blanding. Natural Bridges would also have to wait.

On the way to Blanding the rain stopped going through a valley and we decided to get off the bikes and walk some heat back into our bodies.

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It was about a mile walk to see the ruins.


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By the time we got back to the bikes it started raining again and it rained most of the way back to the Hotel when it stopped and the sun finally came back out.


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We took a walk to the Visitors Center and picked up a couple one page maps and some info for a day ride South before we head back to Texas. We had a big feed and called it a night.


Day 5 Lockhart Basin

It had rained hard most of the night, but was clear and pleasant in the morning. Today we had planned a short 121 mile loop to the East that went a short ways in to Colorado and then back to Monticello.
Unfortunaltely for us the first road off blacktop was wet sticky mud, slippery mud again.

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It would be a long day riding in this so we decided we go to Needles Oupost and ride blacktop all day if necessary.

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First Stop Newspaper Rock



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Moving on we arrived at the turn for Lockhart Basin. Looking at the dirt a couple things were obvious to use. It hadn't near as much here, and the dirt was much better to ride on. We decided we would ride out aways and turn around if necessary.


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So far so good. Very easy and scenic riding.

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Closing a fence.


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Not sure how this got here, but it has been here a looooong time.


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At this point we could see a big batch of thunder storms blowing in the direction we were riding. We shut the bikes off and watched the storms blow through ahead of us.


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When we could see the ridge again we fired up the bikes and got moving again.


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The road was at this point but traction was good and rain was gone.


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Click image below for a short video of us going down one of the washes.

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We would soon be at the end of Lockhart Basin. The most challenging wash was right at the end and I forgot to turn on the video camera.

Another 20 miles or so and we would be in Moab.


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In Moab we turned right at the McDonald's and and blasted down the highway back to Monticello. We took a quick stretch and checked out this arch.

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Day 6 Montezuma Creek Rd and Butler Wash Rd.

Today is going to be our last day of riding for this trip. We are going to make a figure 8 loop.

Starting the ride down into the canyon.

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Interesting places to live.

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Never would have guessed there would be a small vineyard in the canyon.


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Low rent housing.


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These folks weren't happy we riding down their road.


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The Canyon actually looked like it collected a lot water for growing things. If was raining hard we wouldn't want to be in this area.


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Soon after this high in the rocks on the right would be cliff dwelling ruins. It was hard to imagine having to climb up an down the rocks build the dwellings and to live in them.


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Moving along an actual low water crossing. The water was very muddy so we couldn't see the bottom, but unlike at home in Texas there was no green slime waiting for us.


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We would soon be at Three Kiva Pueblo.


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From the BLM. Three Kiva is a stabilized pueblo located in Montezuma Canyon along County Road B146 about seven miles upcanyon from the Perkins Road (County Road B206). It features a reconstructed kiva with a roof and ladder access, accessed by a short foot path. The remainder of the pueblo is visible as stabilized wall bases, with the upper parts having collapsed prehistorically.
About 1,000 years ago, Three Kiva Ruin was part of a large and thriving community that took advantage of the resources that the canyon had to offer. Extensive excavations by a team of archeologists from Brigham Young University revealed 14 rooms and three kivas, a ramada working area, a trash mound, and a possible turkey run. Large portions of this complex have been stabilized, but only one of the kivas is reconstructed.


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We would soon be turning right and heading back to Blanding on what would normally be an easy gravel road. Not today though. The road was in the process of being graded and we road most of the way to Blanding on fresh loose deep gravel. The IRC Battle Rally ront tire I was using for the time on the WR didn't like the real loose stuff at all. It was unnerving as the front wheel seemed to have a mind of its own. John's DRZ which was sporting an almost worn out MT21 had no weird moments.


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We would soon head a few miles West of Blanding on 95 and turned left on to Bulter Wash. It roughy 20 miles down to Bluff. The road was hard packed sand except for where it wasn't. LOL My new front tire didn't like the loose and better than the loose gravel and it wasn't much fun to ride. I whad pay too much attention to what the bike was doing and wasn't able to take in the scenery.



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At the end near Bluff.


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At this point we had originally planned to ride back up Comb Wash. After figuring it would be more of the same sand, we took blacktop back to Monticello.

We had been by Recapture Reservoir a few times and spent a few minutes checking it out. The Reservoir was created in the mid 80's when a dam was built to flood Recapture Wash.


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We would soon be back at the Hotel loading and packing up for the long drive back to Fort Worth.


Day 7 and 8

We hit the road pretty early and drove to Clarendon and called it a day. We had started with a nice tail wind which turned into a nasty head head.side wind that was making driving the truck not much fun at all. The last legal hnging in the Panhandle of Texas occurred in Clarendon on June 3, 1910.

http://www.pan-tex.net/EloiseLane/_90/_90.html

This was our basic route:

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=d5965569d5fb204b1

Both bikes worked great all week, and with exception of some unusal weather it was a great week of dual sporting.

Full album of pictures with more videos at end of album can be found here:

http://simmons1962.smugmug.com/Road-Trip-2015/
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
16,873
Location
Lampasas
Very nice ride report and nice large selection of scenic pictures. Thanks for sharing. This will put ideas in many riders heads.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
Cool! I am still working through the photos from my trip. Looks like you wound up hitting a few different roads than we did. It looked like there was quite a bit more snow on the ground for you guys than there was for us. I noticed after we got back that they got a good bit of rain/snow in the area and wondered how it would be for you guys.

Lockhart Basin was pretty awesome wasn't it! White Rim road is even better.
 

Mr2mch

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
6,148
Location
Where the road leads ya.... Or Waco
Rich.... As always... Your ride reports are top notch ,informative, & veeeery interesting... (reading & PICS) I wish I had more of your skills in doing these

But ... I guess I'll jus settle for any riding I get to do.... THANX for the vicarious ride!
 
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
4,594
Location
Out Riding
Rich.... As always... Your ride reports are top notch ,informative, & veeeery interesting... (reading & PICS) I wish I had more of your skills in doing these

But ... I guess I'll jus settle for any riding I get to do.... THANX for the vicarious ride!
Thanks Rod. The reports actually take me a lot of time to put together. I have a pretty stressful job and putting the reports together is great for clearing my head of work. Is almost as good for clearing my head as the rides are themselves.
 
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