Mistakes were Made

Sunrise a little north of T or C New Mexico

The views on the way to Colorado were nice. We did have to beat into the wind the entire way though

Mistakes were made. The temperature has been varying between -5º and 5º f all weekend in Denver. It’s 56º in Oracle, AZ

I keep making the mistake of coming to Colorado in the winter. I need to smarten up some

North to Colorado

North is typically associated with snow and cold, but this season snow and cold came south to Oracle AZ and found me! I have been roundly snowed on every year since I started this epic road-trip

About 3″ of the white stuff fell from the sky
Plus the wind is blowing 25 mph

After the snow had a chance to melt the boiz and I struck out into the wind (about 30 mph!) toward New Mexico. We got as far as Hatch where we found a vacant lot near the memorial park. Lots of brightly colored flowers and do-dads adorned many of the resting places. At night the solar-power lights came on and the park looked like houses lit up with fancy lights for Christmas

Camped near the memorial park in Hatch NM

The next day was a short trip up-valley to about 25 miles north of Truth or Consequences NM. Met and old rancher who said he’d been around here 75 years. He told me there have been a lot of people moving here from CA and WA. Getting away from fires and rain he said

North of T or C New Mexico. Plenty of brush for everyone

Found a place to let the boiz out

Over the hump

Desert sunrise

We’ve turned the corner and the days are getting longer! It’s still winter everywhere north of here, but we’re getting antsy to hit the road

Holiday javalina
Santa brought gifts!
Fixing a sucked chain in a sand wash
Got the shop painted!
Roadrunners looking for bugs
Flowers bloom all year down here

72 Hours at Old Pueblo

Just to break up the week a friend and I went out to the 24 hours of Old Pueblo Race area and rode all the trails

Except for the pallet-nails everywhere this is a nice spot

It took me three days, but I rode all the rides! I was told the winners finish this 24 hour race with over 225 miles behind them. I did it with only 36. I win! (low score wins – right?)

Out riding the Bone trail
Cacti to the left of me, Cacti to the right. Here I am!
Everything pokes, stabs, or slashes. Only the gravel is soft

Pesky Leaks

I’ve been living with an intermittent coolant leak for a couple years now. Just waiting for the right time to BLOW all the coolant out on a big hill, YIKES!

Big ole crack in the aluminum part which holds the plastic tank onto the radiator core

So, now that I have some free time and some helpers I decided to tackle those pesky leaks and skip over the part where I’m stranded on the side of the road waiting all day for a tow truck. My friends and I managed to replace the radiator, water pump, fan clutch, and fan belt in about half-a-day. I decided to replace all the mission-critical stuff behind the radiator because it’s just so easy when the radiator is out and so hard when it’s not

And the propane hoses stared leaking just a week before the regulator died.

Out with the leaky, in with the new (again)

The propane regulator is the second one of that brand to die and all the hoses (4 of them) ended their lives with a leak. Thanks China

I bought what I hope is a better regulator and hoses from PPL motorhomes. Time will tell. I set it up the same way as I did them before without the double bend in the hose.

Panaca to Valley of Fire State Park, NV

Slot Canyon in Valley of Fire State Park

Old man winter has booted me out of Nevada. Just too much arctic cold!!!

So now we’re heading south to 70*F country. We stopped at Valley of fire to see the slot canyon and we saw it. Done.

Valley of fire is like a miniature Arches Nat’l Park just a few miles north of Lost Wages NV. Also very close to California judging by all the CA license plates. The campgrounds were mostly full when we arrived at noon. There were a few spots left until about 2. Popular place

Valley of Fire to Somewhere in the desert south of Kingman, AZ

Saguaro south of the snow

Down the paved trail to an overnight camp spot an hour south of Kingman. We camped among the saguaro cacti and it was only about freezing come the dawn

Cacti camp to Oracle AZ

Cacti Garden

More pave eastbound across Phoenix. Seventy miles of city-driving. Yuck

Now we can sit at friends place and get some projects done! YaY!

Escalante to Panaca, NV

Got Rain?

The Escalante River failing to get to my pant cuffs

The Escalante River in Escalante is not even deep enough to get my socks wet! To be fair we’re only 15 miles from its beginning and it’s November. Even so, the west needs rain!

A few weeks ago friends and I were looking at a map of the western US and wondering where it still rains. Turns out not many places are without a drought

Drought Map via NOAA

I also looked up the average annual rainfall in the US and it looks a bit like the drought map. If I want wet socks I’m going to have to move out of the desert

Rain fall map via NOAA

Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada

Slot Canyons in Cathedral Gorge State Park, NV

What a delightful surprise this place is. Plenty of slot canyons, cute little campground, and sand. Again with the sand. It was discovered by settlers in the late 1800’s along with the mining boom and became one of Nevada’s first state parks in the mid 1930’s. The campground has electric hook-ups and Verizon wireless service. Nice

Slot Canyons in Nevada
So many slot canyons within walking distance of the camp spots
The stairs to a very cool view point
Bridges!

Fruita to Escalante, UT

I-70 west from Fruita is the same as it always is. We turned onto Utah Hwy 24 West of Green River like all the peeps going to Powell but at Hanksville we struck out west to Swing Arm City OHV area where we ate dinner and watched the sun set.

Swing Arm City, UT
Sun set at Swing Arm City
Silt + water + sunshine = mud tiles

Next morning we took on the wyndy blacktop through Capitol Reef N.P. and on to the Dixie National Forest. From UT 24 we jumped onto UT 12 and it got twisty and wyndy! This road would be SO much fun on a motorcycle! After 3.5 hours of slow climbs and descents we rolled into the Utah State Park in Escalante.

I need this!

The park is small, the spaces are small, and the visitor center is just a wood-framed skeleton. Looks like it will be done for the 2021 summer season.

One of the boys is white with orange spots and I’ve always wondered what background that would be camo on. Now I know!

Moab is Full

We went over to Moab to ride the rides and man is that place full to the brim! In addition to being jeep-something week it was also dim-wit in 2wd van getting stuck in the sand week and wait in line forever at City Mark-up week

On the plus side I did see some squeeee and I got to ride all the rides

So squeeee

I rode the Gemini Bridges trail then walked out to the bridges. First time I was here I rode my bike over the bridge

Over looking Hwy 128

The slick rock trail was still as hard as I remember it being. Mikel and Polly were also in town for the week so we went out to the KlonZo area and rode all the flowing trails out there

Getting ready to ride The Slick Rock Trail

I met up with Tom and the Lost Box for some fun rides

Troy and I out on the LaSal Loop Rd

Troy and I managed to get in a ride from Fruita to Moab via Gateway

About 6″ of white stuff fell out of the sky

End of the season! An early storm blanketed Fruita with some much needed wetness

White Rim Trail

This little gem has been on my bucket list for about 20 years. I wanted to ride it on my XR650L but the fuel tank was too small. Now that I ride the All-new for 2017 Huskie Adventure-450 I had a chance at it

I met up with Stevan of Loose Nut fame out on the trail. Big fun meeting fellow riders!

I met Stevan about 55-miles into my ride. He had come from the west and already done the hard 2/3-rds of the trail when his WR250 died. I towed him a couple miles to the Gooseberry campground where he was able to make cell phone calls. After I rode west Stevan said, “thanks for the tow Mike……..a good Samaritan couple found me at Gooseberry and hauled me out of canyonlands in the back of their van……8 hour ride sitting on a cooler holding up the WR”

Vans are cool!
Less than 3-miles to civilization. Straight up, but only three miles

While I was eating a snack at this cross-roads a guy walked down from Island in the Sky. He said it was very steep!

I found these cute little condos out on the trail. Nice western views
Nice little airport. Wouldn’t want to have to fly the missed approach though

Back in the mining days there was an airport here. No plane on Sundays

The Green river on the west end of the trail. It smelled so good next to the river Mmmmm

The western section of White Rim Trail is a lot more challenging than the east parts. I really liked the section from Potato Bottom to Mineral Bottom/ Creek. Only one steep hill with shin deep poof-sand so I’m good