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

rIdaho

Tennessee-Mike, 3-cat Mike, and Eric went to ride the Idaho BDR. We had some great rides, great meals (thanks Eric) and some cool crisp days:

The Toy-Hauler all loaded up!
Our first campground in Wallace, ID
On the trail between Avery and Blue Cabin
The Blue Cabin on the Idaho BDR route
Down by the river
So beautiful! And cool too, only about 80* here – over a hundred back home
Blue sky, green trees!
Trail marker tree on the Lolo Motorway
Wonderful trails and roads in the area around Lolo Pass
Wild Rose! I saw and smelled a lot of these on the trip
This is in the men’s room at the Lolo Hot Spring Campground. It might have been a good idea before the virus of that name swept the nation. Now, not so much
Tennessee-Mike using his big-dog skid plate to keep the KTM-790 from leaving the trail. He parked it on a big rock!
Burnt Knob fire look out building
The view from Burnt Knob toward the North
Looking down from the tower at Elk Summit (one of about 50 places called Elk Summit in Idaho)
Sweet two-track North of Elk City, ID
Gettin’ lost on the two-track near Elk City
Yup, the Fall River road is still washed out
One more watch tower before we head home

Moab is Open!

Kane Creek 4×4 trail Part I

It was super-quiet at 9am Friday morning. This must be what it was like back in the day before it was discovered (not 1985 quiet, more like 1997 quiet)

At the top of Hurrah Pass. Got passed by a Subaru outback on the way up here. Kind of a lame trip

I saw Hurrah Pass in a video and thought it would be a kewl trip. It was way too easy to get to the top. A dualie truck with 12 foot camper made it over to the other side. On the way back I decided to take a little 12-mile road to highway 191. Kane Creek looked like a nice way to spend the day

Another delightful day people-distancing

I planned to ride the Kane Creek Trail out to 191 then head back to town. It’s only 12 miles, how hard could that be? The ride up-creek was a delight!

Kane Creek Trail under Kane Creek

I feel like I crossed or rode up the creek about 100 times. There were more than a few challenge areas with big rock obstacles (I folded the mirrors and tucked the GPS so I wouldn’t hit my chest on them) Notice the lack of a paddle in my kit

Snack-stop on the dry-side of Kane Creek

Since I started before the maddening crowds the creek was clear and I could see the bottom (sand and rocks. lots of rocks)

Lunch break on Kane Creek Trail

Rocks, then water, then sand. Repeat. I stopped here for lunch and had 1-bar of cell service. Enough for a call but not to send a pic

So many delightful sights to be had!

After this point it started to get sporting. Steeper, rockier, repeat

Sometimes Hamburger eats you!

This was the end of the trail for me. Ten miles in, only two from the end, and I had to turn around and ride it back. So sad for me

There is only about a mile of this rock-strewn trials section. Great for super-jeeps or big-tire UTV’s

I did watch about 8 UTV’s, 2 big-tire jeeps, and a couple of 300cc 2-strokes bash their way up this. Not for my old bones. Average speed on this trip was 8 mph. It took me over 7 hours to ride out and back to/from Moab. There are a lot of kewl trails in this area. If you are in Moab, ride ’em!

Weird is the new Normal

Devil’s Canyon Area near Fruita

Went for a little hike near Devil’s Canyon the other day. Me and about everyone else in Fruita. The parking lot was full on a Wednesday. I’m glad to see everyone who lives in the valley getting out. Less glad to see people coming from Covid-19 hot spots to vacation here. I just hope they buy LOTS of take-out to keep our restaurants open!

Next time I’m going to put some distance between me and the peeps

Here I’m practicing physical distancing. I’m about 50 miles from the nearest person

Took the Huskie Adventure-450 out for a spin. Traced down some old RR tracks from a mine north of Baxter Pass. The RR bed is rideable in a few places. In many others it’s missing or on private land so I got thwarted in my quest to ride it from 4-road all the way to Cisco, UT. Didn’t see another human for over 100 miles. Cows though, lots of cows

Flowers on the trail

Some of the early desert plants are up and smiling!

Putting some distance between me and the next person. About ten miles to them at this point

Took a trip out in the west desert with the mountain bike. Got lost. Front brake failed. Had a great time! The desert is perfect for human happiness this week

Sweet spring grass growing in a cow’s foot-print
This is what I get for bringing a pedal bike on a motorcycle trail. Switch-backs are for the weak-legged!

I followed some Motor-bike trails into the piñons near the Utah border for fun one day. Moto don’t need no switch-backs! I did a fair amount of hike-a-bike and it was glorious! I also go a little lost

I was pretty lost at this point in the ride. Glad to know I’m near Clarke USA 21-14. Helps a lot …

Halfway to Spring!

Big dog. Big class-A window

The sun came out after our big deep-freeze and this fine Husky was soaking up the solar goodness. Big dashboard for a big dog!

Kitty learns to weld pipe

Kitty wants to be a Pipeliner! There are a half-dozen welders working on a big gas pipeline project near here and Kitty thinks it would be fun to learn how to weld pipe

Winter wonderland. Again

I was thinking of going over the mountains the first week in February but mamma nature thinks I should stay put and burrow under the covers. It has been snowing a fair amount and the temps are crazy-cold. I hope she approves of my new plan to go west the first of March

New low temp record. Beats out the -2 from last years crossing in Wyoming

Only 5 more days!

Until the days start getting longer! YaY!

It’s a winter wonderland!

There is not a lot to share with you this time and so I will bore you with some weather updates. We made the trip from Wheat Ridge to Ft Collins without incident. The weather here is mostly icy side-streets with occasional fresh snow to hide the ice. I had so hoped the first snow would melt before additional snow was added on top but alas, ’twas not to be

The sun is low in the southern sky and the wind from our friends in Canada is a frosty -3C. The snow can be heard to laugh heartily at the sun’s meager solar resources trying to liquefy it

On the Road Again

Kitty Camp-host


Packing up and getting ready for our annual migration in the opposite direction. Most full-time RV peeps head south for the winter. We’re going north again this year

The Husqie Adventure-450 wrapped up and ready to go

Got my new toy strapped to the back of the RV with time for kitty to practice a little bit of yoga before we go. The bike-on-back thing seems to be working except it covers the turn signals. Look for a repairs and mods post addressing that issue shortly

Sunrise on I-70

The drive over was unusually quiet. Not much traffic, no snow or other weather hazards, and we made the trip in just over 5 hours. We had an uninterrupted run at Vail Pass (and the tunnel) and Truck 2.0 pulled them at 55 mph no problem

Kitty does not want riding season to end

Well it looks like riding season on the east side of the mountains is wrapped up

A few inches of white to accent the chili peppers
Snow falls up here

It seems the snow has forgotten how to fall down and is now practicing some new upward-falling moves