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
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
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
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
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
More pave eastbound across Phoenix. Seventy miles of city-driving. Yuck
Now we can sit at friends place and get some projects done! YaY!
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
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
Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada
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
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.
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.
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.
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
I rode the Gemini Bridges trail then walked out to the bridges. First time I was here I rode my bike over the bridge
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
I met up with Tom and the Lost Box for some fun rides
Troy and I managed to get in a ride from Fruita to Moab via Gateway
End of the season! An early storm blanketed Fruita with some much needed wetness
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)
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
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!
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
Since I started before the maddening crowds the creek was clear and I could see the bottom (sand and rocks. lots of rocks)
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
After this point it started to get sporting. Steeper, rockier, repeat
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
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!
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
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
Some of the early desert plants are up and smiling!
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
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
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 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
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