Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Steel Bender" Ride

The last two days have been like a seminar in extreme UTVing. And I have enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately, the photos and videos do not do the experience justice – you had to be there to appreciate it. If you would like an adventure that will raise your ATV/UTV experience to a new level, sign up for next year’s Red Rockin’ Rendezvous.

Lastly, the people I rode with were just wonderful – full of life with a great sense of humor. When we got back to the arena, they had indoor ATV/UTV races (barrel, carpet, etc.) that had me laughing out loud. The grandparents, the parents, and the kids all participated so it was one big family event. All in all a great way to spend the day.

Click on photos to enlarge

"Girls just want to have fun"

Here is a video of yours truly climbing the first obstacle at "The Waterfalls". As you can see, the guides go out of their way to make sure your ride is as safe as possible. The cheering at the end is an added bonus.

A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail. If you have never ridden Steel Bender, I would highly recommend that you go with an experienced group, preferably, one that has been there before.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hells Revenge - Fins & Things Ride

Today was the most difficult and challenging ride I have experienced to date. And it was a blast! I have been wanting to ride Hells Revenge and Fins & Things since arriving in Moab but could not find anyone in the park who would join me. Fortunately, I came across the Red Rockin’ Rendezvous ATV & UTV Event and signed up for a guided tour. I could not have asked for a better introduction to a couple of Moab's most notorious trails. Plus, I got to watch some of the best UTV riders I have ever seen. They made it look easy.

Click on photos to enlarge

 The event did not have BLM permits to ride Hells Gate, The Escalator, or the Hot Tubs... which after seeing them was just fine with me.

The Escalator

Hot Tub

Here's a video that gives you some idea of what it is like to ride a rock ridge on Hells Revenge. It's a straight drop of several hundred feet on either side of the trail...

A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thompson & Sego Canyons Ride

Today's ride was mainly about seeing some early pioneer dwellings.

The latest in fashionable foul weather gear

One bedroom, no bath

Stone oven

Having too much fun

Friday, September 21, 2012

Onion Creek Ride

Bob, our group leader, is a Moab native who knows where the best "off-the-beaten-path" trails are plus he has an excellent knowledge of the history of the area. It's like having a professional guide. His wife owns ranch property on the Colorado River where a number of movies have been filmed. She was the stunt rider for the female lead in the John Wayne movie "The Comancheros". A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spring & Hey Joe Canyons Ride

As I was walking around the campground this morning looking for some off-road riders that I could join, I came across a group that was just heading out for the day. I did not have enough time to load up my RZR but was fortunate to have Bob, the group's guide, invite me to join him in his RZR.

We trailered up to the Canyonlands area north of Moab, unloaded on one of those dirt roads that goes to the horizon, and then headed to an old, abandoned uranium mine at Hey Joe Canyon. The highlight of the day was the narrow, crooked road from the top of Spring Canyon to the bottom (and back). The views were simply spectacular (see video at the end of post).

Beginning of Spring Canyon

Thousand foot drop straight down

The Wild Bunch

103 year old inscription

Trail by the Green River

Although Moab and the national parks are crowded this time of year, the only other vehicles we saw all day were three motorcycles.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Burr Trail / Notom Road Loop

What started out as a leisurely drive to Escalante turned into a real adventure and then the first steps towards my sainthood.

Highway 12 from Torrey is a scenic byway that takes you up over the mountains of the Dixie National Forest. It's a great way to get from Capitol Reef National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park. This time of year the leaves are starting to turn and in a couple of weeks it would be a great fall foliage ride on a motorcycle.

On a whim I took the Burr Trail Road at Boulder which took me into the southern section of the Capitol Reef National Park. In my world this is what passes for serendipity - an incredibly scenic drive that was part Zion National Park, part Valley of Fire State Park, and part Canyonlands Shafer Trail. I took close to a hundred photographs. Picking just a few for the blog was tough.

About half way across the park and out in the middle of nowhere, I came across a young French couple whose rental car had died. In as much as the nearest cell phone service was over 50 miles away, I gave them a ride to the visitor's center and then to their motel in Torrey. The rental car company told them they would have a replacement vehicle delivered in about three hours.

As if that was not enough good deeds for the day, I then jump started a young man's truck at the restaurant where I had dinner. Someone call the Pope and get the paperwork started. I am on a roll.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Capitol Reef National Park

Is another of those wonderful, multi-colored rock canyons in southern Utah. It even has an orchard where you can pick and eat the fruit. Unfortunately, most of the unpaved roads were closed today due to recent rain and subsequent flooding so I was not able to see as much of the park as I would have liked.

Click on photos to enlarge

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

U.S. Debt Clock

Most of us know that the U.S. debt is now over $16 trillion but do you realize that works out to over $127,000 per taxpayer. Here's a debt clock based on figures from the Federal Reserve, Treasury, and US Census Bureau...

Friday, September 07, 2012

Paiute Trail Map

If you are going to ride the Paiute Trails, I highly recommend getting a map. I used the National Geographic map listed below and it was excellent. It is GPS compatible and includes detailed trail numbers and mileages along with town insets.

I would also suggest that after each day's ride, you highlight your route with a quick-drying marker. This way you will know where you have been and where you would like to go next. After a week of riding hundreds of miles of trails, it is easy to forget where you have ridden.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

One Last Ride With Friends

When I pulled into the South Forty RV Park three weeks ago, I had the good fortune to park beside Cliff and Sandy, veteran full-time RVers and ATV enthusiasts. They pretty much took me under their wing and showed me the ins and outs of the Paiute Trail System. In addition to taking some great rides, we developed a camaraderie that occurs between people who spend time together and share common interests.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and tomorrow they head to Manti, Utah (where Sandy promises to post ride photos to their blog). Today, we took one last ride and it turned out to be an adventure. Instead of coming down the mountain on trail 65, we took a narrow, crooked road that was not on our map and it had a little bit of everything including some challenging riding. Relying upon Cliff's unerring sense of direction, we made it back to camp safe and sound.

I am sure we will get together again some time in the future and share our interim travels all over again. It's one of the things that I like about the RV lifestyle.

Cliff and Sandy

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Paiute Trails 76, 79, 13

Today, I put a couple more trails in the "been there, done that" column. My camera battery died so I was unable to take as many photos as I would have like. A track of the ride including distance, time, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.