Monday, May 27, 2013

Steel Bender

Last year, I rode Steel Bender for the first time with the Red Rockin' group. Today, Mack and I rode the loop north of "The Falls". It was interesting to note that the obstacles that were downright frightening last year, did not seem so scary this time around. What a difference a year makes. Here's a video of Mack making one of the tougher climbs look easy...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Canyonlands National Park (south)

Even after two months in the area, I am still impressed by the amazing scenery in southern Utah...

Needles Overlook

Big Spring Canyon Overlook

Wooden Shoe Arch

Wilson Arch

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring Canyon, Gemini Bridges & Long Canyon

After two days of hard riding in the RZRs, Terry and I opted for the comfort of his truck to play tourist north of Moab. Our first stop was Spring Canyon...

It's a long way down

The road to the bottom of the canyon is just wide enough for the truck

Then we visited the Gemini Bridges...

Here's Terry making sure the bridge is structurally sound

On the way out, we meet this lady with two large parrots on her shoulder (you cannot make this stuff up)...

Moab seems to attract an eclectic group of personalities

Then on to Long Canyon...

It's all I can do to keep Terry from jumping onto this rock edifice

It's about a million miles down to the bottom of the canyon

I guess the urge to leap across something dangerous was too great

And lastly, here's Terry's plan to get a new truck...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Poison Spider, Golden Spike, Eagles Dare

Terry and I rode up to the Eagles Dare overlook for a spectacular view of the canyon which includes the Corona Arch, the Colorado River, and the Potash railroad...

Click on photos to enlarge

Although I had ridden these trails in a jeep, it was a completely different experience in the RZR. There are a number of interesting obstacles that will give you either a cardio workout or send you into cardiac arrest depending on the line you take...

My Sony camera will not extend the lens (lots of fine dust in the area) so Terry was today's official photographer.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Too Much Fun

Terry, my friend from the Arizonian, drove down from Salt Lake City to spend a couple of days riding with me. I promised his wife, Gail, that I would keep him off the dangerous trails. And like Obama, I always keep my promises...

Click on photos to enlarge

Terry scared the pee out of the guy in top right of photo

However, I did not promise to keep myself off those trails...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fins N Things Hill Climbs

I was going through some earlier video and came across two segments that demonstrate the incredible traction you get on the "slickrock" here in Moab. If you place your hand on the sandstone, it feels like sandpaper. Although the following video does a good job of showing the steepness of the hills, it still does not capture the feeling you get when you are sitting behind the wheel.

I understand the name "slickrock" came from early settlers whose wagons with metal covered wheels and horses with metal horseshoes had trouble navigating the area.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rally on the Rocks

The big Rally on the Rocks starts tomorrow and is being staged at the Old Spanish Trail Arena next door to the RV park. The vendors are setting up today and I am looking forward to seeing the latest machines along with all the "bells and whistles" that go with them.

There are UTVs everywhere so if you are an ORV enthusiast, it's a great time to be in Moab. Here's a photo of a custom built side by side using propane as fuel. It started out as a Kawasaki Teryx.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Moab Rim

Today, I joined a group of hard core ORV riders (RZR XPs with 30 inch tires) and they wore my butt out. We did Moab Rim in the morning and then Fins N Things and Hells Revenge in the afternoon. My body tells me it must be midnight but my watch says its only 8:00 p.m. It has to be broken.

The Moab Rim trail is rated 7+* and it was my toughest ride to date (a track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail). What makes it so difficult are the steep, off-camber ledges. It is very easy to put a wheel (or two) in the air. I believe I have some excellent video of the ride but it will have to wait until another time as I am slowly slipping into a coma...

*Body damage and rollovers are possible with less experienced drivers. Modified machines with skid plates and body protection recommended.

Update (5/12/2013): Here are some videos of yesterday's rides...

This is what awaits you when you leave the Hells Revenge parking lot to begin your ride...

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Internet Sales Tax

On Monday the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act which will require all online retailers to collect sales taxes for the states where they ship goods. The legislation still needs to pass the Republican-controlled House before it can become a law. White House spokesman Jay Carney has said that President Obama supports the bill.

I cannot help but note how Congress uses an almost "Newspeak" language to describe their bills (my favorite is the Affordable Care Act which has and will continue to raise healthcare costs). What is fair about burdening the American consumer with higher costs for goods and services? What is fair about making American businesses less competitive?

Instead of having the government limit competition, the "bricks and mortar stores" should be using the Internet to compete in a global economy without the hindrance of government taxes and regulation. They should be pressuring politicians to reduce sales taxes, not increase them. By the way, there are five states that have no statewide sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. How are they able to operate successfully?

I understand that the States need revenue to provide basic services but unfortunately, like all forms of government, the States are spending/wasting money in areas that they should not be in (click here for examples). This brings me to the crux of the problem: Politicians are not interested in fairness but only in money and staying in office. This Act is expected to bring in an additional $23 billion in revenue - that's an additional $23 billion out of the taxpayers pocket!

If all of that money went to essential services, that would be great. But it will not. The government will first take out what I call "shipping and handling charges", the cost to run an ever growing bureaucracy. Then a significant portion will go to special interest groups that donate time and money to the politicians and their parties (for some great examples, read the book "Shadowbosses" by Mallory & Elizabeth Factor). If there is anything left, then it may go to benefit the people who footed the bill.

In summary, I recognize that some government is necessary for any society to exist but without the "profit incentive" that we have in private enterprise, government continues to grow like a cancer and along with it the potential for abuse. The only way I can foresee that we can limit government is to limit its revenue and that means reducing taxes.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Hells Revenge

Last Tuesday we did Hells Revenge but I did not get any good photos for the blog so I did not post the ride. This evening I was able to transfer some photos and videos from Andi's phone to my computer so I thought I would include them in today's post.

This was my first Moab "hot tub"...

The "Car Wash"

This was my first Moab "double diamond" obstacle. It's called "Tip Over Challenge"...

Fins N Things

A fun day riding Fins N Things in the Salt Flats Recreation Area. Here's a video of the RZR climbing up and then down one of the "Fins"...

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Spring & Hey Joe Canyons

Rusty, Andi, Dave, Sherry, and I rode our side by sides up to an old, abandoned uranium mine on the Green River (click here to see post from last Fall). The narrow trail that hugs the side of the cliff from the top of Spring Canyon to the bottom is a unique riding experience with breathtaking views of the canyon (click here to see video). A track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Abandoned dozer at the mine