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 > Alex and Julie's Roamps toUtah part III

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 08/06/08 05:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Canyonlands, Shafer Trail and the White Rim Trail

All of Part3pictures posted here. For those who missed PART1 and PART2


July 04,2008, today is D-Day for us when we find out for real if we can navigate Shafer Trail and the famous White Rim trail. There have been some well know noted fellows Tcer’s (Whazoo, Steve in 29 Plams, Don Curly) that gone before me on this adventure. The stories of their trek in to this wondrous place had given me more insight on the conditions on the trail and with my own research convince me that was possible to do this trek in my Lance 815.

It’s was early that morning and the air was as silent as a snake on the hunt, the crunching of my bare feet on the cool ground was very auditable to my ears. Overcast clouds fighting the sun for the right to dominate the morning sky. I snapped off a few photos of Mother Nature battling the Sun, there were only a couple other people up at this time walking their dogs looking for a choice place to do their morning busines
[image]
I wonder back to our site at Arch View, by this time my wife has made coffee along with an egg scrabble with lot of good stuff in it. Cool morning air made it ideal to eat outside and enjoy watching the sunrise.
[image]
Well it’s time to get us moving; lucky the turn off to Canyonlands is just a stone throw away.
[image]
[image]
Roadside Bouquet
Being as early as it was there was very few people on the road with us and the road leading us to Canyonlands is in very good condition. On the way in we pulled into a roadside vista view and again weren’t disappoint in what we saw.
[image]
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Of course we had to have a signage picture.
Not long after picture at the sign our arrival at Canyonlands visitor center was in short order. After obtaining our permits we walked across the street to the canyon ledge and saw for the first time the vast sight before us.
[image]
Shafer Road is definitively a sight to behold and the reality of what we were going to attempt was setting in, I am still convinced it can be done.
[image]
Back into the truck and heading for Shafer Trail entrance.
[image]
Begining of Shafer Trail.

No turning back, there was several vehicles coming out on Shafer Trail. One Suv as it passed by us the people inside gave us a strange looks. Making a stop along Shafer, thinking that we were at the point of the visitor lookout.
[image]
[image]
[image]

From our eagle eye perch I spotted these rim runners and zoomed in on them at the intersection of Shafer, Potash and White Rim Trail. Just before getting to the switchback part of Shafer we stopped for another photo.
[image]
Camper on Shafer switchback
Watch the video

Several Jeeps during our decent approached us coming up and I was surprised by the fact that they would get out of the way for us with thumbs ups or weird looks on their faces.
[image]
Many of the switchbacks were very tight, but at no time did I ever had to back up to make any of the turns and it was slow going since I did the entire switchback section in 4 wheel low, this was not only to control speed but also to control the side to side roll as you can see in the above video. Amount of time that when by was lost to us on our decent into the belly of Canyonlands for it seemed that no time had passed and we had made it to where Shafer, Potash and White Rim Trail converge.
It was a good place to stretch our legs and use the vaulted toilet that was there. A couple of people where already at this spot and I engaged them in some small talk, this is when I was informed about incoming thunderstorm they heard about on the radio news (98.7 FM). I tuned in this station to catch any further weather reports, hoping that I didn’t have to run before the storm to a safe harbor.
Traveling on to Gooseneck Trail the cactus was noticeably in bloom. Once we’re at Gooseneck we took in going out to the rim for more photos, from here I could see Potash road as it ventured to Moab, the Colorado River below, a timeless battle of gravity and Mother nature to keep her sculptures intact.
[image]
Heading back to our TC a F-150 pulled in behind our truck, three guys were bicycling the trail, one driving and two peddling. As it would turn out our paths would cross a few times during this expedition. Our next bounty for our eyes is Musselman Arch just a few short miles down the trail, so it fire up the ponies and crack the whip at a big 5 mph of speed. After a few more miles of rocking and rolling Musselman Arch area came into view.
[image]
Look whom we caught up with, but the boys in the F-150 in the “parking” area and others that passed us up. A quick wave of “hello” and off to the arch we went, at first sighting of this magnificent rock structure my though are “it’s a long ways down there.”
[image]
I’d dragged along the tripod for a timed photo, tiring to out race the timer and the third try I made it.
[image]
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I tried to get any of the bicyclists to ride across the arch, I had no takers and it would have been a good clip. It’s about 02:15 PM (1415) and not sure about the distance to Airport we got our selves going again. The bicyclist caught up with us along with their chase truck and again we were left in their dust. Not long down the trail we started having some light rain that got everything wet but not soaked.
[image]
So far there hasn’t been any real climbing for our truck to do until we reached this place.
[image]
A Little Rain

The view from the summit was beautiful, continuing on our trek we drove pass Lathrop Canyon and took a drive by photo. Not far down the road was Airport and our place for the night.
Entrance to Airport
Our choice was in the “A” section higher up for a grand view.
[image]
Clouds were rolling for what looked like a very wet night and yes it was wet.
[image]
Airport and Rain Coming

It was very windy that night and in the morning will see

Part 3a coming soon, still on the White Rim Trail.

* This post was last edited 08/06/08 09:16am by c.traveler2 *   View edit history


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kknowlton

southeast Idaho

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Posted: 08/06/08 06:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting these adventures! Fun to see what you can do with a TC!

c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 08/06/08 06:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did the video link play for you? I had some trouble getting this report posted due to being dropped out a couple of times. To anyone reading this report let me know if the video clip don't play.

~DJ~

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Posted: 08/06/08 06:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great post. Anxious to see if you make it OK. I would really love to do that trail!!


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xnorp

Spokane Washington

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Posted: 08/06/08 07:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Video played great thanks for sharing it. Looking forward to more. Be safe.
xnorp


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TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 08/06/08 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Man am I glad we didn't try that with our dually - talk about rock and roll. Great videos. Sure would like to drive that in a jeep.

Joe


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CloudDriver

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Posted: 08/06/08 08:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW! Fantastic pictures! Great write up. Looking forward to more.


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DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 08/06/08 08:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alex,

More great pics of your Utah adventures! All of the video links worked and the videos played fine for me. I'm a bit jealous that you got to start your WRT trek via Shafer. That is always the classic way to get started, however, when we did the WRT in March with Steve and Ben, Shafer was closed due to ice (so we had to come in on the Potash Road). It's too bad about the weather you ran into, but that's the way it is around here. Hot & dry one minute and storming and wet the next. The trouble is, once you get enough water on otherwise good-traction 4x4 roads in southern Utah, they often turn into a morass of very slippery and low-traction mud due to the high content of clay, and depending on the area, sometimes bentonite (the latter of which is particularly nasty).

Looking forward to part 3a.

Don


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TCINTN

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Posted: 08/06/08 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are the restrictions or limits of truck and camper size in doing the route you were on?


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luv2skyski

Stockbridge, Georgia

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Posted: 08/06/08 11:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really envy those of you who live out in the west. What great adventures you have. Thanks for all three of the tripod photos. I showed several of my coworkers and we all had a good laugh! I understand exactly what your talking about. Thanks for the posts...keep em coming. Dave.


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