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 > April-Canyonlands NP Needles District near Moab (updated)

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btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 05/05/10 08:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DonCurley wrote:


....
Beyond that, the real truth is, if you put the two most experienced dirt bike riders (Brian & Chris) up against my best "high-speed" driving effort in my Jeep, I wouldn't even see them for the rest of the day and they would likely cover two or more times the territory I could manage. (But, the very minor consolation here is that I could easily smoke them on the pavement ... not to mention that I have the beer with me). [emoticon]


Hehehehe - that's a good way to put it Don. Especially the cooler part. Every one of these trips end up being different in a number of ways and even riding the same trail twice might be done completely differently depending on the company we keep. Sometimes I like to "prowl" and other times I like to see what kind of giant loop of linked trails and roads I can do. But mostly it's just about getting out and enjoying the experience with friends, old and new. I have an older 600 that I have kept as a "spare" both for my friends to ride or in case of problems with my number 1 bike - and Chris' 100 was Jacob's first bike, then became Teresa's and I have taught all of my nieces and nephews (both in Colorado and Indiana) how to ride dirt bikes....as well as brought it along when the group might include somebody else's kid or beginner.

Our XR650's come stock geared for desert racing and can go nearly 100MPH in stock form - but with all the rock crawling and obstacle stuff we do we gear them way down for low-end, but it does mean for any extended period of time I don't ride much over 60-65MPH. It's just that it's just as happy going 65MPH on a rough dirt/rocky road as on the pavement!

Fun trip! I want to go back. Wait'll you see the camp spot that we saw during the next installment. It would do Whazoo or SeldomSeenSmith proud - but not sure I shoudl disclose it - at least until after Don and Janet get to camp there once. It was sweeeeeet!

88lover

Florida

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Posted: 05/05/10 12:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The dirt road to the bottom of the canyon just after the guard enterance of Canyonlands made my head spin. I think if I had ventured down with anything but a pack mule, I would have fallen off the cliff. The thought of looking down into the abyss is enough to turn the bravest stomach.....mine anyway.





seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 05/05/10 10:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brian,

You are THE MAN. This latest group of photos and narrative blew my socks off. I am in awe of the country you saw, and the fun you had - makes my trip look like a day in bed. I so want to explore into Canyonlands, but I need to get a jeep, or a smaller truck/TC.

Brilliant, simply brilliant. [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]

Next fall, take me with you?


The Road Goes Ever On



2008 F250 SD 4x4 Supercab, Detroit TrueTrac, Hellwig LP 35, 2006 Outfitter Caribou 6.5


btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 05/06/10 02:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

seldomseensmith wrote:

Brian,

You are THE MAN. This latest group of photos and narrative blew my socks off. I am in awe of the country you saw, and the fun you had - makes my trip look like a day in bed. I so want to explore into Canyonlands, but I need to get a jeep, or a smaller truck/TC.

Brilliant, simply brilliant. [emoticon] [emoticon] [emoticon]

Next fall, take me with you?


Thanks SSS, that's high praise and I appreciate it.....though I don't know about it being any more impressive than your trip. Similar to be sure, but each of these areas is unique and worth seeing. Heck, Don and Janet moved to La Sal to be able to go out all the time instead of travelling a long ways to be there - and they still haven't covered some of the places worth seeing. It sure is a wonderful area (except for perhaps during the middle of the summer, - yikes - but I guess that's when you go to the La Sals, or the Abajos, or the Henry's - hmmmm......)

In any case, I'll definitely let you know next time we are heading that way....I'm going to guess it won't be until late fall if at all this year. Chris and I had a tradition for a number of years in a row to go out over Thanksgiving Day weekend, just him and I, and really knock off several long rides. Last time was two years ago and we were going to do the White Rim, but a combination of a lot of snow up high, and accidentally headin gout towards Mineral Point instead of Mineral Bottom meant we couldn't do the whole thing in a day. The daylight sure is short that time of year.

I'll get the last little round of photos up tonight. There's really not too many from the last day's ride - but it will include one of the most primo camping sites I've ever seen. It would be a pretty slow bumpy drive for my rig but I think I could do it...and have scrambled eggs still in the shells when I got there. [emoticon]

seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 05/06/10 02:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

btggraphix wrote:

I'll get the last little round of photos up tonight. There's really not too many from the last day's ride - but it will include one of the most primo camping sites I've ever seen. It would be a pretty slow bumpy drive for my rig but I think I could do it...and have scrambled eggs still in the shells when I got there.


I look forward to the ultimate camping destination - it'll probable just make me want to quit my job and go!

I can't help but comment on the last line in the quote above. On my last two trips to Utah, I've had what can only be described as "your worst pantry nightmare" Twice now I've had to mop up spaghetti sauce from my rear sliding cabinet because of: 1st trip) lid failure (it mysteriously unscrewed itself, depositing the contents everywhere, and 2nd trip) container failure, where the glass jar shattered with a similar result.

I had such a sinking feeling when after bouncing around on a moderately rough road I went to the back of the camper and smelled the unmistakable aroma of italian herbs and spices - it was instant deja vu from last year, and before I opened the cabinet door I knew what I would see. AND, just so you know, I tried to learn from the previous misadventure... I had wrapped the jar of sauce in a plastic bag just in case it happened again, but broken glass easily shredded the flimsy protection I thought I had provided.

So - what will I do next? I'm thinking a layer of duct tape with a protective liner of bubble wrap - or maybe I just won't eat spaghetti anymore! [emoticon]

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 05/06/10 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

seldomseensmith wrote:

btggraphix wrote:

I'll get the last little round of photos up tonight. There's really not too many from the last day's ride - but it will include one of the most primo camping sites I've ever seen. It would be a pretty slow bumpy drive for my rig but I think I could do it...and have scrambled eggs still in the shells when I got there.

I look forward to the ultimate camping destination - it'll probable just make me want to quit my job and go!

Not before I get there first! [emoticon]

Quote:

I can't help but comment on the last line in the quote above. On my last two trips to Utah, I've had what can only be described as "your worst pantry nightmare" Twice now I've had to mop up spaghetti sauce from my rear sliding cabinet because of: 1st trip) lid failure (it mysteriously unscrewed itself, depositing the contents everywhere, and 2nd trip) container failure, where the glass jar shattered with a similar result.

I had such a sinking feeling when after bouncing around on a moderately rough road I went to the back of the camper and smelled the unmistakable aroma of italian herbs and spices - it was instant deja vu from last year, and before I opened the cabinet door I knew what I would see. AND, just so you know, I tried to learn from the previous misadventure... I had wrapped the jar of sauce in a plastic bag just in case it happened again, but broken glass easily shredded the flimsy protection I thought I had provided.

So - what will I do next? I'm thinking a layer of duct tape with a protective liner of bubble wrap - or maybe I just won't eat spaghetti anymore! [emoticon]

Try transferring to these:
[image]
32oz/1000ml Nalgene Square Bottle with 63mm cap ... (we mostly use them in the fridge for ice tea, orange juice, and margaritas, but they also work good for most anything in glass jars or where you don't want something to leak when the going gets rough).

You can get them from a variety of places, but here's a link to where we get them on-line: http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.as........id=35106&catid=661&clickid=searchresults


-'07 Dodge 3500/QC/SB/SRW/4x4/6.7L CTD/6-spd auto/35" Toyo MT's/Ride-Rite air bags/RS9000XL shocks
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btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 05/06/10 04:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those square Nalgenes ARE a great idea. They certaionly worked for the Margaritas - but ought to work well for spaghetti sauce etc. I have more problems with beer bottles in the fridge though. I have to bring the trailer, to hold the cooler, to hold the beer. Or bring Don along in his Jeep!

btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 05/07/10 10:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last round of photos, and last full camping day.

This morning, Don and Janet drove the Jeep, and LaDawn and I rode the bikes. We headed back to the highway, and then back towards 191, turning south up Cottonwood Creek, which starts near the Dugout Ranch. This road is dirt and reasonably well graded, at least it was at this time of year. Partway up the valley the road begins climbing up the side of Bridger Jack Mesa and around the end of it. Just below Catherdal Butte, there is a turnoff heading toward what clearly looks like an awesome view spot on the maps, called Catherdal Point. It's a little finger of higher ground that sticks out into Canyonlands National Park, but it actually outside the park. The is pretty pretty rough, but I think a reasonably well-equppied 4WD with camper should be able to make it. I think I'd be willing to give it a shot in my rig sometime - but the eggs might be scrambled by the time I got there....on the other hand, it's always hard to judge the difficulty of a road when riding a dirt bike - most everything seems easy. In any case, it was an incredible spot.

These next three are panorama, from partway out on the point.

This is the upper end of Salt Creek drainage.....everything you see is in C.N.P. You might be able to pick out an arch in the lower middle of the first image. The third one is looking sort of southwest towards Beef Basin:

[image]

[image]

[image]

Zoom of the arch (Wedding Ring Arch.

[image]

Hey, what's that in the background? Another Arch? Yep, 'cept I can't remember it's name and I left my maps at the office.

[image]

And another one!

[image]

So here's the campsite....picnic table even, and there was some cut wood as well. Nice looking spot:

[image]

What's the other way?

[image]

We managed to forget the binoculars....

[image]

Here's a panorama...of about half the view.

La Sal Mtns. in background:

[image]

[image]

[image]

Henry Mtn.s in the background:

[image]

[image]

Side shot of the overlook itself:

[image]

A couple of nice shots from the Curleys:

[image]

This one shows two forks of Lavandar Canyon going away into the distance (the lighter colorad stone) but the low area in the foreground is actually draining to the left - it's a part of the Salt Creek drainage.

[image]

The trail actually forms a loop on the point before going back to the riad....the second part was much much rougher, but there were a couple more spots that could be camped at that had views to the northeast into Lavandar Canyon. This canyon is accessible by 4WD - the beginning is outside the park, but the upper end is in the park. You have to first go to the ranger station and get a permit and the combo to the gate.

[image]

Looking back towards the La Sals again.....you can nicely see the formation in sequence - the cliff in the far distance is the same one as I described the formations way back in the first post. Here you see, from bottom to top:

1) The Ceder Mesa Sandstone (tan, canyon & arches - most of the Needles district in the park is in the Ceder Mesa Fm.)
2) Organ Rock (softer, shales, tree covered & reddish)
3) Chinle formation (also shales, forms the slopes at the cliff base in background and to the left side of the picture)
4) Wingate Sandstone (cliff in background and left side)
5) Navajo Sandstone (tan in the very background)

and then last but not least, especially for a hard rock guy like me

6) igneous intrusive rocks of the La Sal Mtns.

[image]

Lavandar Canyon

[image]

Hey, what's that? Another......

[image]

So before we headed out on this drive, we took a close look at the geology map of the park. Janet was asking a bit about how you go about reading them, since at first glance they look soooo complicated. But don't let it fool you. The first thing is just to use it to try to tell what formation is the bedrock wherever you are. The next step is looking for any other symbols denoting structural feature.....lines such as faults and folds. We took a quick scan of where we were going to be going, and found a fault line shown right by the road, the cut right across the end of the Bridger Jack Mesa, offsetting the rocks in the cliff. We figured there'd be a good chance we could see it. From up on the point, here is a zoom of the end of the mesa:

[image]

See it? How about now? The rocks to the right, have dropped down relative to the rocks on the left. Since the mesa is still flat above, it tells you that the faulting happened before this ridge was exposed to erosion, so it's most likely not moving anymore.

[image]

OK, here is a lesson for me. The first photo shows my wife, who is looking just a little bit tired, but still smiling. We still ought to be able to make it up to the turn to Beef Basin. I still had some hope of being able to go on myself through the whole Beef Basin, coming back via Bobby's Hole, and the Elephant Hill Trail in the park. If LaDawn was OK with it - I'll go on, and she'll go back with the Jeep.

[image]

Now, here's the next shot, while I was checking out the rest of the road past the snowbanks to make sure the Jeep can make it without fighting too many snowbanks. Had I noticed this expression, I would have realized IT'S TIME TO TURN AROUND!!!! YOUR WIFE IS TIRED.....and you still have to ride about 30 miles back to camp!!!!!! Uh Oh......

[image]

But like the bonehead I am, here we go on.....

[image]

The final turn around point. Straight ahead would take you to Elk Ridge, and down into Monticello, but it was likely still under snow. This was the high point of the ride, over 8000. There were just a couple of snows banks to negotiate, and Don and Janet were the first ones through for the season. A right turn would take you down into Beef Basin, Ruin Canyon, and even over towards the Dark Canyon Mesa. But not today......better head back....

[image]

Back at the trailheads, airing the tires up. That shiny clean Jeep is finally starting to look right.....

[image]

Back at camp - appetizers - shrimp and stuffed Jalepenos. Ummmmmm good!

[image]

During the day, the others did a little exploring back around Indian Creek...

[image]

[image]

You want to know how to keep your kids wanting to hang out with mom and dad, even when they are pushing 30? Do this kind of stuff. Teresa and son Jacob.

[image]

The last breakfast, trying to eat up we can:

[image]

Ready to go, but not ready to go....

[image]

The whole gang, even the 17 year old "Data" (dog).

[image]

With this we hit the road and split up.....Don and Janet for and hour drive, the rest of us more like 7 hours.

We had one more stop to make.....I knew there was something called Newspaper Rock.....before we came in, I assumed it was some big rock that looked like a rolled-up newspaper or something......turns out it is just graffiti:

[image]

[image]

Remember that arch we had seen on the way in (in one of the rainy pictures?) It's right off highway 191. A little easier to see it now:

[image]

Fast forward to home.....driving the last stretch in some rain & snow emding up in snow at the house. By evening we had had a good amount:

[image]

Well, if you made it this far, I'll not bore you with much more. But I will say for a 5-day trip, we did a lot and had a lot of fun. There were new friends made, new experiences (especially for the ladies riding in the Jeep) and new spots marked off the list. And darn it, a lot more added to the bottom of the 'to do' list.

Just think pop-ups getting along with hardsides, TC'ers and TT'ers, dirt bikers and Jeep'ers, Cummins and Duramaxes - all in the same camp and having fun!

Special thanks to Don and Janet for everything - you two are awesome and are welcome in our camp anywhere, anytime.

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 05/08/10 07:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Just think pop-ups getting along with hardsides, TC'ers and TT'ers, dirt bikers and Jeep'ers, Cummins and Duramaxes - all in the same camp and having fun!


And if all those folks can get along, there is hope for world peace after all. [emoticon]

Thanks for the great report and pics.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
2004 Lance 815 (prev: 2004 FW 35'; 1994 TT 30'; Tents)


bka0721

Republic of Colorado

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Posted: 05/08/10 08:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Mr. & Mrs. btggraphix and all of those in your Canyonlands gang. I am just thinking, if this was a 5 day trip, what do you think you could do with 30 days?

Hmmmm.

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