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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:57 am 
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Trail Rider
Trail Rider

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:35 am
Posts: 131
Location: Denmark WA
PerazziMx14 wrote:
I have a 1977 Moto Guzzi Convert :biggrin:

I was thinking along the same lines. I've got a 1976


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:51 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 938
Location: Reno, NV
On to Zion Canyon. Warning and apology first- most of these two days were hiking, so pretty much OT for a moto forum. But it was just so interesting and so beautiful that I want to post up the pics anyway (trying to at least thin them down, though that`s a tough job)!

First thing that struck me about Zion was the hoard of other people all there to see what I wanted to see. I knew it was a national park, but it`s a relatively minor one (I thought), and being midweek before Memorial Day, I figured I would be able to just waltz around pretty much by myself. Nope. Well, that`s life in the 21st Century. And that`s the only "bad" about this place- all the rest was absolutely, totally spectacular. Big line of vehicles waiting to get through the main entrance...
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I got through the gate about 9AM and went directly to the campground that had a first-come, first-serve policy (the other one was reservation only and booked solid for months). Since I planned to do a lot of hiking, I really wanted to set up my gear and leave my bike in the campsite for the whole time, then just ride the shuttle to different trail heads and POIs. I parked in the day use area across from the campground and walked over to talk to the ranger about how to get a spot and she pointed out another long line of cars that would all be ahead of me for a site, told me I could wait if I wanted, but chances were slim I`d get in. Okay, new plan. I left my bike parked where it was, put on my hiking shoes and shorts, left my boots under the bike and hung the rest of my riding gear on top, grabbed my little day bag and walked to the shuttle stop.
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I decided to make my first hikes out of the Weeping Rock shuttle stop. The shuttle ride gave me a first good look at the main canyon. Wow! Enormous white, orange and yellow rocks tower over the river with chocolate colored rock varnish and white water stains streaking many of the cliffs, scrub oak and cottonwoods fill up the bottom land while a variety of firs and pines are clumped into miniature forests on all the ledges. At times, the walls are so high and so close together that the shuttle`s sunroof offers as much to see as the side windows!
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Last edited by bdesj on Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:50 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 938
Location: Reno, NV
Weeping Rock is the start for the very short Weeping Rock trail (Duh) as well as the Observation Point Trail that goes all the way up to the top with a few side spurs to keep me occupied in case I weenied out on the long climb. The Weeping Rock wall was pretty cool. Took all of five minutes to walk.
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So, start up the monster. This one sounded rough on paper, and it DOES have a lot of climbing, but it`s pretty easy elevation really, since all the steep parts are switchbacked and paved (makes a big difference). The cut-off for Hidden Canyon is not far from the start. It sounded like a great hike, but I passed it on my way up and planned to try it on the way back as long as my knees were still holding out allright. I didn`t want to blow them out before I had my chance at Angels Landing. Early view out into the canyon and looking back at the first set of switchbacks:
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And then on to Echo Canyon. This is a semi-slot canyon I guess, and REALLY pretty- probably even better than the view form the top. Apparently experienced technical canyoneers can hike it all the way up and out, but the mortals among us will only see 15 minutes worth as we work our way up the tame route to Observation Point or to the East Rim Trail. I "crevassed" my sunglasses into this canyon on the way back down! Was peeking over the edge when they slipped out of my shirt pocket.
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Climbing higher, I was blown away by the variety of textures and improbable patterns on the walls around me.
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And by the way that trees sprout right out of any tiny crevice in the rock. How can they do that when my own trees wither if I skip watering them for a couple weeks and cry about a little clay in the soil?
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Finally, the big view looking down from the very top. Angels Landing is the dark cape that sticks out right in the center of this pic. That would be my main course for the next day.
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Then back down again, nice to see things in a different light a few hours later. The "old master painter" really did this canyon right!
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And I have to hand it to the CCC too. This whole trail shows their unmistakable fingerprints.
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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:42 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 938
Location: Reno, NV
I ended up skipping on Hidden Canyon. Knees were starting to feel the descent, and I had to save them from more climbing if I was going to tackle Angels Landing the next day, so I opted to hit some of the lighter hikes down by the river. The Emerald Pools were nearly nonexistent while I was there, but the walk was neat.
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The rest of it, along with the Pa`rus Trail (bike path) was pleasant and relaxing but in bright mid day sun, and none of my pictures were very exciting.
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For a last hurrah before gearing back up and throwing a leg over my bike, I stopped off at Zion Lodge. Nice. Too bad the restaurant wanted reservations because I wasn`t in the mood for snack bar fare.
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Back to the bike I was happy to see that none of my gear had escaped after waiting unsupervised for 6 hours or so. I wasn`t sure where I would stay for the night, but wanted to see the Mt Carmel Tunnel, so I headed that way hoping to find a solution somewhere. The highway up Zion Canyon is a dead end, unauthorized private vehicles prohibited beyond the turn off for the tunnels. From that junction over SR 9, through the tunnels to Mt Carmel Jct is the "drivers" version of Zion. That was supposed to be worth seeing too. It turns out to be a great road for motorcycles!
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The Zion Arch...
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The tunnels are right after the arch. Couldn`t find a convenient spot to pull over within view of the tunnel mouth, and no stopping allowed inside, so no pictures of the tubes. Bummer because they were built before traffic was a major concern, so big windows are cut in a few places in order to enjoy the view of the outside world from a unique perspective. After the tunnels, I missed the stop for the Overlook Trail (Dag Nabbit!) and then a big string of cars and RVs were comming and I didn`t want to turn around. I did find a place to stop for Checkerboard Mountain.
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Luck came my way as soon as I exited the park. I caught a glimpse of tents set up and a sign about a private campground. Stopped in to see if maybe they had anything available and they did- $27 a night with shower and laundry room, YES! Signed in, got back on the bike, and continued to Mt Carmel Junction just to see what it was all about. That was a good idea. How can you refuse Ho-Made pie?
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One slice of strawberry rhubarb, please.
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Then to a convenience store for a little box of detergent and back to camp. I had talked on the first day to several people who already hiked Angels Landing. They all assured me that it was an experience not to be missed, but very crowded on the trail, especially when it got to the chain sections (think Half Dome cable except with a lot of intermissions). I heard from a few of them that the upper part was like hiking in a pack train, having to stop and wait at each chain section for the next opposing train to go past. Climb, wait, repeat. Decided to get up super early and be on the road by five O`clock in order to catch the first shuttle at six and hopefully not have to share so much, so as soon as I was showered and had washed my clothes I hit the sack. End of my first day in Zion.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:37 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:33 pm
Posts: 500
Location: Wilseyville, Calif.
Fantastic, don't want it to end. :notworthy:

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:39 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 11:12 am
Posts: 1470
Location: San Francisco
Oh man. Went to Zion a few years back, the pictures are taking me back. What an absolutely lovely place. Thanks for sharing! And angels landing is awesome, if not a little nuts. It was like amateur hour on the "chain section" - myself not excluded.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:20 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:10 pm
Posts: 1698
Location: NorCal
Awesome share here. You totally rock Brian.
It's been 30 years since I did that in the 'Utanian-Land' area. I can't wait for more of your story. :good:

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"You never seem to have the time to do it Right" . .. but you'll ALWAYS have time to do it over.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:39 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 938
Location: Reno, NV
Glad you guys are enjoying the show! Tombo, did you get to hike the Virgin River narrows while you were down there?

The second day in Zion Canyon was just as wild as the first, though a little shorter. I did get up in time to be ALMOST on the road by five, and did manage to get parked and changed into my hiking clothes in time for the first shuttle at six, but immediately realized that my camera battery was on its last legs. I delayed the Angel launch by a little bit when I made a quick stop at Zion Lodge to give it a half hour on the charger, ended up arriving at the TH about seven. That was still pretty good since the shuttles that run out from all the hotels in town were just getting ready to roll. Early morning canyon:
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Nice and cool at that time of day, not too many people yet. The trail starts mostly flat, but gets quickly into the "front side" switchbacks. Whoever designed this trail (built by NPS employees this time, not CCC) really did an excellent job of hiding it. Though you can easily see the switchbacks from above, they are completely invisible from the valley floor. I know that because as I approached them I was carefully studying the rocks above me, trying in vain to figure out how the heck the trail would get up the cliffs!
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Then it cuts into a gap and follows a hidden side canyon around to the back of the cape that Angels Landing sits on. Another "semi-slot".
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...and picks up more altitude in a second set of switchbacks around the back side.
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From there, it gets interesting. There`s a bit of a saddle where the acrophobics can wait out the rest of their groups to return, and the trail starts out over a skinny bridge of rock, climbs the spine right out to the view point. This is where the chain sections are. Honestly it isn`t technically difficult, but I can see how a lot of people might shy away from it because you`re often right on the edge of the rock with the bottom of the canyon a loooong ways down.
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...and up we go!
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(check out the sandstone column holding up this ledge VV)
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Ta-da! It`s actually not so precarious when you get all the way up on top.
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Then back down again.
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So that was Angels Landing- not to be missed if the opportunity presents itself. I don`t know whether I was more in awe of the amazing natural scenery or of the thought of the kids who lugged up sacks of cement, all those chains and posts, and the equipment to install it all some 80 years ago. One thing for sure, I`m glad that somebody proposed the plan at that time because a project like that would never fly today. If the liability were not enough to kill it off, the potential damage to a pristine hunk of rock would do it for sure. Also very happy with my early-as-possible start. I made a lot of stops to catch my breath or to bask in the scenery, but never had to spend more than a few seconds waiting for my turn on the way up. On my descent through the chains, things were just getting busy, so a few minutes of total wait time, and by the time I got back to the river level, hikers were going up in a steady stream.


Last edited by bdesj on Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:54 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 938
Location: Reno, NV
After Angels Landing I walked the bike path back down to Zion Lodge for a coffee and a little more charge time on my camera battery, then set out for one last dance with Zion Canyon. Grabbed the free shuttle (shuttle service sure is convenient, BTW) all the way to the end of the line and got off at the Temple Of Sinawava for the Riverside Trail. That one is another bike path (but without bikes) that ends in the Virgin River Narrows hike.
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Riverside is more of a walk than a trail, but don`t let that put you off- it`s as beautiful as the rest of the park.
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And plenty of places where you can leave the bike path and wander right down to the water`s edge.
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Another weeping wall. No shortage of flower paparazzi here...
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The narrows are closed to hiking when the river flow gets above a certain level, and had just opened that morning for the first time this year. I was tempted, but... man! That water was cold, and still flowing pretty fast in my book! Also very murky, so you can`t see where the rocks are. Pass. But I did have fun watching the more intrepid hikers go for it.
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Turn around time. A breeze had sprung up and clouds were moving in. Shuttled back down to my moto and found that the good people of Utah (and other states, and Europe, and everywhere else) had again left my unlocked bike and gear alone, so I suited up and hit the road. Next leg, Zion uplands and springtime snow storms on the road to Panguitch.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:09 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:10 pm
Posts: 1698
Location: NorCal
Incredible . :good:
When/if we ever meet up (got close to that last year). . you owe me a coffee... Mid-way looking at your climbing pics my knee stressed itself silly and popped out. Pretty impressive considering I was sitting down. These are some Great shots. Not bad for some low-life motorcyclist doing a Bronson. :notworthy: :s_cool

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