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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:18 am
Posts: 2559
Location: SW Oregon
Well done again Bdesj, magnificent scenery and excellent local info :drinks: I trust you will be fully recouperated by next weekend. :s_cool

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 963
Location: Reno, NV
Thanks for the kind words, guys- I was beginning to wonder if anybody was still watching! It`s going to take me a bit to get the last part done, but hopefully over the weekend.

WoodRat, yes we`ll be set. I was a little worried about my steering brgs, that either they would not arrive in time or that they would show up and I`d get stuck somehow, but it all worked out. Ya listos y esperando con muchas ganas!


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:20 pm 
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SuperMoto Dude
SuperMoto Dude
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:27 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ventura, CA
Everyone has a 'bucket list'... I just moved 'riding Utah' to the top of my list. I'm thinking next spring... after the snow melts.
We've been to Zion and did ALL the hikes. We even went up the Narrows.. bare foot in the water! (ya, stupid idea as our feet actually got bruised on the bottoms from the river rock). That was as far as we made it, and we were in a car.
Really enjoying your reports. I have to view it both on my computer (which blocks picture uploads) and my phone (so I can see the pictures) but it's well worth it.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:22 pm 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 963
Location: Reno, NV
Todd157k wrote:
We've been to Zion and did ALL the hikes. We even went up the Narrows.. bare foot in the water! (ya, stupid idea as our feet actually got bruised on the bottoms from the river rock). That was as far as we made it, and we were in a car.
Wow, that must have been a killer vacation! I plan to get back and see more southern UT myself (plus Toroweap), hopefully 2017. No, wait- 2017 reserved for Sierra Tarahumara and Durango to Mazatlan, so 2018. Oh, but I wanted to get in a Rocky Mountain ride there. 2019? Damn- need more vacation time!

Well, first off I had better finish this year`s report. Last leg: two long days from Escalante to Reno.

My camping buddies had told me the story of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, said there was a memorial for it south of Cedar City, and it sounded too interesting to pass up. They also gave me some "good weather" and "bad weather" options for getting from Panguitch to CC. To fill in the blanks, I found a nice fat line on my map that looked to be a maintained but unpaved road going NW from Escalante to the next highway over (State Route 22). Took a bit of guessing to find the start, but it was a great way to start my return. Up towards the top of the pass I saw a sign marking a mysterious Griffin Top, which I had read something about, but had no idea what it was (still have no idea). Took that detour for maybe 15 minutes until I hit snow (on the ground, not falling on me!) and had to turn around. Very high up there! This road would have eventually taken me back to Posey Lake on the Hells Backbone route.
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Back to my original road and down to the highway, made a right to start a big CCW loop and hit Panguitch from the direction I had not yet been through. The mountains outside of Circleville look to be even higher than what I had been riding through.
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Still early when I hit Panguitch. Did not post a picture of this nice little town on my first time through, looks kind of like a western version of Mayberry.
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The drive-through I had eaten at last time, surprisingy good burgers.
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Return trip continued with a back road from Panguitch up to Duck lake, then the same highway I that previously tried to freeze me to death from Duck Lake to Cedar City. Tiny little Duck lake was packed for the long weekend, looked like an ATV convention!
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I couldn`t find a pie ho in CC, had to make due with a bagel dog from the gas station, set off to try my hand at navigating a vague back route from there to the Mountain Meadows site. That didn`t turn out to be too hard- a few signs here and there, mostly roads like this:
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Then a little highway to Enterprise, paved county roads to Enterprise Reservoir, and a second chance at the NV-UT state line network of dirt that I had screwed up the week before. I did much better on a more northern route. Crossed back into Nevada and was on my way to Caliente. Easy-peasy.
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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:31 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 963
Location: Reno, NV
Where I hit pavement in NV was actually just outside of Caliente, and I turned the wrong way to revisit that town, so Pioche was the first place I went through after crossing back. It was a very bloody and violent boom town in the late 1800s, now it`s mostly a tourist trap though mining is still done to some degree. Whether its my imagination or not, Pioche seemed to be looking a bit more lively than it did last time I was through, about ten years ago.
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What was on my mind was another old mining area east of Eureka (known as the Treasure Hill mining district) that is completely dead now, has been for many decades. I needed to get about 40 to 50 miles west up to US 50, COULD have done it all by highway, but what fun would that be? I decided to try skipping overland from one highway to the next in a line heading vaguely towards my target. The map I was carrying (photocoppied page from a 50-state road atlas) showed a few of the main dirt roads, but not really enough detail to be reliable since they are un-named roads for the most part, and there are very few road signs out there anyway. Started on the highway north from Pioche, and about ten minutes out I saw a gravel road cutting off to my left, looked like the one on my map that ran in the direction I wanted to go. A few miles later I intersected another gravel road with a BLM sign indicating "Bristol Wells, 6" if I went left. Cool! I knew Bristol Wells- it was an old charcoal kiln with a few stone bunk shacks for the workers. I couldn`t tell on the ground which of the two directions was the line on my map, so I headed to B.W. first. One of the lodging cabbins...
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This place has been collecting graffiti for a long time.
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The ovens.
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There are bigger charcoal kilns, but these are still pretty good sized.
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After Bristol Wells, there were several more unpaved and unmarked intersections, all mysteries without a good detailed map. Eventually I arrived at the next highway and hung a north, getting close to sunset. I started watching for the next possibility to turn off, found one that might correspond with a little line on my map and took it. The sun set within minutes of leaving the highway behind that time, so I looked around for a sheltered camp site. Pulled off into a hollow with walls steep enough to keep me mostly out of the wind, boiled up water for a quick dinner, and called it a day. Just for fun, one pic of setting up camp at dusk then another, getting ready to leave the same place in the morning...
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Last edited by bdesj on Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:28 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 963
Location: Reno, NV
Sunday morning I got back to my quest. Had a lot of head scratching in the next stretch, roads heading off in the "wrong" direction, several turn arounds, and ended up NOWHERE near where I thought I would be. I did eventually cross Hwy 6, gassed up in Lund, and made it to US 50 at about noon, but not quite sure how, haha! So the morning was a bit confusing but the weather held for me and I got to ride through some territory that really took me back to my old desert ramblin days- sage covered valleys, Great Basin mini-ranges, isolated ranches...
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When I hit 50, I wasn`t quite sure where I was along it, but knew I still had to go east, so that`s what I did. The Treasure Hill district was a whole slew of small towns (all now ghost towns, but most still with some buildings standing) that made a ring all the way around Mount Hamilton. That peak is pushing 11k feet, so it would not be hard to spot. As it happens, there was a sign on the highway that would have clued me in even if I had not recognized the turnoff.
Mount Hamilton...
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Some of the neat stuff and cool scenery around Treasure Hill...
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You have to watch carefully when traipsing around old mines!
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The town of Belmont.
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Details from inside the Belmont Mill...
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Prospecting isn`t as big as it once was, but some still make a living that way, often rehashing old tailings.
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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:56 pm 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 963
Location: Reno, NV
Treasure Hill was the last detour on my trip. By the time I left there, I was in Head For The Barn mode, knew that I didn`t feel like another night on the road. With my stock headlight I`d have to be either home or very close to it before dark, but I was pretty sure I could pull that off, so I made a bee-line towards Reno. For that reason, I didn`t take a lot of pictures over the last couple hundred miles, but couldn`t help a few in Eureka. That used to be very well kept up thanks to taxes from several current mines still going strong in that county, and was my favorite near ghost town. I guess it isn`t doing very well any more, though. Shuttered buildings look like they outnumber the open ones.
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No pictures of Austin, but it somehow seems to be hanging in better than ever. I took another break at Middlegate Station, which is more of a single-business service stop than a town, and was really impressed by the machines parked outside. Suicide shifter on one of them!
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Middlegate is just a bar-restaurant-gas stop at a T in the highway, used to be a Pony Express stop. Thinking Uberkul might have stopped off there last month?
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And then Fallon, Fernley, grab I-80, and home. When I got to the last hill before my house, I found myself staring straight into the setting sun, had to make one last stop at a convenience store for about 15 minutes and wait for the sun to get below the horizon, but otherwise I was just slabbing at 80 MPH for several hours.

My final route:
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Total mileage: 2300

Direct casualties on the trip:
1 pair of sunglasses (fell into the abyss)
1 Wolfman compression strap (left it dangling and sacrificed it to the chain gods)
Hardware from 1 passenger peg (I heard the peg when it fell, didn`t manage to find the pin, clip, spring and ball)

Also noticed while out that my steering head bearings were shot, but now I know they were bad before I even left, just didn`t realize what was wrong. And it`s time to start thinking about replacing the brand new rear tire I mounted right before I left. I had a lot of high speed highway miles on this trip (held indicated 90 on the Utah interstate just to keep from getting run over), and I guess it ate that rubber like it was ho-made pie.

And that`s that. Thanks for following along!


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:18 am
Posts: 2559
Location: SW Oregon
:Roost: :drinks:

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:24 pm 
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Trail Rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:35 am
Posts: 132
Location: Denmark WA
Great post, thanks for putting it up and showing us some more good riding country.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:43 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:33 pm
Posts: 500
Location: Wilseyville, Calif.
:notworthy: Tip top ride report good sir. It's a lot of work to put that many words to photos on a forum. Looks like a labor of love and appreciated immensely.

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