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 Post subject: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:07 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 949
Location: Reno, NV
...just don`t expect to see me riding my bicycle through your neighborhood wearing a suit.

Okay, this trip was the week before Memorial Day, and I still don`t have all the pictures edited yet (not to mention uploaded to SlowtoBucket), so it`s going to take me at least another week to finish the report, but I`m bored tonight, so may as well start. I`ve been through Utah a couple times, but very little of the southern part, and never with time to really check it out. Would love to have seen the North Rim as well as Moab/Arches area, but with only a week I figured I`d be lucky to get in a good overview of the Saint George-Escalante-Capitol Reef triangle, so Moab and the AZ strip will have to wait for another occasion. Here we go with leg 1: Reno to Zion...

I left home Sat afternoon, mostly slabbing at high speed to get down there as soon as possible. Took a break at an abandoned gas station on the outskirts of of Hawthorne NV, kind of interresting looking place.
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Then kept going south and made it to the semi ghost town of Tonopah, getting towards the end of my daylight. I topped off with gas and grabbed a bite from the C-store, hurried to find a place to camp before it got dark. About 15 minutes out of town I found a dirt turn-off and followed it to the ruins of an old ranch protected by a couple of nice wind blocking cottonwoods, called it "home".
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I love early mornings outdoors, so usually fine myself waking up at first light when I`m camping. I was not disappointed with that particular morning! Beautiful sunrise, followed by a few minutes worth of playing around to see what it looked like over the next rise in my dirt road.
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Back on the the highway (US 6) it was only a short hop to my turnoff for SR375, AKA Extraterrestrial Highway. The junction is the site of the old Warm Springs resort. It`s been abandoned as long as I know, guessing since probably some time in the 70s. Though I didn`t go lurking around this time, you used to be able to get through a hole in the fence and take a dip in the geothermal heated "ceement pond" out back.
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Made a pee stop shortly after that and was again inspired by the beautiful morning.
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Following Warm Springs, the next real place (meaning still has a population and at least some travelers services) along 375 is Rachel. Little Ale-Inn is the whole town of Rachel and their business is entirely built on the ET Highway/Area 51 thing. Seem to make a pretty good dime with that, too. When I passed through, there was some kind of rally going on with what looked like close to a hundred motorcycles and dozens of tents, a crew picking up garbage and removing a temporary sound set.
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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:51 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 949
Location: Reno, NV
Heading out of Rachel you get into joshua tree territory for a while.
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Then another short hop on the road to S-E Nevada`s lively tri-opolis of Caliente (former railhead town and now state home for naughty girls), Panaca (old Mormon farming settlement, and Pioche (rough and tumble mining town), combined population of maybe a thousand inhabitants. All three are nearly within spitting distance of each other, but each has its own very distinct groove. My trip down only saw me through Caliente because that`s where I hit dirt and went into new territory.
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Right after Caliente, I turned off for Beaver Dam NV state park. New stuff, whoohoo! It was definitely looking more Utah-ish. Fun road, too.
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I found the one "town" I knew I would have to go through- Barclay NV, which looked like about ten houses and a handful of road signs. No pavement in sight.
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According to my investigation on GoogleMaps before leaving home, it should be no problem navigating from Barclay to Enterprise, UT. Unfortunately, I got stopped by unexpected locked gates and had to detour several times. The sun was nearly straight overhead, and I had no detailed maps of that area, so I got TOTALLY turned around, ended up riding south for over an hour when I thought I was still heading east! For a long time I was wondering whether I was in NV or UT, and when I finally hit pavement and "found myself" again, I had dang near ridden into AZ, haha! This was actually a good thing, though. I knew from Google that I could in theory get myself from Beaver Dam SP almost to Saint George on dirt, but I aimed for the easier nav I would have by jumping to Enterprise, then slabbing to Cedar City and down on I-15. I ended up accidentally coming out not far at all from Saint George, so saved myself an interstate stretch.

Saint George was a beautiful city that somehow I neglected to take a single picture of. Really I wasn`t there for long, though. I just gassed up, enjoyed a bowl of soup at a hippie-type coffee shop (my fears of coffee deserts in Utah turned out to be entirely unfounded), asked for camping suggestions and directions, then got back on the road for what was left of the I-15 bit I still needed to knock out.

Following locals suggestions, I got off the interstate to look for a camp site in the mountains above Leeds. Found a not-yet-open Dixie NF campground called Oak Grove or something, which still had the water turned off and the pay box covered, but gate open. A few day use people were picnicing around there, but they all cleared out soon after my arrival and left me with the whole campground to myself.
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So that was my downbound leg. Next stop, Zion NP.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:17 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:56 am
Posts: 530
Location: Minneapolis
Nice pics.. I've had it with photobucket.. switched to Smugmug and am pleased for the most part.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:49 am 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:33 pm
Posts: 500
Location: Wilseyville, Calif.
Nice write up Brian. Appreciate the story telling to go along with your wonderful photos. Ready for more when you are. :lurk:

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:35 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:45 pm
Posts: 949
Location: Reno, NV
Thanks, guys! Should have the next set ready tonight.

fotoguzzi wrote:
I've had it with photobucket.. switched to Smugmug and am pleased for the most part.
Yeah, I`m getting pretty close too. The quality is fine for me, the ads don`t bother me much, every time they change their format and piss me off I get over it, but sometimes uploading is a nightmare. The thing that has kept me from Smugmug so far is that I`d hate to leave a bunch of blue Xs on my forum posts if I ever get tired of paying $36 per year. Maybe Shutterfly- I tried Flickr for a while and didn`t like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:21 am 
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Map & Manual Master Moderator
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:18 am
Posts: 2517
Location: SW Oregon
Well done photos and narative in another scenic area where most of us haven't been. :Roost: :lurk:

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:20 pm 
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SuperMoto Dude
SuperMoto Dude
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:27 pm
Posts: 399
Location: Ventura, CA
Hey!!! no fair going off playing and posting pictures while the rest of us are slaving away at work (ie wasting time reading forums) :bang: . The only way to be fair about this is taking some of us with you next time. :drinks:


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 11:12 am
Posts: 1477
Location: San Francisco
Awesome solo adventure Brian! :lurk:


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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:32 pm 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:37 pm
Posts: 1548
Location: City of Angels
mouth watering :2_thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Utah convert : )
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:26 pm 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:12 pm
Posts: 2587
Location: South Central PA
I have a 1977 Moto Guzzi Convert :biggrin:

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