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Topic: A bunch of old guys do Moab  (Read 13670 times)

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bubba zanetti
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« on: March 22, 2009, 05:30:43 pm »

Moab, March 2009  Inlove  -- More photos added ...  Thumbsup
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07940.jpg


Deserts have always fascinated me. The likely source being seeing the film Lawrence of Arabia at an early age. Whatever the reason, I have enjoyed any time spent in the hot dry places I have managed to get to.  About 10 years ago I saw a program on Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. Well, I was fascinated. I started reading about the many trails and off road experience available there and knew that one day I would ride a motorcycle out into the majestic red rock canyons.

Fast forward to this past winter. A few of us were in a Kootenay Strategic Planning meeting (beer drinking) and the topic of spring and riding came up. Alphabetman and I had recently bought KLR’s late in the summer and we were anxious to plan a ride of significance. I brought up one of the ADV rider, trip report to Moab on my computer and the germ of a plan to ride there was born.

Other friends also bought KLR’s this past year and our thoughts turned to a group ride. We exchanged emails and soon found ourselves making reservations and booking holidays. We were headed to Moab !

The plan was to leave on Friday, the 13th of March and ride for at least 4 full days.  Looking at temperatures on route, it quickly became evident that riding down at that time of year was out of the question or at the very least a nasty event.
With five riders committed, Ross- Hinton Alberta 08 KLR.  Ralph – Calgary, Alberta 05 KLR. Wayne – Lethbridge, Alberta 08 KLR.  Alphabetman- Elkford,  BC 02 KLR and myself in Castlegar, 01 KLR.  I had sent my bike with Dave a few weeks before and would drive out after work on the Thursday.

The final plan was that would all rendezvous in Lethbridge Friday night and load bikes, either in the two trucks or one truck and the trailer Dave was bringing should they not all fit. We were taking two vehicles as the five of us, along with gear, would be too cramped in the bigger of the two trucks.

Packed up in Elkford Friday morning at Dave’s house and extremely anxious to get this show on the road. The morning temp was -15C and the forecast for our week in Moab was showing temps in the mid 70’sF or about 23C. We were stoked !!
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07853.jpg

We all arrived at Wayne’s in Lethbridge on Friday, managed to load the three other bikes in Ross’ truck, jumped in our sleeping bags and headed out for an early start on Saturday morning.

The Alberta contingent somewhere in Montana.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07857.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07859.jpg

Temps were cool on the way down with lots of snow. I began to wonder how the forecast for Moab could be possible.  As winter extended well south.  We stopped just south of Salt Lake City and grabbed a Motel 6 for the night after enjoying a really good Japanese Teppen meal.

After about 150 miles the temperature did indeed rise and we saw our first signs of red rock and desert.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07865.jpg


Soon we saw the first sign for Moab and Canyonlands.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07864.jpg


Heading into Moab.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07870.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07871.jpg


I was excited to see the amazing rock formations and colors but also found myself a bit pre-occupied. About five days before our departure Dave had phoned me to say there was oil leaking from my KLR’s shock. After a quick check of ebay, various shops in BC and Alberta ( where prices were too high to be believed) I decided to phone Fred at Arrowhead Motorsports in Moab. I had planned on stopping by his shop while there and had already exchanged email with him. As it turned out, Fred had a pristine 07 shock that he let me have cheap. The plan was for me to call him on Sunday when we arrived and I could change the shock that afternoon.  
We were staying at the Lazy Lizard Hostel and had rented the upper floor of one of their houses for the week.  The general consensus was that “the house” was cheap, grungy and a bit rough around the edges. Kinda like a KLR !

Home Sweet Home
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07874.jpg

I called Fred and only got an answering machine. Sunday afternoon was beautiful and warm and no doubt he was out riding and enjoying the warm air. The other guys quickly unpacked and we unloaded our bikes. Ross, Ralph, Wayne and Dave all jumped on their bikes and abandoned me to my worrying and I begin taking off my shock. They had a great ride around Moab and came back excited to find my KLR and I patiently waiting.

My KLR sans shock
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07872.jpg

I finally reached Fred who indeed had been riding and we zoomed over to his shop early in the evening.  We all traipsed in and found a tired Fred ( he had ridden about 400 miles that day to Colorado and back – off road). He was very gracious as we looked around his shop and bought stuff for our bikes.
I headed back and quickly installed my shock and off we went for dinner at the Moab Brewery and chatted about our ride in the morning.
Our plan was to ride to Arches National Park and sightsee in the morning and then head out to Chicken Corners for the afternoon.
Arches National Park was indeed beautiful and we marvelled at the scenery, giant monoliths, arches and unbelievable colours.

Arches National Park.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07877.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07880.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07885.jpg


We gassed up and headed out a bit late on Kane Creek Road and zoomed on through the twisty road that eventually became dirt and then tight single track winding it’s way to Hurrah Pass.  I was sweating up a storm and it was turning very warm indeed.

Kane Creek Road
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07895.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07899.jpg

Hurrah Pass
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07900.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07910.jpg

Dave descends Hurrah Pass mindful of the drop off
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07903.jpg


Steep drop-offs  and tight corners were the rule and I was glad to have a new set of Kenda’s to handle the terrain.
As the day wore on ... so did we and quickly realized we were tiring and overheating.  With about 6 miles left to Chicken Corners we realized we would run out of daylight if we did no head back soon.  
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07904.jpg



What a great ride back and Dave and I did quite the tear along the way back which for me was the fastest I have ever ridden in dirt. We all arrived safe and sound back at “ the house”  albeit a bit sun burnt and tired from the day.  Seems folks from the Great White North need a day or two to acclimate to temps over 80F.

We went out to dinner and hatched plans for Day 2 – Kane Creek Canyon.
I knew this was going to be a challenging day and likely more so for some of our less experienced riders. But having seen folks ride the previous day and read what I had about Kane Creek, I was fairly confident we could make the 25 or so miles.  Hmm ... that would prove to be the wrong assessment.  



The road quickly became steep, boulder strewn and twisty. I found myself working hard, puffing and sweating as temperature in the Canyon approached 90F. A particular challenge was the fine and often deep sand. I had had little experience with this often talcum like stuff. Numerous water crossings, ledges and loose rock appeared and KLR’s started to be dropped and our pace slowed to a crawl.  

http://i653.photobucket.com/albums/uu258/MMoab/P1000185.jpg
http://i653.photobucket.com/albums/uu258/MMoab/P1000180.jpg

Challenging riding
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07913.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/IMGP1247-1.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/P1000193.jpg

I hung back,encouraging folks and resting for what I felt would only get more difficult while Dave rode ahead. After one particularly long and hard climb I was pleased to see we were taking a break.  Dave appeared around the corner and beckoned me to come see what lay ahead.  It was a disheartening sight. Extremely steep, with huge boulders and near 3 foot ledges the road disappeared from view. Ralph volunteered to hike up and see where it went but I already knew we would be turning around as it would kill what little energy we had dragging the bikes up this slope.

Ralph and Dave bring the bad news.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07915.jpg

The good news and bad news was that the trail was indeed impassable for us but that a narrow trail followed Kane Creek into the ever narrowing Canyon. I walked ahead and noted that several drops presented themselves before yet another creek crossing but that it was indeed possible and at that point preferable to turning around and riding the 4-5 hours back.
We began our ride down and I followed Dave watching him go over in the soft sand on the other side of the creek. I got off my bike and helped him lift his bike up as his wheels were pointing uphill and the the sand made lifting nearly impossible.

http://i653.photobucket.com/albums/uu258/MMoab/IMGP1255.jpg

With some help, I made it down and then up the other side only to get stuck on a ledge where I need help again to ride on.  Once back up, I headed back to photograph as Dave and Ralph helped the others down and we took turns pushing and lifting the 08 bikes up the other side.

It is steeper and more of a drop off than it looks.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07916.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07918.jpg

By now everyone was getting very tired. Dave went on ahead and I followed him up a steep bank after another water crossing. This time I was determined to ride it but became stuck again as I slammed into a tight spot on the uphill side of the creek. It took three of us to get my bike up and we then had to pile rocks to make a “ramp” to get the other bikes up. Ross came next and went down in the creek after hitting a hidden rock.  Finally we were all up. I rode on ahead to hear good news that the trail returned to a “road” after a bridge over the deepening creek gorge.  

Slick rock took over and we rode under a shady ledge and across. We took a break and rested in some shade.  Riding on further the trail again descended steeply and a tight water crossing presented.  I did a poor job of angling my bike for the wee crossing and went down quite had on the rock after my front tire slipped on some slime.  A few bruised knuckles and a bent handlebar.  This was a hard climb that required really gutting it out. Everyone helped the four bikes up as Dave had managed to get himself up with no assistance.  His KLR-C seems to have more clearance and he had wisely put a 14 tooth sprocket on the front.  That, coupled with good skills and a stubborn attitude, had him doing very well.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/Moab061.jpg

Bubba’s bath
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/Moab066.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/P1000197.jpg

After more crossings and deep sand I rode up one final steep hill to see a sign for Highway 191 and was elated to meet Dave at the end of the ride.

Kane Canyon Exit at Highway 191
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07927-1.jpg

We waited for the others and finally Wayne came to report that Ralph was stuck in deep sand. Dave road back and met Ross who helped Ralph out and then, finally we were all through Kane Creek Springs Canyon.

It was a very hard ride for KLR's to be sure.


We headed back to Moab, had a beer or three with everyone concluding that today had been an adventure.

Day 3 saw us finish our ride in Arches Park and then head to Gemini Bridges.  


Climbing up Gemini Bridges road high above 191.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07937.jpg


Pausing after a steep and sandy climb, Ralph reported his bike was overheating.  After a quick check it was determined his fan was broken and he and Dave headed back to Arrowhead for a new blade.

Wayne, Ross and I head up to the Bridges.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07938.jpg

Twin bridges with about a 500 foot drop to the breathtaking Canyon below.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07945.jpg


We headed back after a quick ride into town and found Dave and Ralph installing the new fan blade.

That evening we had a great meal and Wayne decide he had had enough of dirt and was going to ride out to Dead Horse Park. The remaining four of us would ride Potash Road to the Schaffer Switchback, then follow White Rim Trail to Musselman Arch.


The Thelma and Louise overlook where the famous final scene from the movie was shot.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07949.jpg


It is a long way down
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07954.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07948.jpg

Heading out White Rim
We rode up White Rim and the trail got very narrow with near 1000 foot drop offs .  The riding was easy but for the fine talc like sand.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07961.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07958.jpg

We made our way to Musselman Arch.  A few days before a Moab local had shared a video of “he who shall not be named”,  riding his bike back and forth over the arch. Madness is what we all concluded as we took turns walking the arch to ensure our manhood remained intact.


Video of walking Musselman Arch
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/MOV07957.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/MOV07956.jpg

We headed back along White Rim as there was simply not enough time to ride the full 120 miles.  This would have to wait for a return trip, hopefully next year.
After White Rim we got back on Schaffer Trail and headed to the switchbacks.

Schaffer Switchbacks
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07963.jpg
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07972.jpg

I met a truck along here that surprised me by being in my lane as I rounded a corner.

More of the view out to White Rim
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07965.jpg

White Rim from Grand View
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07968.jpg

Wow, what a trip. Moab far exceeded my expectations and I had an memorable and amazing time. I would go back in a heartbeat. The riding was challenging but fun.

Lest you think that we were perhaps a little humbled by the Moab, let me tell you that of our crew all were on bikes bought in the last year. Two of us were returning to dirt after years of layoff with me the least fit I have been in years following knee surgery this October. One of our group was a new rider with a total of about 3000 km of motorcycle experience on a brand new KLR. One had about 150 km on his new to him KLR and one of our group has had a kidney replacement and is retired.

 I think for a bunch of old guys ... we did great !!!!  Bigok

Thanks you guys ... I had an amazing trip !!  Thumbsup Thumbsup Thumbsup

I am sure the other guys will add some photos. I have many more but my damn Picasa is acting up badly ...  Sad










« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 01:01:12 am by bubba zanetti » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 05:40:35 pm »

I almost expected to see Yul Brynner ride up!  EEK!

Well done!  Clap
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 05:49:21 pm »

I curse myself for never having visited southern Utah.

Thanks for an entertaining report.  Bigok
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 05:53:07 pm »

Looks like a great time! Man, I gotta get a dirt bike....

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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 06:02:37 pm »

Wow.  Great shots and I don't know if my KLR skills would have let me take my Kawi where you went.  Good stuff, Maynard.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 06:34:07 pm »

 Thumbsup Looks like you guys had a blast.  Moab is definitely on our list...

Stock KLR bars are like wet noodles.  A nice aluminum Renthal is much harder to bend! Bigsmile
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2009, 07:04:39 pm »

Not much I can add to Jim's report, but Kane creek rocks I loved every minute of it and Moab, the people are friendly and the service every where was great, I need to go back, I can share a few more pictures but Jim said it all, nice job Jim  Bigok

 

 
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 08:15:08 pm »

Very nice! If a trip is planned for next year let me know - I'd love to get in on it. And at least by then I'll have a bit of experience on mine!  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 08:26:59 pm »

Hmmmm. Makes me wanna get a KLR. Just told Donna, and she said: "Bob, I worry about you. You're getting too old." Ah well. I'll work on her.

I missed Utah this summer on my trip to Colorado (sport-touring that is). We decided to skip it because the temps were about 110 degrees F, and the 100F in Colorado had been tough enough. I'm going to have to get back there sometime though.
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2009, 12:14:31 am »

Thank you guys for sacrificing yourselves to get us such great photos.  I'm sure it musta been rough....  Rolleyes

Awesome stuff  Thumbsup
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2009, 12:19:46 am »

Great job guys, Alphabet I liked your music, it seems to me that a bunch of old farts had an adventure for sure........... and I sure do envy them!    Bigok



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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 09:31:34 pm »


Very nice! If a trip is planned for next year let me know - I'd love to get in on it. And at least by then I'll have a bit of experience on mine!  Wink


likewise,  

I'll take my KLR recovery vehicle.
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2009, 01:09:34 am »

Awesome report, guys!  Bigok

Looks like the perfect winter escape! I'll have to keep it in mind for next winter...
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2009, 07:24:29 am »

Awesome report!  RideWV and I may have the opportunity to go there and ride sometime, his company has a shop near there.  After reading your report, I'm ready to go NOW.  

Thanks.
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 10:43:09 am »

A few additional pics ...

After we finished riding up the switchbacks, Ross was slow to arrive commenting that his bike was running very rough. We concluded quickly this sounded like a plugged air filter ... sure enough the fine Moab sand/silt/talc had almost completely filled his filter. Upon banging it out and cleaning as best we could, the bike ran well again. For an extended day at Moab, it would be a good idea to carry a spare.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07966.jpg

Just a couple more pics of the splendid scenery in the area. The contrast in colour is wonderful and as you would guess, these photos simply do not capture how vibrant it really is.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07932.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1/JimFisher1956/DSC07929.jpg
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2009, 11:52:01 am »

Quote
We waited for the others and finally Wayne came to report that Ralph was stuck in deep sand.
We headed back to Moab, had a beer or three with everyone concluding that today had been an adventure.


So is Ralph still waiting for someone to get him out of the deep sand?  Bigsmile
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2009, 11:53:51 am »




So is Ralph still waiting for someone to get him out of the deep sand?  Bigsmile


Jeebuz ... er ... I ... OMG !!  No wonder he hasn't posted.  Lol
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2009, 01:05:38 pm »




Jeebuz ... er ... I ... OMG !!  No wonder he hasn't posted.  Lol


 I thought you were going back   EEK!
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2009, 03:05:03 pm »

Look at those vultures circling around on the far horizon.  Wonder what's underneath them....
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2009, 06:33:51 pm »

Great report  Thumbsup

I saw some of those dirt roads last summer when I was there on the street bike, one of these days I'll have to bring my dual-sport there.
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