Back on the Edge of La Sal

Since the parts for the bike will not be here till the end of next week at the earliest, I decided to go back up into the mountains overlooking Moab.  It seems the perfect location for now to enjoy broadband, good views and great weather.  It also has easy access to nice hiking nearby.  And that is what I did yesterday, on a perfect day. I think the hills are too steep and long for any peddling, so I will save that for Tuesday in Castle Valley.  Watch the video, and please answer the poll at the bottom, or post a comment below – I would like to hear what you folks think, thanks.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Shafer Trail

Went scouting cool spots to ride after moving into the canyon below.  All the maps and signs are a bit confusing in the area, so I don’t actually know if I was riding Potash Rd., Shafer Rd., or White Rim, but most likely I was riding all three.  This was simply a scouting run, to look for riding over the next week.  I found a unique arch, and fantasized about riding over it(and dying), and found the cliff-jumping set from Thelma and Louise.  It was a good day.

Moab Rim Trail, and Jug Handle Fail on a Dual Sport

This was a recovery-and-scouting day, so I took it easy on the bike and my body.  Nevertheless, I would like to see a moto of ANY sort get up these trails – I know they can be done, but I am afraid my marginal-trials-skills would lead me off a cliff, or to more injury. The 1st fail was on Moab Rim Trail – a breathtaking ledge right next to the river and the county road. Quick fail, and onto the next.  So I tried to get up the canyon I crashed in last year with the KLR, and decided it was not worth thrashing my bike or body this time. This was also the same canyon I came DOWN in 2011 on the V-Strom – disappointing how bad this road is falling apart.  My guess is many of the trails were reasonably passable a few years back, and now only passable by rock crawlers, or at least big-tired 4×4’s with locking hubs.  Pity, as I would like to get to the top of the rims and mesas to see what I am missing.  Maybe this week I can sneak in the back way?

Bitten by a Poison Spider

Seems like that might be a risk while riding on Poison Spider Mesa, right? While an arachnid did not puncture my skin, a gnarly rock formation certainly bit me in the ass….and wrist, and knee.  It was a simple tumble-after-stall, but the bike tossed me like a trebuchet, as I had nowhere to step.  It hurt, but I kept on riding.

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Can you spot the Motorcycle?

img_2196An hour later, after discovering even more awesome trail, I got smacked by a hidden branch on the same wrist – WOW!!! That really freakin’ hurt!  Almost 24 hours later I am still wearing wrist support, it still hurts, and I am on light-duty restrictions for a couple of days- dammit!

Sharing the Forest

img_5455Yep, it is public land, and I have to share it with…………white people. Hundreds of honkeys riding up the mountainside every morning, in the bike-shuttles (think van-taxis for bicycles). My favorite is Coyote – they use several VW buses to drag people up. I always get a thrill to see the green one dragging up the hill, just a bit faster than my bus would take the hill. Then the other shuttles companies BLAZING up the mountain in the newer Fords.

White people. Hundreds every morning go up, and I never see most of them again. I am guessing the trails they are blazing down are north of me, and take them back into Moab. So I see empty shuttles, a few campers, locals cutting wood, and a few scenery drivers. Lots of white people. But I do see another variety coming down the mountain.

Black faces, thousands of them come down the hill, right past my camp. A few brown faces mixed in. Refugees? What exodus is this? Why are they coming down the hill? My only guess was that they knew that it would be a hard winter surviving up top, and their best chance would be at lower elevations. But what made them all come down in large groups -as if answering the call to dinner?

Spanish Valley

img_20161014_103224Just south of Moab I found some BLM land that was wide open, and had amazing cell signal, so I overnighted within sight of a no-camping sign, hoping nobody would get upset with me parking overnight.  Three days later I decided to find something a bit more “legal” and moved up the hill into the Manti La Sal Forest.  Now I am overlooking Spanish Valley and Moab, and I am in the shadow of Mt. Peale.  More stunning free camping in Utah.  Will probably be here till my water tank runs dry.

Outside Moab

beehiveI was stunned when I drove past this beehive for the first time.  I think it may even be the one on the state tags, and road signs?  Look closely at the base you can see a little black dot at the bottom right, just above the grass – it is a 10-foot cave door.  Looks can be deceiving, this thing is almost 200 feet tall.

I am camped about 5 miles from the monolith, and I can even see it from camp.  This is the first time the bus has been on slickrock, and the first time I have camped on it.

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In the other direction I can see what I am calling the Alien Birthday Cake – at the base you can see the hangers for alien space-craft.  I will be exploring both structures tomorrow.

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But tonight I am chilling in front of the first campfire I have had in WEEKS!

slickrock-campfire