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Author Topic: Moab - My First DS Ride  (Read 3259 times)

Offline trialsguy

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Moab - My First DS Ride
« on: July 03, 2014, 10:30:46 PM »
Got a KLR in June, a bucket-list thing. Always knew Dual-Sport was cool, but always put it off. This

was my first real DS ride. Previously, I'd taken lots of trips on street bikes and flogged them as far

off the highway as I dared, looking for good camping, but this was something new, and way overdue.

So... son Trevor and I (he on a 'new' WR450) headed for Utah in early September. Had 4 days to goof

off, so we decided to do some UTBDR (Utah Backcountry Discovery Route) around Moab.

Here's the first good picture from the trip

We left the Albaturkey area late in the day, we were trailering up to Blanding to park the rig at a

friend's house, then ride from there. Stopped at Angel Peak for the night, about 10-15 miles south of

Farmington, NM on the main road from Albuquerque to Farmington, I think it's 550 now, used to be 44.

It's about 5 miles of good gravel off the highway. Anyway, free BLM campground, clean, potties,

scenic, quiet... a regular stop for me.

Heading out the next morning, stopped at an overlook with a nasty outhouse. Went in, out to get paper,

back in, and noticed this guy under the door. Waugh! But he was very mellow, not one rattle out of

him/her. I no longer needed to use those facilities.

So here we are on the road, actually, this is on the way back, but it shows the weird outfit we were

in. Honda CRX, 250k+ on the clock, 30-35 mpg with the trailer.

Leaving from near Blanding...

... Our friend lives off the grid, no water well, but a fantastic view, you could see for about 1,000

miles. BUT, such a place has packrats. And skwerls. All the vehicle hoods got left open all the time

(I can attest to rodent damage in a car). I bet this is the only Prius that lives like this:

Onward, we were going to loop around the Abajo Mts. (locally known as 'The Blues') and the UTBDR just

sorta crosses over them. So our routes crossed for a few miles. Enter from the south, loop around the

west side, drop off to the north, towards Moab.

Misc. photo, exploring a side road. We'd camp here on the way back.

Around the western end of the Abajos, such scenic shots don't begin to do the landscape justice. Those

two nubs on the horizon are the 'Bear's Ears'.

We were never in danger of getting lost.

The roads were good all the way around.

After just about 3-4 hours, we were clear around the mountains, and ready to drop off the north side.

It's amazing how much ground you can cover on bikes like this.

But certain... things... called to us.

Later on, camp...

The road was fine, up on the mountain, with just a couple of these.

I see now why some roads are designated 'impassable when wet". Ok, they might be passable, but it

would take you a week.

Here's Trev, we're winding our way off the mountain, going to go down the valley behind him. This is

looking north, towards Moab.

The road was great, then we hit 4 stream crossings in quick succession. Then the road took off right

up the streambed. Turned out not to be too bad, not muddy and slippery, only one little hole...

They'd had a lot of rain recently. We ran into this, and the warning signs were in the bushes, so we

put them back up.

So we got off the mountain into the Canyon Country, this is a UTBDR 'alternate' route for experts

only. Here's one sketchy place, Trev shows how to do it.

I did it a different way.

Photo opportunity. I couldn't pass up that rock.

The Jeep People did a lot of road work. That's ok with me, being the packhorse of the trip.

Nice hardrock riding...

Made it to the river! Or at least close.

A couple more photos. I wanna be back there. These pictures keep me semi-sane in my cave at work,

beating on a 'pooter.

We made it up over Hurrah Pass, and were running a bit low on H20... nice spring.

But it was getting late, so we hurried on towards the Promised Land of Moab.

Camp, just 5 or 10 minutes out of town. Them Senior Passes are great!

Artsy thing, Trev's a professional photographer, so he had to goof around with my new camera. That's

me, walking past with a headlamp on.

This is a cool place. Trev knew about it by mountain biking around there. They have a big trough where

people are invited to fill up their water jugs, free, no more gas station hoses. They have all the

outdoor gear you could want... I bought some great maps and a couple dried meals, and a small frying

pan, which we very much needed (more on that later). (Ok, Gearheads, you can send the check now).

Onward, northeast to the La Sal's. (We'd start in the Abajos, do canyons to Moab, loop through the La

Sal's, then back to the Abajos.)

Here's Trevor and Mt. Peale. I don't do that on the KLR. At least not on purpose.

Looping around the La Sal's, we camped before we went off the mountain into the drylands/private


Deer were all over. This one wasn't 50 yds. away, pretty unconcerned until we paid it attention.

Here's why I take Trevor along. Kale sauteed in bacon and garlic, with a dash of vinegar on top. Steak

to go with it. He's a great cook. And that was in our new frying pan.

Off the hill, through farm/scrub land, Trev saw this eagle, went back to try and sneak up on it.

I kept going. Our method was that I'd plod along, and he'd wait up for me (or catch up) later. His WR

doesn't have a fan, so it's like a shark, has to keep moving. Fast. I rode it once, like an old

geezer, made it boil.

There were some really sketchy roads (as in "Is this what they mean? It's kinda going in the right

direction...") until we got back onto the northern slope of the Abajo's, on the UTBDR route.

We went to Fry Lake, where Trev had been before with his Sweetie, there was one trout that had dissed

him, he wanted it! So he tried to get it, I ran into Monticello and got Provisions and a couple great

burgers at PJ's (?) on the east end of town. Went back, and Trev was empty-handed, but drowned his

sorrows in the burger.

It's amazing that we were over in the La Sal's that morning.

More deer, they were everywhere!

An avalanche chute... those toothpicks at the bottom are big trees. Would've been something to see!

An aspen cathedral. I love aspens.

Last camp, at a place frequented by rock climbers. I was thinking that bears oughta be around


Sure enough, the next morning there were bear prints a couple hundred yards down the road.

That's it, all the rest was heading back home....

The KLR was great, just like I thought it'd be. Pretzeled a clutch lever in Lockhart Basin, hally-

looya! it didn't break. Barkbusters are on order. Had a 13t front sprocket, it would've been a LOT

harder with the stock 15. Anyway, the WR and the KLR were both comfortable at 50 or so on the paved

roads, pretty well matched.

Offline Hondo

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2014, 12:34:11 AM »
great report, thanks for sharing!  :claps:

Offline Road2adv

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 08:30:12 AM »
Great ride report, fantastic photos.  :aparat:   That looks like a great place to ride and explore.  :ricky:   Thanks for sharing.  Please say that there is more on the way. :mol: :wave 2: :standing_by:

Ride safe. Change the gas often.   jerry

Offline Jettn Jim

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 12:13:16 PM »
Great Report my brother!!!  :cooltu:  Nice photo's and great commentary too... Love that area!  :mol:

Offline Gunny

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 06:53:37 AM »
Most excellent, I love riding around moab

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Offline Old Bull

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 08:15:40 PM »
Trails guy, what GPS do you have looking to do the utah backcountry discovery trail in June  Thank you

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Thank you

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 08:57:24 PM »
Trails guy, what GPS do you have looking to do the utah backcountry discovery trail in June  Thank you

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None.  We had the Butler UTBDR map, and probably a Benchmark backroads map.  I highly recommend both.  Did it the old fashioned way, only went into puzzlement mode once.  I've never really used a GPS for navigation.

Offline Mel Brooks

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Re: Moab - My First DS Ride
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2014, 05:23:05 PM »
What an awesome ride report!  And such very cool pics!  Man, I LOVE Moab, hope to go back one day.

Thanks for the great read! I sincerely enjoyed it.    :thumb:


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