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Four Corners, Four Days, Part 1

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Well, this was supposed to be a RR of a trip to Bonneville, that big flat place where people do crazy things.  I'd done a couple trips on a Concours, and last year was on the KLR.  But no luck this year.  Got screwed around on vacation time at work, and the rains made this year pretty much of a wash for the racing, with the biggy SpeedWeek having 6-8" of water on the track and in the pits.  Boat races? SpeedWeek was rescheduled (sorta) and this morning I found out it was cancelled..... rain. Cheesh.

So I had 4-5 days to go... somewhere.  NOT south, too hot down there!  (I'm in the Albaturkey, NM area).  So it's north, into familiar territory, visit some favorite spots and explore some new ones. 

Obligatory photo of Cabezon Peak, the exit/entry point to Home Turf.

Onward, destination was the (familiar) Angel Peak south of Bloomington/Farmington.  Usually pretty empty, nice place, free w/potties.  Thanks to the BLM.  Stopped along the way, noticed some clouds getting closer.

Well, the rain was really nice, I didn't get drowned. Just a nice little shower. 

Got a nice rainbow out of it.  Seems every time I come this way I get a rainbow.

Onward, the 'badlands' around Angel Peak.  (That's it, that teeny nub in the background). 

Well, this is the story of Angel Peak.  Quite a weird time.  Got there and (hallylooya!) there was my favorite gazebo open.  Hauled the stuff up there, and the glom set in.

Then it went away, nice sunset.

I thought I might have been silly packing firewood, but here it is. 

Raining again, the place is way picked over for firewood, it would have been frying pan time, but I did this.....

Ended up with a nice piece of meat, and some of that primo juniper left over.

Next morning, here's what camp looked like.

Continuing the meterological roller coaster, while I was breaking camp, there was this...

...then this....

...then this....

Wasn't cold or wet, good deal.  Onward on a bypass route around the Bloomfield/Kirtland/Fruitland/Waterflow/Farmington/etc. mess to Shiprock.  The road goes through many miles of Navajo projects, mostly irrigated farming and oil & gas stuff.  I kinda think this picture says it all.

Onwards to Shiprock.  I did a trip through here in '69 (Detroit-San Diego-Seattle-Idaho on a 125 Honda) and was at Mesa Verde in Colorado.  I was amazed at the yellow cloud of crap all over.  The guy told me it was from the power plant down in NM.  I learned something that day.  (It's much better now, thankfully).

Here it is.

I proceeded to Shiprock, hungry as hell.  I figured I'd just hop on over there and get some breakfast.  Right.  Got there just before lunch, but got some Micky D's fries (very good) and a double green chili cheeseburger.  I hate to complain, but I got this.

This is BAD, people.  That clown ought to be made to suffer for this travesty.  Not produce a "double green chili cheeseburger" that looks (or tastes) like this.  We have standards to uphold.

Obligatory Shiprock (the rock, not the town) photo.  We're looking south. On the way back, we'll go south of it, much more interesting.

Roads across the Reservation, heading for Utah.  Couldn't pass up this big oil pumpjack.

Monument Valley in the background.

Big one-lunger motor.  Pop   Pop   burp   Pop....

What state ya in?  Try "UT".

Whoa!  There's somebody living up there!  I guess the things been non-operational for some time... and it's a big bird.  Raven or hawk, I'd expect.

Onward past some cool rocks.  Heading towards the south end of Comb Ridge. 

There are paved/good roads to the Moki Dugway and the top of Cedar Mesa (familiar ground) but there's part of the UTBDR that goes along the west side of Comb Ridge for a ways, then heads west up to the top of Cedar Mesa on Snow Flats Road.  I thought I'd try that.  Here's the start, heading north.  That's Comb Ridge on the right.  Lotsa miles of it, things are big out here.


The road went up the wash (Comb Wash on this side, Butler Wash on the east) and I kinda expected some cottonwoods and verdant lushness (!?).  Nope.

Then I (finally) saw a road heading west, out of the wash (Snow Flats Road).  Ok, things looked right.

Up out of the wash, looking back at.... oh, what's the name of that ridge?

The road was IG (Interestingly Gnarly).  Put a little spice into it, wondering if I'd run into something I didn't want to try and have to backtrack.  Would be a long ways around, 50+miles....

Oops!  At least there was something to fall against.  The second-worst tump of the trip.

The Abajo/Blue Mts. to the north.  They're west of Monticello and Blanding.

More IG.

Not IG.  There'd been a lot of rain recently, lots of these mudholes.  Now I know what some of you guys are thinking.  I was in a motocross in Utah and it rained really bad, then rained some more and the track was a real mess-- survival mode.  And this foreigner from Back East lapped everybody else, about 3 times over.  So I know about you guys.  Don't snicker.

Anyway, these things were snotty and rutted and I sure didn't want to drop the thing in the water as I usually can't lift it with all the crap ... er... camping gear... on it. 

So I semi-paddled and was really thankful for my spiffy Gaerne trials boots.  Tall, waterproof and really comfortable. Previously, I'd been wearing a cheezy soft pair of street boots, not much protection and kinda hot.  These are infinitely better.

This hole could be ridden around, but the worst tump of the trip was trying to get around another one.  Slow motion, zero-speed flop over.  Gas leaking, hurriedly unload and get the bike back up, reload.  No biggy, really.  Just thought I'd mention it.  No photo.

So it's a nice ride up to Cedar Mesa.  Hoped to spend the night at Muley Point.  The road to the Point starts at the top of Moki Dugway.  Been here lots of times, never get tired of being there.  It's the south end of Cedar Mesa.

On to Muley.  The first big overlook was jammed with cars and people.  What the %&#$% ?  Not good.  Onward.

Got to the point itself, one other group down a sideroad, other than that, deserted.  Ahhhhh.

Then... oh sh*t.  Here comes two vans full of people and a third car to boot. 

Another "what the &^%$?" moment.  Well, one lady wanders over and she has a "Crow Canyon" cap on.  Ah!  An archaeological field trip.  I've heard of Crow Canyon.  (The following is dredged out of my rusty memory)...

"Crow Canyon, a field trip, eh?"

"Yup, we came down here to see the sunset".

"Well, do you know Jerry Brody?".

"Of course we do, he's a fantastic Professor Cum Mucho Laude Emeritus who has forgotten more about ancient America than most everybody else will ever know and leads many of our field trips.  Do you know him?"

"He's my next door neighbor".

Damn.  Instant friends!  Who'd a thunk it?

So they leave but the other car is still there.  Turned out to be a great German couple, looked like newlyweds, but I dunno.  Lotsa smooching going on.  We camped right there together, he took pictures of my great Benchmark maps to help them find the obscure place they saw in a German travel book (near the Bisti Badlands, but I'd never heard of it).  They were having a ball, and I was glad to have run across 'em.

Sunset.  Yeah, people drive a long ways to see the sunset here. 

Last time I was here I was visited by a little rat.... here he is again, hauling off a chunk of tortilla.

Came the dawn.

Blocks.  Big blocks of rock. 

House-sized block breaking off, ever so slowly. 

A crack between a couple.  maybe in a coupla hunnert years, it'll be an inch wider,

Amongst all this, some really cool lichens. 

Dunno why they grow in circles...

Onward, back to the top of Moki Dugway, a cool French guy  took a picture of me.  His idea.   LOTS of Europeans enjoying our great country.  I think a lot of us don't know what we got...

Anyway, here's me and da bike.

Onward to Part 2, as I've run up against the post limit.....

Excellent that you out anyways. Looking forward to part 2.

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Oh, wait!  It's my topic!


--- Quote from: trialsguy on September 24, 2014, 09:02:08 PM --- :lurker:

Oh, wait!  It's my topic!

--- End quote ---

Love the reports from your area.  Looking forward to more.  :standing_by:

 Me too.... :standing_by: ... and I've ridden that area!   :cooltu:


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