Monday, July 4, 2011

The Journey West

The 25 miles out to Wagon Mound was sweet. Lots of decaying old ranch building as almost all the old small towns along a freeways (in this case I-25) are drying out.... Still they have a charm all their own.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Photos often lose their sharpness when you shoot from the saddle....talk about distracted driving. :evil
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I love a red barn......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

the ride was complete with antelope......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped at a convienience store for sodas to help with the new found heat of the Praire. Oh....it's Sunday and small town America may be closed. Today was that day. Wagon Mount school, across the street, was good sized.
From Drop Box

We rode 25 miles north to Springer....It was another town bypassed by I-25. That kills the commercial aspect of a town which son religates the town to hardly more then residential....with some quaint older downtown buildings.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped at the town museum...they had a tribute to a fallen soldier from last year, RIP.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I'll bet the Cozy Motel could tell some stories about the good old days, but those days have faded into the past. :cry
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We had spent enough time down here in the heat, and I had seen the town of Springer. This was a far east as we'd go on this trip.....it was all west from here. We headed toward Eagles Nest back on the Taos figure 8.
We found a place to eat in Eagles nest. It was kinda an upscale restaurant, but their country fried steak burger was huge and inexpensive.
I'll remember this place as we had a 15 or 16 year old waitress. She was actually the dishwasher, but her older sister, the real waitress had let her handle us.
We were the second customers that she'd ever waited on. She was cute, and made a lot of rookie mistakes, but still she was a highlight of our day.
A nice red bike sat out front....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We moved on to Red River. Our first stop was at the CofC building. It was closed but their Wifi reached to the shaded tables out front.
I wanted to check mail so Nip went for an hours ride, and I fired up my netbook. When I was finished I wandered around out back and found the original Snowmobile.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Nip came back...we went to gas up. There was a nice air supply there so Nip took the time to check and air up his tires. I noted that he had a time getting the air chuck to seal on his tires valve stems.
Soon we were on the road.....it was about 5pm. I'd been watching the map and thought that we would soon run out of FS campgrounds....like in 10 miles or so. Nip thought it was too early to camp. Yeah it was early, so we continued
We road on to Questa and made the proper left turn in town. As we left town, Nip who was leading made an out of the ordinary stop on the road's shoulder. Whas up....I wondered.
Nip said that his rear tire suddenly went flat...WTF. Sure enough it was dead flat. What to do now. A guy and gal walking told us that at the last Maverick station, just a 100 yards behind us, they had a tire bay and would fix that tire. No crap....how's that for luck?
Nip wobbled the bike back and the store owner who ran the tire part came down to work on our tire problem. Apparently when the tire was installed with a steel stem it wasn't tightened enough, and when Nip had trouble airing the tire up he had knocked it so that it leaked.
Our new best friend, the Maverick station owner, was able to get it tight, and within a half hour it was all aired up and ready to go.
We asked about campgrounds on down the road toward Taos. They said there were none so we back tracked to a campground a few miles back, and set up for the night.
Nip enjoyed a much better nights sleep with a mat that held air.

Tomorrow we would see the legendary Taos.........

We had our coffee in camp next to the creek that passed by our campground. We looked forward to Taos.
Taos was only 20 miles away. After trying to get breakfast in Questa and finding everything closed on Monday...or not open yet, we just soldiered on to the McDonnalds in Taos.
Traffic was a bit of a clog for three of four blocks downtown. There was lots of art for sale along the streets as well as galleries.
I had no idea of what Taos would be like, but it was clearly up scale. Up scale is good, just not for me.
Across from Micky D's was a custom motorcycle shop. We went in for a visit. Nip was more interested in the cruiser items inside.
Turns out Taos is 2 towns. The old Taos Indian Pueblo, and the commercial Taos that has grown up a couple miles away. The Indians are trying to maintain the old village ways with lots of booths and tables to sell Indian crafts and jewelry.
I think hard times have hit the Indian vendors as well as the rest of us. I'd heard there was a charge of 8 dollars just to get into the Pueblo. If so, there's no longer a charge as they don't want to drive people away.
On this day (Monday) there were only 5 or so tables and those were folding up by 1pm. There were Indians on top of the houses yelling a traditional chant. We were told there would be an Indian dance later.
It just wasn't our cup of tea. Although in the beginning....50 to 75 years ago....Taos Pueblo was a hell of an authentic Indian Village. There might have been a couple thousand inhabitants. Indians still live in the mud/adobe dwelling.
The houses now sport electricity and stove pipes sticking out of the roofs. It all seems a bit of a fleece job of the tourists. An hour in Taos and I'd seen enough. In all honesty I may have been getting tired from traveling every day.
I wanted to start working my way back to Dolores Co for the biker meetup next Thursday. Nip on the other hand had been trying to connect with a high school buddy that lived down east of Santa Fe a little south of I-25.
We agreed to separate. Nip would go south and I'd go east. Goodbyes were said, and then we were alone.
I had to go a mile north to find Hwy 64. I gassed everything up before I left town. I spotted a Natl Forest on the map some 50 miles away. There appeared to be camping there near El Rito. I was all over that.
I had scarcely got 10 miles out of town when I discovered, purely by accident, the Rio Grande George. What a grand surprise....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Of course the Indians had a large crafts concession on the east side of the river. That's a good distance down there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

just after the bridge, I turn south toward El Rito. El Rito is an old town...recently most of it's downtown has closed up. El Llano Bar sells some convenience store items and liquor....and there is a 15 foot wide Mex restaurant left in town....later I found a library.
They have to go 30 miles to get gas....Matin's general store closed a couple years ago.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I found the NF free camping not far from town and settled down for a couple days. I pumped up my air mat and got comfortable.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I had a few hours to kill so I got my Tony Hillerman Indian novel out and started storing up some energy. I had plans for tomorrow.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I had a little camp fire later...it was probably against the law....and went to bed about 9pm.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


THE CARSON NATIONAL FOREST


From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


I made coffee in the morning heating water with my alcohol stove. I must have brought 8 or 10 stoves to try out my latest designs. Of note is that tin can with all the holes in it on the seat.....that one burns twigs or balled up paper.
I usually put a handful of twigs in the can, and add a splash of alcohol for fire starter. The twigs are free and it burns in a breeze unlike alcohol stoves....and you can add more twigs at anytime.
My IC map showed a bunch of dirt roads in the area. I figured to give the DR a workout today. Looked like a 100 miles of forest roads in the area. :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There were a few relics of the past.......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

A family of beavers had been busy in the area.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Note the trees stumps in the middle of the pond.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

These beavers were very busy...kinda over achievers.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

These stumps were 16" or 18" thick.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I took a little [URL="http://youtu.be/Ac2y2gibTOo"]video[/URL] today....please ignore the thumb. :wink: Note that the road is not challenging...just right for me or anyone with a big Adventure bike.
I had chosen to go to Canjilon some 30 miles away. I didn't have a full tank when I left so I needed to gas up there.
I took a side road out toward '15 springs'. I never saw the springs but scenes like this one were all I needed to make the side road worthwhile.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I got as high at 9500 ft at Canjilon Lakes.....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The other lake
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Canjilon was a nice little town, but no store of any kind. I had to go out to 84 and north a few miles to Anthony Martin's Maverick store/bar/gas station. Anthony was a pleasant guy so I had a couple drinks with him.
Anthony had a Maverick station with some old out building. He showed me a brand new Corvette and a show Harley in one of them with a new pickup out front. Yes Anthony, behind me was doing ok. Nice guy....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I got back to the ride and reentered my route back at Canjilon. I'd take the southern route back to my camp at El Rito.
Not far south of Canjilon my DR ran out of fuel. I knew it was fuel starvation as I couldn't drain any fuel out of the float bowl via it's drain. I figured it must be another booger in the float needle....damn.
Well if a booger can flow into the needle then I should be able to suck on the fill line and get it out of there. I took the fuel line loose from the tank and gave it a few good sucks. The fuel began to flow out of the float bowl drain....and more to the point was that the DR started and I was able to finished the ride.
Somehow I lost all the rest of the pictures of the day. But no matter, it was just more beautiful mountain forest scenes.
I finished the circuit at about 1:45. I was in time to get a seat at Farlito's 15 ft wide Mexican cafe in El Rito before they went to siesta at 2:pm. Damn good food.
Cody was an engaging young man doing waiter duty. He was born and raised in Long beach Ca. I've no idea how he got to this BFE small town. He was doing online courses to get into the computer game business. I can't imagine what that entails. Cody told me of the free wifi at the library down the road a couple miles.
The wifi tip was great....after lunch I went to the Library and spent an hour on one of their computers. Good stuff.
About 4:30 I was back at camp. I stumbled around there for a while...I'd finished my Hillerman book....what to do, what to do.....
Well there was another forest road that went 15 or so miles over to Vallecitos where it connected to a paved road to Canon Plaza....where'd that name come from, I'll never guess. :D
The new forest road was cool, as they all are. It went up for a while...I passed a bicyclist. I slowed as I went by and asked him where he was going. He gave me a weird look and said 'Canada'. Wow, I thought, and rode off.
A few miles later I came on another bicyclist. I matched his speed and again asked where he was going. He was more talkative.
I found out that he and the other biker were in a 15 man race from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide Trail. Ah soo....now I know why the first guy looked at me weird.
This guy, Russ Mcbride, had broken a petal in Abq and it took a day to get his bike fixed. Because of that he said he was fresh, and would ride another 6 or 7 hours today, about 180 miles for the day. I learned that I could track them at the 'Tour Divide race' tracking page.
I did track him for the next week. somewhere near the Montana border Russ was listed as scratched. I'll alway wonder what happened to him. Maybe he was eaten by a bear.
I rode on, and not far away I ran into a biker with a trailer who was from Minnesota. He was just out here kinda following the bike race and testing himself as he might try this race one day.
He had time to talk so I learn a lot about what was going on. Pretty interesting stuff. 15 riders had started out from Antelope Well on the Mex border racing north, and 75 guys had started out at the Canadian border heading south. As we talked, I began to appreciate gasoline all the more. :freaky
I continued on to Canon Plaza and a few miles beyond, then I turned around and back tracked to camp passing all my new bicycle friends.
Back at camp I had a bowl of Ramen noodles and finished up a bag of chips for dinner.

I would leave my little paradise in the morning.....

CROSSING THE APACHE RESERVATION


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I broke camp by 10am. I was in no hurry. BTW, there should be a law against being on tour and in a hurry. :rofl I went by the Library....it wasn't really open but a geezer was there doing something so he let me in for a web session. He was a husband of one of the ladies that I met yesterday at the library. He said that she told him that a mtn man was in there yesterday.
I reckon I needed some house breaking and a clean up. :freaky

Anyway I got out of El Rito before noon. I had about 3/4 tank of fuel....I figured I was in good shape gas wise, but I had to remember that the DR was low so I couldn't count on that for much gas.
I drove up to Tres Piedres, no gas there.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It would be 60 more miles east on 64 before gas could be found. I didn't know if I could make the sixty, and I wasn't sure that the next town had gas as it's map letters were the same size as Tres Piedres. I elected to go back 30 miles to Taos for gas.
It was just as well that I did because that took me past/over Taos Mesa where all the Earthships were built. Earthships are weird ultra green houses that I've seen in pictures. There must be 25 of them on that Mesa....most too far away for camera shots. They are all similar to this one. See the others in the back ground?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

As I passed the Rio Grande Gorge the vendor were out in full force.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Now I was back to heading west on 64 ultimately with Bloomfield or Aztec as the goal for today, Wednesday.
Hwy 64 was a beauty. It went up to 10500 and was spectacular with both scenery and road surface.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I gassed up in Tierra Amarilla before I cut across the Apache Res at Lake Heron
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This route took me between Heron and Vado lakes, then it would spit me out on a dirt road as I entered the Apache Res.
The Indian Road started out poorly, and I was worried that I might get into some soft sand, but that wasn't the case. Let me say here that the big tires on the trailer let it roll easily in sand
I wound through a beautiful canyon. The road got better and better till I was again on pavement. I breathed a sigh of relief and began to enjoy the ride again.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This village looked like summer shacks bay a lake on the Res.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I spent the rest of the day marveling at the landscape naturally, but more than that at the amount of Oil drilling Gobernador to Bloomfield and north to Aztec.
I arrived in Bloomfield at about 6pm, and looked for a motel room, but there were none. I moved on to Aztec and found a nice room at the Enchantment Inn.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I retired after McDonald for dinner and used the free wifi for a few hour before going to sleep. I had less than a hundred miles to go tomorrow. I'd have to find a scenic route.......

NAVAJO DAM, VELECITOS, AND DOLORES


It's Thursday. A few riders from all over Colorado, and at least 4 other states will be represented in Dolores tonight. Most have left this morning and a few like me left days ago. We would all have a few beers together tonight. I looked forward to it.
But first I had to spend at least 8 hrs riding in order to not get there too soon. I perused the map and found a road that went out past Navajo Dam then up to Bayfield, and north to another Velocitos before going to Durango.
I followed the San Jaun River east toward the dam. The rivers were full all over as the snow continued to melt in the mtns.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's the dam. The spillway is on the left looking like my road. But no the road is that diagonal line going up the dam to the left. I'd never seen a road built on the back of a dam like that.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The lake is huge and goes for 15 or twenty miles back into the hills.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I rode on to the Valecitos area. It was beautiful. It had lakes, luscious green fields, and snow covered Mtns. I was glad that I rode that way today.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It had only been a 100 mile ride to Durango. I rode thru town and got out of town without trouble. While I was riding thru town I was spied by a young ADVrider that was riding in Calif a couple years back. He ended up staying in an adjacent condo unit to mine.
We introduced ourselves and actually went on a couple local rides together. He was freshly graduated from college as an engineer and was looking to relocate from Michigan. As it turned out he couldn't find a job, and he went back to MI. I figured that we'd probably never run into one another again.
His avitar is xdbx. I didn't see him but he called my cell phone and left me a message that he'd seen me pass thru town....there aren't many bikes pulling a bike. He could hardly be wrong.
It really is a small world. I sure hope that he managed to escape from MI. I liked Daniel.

I set my course toward Dolores. Soon I was there, and had camp set up in the Dolores River Campground and RV park, with the Dolores River less that 50 yards away.

Don Goldston (FJR rider) was there. I honestly don't remember the exact order of events, but anyway we went to town to buy steaks for dinner, just the 2 of us.....and we came back with a couple of good 10 oz steaks.

You see I'm kinda a minimalist, and like I said before, I had about 10 alcohol stoves with me....it's kinda my hobby this year. And I had a G I mess kit for a skillet to pan fry the steaks.

I had small stoves, big stoves, short burn, and long burn. Most of these have been used on my patio doing test boils of water. Anyway to cook a thick steak we prolly needed 7 or 8 minutes a side.
So I got my long burn stove out and got started.... It was pretty simple, spice up the steak, put it in the mess skillet, and set it on top of the stove. I put a can of New potatoes on top of another stove, and the can of spinach on a third stove.

Of course the spinach and potatoes weren't any problem cause you can eat those cold....if you have to, but the steak needed some watching. They cooked quite well, one at a time of course. But the problem came from putting the thin pan on top of the stove. That puts the fire out under the center of the pan, and only the outside of the steak is cooked from the outside fire jets, and the 2" center was hardly cooked.

We solved that by eating the outsides, and recooking the centers. I'm still learning about all the refinements of minimalism. :rofl

I hope to do better next time. Don was a good sport. We enjoyed having dinner together. :freaky

A couple of my other riding buddy showed up a little later. LD walker on the right and Dave Snell, left. These boys were from over around Westcliffe Co.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


CANYONLAND'S NEEDLES OUTPOST


I had looked at my Sabre's rear tire. I was running a car tire as a test. I was looking for big mileage from it, and didn't get it. The tire wouldn't get me the 1500 that I needed out of it to get me home.
I use the same wheels as the trailer does, on the Sabre, and I had one nearly new tire on the trailer. I dreamed all night about what could go wrong out here if I changed that tire & rim to the Sabre In the morning.
....but apparently that was what I needed to do. As soon as I finished my morning coffee, I got on the wheel switch. It takes a little longer when you have a trailer hitch to deal with. My hitch is pretty easy as the back part just unbolts.
From Odds and ends


Much to my surprise the swap was completed in about an hour. Last time I took a wheel off the trailer, I had a slightly rusted/stuck axle on the trailer. I don't think I could have handled that out here in the RV park....at least no quickly and with the tools on hand.

Here's today's ride route.

View Larger Map

LD, Dave, and I checked in with the riders that checked in late last night. They were headed toward Teluride for the day, so we made plans to drink their beer when we all got back. We did have breakfast with them all before we left
Our 3 man group was going to Canyonland's Needles Outpost about 25 miles southwest of Moab. I'd never been there. I was eager to see it.
It was a 110 miles out to the park, but the spectacular stuff started just west of Monticello. The road took a jog once in town to find the right way to the outpost.
Actually it wasn't the right way. We added a leg up into the Abajo Mtns to add value to the day's ride. We attained 9000 ft. Because of the clouds and some very light sprinkles we stopped to add a layer of clothes. This was only 20 miles into the Mtns, then we were back down to 5000ft and again surrounded by the magnificent rugged red cliffs that is so common around southern Ut.....off with that layer of clothes.
The first thing we came to was Newspaper rock. It's probably the biggest rock with the most petroglyphs on any one rock it the USA.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It was another 20 miles out to the end of the road past these buttes and canyons.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

This scene give you the big picture, and says it all....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


We stayed out till 4pm and then made a beeline back to camp. LD, almost ran me out of gas. I was going to stop in Dove Creek even if he didn't. He did though, and I had less than a half gallon left.
There was a country diner across the street from the station, and it was close enough to dinner time that we elected to get some semi home cooking. The food was good. We made a good choice.
Everyone was back at camp so we had a good evening lying to each other before retiring. It was decided to take in the Needle's Overlook and Moki Dugway tomorrow.

NEEDLES OVERLOOK
Day 2 at Dolores would be spent riding with the boys, and girl. I was really enjoying a couple days of riding with no trailer.
We had one big KTM and an SV1000 ridden by Ye Wilde Ryder, and His wife Lynn. This couple has been riding big bikes fast together for years. She hangs off his 6 about 20 feet and to the side. They've been doing this for the 10 years that I've known them. She is there like glue and he knows she's there. They are a great team.
Then there were the 4 boy down from the Denver area. One of those 4, Dave Ryder, was from Pittsburgh On a borrowed 1250 Bandit thanks to Matt Mcdonald. Matt rode his Long trusted 700 Magna for this week.
Actually Matt Mcdonald and DeWayne organized this little get-together. Don Goldston was along just for the joy of riding on his newish FJR.
First we tried out Karla's for breakfast. Turned out to be kinda self serve style. They had three topping that they put on everything. Sausage gravy, Green Mx Chilly sauce, and Mx red chilly sauce. It was great.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Ye Wilde Ryder and Lynn
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

After breakfast Ye attempts a parking lot wheelie to set the ride's tempo. :clap :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

....and partner Lynn
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

DeWayne on his very nice Honda liter bike.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Dave Ryder on the Bandit
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Don Goldston on the FJR...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Dave had his V1 radar detector with him. It seemed like a good Idea for him to ride point as we would be pressing the speed limit out there in the wide open spaces. The trouble with that was that Dave didn't know where he was going.
After some starting and farting, it became clear to me that I was the only one that had been to all the places that we were going to go today, so I took the lead and showed the way. Later I dropped back for a few pics.
...somewhere on 191 around Dove Creek on 491.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I love this shot with the crop duster...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We passed Church Rock signifying 6 miles to the Needles Overlook road. Someone hollowed out the rock for some reason and gave the rock a name. That's a great looking rock...nearly symmetric.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It was only another 25 miles to our destination. The red cliffs would soon begin.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Looking behind us across the plateau is the majestic La Sal Mtns boasting Mt Beale as it highest.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We arrived at the Overlook parking...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The first order of business was to pick up Don's FJR. His foot had slipped on the pea gravel and done a slow speed drop as he was backing in. Damage was a foot peg. Don easily replaced it with a passenger peg.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The Needles Overlook looked out at the Co River as it snaked past, and the Needles Outpost that I'd been to yesterday. Believe me, it was a completely different view from up here.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

That's the Co River snaking along out there......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Ye, DeWayne, Lynn and Dave
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We spent an hr out there walking all over the place....it was worth the visit.
Matt and Dave......
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It wasn't easy to get the whole group together....and look at that sky, just f'n beautiful.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Then we move on to Blanding where we gassed up and had a bit of fast food for lunch.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag


......... NEXT THE MOKI DUGWAY..........


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Having gassed in Monticello, not Blanding, we all discussed how far it was to Moki and then Mexican Hat for gas. It was important because Matt's Magna was only good for 120 miles or so.
I figured it was a little over a 100 miles. It was easy for me to say as I wasn't the one that would run out. :evil But Matt took my word for it. I don't know if I'd have done that.
So we lit out down 191 to 95 east and then 261 South to the MD. There are some vast landscapes, gaps and cuts through cliff, and curvy roads on the way. The Dugway was about 90 miles away, and some pretty good riding if I do say so myself.
All this was out there....look at that little dirt road over there....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Recapture lake, I think, south of Monticello.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally we arrived at the 2000 ft cliff that is the reason for the Moki Dugway. Copied from a net search: >Indians had long had trails up to the top of Cedar Mesa. Then in 1958, Texas Zinc, a mining company, built the Moki Dugway, in its current form, so they could carry uranium ore from the Happy Jack Mine in Fry Canyon, Utah to a processing mill in Mexican Hat. The Moki Dugway descends 1,100 feet in 3 miles. It is the slowest 3 miles you will ever drive.<
Ye was the the only one capable to drive to the edge.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Does that look like only 1100 ft to you?
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally a picture of Matt's 700. It was a sweet looking Magna, but lately it had begun to slip out of second gear and leak oil from behind the clutch slave cylinder.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

It was getting late and we had another 100 plus miles to go, so we rode on into Mexican Hat and had something to drink. Some shed a layer as it was closer to a 100 down at the new lower altitude.
It was pretty much 'make Jet' for the ride back to camp....but there were still things to see.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Lynn and Ye stopped in Cortez to get the making for a spaghetti dinner for everyone. That was beyond the call of duty, for sure.
They had a room at the RV park with pots and pans so we all took advantage of that, and chowed down heartily. We had a few beers afterward, but everyone was tired, and went to bed early. It had been a long day.
There were a lot of leftovers so I bagged it up for tomorrow.....remember there are lots of starving kids all over the world, and it's bad to be wasteful. :evil:evil

...............PARADOX AND THE CASE RANCH.............

The couple days riding with the boys was fun. Everyone packed up and left Sunday morning. I took off toward Teluride as did Matt, Ryder, and DeWayne.
.....the last I saw of Matt.... Thanks for getting us all together.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The ride toward Teluride was majestic for sure, and took me to 10000 ft again.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Rico is a pretty little town along there somewhere. This was June 21st and it should have been prime time tourist season, but Rico was suffering from the recession like everywhere else.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

My ride bypassed Teluride. I was headed toward Norway and Naturita, and Nucla. The last 2 towns were name for the urainium boom here in the '50s. I don't know what put a halt to uranium mining around these parts, but there are towns like Uravan just down the road that are completely gone.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I picked up a bike behind me. I moved over and waved him by....
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

....I noticed as I was traveling along the Delores River once more a little south of the Norway hill.....I was getting hungry.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I pull into Bear boat launch area. I should have been a little more cautious. I saw a car down in there, but it didn't register that he was getting ready to come out the steep entrance, and that he probably didn't see me.
As I pulled in he was making a little run at his exit hill. There really wasn't room for 2 vehicles to pass. No way was I able to back up. He pulled over as far as he dared, and I was able to squeeze by.
It was squeeky, and with just a little more caution on my part it could all have been avoided.....but what the hell, that's what makes it an adventure, right.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

I got a stove out and heated up last nights spaghetti. I sat by the stream and looked for a raft or something to come by. Nothing but one duck came floating by. He looked like he was having a ball with the river all to himself. BTW, those pliers make an excellent pot holder....and have a 100 other daily uses.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Finally I make it to Paradox Vally. My goal Is Glenn Case's ranch still some 20 miles away.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag
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I spent three days with Glenn learning how to ranch a hay farm. Glenn's wife, Enid, has roots in this valley that go back to 1880. Her great GF came here from the Ca gold rush. It is said that he had asked a mtn man where he should go as he wasn't making it in Ca. The man told him that Paradox valley was the most beautiful place that he'd ever seen. I tend to agree....
From Glenn Case's spread

Or
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The trouble with the valley was water. The nearby La Sal Mtns had plenty of snow pack to supply water through the summer growing season, but it needed to be managed. So back in 1890, the ranchers got together and hired a man with a team of horses and a drag bucket to dig this ditch for 5 miles along the upper side of the valley for irrigation. It's been doing it's job ever since.
From Glenn Case's spread

Glenn seemed very relaxed in the last picture, but I followed him for 2 days as he managed his 2 rolling irrigation lines. It was fun for me, but it was frustrating as well with all the things that went wrong that would stop the watering.
From Glenn Case's spread

Glen had finished bailing the hay the day that I arrived, but he still had to get rid of the hay before anything bad happened to it. It's a liability till it's sold and off the property.
Glenn had 65 ea 15000 lb bails out there at $120 dollars a bail. He gets three cutting a year. The first cutting goes for his hay making expenses. The next 2 are his profit.
He make a small fortune there, by starting out with a big fortune. :freaky:freaky
We moved hay and worked on the sprinklers for 2 days before we could take a day off. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't work for me, I was just playing with new bigger toys. I had a blast.
From Glenn Case's spread

Enid took good care of me. I didn't get any breakfasts like this on the trail....
From Glenn Case's spread

I don't want to bore you with ranching...After the hay was finished, Glenn and Enid and Buddy took me for a ride over the the La Sal mtns.....

......................THE LA SALs........................

After the Harvest We took off for a ride over the La Sals. Glenn stoked up his Jeep pre-runner, and up the hill we went.

From Glenn Case's spread

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Just look at that mountain...
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Getting closer
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We stopped by to look at Geyser Lake as it's a part of their irrigation system. The check valve was hopelessly clogged with winter storm debris. Glenn figure this would take a backhoe to fix.
Buddy had fun just the same.... He's a mtn dog, no little sticks for him :freaky
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

If that small landslide gets any bigger it might take the road, up there on top, with it.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We traveled around the Mtn on the east side. Our route went to nearly 9000 ft whereas the peak is at 12800. The valley at Paradox is routinely a 100 degrees or so. The locals all have a vacation trailer or cabin up the hill for heat relief. It's their style of air conditioning. Works for them....and the beauty of the mtn is good mental therapy as well. :clap
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

The Cocopelli trail went down there in that valley. I'd been there on my DS bike a few years ago.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Further on we approached Castle valley on the north side of the La Sals.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

There are some great red cliffs there bordering the Co River before it gets to Moab.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

Eventually we reached the Co River. I'd never seen it so high. Nearer to Moab it was over parts of the bike path along the river.
From Riding SM4C, Sabmag

We finished the day off with lunch at Micky D's. I'm a big spender so I bought. :rofl
We rode back through old La Sal. They pointed out the old building where Enid's GGD started his store back in the 1880's. They pointed out the road to the defunct Cashan Copper mine. These are all places that I have to go see.
I reckon I'll have to make at least one more trip to see Glenn and Enid.

.............THE CONCLUSION AND 2 SMILES.................

I was up in the morning. I packed up leisurely. Enid fed me up well. There was nothing left to do but give my two great hosts a hug, and hit the road which I did about 9:30.
I traveled west, back up the La Sal creek road, past the Cashin Copper mine road. Speaking again about the Cashin Copper Mine[URL="http://ontheroadwiththesagrillos.blogspot.com/2008/04/atv-ride-to-cashin-mine.html"]Mine[/URL], check it out.
I had one other Indian destination that I'd like to check out on the way home. About 25 miles south of Tuba City there's another Indian Village on top of a 500 ft high mesa called Tewa or something like that. It's not on my AAA Indian Country map.
It seems like the Indians of the area (Navajo Nation) have been betrayed by the white man in the mental perception department. The tendency is for gringos to view the Indians and their culture, over the years and then, denigrate their ways.
It's resulted in the Indians keeping to themselves even more, and when they do allow people to view there ways it's in a controlled guided tour and quite often there are no pictures allowed.
It's that way at Tewa. I went on a tour at First Mesa which is 15 miles away and a similar village. The guide pointed out Tewa, which could harly be seen cross the lower mesa between, as we walked on her tour. So I wanted to see it. I'd like to do that on the ride home.
The trouble was that the weather report spoke of a hot front moving in. In fact it spoke of 115 degrees at The Colorado River at Needles Ca. I didn't know how that would translate to temps at Tuba City a few hundred miles from Paradox.
So I figured to make the decision about Tewa when I got to Tuba City. Well, at TC, it was a hundred degrees with the sun blazing down. I decided to save Tewa for another trip and make a Beeline to the higher elevation of Flagstaff.
In TC I broke out my cool vest. Those things are fantastic at making a hot day tolerable. Still I preferred not to linger in hot country.
It's 4000 ft at Tuba City and 7000 at Flag. The climb put a little extra stain on my Sabre. On the steeper climbs going toward Flag, I noticed a different exhaust note and a slight loss of power.
At first I wondered if I was imagining things, but further incidences confirmed that I was losing a cylinder on the longer climbs....Hummmm.... Slowing 20mph would bring the cyl back though.
I concluded that I had a fuel flow problem (probably fuel filter),and decided to go with it as I could usually maintain 60mph. From Flagstaff it would be all downhill to sea level at home with only a few climbs.
I breathed a sigh of relief at Flagstaff. I even found the right turn to get to I-40 without going through Flag's downtown. Ok, now downhill to Kingman.
I saw some news At the Micky Ds in Tuba City that said it was indeed 115 degrees at Needles. I didn't want to deal with that today so I decided to hold up in Kingman for the night.
There were more uphills sections in the ride to Kingman than I remembered. I resorted to taking advantage of the draft from trucks to help me up the hills. In retrospect I should have found an auto parts store in Flagstaff, and replaced the fuel filter with something generic.
I didn't want to deal with stripping the bike down in the heat, plus I didn't think I'd have such a struggle keeping my speed up going down to Kingman.
I checked into my favorite Motel at Rt 66 in Kingman, the 1st Value Inn, for $29 with Wifi. I decided to get to sleep early and leave at 2-3 am.
That worked well as the temps were probably only 100 at the river, but my bike suffered with the strain of the 2000 ft, 15 mile long climb going west from needles. In fact keeping my speed near 60 was a problem even using drafting when I could. A couple times when i'd start dropping that Cylinder it got so bad that I'd be on the shoulder as low as 25 mph before the fuel level in the carbs would come back. then I'd nurse it along till I could get in a truck's draft again.
It seemed like a long ride to Barstow. In reality I only lost 15 or 20 minutes, but time goes real slow when your having trouble
I took a break in Barstow and had a coffee with a burger at the junction to I-15 south. Back on the road, I could tell immediately that the 30 Degree angle change of travel to a more southerly direction helped with a little less headwind.
I only had one more episode with the lack of fuel on the last 150 miles home.
I walked in the door at 10am to be greeted with a hug as if I were a returning conqueror .......and to make the moment even better my 4 yr old GGD was there as well. Those 2 smiles made my return a holiday ......

It was good to be home......though I'd left a few things unseen. I hope to get back out there in the near future...........we'll see.