Showing posts from 2007

Exploring Sinbad Country

Having beaten up my knee I decided that I still needed to get out into the country while the weather was good so it was time for a truck trip. When I first started coming to Utah in the early 90s I used to go to the San Rafael Swell but I hadn't been back there since I moved here so it was time to put that right. This particular area of the swell is known as Sinbad Country because the rock formations look like those described in the Arabian stories.

My off road ride started in Temple Wash where I found this strange balanced rock on top of a spire.

As I went on I found all sorts of interesting rock formations - this is Dutchman Arch

The rest of the story is on my main blog

Ride n' Hike to Mount Ellen

I can see the Henry Mountains from my front yard but in the three years I'd lived here I hadn't made my way over there. They seem so remote and barren and most people that write about them use the word 'inaccessible'. Nonetheless there are several interesting facts about them, geologically they are a mammoform laccolith which is a feature where volcanoes have pushed lava up under them but not broken through the overlying sedimentary layers. The Henry Mountains were in fact the first range to be called a laccolith and are mentioned in every basic university geology book. They are also home to the largest free roaming herd of buffalo in the US, they were introduced in the mid 20th century and now number around 200. They range over a huge area on the mountain range and the surrounding deserts and have no restrictions, unfortunately they were nowhere to be seen on this day. The mountains are named after the secretary of the Smithsonian who helped Powell finance his expedit…

Grand Junction, Moab and Blanding Loop

I needed a few things from the BMW dealer in Grand Junction which at 200 miles is equal closest to me with Salt Lake, but a better ride. I headed out over Sweeper Madness (UT72) to I70 which is really nice ride until Green River but then becomes desert and therefore hot.

After taking care of business in Grand Junction I came back on UT128 which follows the Colorado River down to Moab. On the way I found Utah's longest suspension bridge - the Dewey Bridge:

Later in the day I ran into some storms but was also treated to some great views

For the full story go here

Assault on Rim Lake

Rim Lake lies at the southern end of Boulder Mountain Top at an altitude of 10,853 feet, ever since I first discovered it a couple of years ago I've wanted to hike round it. Two weeks ago I set off to do that but took the wrong road and was then chased off the mountain by a thunderstorm. Since then pretty much every day has been stormy, this morning while sitting listening to the cricket commentary on the internet I noticed that there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
I quickly martialed the camera gear, riding gear, hiking gear and some lunch and headed out on the KLR. The KLR is a better bike for this kind of expedition than the CRF, the roads are not technical, it has carrying capacity and is much more comfortable with it's soft seat and saggy suspension. OK, so the lights don't work...
I blasted up the hill barely stopping, there were a few clouds forming but nothing threatening.

Until I reached the lake, the only place on the whole Aquarias Plateau with a storm was Rim Lak…

Exploring Sand Creek After The Flood

Following the flash flood during the week I decided to see what had happened further upstream, there is a trail that follows Sand Creek for a ways up into the hills in part to service the pipeline that brings Torrey's water down from the heights of Thousand Lake Mountain.

It didn't take long to find the effects of the flood, that's what I call a Rut!

But as if on order here comes my personal road builder

Continued here

Flash Flood in Torrey

July 25th 2007

We have been having heavy thunderstorms every day for the last week with quite a lot of rain falling, on the evening of Tuesday 24th the
rain fell particularly heavily for a couple of hours over the canyon between the Anthill and Thousand Lake Mountain (and over Torrey at the same time).
This is the catchment area for Sand Creek which flows down from Thousand Lake Mountain then turns east across the north end of Torrey before joining
Sulphur Creek and flowing into Capitol Reef NP.

The bridge is on Center Street which runs up from the side of the Chuck Wagon to the Sleeping Rainbow area behind Torrey, this road was only just paved last year.

Looking west from the bridge, Sand Creek is normally a trickle at this time of year, maybe a couple of feet across and an inch or two deep, even during the snow melt it rarely has more than a foot of water in it.

The water went right up over the bridge

Continued here

A Ride on Boulder Top

A rather hot spell was followed by a stormy spell up on the mountains but finally on Saturday it looked like the clouds were not going to gather over Boulder Top, well not the black storm clouds

I think I'll head up there (this is the southern view from my house)

I turned off UT24 just through the gap between Torrey and Bicknell and immediately noticed a sign for an access road to the Great Western Trail, I thought maybe I would find a track leading to the Boulder Top access road.

The trail started to climb the spur of Boulder Mountain that forms the southern side of the gap with good views of Bicknell Bottoms

Over the top of the spur was a downhill in some deep fine sand, I careened down it and at the bottom decided it was obvious that the trail was going in the wrong direction, then I tried to get back up the slope. No chance, the knobs on my rear tyre are really worn down but I think I would have needed paddles to get up there. I hit it at about 25mph but barely made it 15 yards…

Hot at Home

After spending 5 days trying to hide from the heat in the even taller mountains of Colorado I get home to find it is still going to be 90+ all week. Last June we had 4 days over 90, so far there have been 11 this year.

It's so hot that Rabbit has dug himself a hole to lay in and try to cool down...

Riding the Uinta Mountains - Day 4

Day 4 - the ride on the way home

This is the blue ride on the map

I wasn't quite satisfied with my riding because there was still some of the Outlaw Trail to investigate, it was an "easy" part mostly and looked like it really just followed the paved road to make a complete loop, still it needed to be done...

I got an early start - no, really! - and was packed and at the trailhead by 11am. I was right about the first section of the trail, it started out very civilised

and just followed some power lines parallel to the road, I soon became tired of that and found a trail that led off into the trees - the deep trees

but a pleasant ride

happily riding along I thought I was way out in the country until I found this

there was nobody there and throughout the whole area there were numerous trailers that looked as if they had been left in the trees for the whole summer, I assume people take them out in the winter, they would be completely buried in snow if not but maybe that wouldn't…