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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Southwest Utah Ride!!

Well, the weather report for St. George, UT yesterday was calling for the low 90's. I live about 10 miles north and 2k vertical feet higher and it wouldn't get that hot here, but still warm. I decided to take a day off work and head for the high country, east of Cedar City, UT. I had thoroughly cleaned my bike the day before, and with the addition of my Givi Cases (with more clothes and lunch), Zumo 550, and tank bag the bike was in "Sport Touring Mode", and ready to launch! (the dates on the pics should be 5/6/2009). I'm sure glad the bike was so clean, it wouldn't last long!!:



I headed out to SR 18 and headed north through Enterprise to Beryl Junction. There's some good curvy road sections and the country is greening up!



I turned east on SR 56 and headed for Cedar City. When I hit the pass just before Cedar I "ran into" a hatch of some kind of fly, it was like riding through snow! I'm no entomologist, but I have enough parts of those bugs on my bike that I'm sure I can probably ID some. I think they might have been May Flies. Anyway my Vario Screen didn't do much to protect me, and I could barely see through the splatted bugs on my visor.



Just beyond "bug pass" I came down the twisties into some meadow areas, where I previously have had close calls with turkeys and mule deer. I'm careful through here:



So, I descended into Cedar City, fueled up, and cleaned the bugs off my visor. Here's Main Street in Cedar City. At this time, at about 11:00 AM there was no wind. Cedar City is a windy place in the Spring, and this in itself, was amazing, but that was soon to change:



OK, now for the fun part: Heading East up SR 14 towards Cedar Breaks National Monument, one climbs from about 5900 ft. ASL in Cedar City to 9900 ft. ASL at the top in a few short miles. It's twisty, and it's scenic, it's fun, and it get's cold, here's some pics:









Here's the "top", beyond this, it's still a winter wonderland.



Here's some of the "beyond", I was kinda dressed too warm when I left my house, I wasn't too warm anymore! Heck there were still people cross country skiing up here!:





I'll try to post some more of my descent to Panguitch, UT via SR 14, the Mammoth road and SR 143, then the loop back home. It was way too much fun, and the Versys is such a great ride on these roads.

regards, Bob
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 07:00 PM
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Man, Utah is so beautiful !! You are a lucky man!

Utah is definitely tops on the States list.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 07:43 PM
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Ditto!! Nice pics!



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 07:56 AM
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You Dawg!

Man, this is killing me! I love that part of the country and haven't gotten back out there over the past 4 years. I'm hoping to do a two week trip through the Four Corners region in autumn on the Vee if time permits, but if I can't, I may just fly out for a few days of backpacking in the Abajos. I love the feeling of discovery that you can get virtually anywhere in southern Utah, just by walking away from the road and dropping into a little known canyon. Heck, for that matter, anywhere in Utah - the region up around Sheep Canyon near Flaming Gorge has provided weeks of backpacking and mtn. biking fun for me over the years.
You live in paradise, and your post is feeding my slickrock addiction...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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VeeWMC,
OK, you asked for it................more pics!

I couldn't go to Brian Head 'cause the road was closed due to too much snow, so I had to head East a ways, my goal being the Mammoth road, and then cutting North to SR 143, and then down to Panguitch, on the way I stopped at a kiosk which explained some of the past volcanic activity:



And here's a better pic of a lava flow, in the snow!



A little further east there was a pullout, where I took a pic of Navajo Lake, it's obviously still frozen over!



On down the road to Duck Creek Village, all the while losing altitude, the snow melt was causing the creek to run high!



Duck Creek Village is basically a "tourist trap" and offers lots of ATV rentals, restaurants, high dollar cabins, etc.. I headed a little further East and turned north on the Mammoth Road. The temperatures were moderating, and the Ponderosa forests/meadows were largely free of snow, it's getting warmer now, and that's good. There was very little traffic on this road, but as I was taking it a truck came by towing a boat, and it surprised me! Of course I've got my earplugs in, hence no warning.



On down the Mammoth Road, had to go "water the bushes" so drove "off road" a bit.



This road is too much fun, tons of twisties, and if you like old Lava flows, you are gonna love this road!







Finally, after having a ball on the Mammoth Road, I intersected SR 143 and headed NE toward Panguitch. On the way I came upon another village with big cabins:



Then on down to Panguitch Lake!





The road above Panguitch lake has many "tar snakes", and when blasting around some of the corners my bike felt a bit "wobbly", I slowed down a bit. This is a fun stetch of road though! Finally, descended into Panguitch:



OK, remember the lack of wind in Cedar City, well, it came back with a vengeance as I rode north out of Panguitch to the intersection of SR 20 and Hwy 89, I headed west on SR 20 towards I - 15, here's some of the scenery, those are the Tushar Mountains, the locals call them the Beaver Mountains:



I didn't really want to ride down the interstate, especially w/all the wind, but I did the 30 some mile trip, here's the junction just before I leaped on the "super slab":



In about a half hour I'm back to Cedar City, and retracing my steps home, back through Enterprise.



And the "hills" just north of where I live.



It was a fun trip, and I'd like to post a map, but I haven't quite figured that one out yet, if I do, I'll post it. It was about a 280 mile day.

If any of you ever need any info. on this "neck of the woods" let me know!! Next trip, Bryce Canyon, Escalante, etc.. Stay tuned!

regards, Bob

Last edited by RPrice; 05-08-2009 at 09:10 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 09:10 PM
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Great pics !! Nice narrative on the pics as well. What kind of seat is that you have on your V?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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jhedges,
It's the "standard" Corbin with back rest. It makes all the difference in the world on long days!

regards, Bob
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 10:14 PM
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Thank you you just showed me a camping spot and a good route to go in June

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2009, 11:08 PM
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Thanks for the extra pix!

Oh, this is killing me! What I'd give to be dropping off the side of Boulder Mtn. up on the Aquarius Plateau for a week or so of wilderness wandering with a backpack. One thing that I really envy those who live in the west of is the 'base camp' opportunities that are available. The east is too crowded for good roadside camping - you can find sites, but the roads get a lot of traffic and there is little solitude in most places. I've pulled off on the little BLM or Forest Service roads in the Rockies and red rock country for a week at at time, setting up a basecamp for long mtn. bike rides or backpack trips, and never saw anybody for days on end.
There's a tiny access road north of Arches National Park that I sometimes take when I'm out there in early spring that only goes for about two miles from Hwy. 191. However, I can park my car at the end, hike in a little ways with a pack and spend days of blissful solitude, far from the crowds that throng the park roads just a few miles away to the south. There is a long red rock wall, not too tall - maybe 50 feet or so - that runs for about a mile along a ridgeline. The sides are sculpted to perfection. I can climb up, set up a tent in one of the perfect-sized shelves in the rock, and kick back to enjoy the moonrise over the La Sals. Some of the best backcountry nights of my life were spent there, listening to the coyotes howl and the owls calling as they wandered the hoodoos along the boundary of Arches. Good times in good country - it doesn't get much better than that.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-09-2009, 08:31 AM
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RPrice: Been out to the Henrys?

Hey, this one is in your territory, a bit further east. Have you ridden out to the Henry Mtns., on the dirt road that starts between Hanksville and Lake Powell? Ever since I got the Vee, I've been thinking about how much I'd love to do that one. It seems that every time that I'd pass that way in the past in my truck, I'd be enroute to somewhere else. If I go back this fall, that may be near the top of my to-do list.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Henrys, they were the last major mtn. range in the lower 48 to be named and surveyed. They are extremely remote and rugged and are the last place that you want to have a major "Oops!" A free-roaming herd of bison roam the range too, after 18 animals were released years ago in 1941. The Utah Dept. of Wildlife Resources maintain the herd at about 200 animals by issuing hunting permits by lottery. There is little chance of the herd leaving the mountain because it is pretty much an island in the desert. That range has always fascinated me. You can see it from a large part of southern Utah, but it takes a lot of commitment to get there. Going in on the Vee would be the trip to remember. Gotta get my tire-changing skills down pat first though.



This pic shows the Henrys as seen from further west along the Burr Trail, back when the Burr was still a good dirt road leading you from the Escalante region down to Lake Powell. Man, I wish that the road had never been 'improved'.
The high point in the photo is Mt. Ellen, 11,506 ft.

http://www.onlineutah.com/henrymountainshistory.shtml

Man, keep the pix coming! You're feeding my red rock addiction!


This shot was priceless - it looks like one of those times when your helmet probably sounded like you had your head in a popcorn popper. Have you ever gotten it 'decorated' like that and forgotten about it when going into a store or restaurant? "Hmmmmm, sir... would you like a nice table out back on the porch???"

Last edited by VeeWNC; 05-09-2009 at 08:39 AM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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VeeWNC,

Thanks for the pics!

I'm embarassed to confess that I haven't been to the Henry Mountains, and I've lived in UT for 20 years! I'm familiar with the Bison herd, and in fact, have some friends that have hunted them there, as well as deer. I have observed the Henry's from a distance, but have never actually "trod" on them. The proposed trip you describe sounds like a real live adventure, and yes, your tire changing skills, I would think, should probably be "honed". I'll follow up with some pics soon of some other red rock country really close to where I live, soon. I'm glad I'm getting you "fired up". You need to come contribute to our economy, and more importantly, have some fun!

regards, Bob

Last edited by RPrice; 05-10-2009 at 10:06 PM.
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