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Author Topic: Thag 2017  (Read 630 times)
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Metalcarver
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« on: September 05, 2017, 01:49:37 PM »

THAG 2017



Wherein three intrepid imaginary internet motorcycle friends set out to meet three other intrepid imaginary internet motorcycle friends at a remote location at the north end of the Wind River Mountains. This, whilst two other intrepid imaginary internet motorcycle friends set off on a mad dash from the east coast of the continent to rescue their imaginary comrades from a fate worse than death. Only they failed and the six imaginary internet friends were trapped in Mr. Wizard's magical mystery show. And there was this Texan who set up a fort and knew the local lingo and traded with the magical mystery people and talked to people all over the world from his fort where he kept his sidecar motorcycle without a sidecar. So the two knights from the east coast climbed a mountain to see the crystal lady and the sun was blotted out from the sky. When the sun returned everybody scattered all across the continent.


This, dear reader, is merely one of the many stories.

A trusting and unknowing trio of heroes gathers at my house prior to departure to the wilderness



And promptly set out via the Skyline Ridge Road.





McCoy Creek Road.



And through a strangely abandoned Grey's River road to a FS campsite about 30 miles from Alpine.









To have dreams, as well as illusions, shattered mercilessly the following day.  More to come...
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 01:50:49 PM »

The second day Aug 19 began as your average every day wilderness adventure.  Food, potty, packing and zoom off to McDougal Gap via the Cherry Creek road.













Then over the top and onto the high plain that leads to Pinedale.



And the most common view of antelope I get.  Might read something into that...



Fuel up in Pinedale and off up the Upper Green River valley where it was obviously already filling up with campers of all sorts.    We climbed up the Union Pass Road and lots and lots of camp spots had been taken.  The road going in to Lake of the Woods is not maintained.  Very large pot holes, lots of rocks and steep enough in at least one place that I had to use the cossack attack method.  Then down into what I thought was a rarely visited Wilderness Lake.



TX2Sturgis was the second camper set up there.  He claimed some turf for the motorcyclistas and the city filled in.

And there was this guy Michael And he had been planning all this for two  years and brought all the people in on 3 giant RV's.  And it was his 13th eclipse being a chaser of sorts and there was a magician. And we were kind of blown away and not inclined to accept any kool-aid.



Went to sleep that night with the bear spray within easy reach.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 01:52:20 PM »

August 20 and 21 kind of blur together.

The city grew.



Reinforcements from Gillette:



And from the east coast:



The day of the eclipse dawned very cold:



Haystack rises to a bowl of fresh nails after sleeping on the ground under a tarp in sub freezing temps.



And the two warriors from the east are off to climb Union Peak to see the crystal lady and receive blessings from the elements.



J & K had the best meals.



Then the sun was blotted out from the sky.





And the Ural contingent.



The seekers of the crystalline entity return.



And people packed up and started moving out within 5 minutes of totality.



And there you have it.  One of your average every day total eclipses of the sun.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 01:53:33 PM »

Aug 22

We didn't want to face the traffic on the main roads after the eclipse so we left the following morning.   Ranks of the corps of discovery had dwindled to IH and myself.
Slipped off the pass mostly unobserved.











So we regrouped at Green River Lakes, probably only a 30 mile run but the campground had lots of spaces and it's kind of special.











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Metalcarver
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 01:55:11 PM »

Frost every night so far.  Not quite as cold as the pass but still glad I brought my parka.  Got up to the same old boring Wyoming crap.





So we headed south to Pinedale for a delicious Mexican meal right-on-the-main-drag-and-I-can't-remember-it's-name.  But really good carne asada.

For some reason we keep heading south and onto the Lander Cutoff.



The Lander cutoff basically follows the old wagon route but is a wide groomed gravel highway with, as Jonz sez " stutter bumps"  Nice views the whole way but 55 mph on a fully loaded half ton mass of Russian determination has its own engaging moments.



We caught the highway near South Pass and headed for Lander.  IH did the old spitslap thing and led us to Red Canyon.  A wonderful little canyon and wildlife preserve that is kind of a back door to Lander.













Then on to food rehab and fumigation in the great metropolis of Lander.  Where hopefully we come up with some sort of plan for the next day.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 01:56:56 PM »

Aug 24

Rested, fed, not stinky, ambitious, and ignorant we headed out to face the world.  We headed up Sinks canyon and that kind of coiled the spring for the next leg.  Dirt roads across Wyoming .







And crossing paths with DanielM only a few days later.









These pictures were all on the Louis Lake road which leads down to the highway.  We cross it to Atlantic City.



From there we launch into the Wyoming outback and head south.



Cross the Sweetwater where thousands of covered wagons would camp on the Oregon Trail.











About as lonesome of a set of roads as you will find.  Pretty good condition except for the occasional rut patch where someone was playing in the rain.













We hit Wamsutter on I-80 fueled up, went right under the highway and on south which continued to look remarkably the same.





We go on to Baggs, Wyoming and turn east on FS 129 that takes us up a beautiful valley on a well maintained dirt/gravel road into Colorado.









This was a good road but the entire valley was private property.  Didn't see any place right off for either FS campgrounds or dispersed camping.  With impending rain we grabbed a road house next to Steamboat lakes.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2017, 01:57:54 PM »

August 25.  Dawdle in Colorado.  Paved run down through Steamboat south to Oak Creek.  Pretty but settled.  Then a big loop through the Routt NF.  It just looked like if we pressed on we'd end up camping in the desert.











We ended up camping near the pass at Vaughan Lake.













Then while sitting in camp we saw some critters frolicking.



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Metalcarver
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 01:59:43 PM »

Aug 26 - A brand new day



Loaded for cruise we head on west.







And down the long slope to Meeker.



Due west of Meeker the whole world changes. Aspen, spruce, fir to junipers, sagebrush, and sharp pointy things.



And then on up to a delightful little place in the middle of WTF called Calamity Ridge.





Not too far from here we encountered the deepest poof dust I have ever seen.  Pounded into the finest dust possible by oilfield service vehicles.  So deep that when the Ural went through it, the space between me and the windshield was completely filled with my own private haboob.  Kinda slid sideways to a stop and had to put it in 2wd to get out.



On the way down the back side more roads fed in and it was about as major of a road as you can get without paving.



Down this hill and across the valley lies Dinosaur National Monument.



We climb up the hill out of the visitors center



And came to the road to Echo Park.

























The campground is on a goose neck of the Green River.









Quite a transformation in one day.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 02:01:03 PM »

August 27 -We probably should have stayed at Echo Park for a couple of days.  But we at least took our time packing up.











And then retracing the route from yesterday back up that headwall.







You can see the road as a red scratch on the headwall.







That was an interesting road.



And IH scoped out state road 16 so we didn't have to backtrack all the way to the visitor center.





And a highway blast through Vernal for grub and gas and on up to the top where we catch FS roads into the Uintas.



We're camping at Spirit Lake at the east end of the Uintas.  Usually pretty crowded.  We had our pick of campsites.



We're at over 10,200 ft here so probably going to get cool tonight.



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Metalcarver
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 02:02:08 PM »

August 28 Uintas

Morning at Spirit Lake



"Biscuit board topography"  The Uintas are quite a bit different than other western ranges.





Unfortunately my unfailing sense of direction failed.  Picked the wrong turn and the road spit us out at Lone Tree.  Headed back in to the mountains because the alternative was camping in the desert.









And a nice little campsite next to a white noise machine.



It's been cold here too.





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Metalcarver
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 02:03:36 PM »

August 29

So I already traversed the North Slope of the High Uintas successfully earlier this summer http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/the-meandering-geezer-in-idaho.910587/page-52#post-32669973']HERE[/URL].  Admittedly going from the other direction but yet another wrong turn and the road spit us out to Mt. Home.

This is the moment of the wrong turn.  I turned right, should have gone left.



But really nice country so it took quite a while to realize the mistake so I guess that makes it NOT a mistake.











From the side!



This particular oops spit led us to Mountain Home where we gassed up and headed to Evanston the back way.  A freeway through the same country will bore you to death.  Ride some dirt and it takes on a different look.









I think the charcoal kilns and broken houses are part of the old settlement of Piedmont.



And off to Evanston where a banged up back needed a bed.  Not many miles today, but pretty.

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Metalcarver
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2017, 02:05:11 PM »

Aug 30

So, up early, awake and sober, and Evanston is a bit much to take.  Blast off north to Woodruff and up into the Cache Mountains via the Monte Cristo Road.



This is the Cache Crest Trail, at least on some maps,  but pretty representative of the best of northern Utah.



















If you need to traverse a big chunk of north Utah  from north to south this is much more pleasant than the angry drivers on Utah's highways.  Although I suspect that holidays and long weekends would make this place crazy with atv's utv's and monster diesel 5th wheel rv thingies.  But we had the place mostly to ourselves.













A bit of geographic dyslexia on my part took us almost to Laketown but full tanks and a pleasant ride took away some of the shame.



On track.







As we got closer to US89 the road showed more care and grooming.



When we got to the highway we could see a determined shower in progress in Franklin Basin and Cub River so abandoned that route.  We dropped down to Bear Lake and headed north to Idaho where IdahoHigh headed west to Preston and Arimo and I headed north to Soda Springs and home.  To Hell And Gone up and went home.



And arriving in Idaho Falls 2250 km later. (1400 miles)

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Stovebolt
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 06:24:12 PM »

How totally cool....

 thumb

I just got onto a compufuser for the first time in a while... great RR, Metalcarver! Wish like hell I could have been hell and gone with you and your crew. I haven't been on the bike since I left for home after you left the cabin on your Ural. It's been that long. Been slaving away at the cabin ever since. Even had to suffer the lack of totality from the cabin as we had to play with the weather doing the roof, so we had little choice but to gridlock up there, and we were a few degrees north of totality. Makes a big difference, but it was still cool I just really wanted to see stars at 11:36 am. That would have been neat.

Your ride must have been great though, from the looks of your pics and descriptors. Wish I could have been there on the trail, man!

Rally on,

Stovey
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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 12:21:02 AM »

Metalcarver, I think you have out-done yourself! What a fantastic report, love your photos and I count myself fortunate to witness the fruits of your knowledge! How else would I be in awe of your backyard if not for your reports.
Cheers!  clap clap
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 01:27:28 AM »

I keep coming back for more of your report! Each photo deserves tons of attention!
Haboob?? I had to look it up!  ricky

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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 01:44:25 AM »

Haboob.

My definition: The coolest and scariest thing about living in Arizona.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2017, 08:10:29 PM »

Starting to think about next summer's agenda.  Maybe southern Utah and Colorado.  Trouble is that a lot of the places I want to visit are above 10,000 ft and if you wait until that is OK then when you get down to the pretty sandstone stuff you will parboil in your helmet.  Maybe fall but then you really don't want to get caught in an early snow above 10k ft.  (3k + meters).  Anyone with experience at both?
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2017, 08:15:06 PM »

Oh yeah in case anyone follows my misadventures,  new therapy protocol for my stroke issues and  the Vomiting Egret may fly again next spring!  ("with bated breath")  Probably just a slab bike but have the Ural for offroad...
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Kosmic
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2017, 08:24:59 PM »

Hi Metalcarver, congratulations on getting back on two wheels! We did the TAT in June, and in Colorado, we tried one of the high passes famous for being filled with babyhead rocks, we did not get far due to snow, had to back out and changed plans. If your solo, I'd be super cautious and walk the trail to see what happens. It is tricky though, because you may clear a snow patch and think your golden, only to find it blocked even worse! The more popular passes, like Cinnamon pass and Corkscrew, which are used by the Touring Rent-a-jeeps, were plowed and just great! The dirt was a bit wet, and the banks piled high with snow. We encountered one or two passes blocked by snow, however we had a great time in the lower elevations.
I think it is worth the occasional back tracking, in order to have the roads all to yourself during the off-season, plus everything is in bloom and quite lush.
Of course there is always the chance that the lower passes could get rained out, but hey, that is why its called Adventure riding right!  ricky ricky


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Metalcarver
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2017, 08:38:48 PM »

Probably be on the Ural down there, which although good on bumpity rocky slippery stuff simply does not handle really steep roads.  There's guys who would disagree but I've gone up a lot of stuff, that if I had to stop, the Ural would simply burn up it's clutch.  Way too high first gear and no way to change it.  Backing down  a steep hill with all the weight on the back and one skinny tire to steer is one of those "adventure things" your were talking about.  I'll get the vstrom set up for slab cruising which is all I'll be able to handle.  Still just a theory at the moment but not using the cane anywhere near as much.
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2017, 12:16:26 AM »

This was Utah and Colorado in May, it was an awesome ride and with an electric jacket liner I was golden!
A solitary ride it was.




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Metalcarver
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2017, 02:01:25 AM »

Wo!  Plastered clean across the top of RDS!  Seven of Nine in all her raging glory!

I are humbled sir.
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Metalcarver
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2017, 02:27:12 AM »

So every life deserves a few moments when you fist pump the ever living beejeezust out of the sky.  This year had two real ones for me.  The first one was on June 7 2017 at 10:30 in the morning.  No fancy picture, kind of a mundane stop.  But exactly 11 months before this, I could not walk.  I could not crawl.  And there I was riding my way into the Wallowa valley.  On my own.  Throttle pinned (well, you get to do that a lot on a Ural) and I stopped where you get your first view of the Valley and the mountains.  The valley of ghosts, thundering across the high prairie.  And I stopped and punched the ever loving shit out of the sky.  And danced around (cars slowed a bit and stared but thought it best to drive on)



The other time was today.  My regular one mile walk.  The first quarter mile the effing cane was getting in my way.  So just carried it to the halfway mark.  Then I took that miserable POS chunk of Chinese shite and threw it as far as I could.  Dogs barking.  And I stomped over to it and picked it up and threw it as far as I could (farther).  Repeat several times.  Then I went back and picked up the pieces that broke off.  Horses looked at me kind of strangely.

Next year is going to be good.
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2017, 05:42:55 PM »

Next year IS going to be VERY GOOD! You continue to amaze and inspire, Dave... Will you also please put some visits to the new, improved Lucky Dog on your 2018 itinerary? If you decide to replace your walking stick with something dual-use for clubbing camp intruders, warding off bears and repelling Ural boarders, there are softwood options laying about up there in the vicinity. Otherwise, there are hickory sticks in the southeast in Appalachia - further afield.

Love the updated RDS mast head pic! Way to go Metalcarver....

Stovey
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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2017, 01:15:56 AM »

Metalcarver, thank you for sharing your sky punching moment! It is the personal stories that really make the internet grand!
I would be honored to share a ride with you some day!
Cheers kosmic


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