Friday, April 24, 2015

Moab 2015 - Day 1: Spring Canyon Bottom and Long Canyon

I arrived at the Archview RV Resort near the town of Moab in Utah around 5:30PM after seven uneventful hours on the I-70 Super Slab mostly.  Once again, I was using Milli, the PT Cruiser to trailer Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar rig.

There were already about 12-14 Ural Sidecar rigs in evidence at the resort, and I spent the evening getting re-acquainted with folks I'd met before, getting to know new to me Uralisti and just enjoying the camaraderie.

Wednesday began bright and early for me as I got up before 6 AM in the hopes of catching a good sunrise from a location within the confines of the RV campground resort where I was staying.

 Above is fellow Uralista, Dana, photobombing the picture shoot
on his Rokon

 The two arches you see, are known as the "Spectacles"
according to a sign displayed nearby at the campground.

The old abandoned church building on campground premises.

Today's riding first got a group of us on our Urals in the vicinity of Spring Canyon Bottom.  Most of the group decided to wait as Tim L. and I took our rigs further on down towards the riverbed bottom of the canyon.  Tim L. had reconned the road thanks to a friendly couple on a Honda ATV vehicle and declared the road quite doable by Ural.

There had been some hesitancy to take the whole group down due to the large number of rigs, the scarcity of spots to pull over and the steepness of the climb back from the bottom of the canyon.  Given the lack of a "crawler gear" on our beloved URALs, the way to climb a steep rocky trail is to charge up the incline you see.

 At the first ledge area just below from where we left the main group,
above is Tim L's Patrol sitting pretty on the rock shelf.

 photo courtesy Tim L.

 I rode Scarlett a bit further out on the rock shelf, seeking
to pose her on some dramatic spot, this is about as close
as I dared get to the edge though.

 The entryway to the shelf "road" leading down
to Spring Canyon Bottom
courtesy of Tim L.

 Yours truly descending down to the bottom
above and below courtesy of Tim L.

 Proceeding on down the steeply descending rocky trail to the
river below, one could see and enjoy the multi-colored rocky
canyon walls and the seemingly endless layers of rock and sediment
standing testament to the work of the river over the millenia.

 Though rocky and bumpy in spots, the road really was quite URAL-able.

 Once Tim and I got to the bottom, we looked up to the rocky
ledge where we'd started from.

Tim's shot with his 300mm Zoom
If you look closely, you'll see figures at the center of the ledge, waving down to us.
courtesy of Tim L.

photo courtesy Tim L.

Dana and John, the host and cook for the night's planned BBQ dinner had left by the time we motored on up the canyon back to the main group.  Tim led us out of the Spring Canyon Area and took us towards Long Canyon for a bit of riding.

Long Canyon is quite the scenic narrow canyon with majestic high rock walls and narrow slots spanned by a narrow trail of rock and gravel.  Though there were rock ledges and off-camber spots, it was also quite doable by Ural.  The only tricky spot really was at the beginning of the canyon trail and everyone seemed to enjoy the ride, I know I did!

 Above is the spot where I shot part of the video at the end of this
blog posting.

 Dan K. (above) and yours truly (below) going under
the large boulder forming a tunnel along the road
through Long Canyon.
courtesy of Tim L.

After the whole group had filtered on through and under the big boulder that formed a tunnel roof over the trail.  I "raced" to catch up with the main group.  I never did catch up though, stopped too many times to take pictures you see, thankfully they patiently awaited me at the end of the trail.

photo courtesy Tim L.

 Sorry, I couldn't get a better angle on the above picture,
the trail was so steep that the transmission wasn't holding
Scarlett in place and she was slowly moving forward on her own.
I have to get the parking brake re-adjusted.

 More views of the magnificent views one can see along
Long Canyon.

Once we were all together again, we rode back towards Moab for a very late lunch.  This was Randy, our great Colorado URAL dealer and fellow rider, Tim L, Dan K and yours truly.  Those burgers hit the spot.

Back at camp, we cleaned up and traded stories of the day's riding and looked to our rigs.  That evening we had a delicious BBQ dinner cooked by Spat, aka John S. and hosted by Dana who is the one who leads most of the rides during these MOAB get-togethers.  Nice job guys!

The last picture is of Scarlett's twin.  She's also a 2014 Patrol and her owners, Kim and Cheryle B. displayed remarkably good taste in rig colors, don't you think?

Stayed up way too late, especially since I was supposed to go out in the pre-dawn darkness with Tim L. and Ed aka Mundo Bravo to catch another sunrise at a different location recommended by Dana.  More on that in the next posting.


RichardM said...

Nice photos and I enjoyed the video. That area of Utah is really nice especially when it isn't really hot. I've been in Moab in the middle of the summer and it was pretty grim.

Unknown said...

Dom, I'm jealous already.....

Canajun said...

What a great area to ride. I loved Moab and its surroundings when I was there a few years ago - but it was HOT! Looks like not so much for you.

Bluekat said...

Dom, the images are stunning, and wonderful video. What a fantastic ride.

SonjaM said...

Dom, I am running out of superlatives. Stunning! I have been to this area several times, and fond memories of walking, hiking and cycling through this beautiful scenery.

And although I love your sunset/sunrise pics, I have to say that pic #14 is my favourite, very atmospheric, and calendar-worthy.

Sasha Jevtich said...

Spring and Fall are the times to be in Moab! If it was too hot, you are going at the wrong time....

Great report....see you all in April 2016!

RichardM said...

Have you "tested" out your new skid plate yet?

Trobairitz said...

Great pics and video Dom. Such beautiful arid scenery.

That road leading down looked like pretty soft dirt. Was everyone covered with fine red dirt when they got back to camp?

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, thanks for the comments. It got a bit "warm" that day but not too bad. The new skid plate wasn't tested...the trails really weren't bad at all.

Jack would have been good riding with you and Rich again.

Canajun, it was a bit warm at times but still...great riding.

Thanks Bluekat...the area is filled with such trails.

Sasha...looking forward to it!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Trobairitz, actually minimal coverage by the red dust endemic to the area...lots of red mud on some of the rigs...

redlegsrides said...

Updated the posting with many pics from Tim L., fellow photographer and rider.

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, sorry for the delay on your comments. Thanks very much for the kind words.