Showing posts with label wyoming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wyoming. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Wyoming Boondocking - Day 26: T-Dubing around the Haystack Buttes

 Monday, Sep 21

Today I rode to the nearby rock formations called Haystack Buttes.  The formations are on BLM land and the area is accessible via wire gates, with access trails leading off WY 530, so easy to spot.

I started with the gate closest to the entrance to Brinegar Crossing where I'm boondocking.  At first, I wasn't very close to the buttes so I just pootled along the trail which forms a big loop to the west of the rock formations and eventually dumps you back on WY 530.

Along the way, there were some technical portions mainly due to steep embankments caused by creeks.  I would just slow way down, nudge up to the rising bank and then gun Yagi's engine and we'd ride right up, no problem!

One can apparently go pretty far into the area surrounding the wilderness which is centered on the mountain below.  This is where I turned around and started heading back to the highway.


Perhaps two miles from the highway, I spied what looked like a side by side ATV but I didn't see any people in it or nearby.  Once I got close I saw why:



It was a Utah-plated rig and I guess they'd been a bit too enthusiastic hitting the steeper embankments perhaps?

I didn't find their corpses as I continued riding towards the highway so I figure they made it to the road and flagged down a ride to get help.  The repairs on that axle look pricy!

Soon I was near enough to the rock formations for pictures, the below comprise several locations.  I must have gone through 4 or 5 wire gates to get the shots, using the highway as the way to switch gates.


In between the second and third gates, I crossed over the highway onto FR 159 to check out its water access.  Found a possible campsite candidate and got a look at Anvil Draw Crossing's boat ramp:


Returning across the highway once again, it was time to check out more rock formations that looked like haystacks:



This formation is darker as it was backlit by the sun

Note the wire gate one negotiates to enter/leave the BLM area

The following picture was taken from a perfect spot to pose Yagi on top of a small mesa....unfortunately I couldn't get Yagi up there.  I walked up the final 200 feet or so to this view:


The reason I couldn't get Yagi up there is this particular portion of the road going up to the mesa.  Very narrow, dropoffs and very very loose sand on the upper portion after one negotiates the narrow bits....so I turned her around and walked up


A different set of rock formation just a bit further along the same trail:




I got back to the campsite around 2 PM, ate a late lunch and basically just rested in the shade of the URRV's awning in the warm afternoon.  Pretty great day in terms of weather.  It would hit a high of 77°F (25°C).  Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler again, along with a chance for rain.

As you might see in the sunset pics below, the motorcycles are loaded up on their respective mounts and we're headed south back to Colorado tomorrow.



I really liked this Flaming Gorge Reservoir area, and I'm sure I'll be back again.  Great opportunities and sites for solitary boondocking and hopefully next time I'll not pick a site that's large enough for two rigs or more!


Monday, September 21, 2020

Wyoming Boondocking - Day 25: West Firehole Canyon, Blacks Fork River and other rock formations

 Sunday, September 20

A sunny day today, a bit cool until about 3 PM as the temperature was not forecasted to be higher than yesterday.  But the sunshine made all the difference!

Soon as it hit 50°F (10°C) I hit the road on Yagi heading towards that promising looking trail I'd spotted the day before.  It seemed to lead straight into the gap created by the west portion of Firehole Canyon and this time I had the right motorcycle for the job!

It was 23 miles from camp to the entrance to Lost Dog Road and while it was a brisk ride, there was very little traffic so I didn't have to go above 50 mph to get there and so avoided some of the wind chill factor.

The first trail I tried proved a dead end but the picture below shows you the trail conditions on a lot of the road I would end up taking.


Soon enough, I found the right trail and not too long afterwards, was at the furthest point which provided a high overlook of the reservoir and the canyon walls on this side.




A rock formation near the overlook that I found interestingly carved
by the wind.



Returning back to Lost Dog Road, after negotiating some side sloping trail portions that almost gave me pause, I turned left and went to the end of the road to the water's edge.  It proved a disappointing spot for scenic views so no pics.

However, as I returned north on Lost Dog, I spied this glimpse of water and stopped:


Back on WY 530, I turned south and got off at the BLM gate just south of the bridge which goes over the Blacks Fork River.  I followed a trail which can take you to the top of a nearby mountain where some telecom antennas are located.  

I crossed the river using the gravel passage provided by whomever maintains this trail to the telecom gear but it started getting steeper and sandier pretty fast and soon I came to a stop:


This is as far as I got, not a good idea to try for the top
when riding alone.


The river crossing point

Back on WY 530 again, I kept heading south until some distant rock formations caught my eye as I approached the vicinity of Brinegar Crossing where I'm camped.  I found a gate that allowed me access and I rode further west towards the Wilderness Study Area.   I wanted to get a closer look at the rock formations I'd seen from the highway.


First time seeing such a combo of rocks atop a lighter
sandstone type material



This is the portion of the rock formations that caught my eye from
the highway, perhaps a half mile away.

Making my way back, I checked out this dry lake bed....it must have dried recently as the surface mud was still "moist".


OK, so enough of that, it was getting warm by now and I was getting hungry as it was almost 3:30 PM at this point.  Made it back to camp and after a late lunch I just hung out at the URRV enjoying the warmish weather.  It had risen to 68°F (20°C) from a low of 39F overnight so it was quite comfortable.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Wyoming Boondocking - Day 24: Cloudy and Windy Day

 As forecasted, the weather dawned cloudy and would transform to pretty much solid overcast by 11 AM.

Sunrise was "meh" but it did light up the Haystack Buttes to the west somewhat:





On a happy note: Shithead Encroacher left the area this morning as I sat outside enjoying a cup of coffee.  Good Riddance!

Spent the morning doing my first MPC: Motorized Police Call.  No, I didn't call for some motorcops...police call is what the Army calls it when they have the troops "police up" or basically clean an area of trash/litter and so on.

I usually police up the area around a campsite I use, this time with the gray skies, I decided to ride Yagi to cover more area.  One of the sites, the littering arschl√∂cher had even left a big plastic bucket from which drywall mud had come in, I strapped it onto Yagi to be able to carry more crap as I found it.

I cruised up and down the nearby shorelines, several camping spots with fire rings and so on.  What are the littering arschl√∂cher thinking that dumping their trash inside the fire rings is good enough?

I would end up filling five bucketfulls, making trips to the dumpster at the boat ramp each time to empty the bucket for further collections.  

Around 11:30, the winds started to pick up and I made my fifth and last run....this time also hauling someone's discarded exhaust tubing.  I pulled it behind Yagi using some wire I'd found discarded.

The bucket's position

The exhaust tubing....at least I think that's what it was....

Some people are just such schweinhunde!

The winds turned pretty strong, cresting around the low 20 mph I think.  I stayed in the URRV the rest of the day, reading books and watching it rain sporadically and the temperature plummet from a high of 60F to 54F.  Sigh.  I've really lost all resistance to and willingness for riding in what feels like cold weather.

Oh, wanted to mention a fix I recently did to Yagi's leaking muffler joint where the exhaust pipe from the cylinder head connects to the muffler.  It had come to me with some sort of black rubbery sealant used to keep exhaust gases from leaking at this point.

When I'd re-assembled it months ago, I'd use muffler sealant (gray cement like consistency) and it had held up pretty good until about a week go.  Suddenly Yagi sounded more like a Harley Davidson motorcycle than a Honda.  Not good.

Being in the Wind River Canyon area, I'd no ready access to an Auto Parts store so I compressed the lips of the muffler tube to better contact the header pipe....still there was a tiny gap.  

What to do, what to do?  Then I had an idea.  I cut up a Red Bull aluminum can and used a strip of the metal to line the header pipe before inserting it into the muffler tube.  It was pretty tight and took some careful effort to get it seated.  Then I tightened down the clamp and it's been sealing pretty well I think.


At least, Yagi sounds normal now instead of like a Harley-Davidson wannabe!  It's not pretty but it'll do till I can do something a bit neater AND also use some muffler sealant which I purchased in Green River before arriving at the Flaming Gorge NRA.

The wind and rain seem to have done much to clear up the haze and smoke in the skies, tonight's sunset wasn't too shabby:




Saturday, September 19, 2020

Wyoming Boondocking - Day 23: Uraling to see the North and South Chimney Rocks

 Friday, September 18

Another very hazy day today, once again Lightroom and Pixlr  to the rescue.

Rode out after 10AM once it hit 60°F (15.5°C) under sunny skies and very hazy conditions on the horizon.

I drove Fiona north on WY 530, the road which parallels the Flaming Gorge Reservoir all the way from Green River to Manila, UT until I reached the Firehole Canyon Overlook almost a mile north of the Lost Dog road.

Did I mention it was hazy?  I'm sure on a clear day, the overlook provides a nice view into Firehole Canyon, today it was just blues.

Mid-morning view from Firehole Canyon Overlook

The original version after cropping to match and only 
applying "Auto" settings in Lightroom and exporting 
as JPG from original RAW format

I'd "dropped a pin" where I thought would be a good overlook point for the Chimney Rocks which are on the east side of the reservoir using Google Maps.  It actually plotted a route for me using Lost Dog Road, then FR 167 to FR 168.
A pic from the end of FR 168

The original version after cropping to match and only 
applying "Auto" settings in Lightroom and exporting 
as JPG from original RAW format

Back tracking a bit, I decided to try going further towards the water on FR 179 and got a much better view of both North and South Chimney Rocks.  The thicker of the two is the North rock.


The original version after cropping to match and only 
applying "Auto" settings in Lightroom and exporting 
as JPG from original RAW format

Wandering a bit further down, I parked Fiona then walked closer to the edge of the cliffs for this shot of Firehole Campground:

Not to shabby a location for a campground eh?
There appears to be a paved road leading to it!

Note the boondockers on the beach....looks like a great location
though I doubt there's cell signal down there.
Update: It's confirmed: zero signal down there.


Some of the rock formations I saw as I made my way back the same way I came in, it was quite warm at this point and I was tired.  So when I saw another trail that led down towards the below rock formations, I didn't turn and just kept going back to the highway.



Back on WY 530, I returned to the Firehole Canyon Overlook to see if viewing conditions had improved.  They were still very hazy but a bit better:


I may, possibly, go back to that other road which led into that interesting bunch of rock formations but not sure.  If I do, it'll be on Yagi.  The roads I took today on Fiona were quite doable on a Ural but Yagi would have been a better choice.

Rested away the rest of the day, doing some light exploring riding Yagi and checking out some of the trails around me.  The sky went fully overcast and gray mid-afternoon and remained gray the rest of the day, no good light for pics.

The wind picked up briefly, but has now died down as well.  Too bad, was hoping it would clear some of the haze and smoke from wildfires to the west of here.