Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moab, Utah to Bonneville Salt Flats

From the Mecca of off-road to the Mecca of speed...  In this leg of the trip, we head North and West from Moab, Utah to the Bonneville Salt Flats on the Utah-Nevada state line.
It was a beautiful but hot morning in Moab.  After breakfast at the Love Muffin Cafe, we explored the OHV areas and watched some Jeeps tackle the trails. Heading North out of Moab, we spent several hours checking out Arches National Park.  From Arches, we decided to make our way along a dirt road to a attractive camp spot along the San Rafael River.  We had the whole valley to ourselves and woke up to one of the most beautiful morning scenes yet.  Riding through the "Baby Grand Canyon" was spectacular, and we even came across a group of riders from Seattle that were doing the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (UTBDR).  After we came out of the canyon, we decided to hook up with section three of the UTBDR.  It was such a great ride that we decided to try section four after lunch.  Unfortunately, the slick, clay mud partway into the route clogged our street-oriented tires and prevented us from finishing.  We doubled back and camped outside of Provo along a stream in a beautiful canyon.  This morning, we stopped in Salt Lake City to check out the BMW dealership and have some of the best Al Pastor tacos in the country at Chunga's.  A long boring stretch of highway brought us to the rained out Bonneville Salt Flats and a super-cheap hotel room in Wendover for the night.  Here are our photos from this leg of our trip:

Jeeps climbing "Baby Lion's Back." The main Lion's Back trail was closed.

Matt wanted to see what it was like to ride on the rocks of Moab.  This is the entrance of the "Fins n' Things" trail.

Made our way North to Arches National Park.  Weather was beautiful but very hot.

Delicate Arch

Remote campsite at the entrance of the Baby Grand Canyon.  Just off of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.  Had the place all to ourselves.

Petroglyphs  in the Canyon

Small gorge along section 3 of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.

After a big rainstorm, the road on section 4 of the UTBDR was too slick for our street-oriented tires.  The clay mud stuck to our tires, and we lost all traction. Had to turn back and pick a different way.

Breakfast burritos with sausage, potato, peppers, onion, and avocado.  Campsite in Hobble Canyon, just outside of Provo, Utah.

 Bonneville Salt Flats were very wet.  The World of Speed event that weekend has been cancelled.  Lots of disappointed racers around Wendover.

Tomorrow we'll head North and try to do some more off-pavement riding in the Owyhee Mountains of Idaho.  Our trip is more than half over, but we're still trying to make the best of it.

- Matt & Brayde

Monday, September 2, 2013

Photos From the First Five Days

We've reached the halfway point of our trip and are finally somewhere with internet access. Brayde and I rolled in to Moab, UT, the off-road Mecca of the world, late last night and decided to get a room so that we could do much needed laundry, take showers, and post photos.

Since Wednesday, we've ridden across Washington, Idaho, South through Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, and back into Utah to Moab. We've managed to do a good mix of backcountry byways, dirt roads, and highway.  We've ridden some awesome roads and seen some beautiful landscapes so far in the trip.  Rather than write pages and pages of text, we decided to make this a photo posting.  Enjoy!

Wild Horse Wind Farm Visitor Center.

Made our annual pilgrimage to White Bird Idaho to drink $1.25 ice cold beers at the Silver Dollar.

Night two campsite at Grand Jean, ID.

Road out of Grand Jean, ID.

Craters of the Moon, ID.

Airing down the tires at the start of an 80 mile stretch of dirt road out of Blackfoot, ID.

Breakfast, somewhere between Idaho and Wyoming.

Road between Blackfoot Idaho and Alpine Wyoming.

Many people herding cattle that day.

Morning scene at campsite at Flaming Gorge NRA.  Laundry drying, breakfast, scenery.

Dirt road through Flaming Gorge NRA.

The top of Douglas Pass in Colorado.  Reminiscent of roads in Switzerland.

We're looking forward to the next half of our journey . Today we'll ride through Arches, and then pick a few more destinations in Southern Utah before heading back North towards home.  Next time we get internet access, we'll be sure to post more pictures.

- Matt & Brayde