Recently in Me Category

 

GPS Tracks: WhiteSandsWash.gdb

In October, my brother-in-law Ken and I departed for the Green River, Utah area. Our destination was the White Sands wash area - approximately 15 miles South/East of Green River. Our intent was to stay almost two weeks while boondock camping and ride/explore all the nearby trails and areas.

 

I was told that due to the size of my 5th wheel (43'), that it would be best if I came in via Blue Hills Road, just south of the Moab airport and HWY191; what a mistake. The wash-outs and dips on that graded dirt road caused the rear-end of my 5th wheel to make contact at least 12 times during the ~25 mile drive in. The easier route would have been Floy Wash road, just off I-70. Floy Wash road was only 10 miles to White Sands, with only 3-4 deep wash-outs.

 

At any rate, after a grueling 2 hours running the ~25 miles down Blue Hills, I finally arrived in advance of my brother-in-law, drove to the top of a mesa overlooking the sand dunes and set up camp.

 

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The weather, other than some wind was holding up quite nicely. I dug a nice deep fire pit, surrounded it with rocks found on the mesa and got my first fire underway.

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The following morning, it was clear that a decent breakfast with grill made bacon was in order, so I prepared everything and ate breakfast as the sun came up.

 

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By the next day, many in our group were starting to arrive, including a dually towing a monster Jeep rock-crawler. Sadly, I never got to see the rock crawler leave the trailer or head into the dunes. The others that joined were locals from Moab and knew these trails and the trails around Moab very well.

That afternoon, we saw in the distance a large and very fast moving vehicle. As it turned out, it was a couple from Austria in a global expeditionary vehicle; they were travelling through from Canada to South America on a year-long adventure.

 

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They were so intrigued with Utah, that most of our discussions in German and some broken English revolved around how they could possibly relocate from Austria to Moab and open a German themed restaurant. Fast forward to late December 2012 and I received an email from the couple indicating how much they dislike Mexico and want to come back to Utah.

Day 3 (or 4, I don't recall) and our group loads up to ride the trails to the South of White Sands. In our group are 2x Jeeps, a SxS, a few motorcycles and a few ATV's. We travel about 40 miles that day before returning to camp.

 

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The following morning, we pack up again with our destination being "The Pickle" with the trailhead starting at N 38 42.606 W 109 47.675

 

According to Traildamage.com, the trail is rated an 8 out of 10 for technical challenge and is a favorite for extreme rock crawlers, which made it even more interesting for a short wheel based ATV (mine!).

 

Just as we entered the trail head, we noticed two guys on ATV following us in. It was apparent they were in above their pay grade the minute we hit our first descent. We helped them as much as possible until the last HUGE drop-off, at which point, we helped them "walk" their ATV's down the descent.

 

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A brief video showing the walk-down..

 

 

Shortly after returning from this ride, most of our party departed to head back to Moab or their respective homes, leaving Ken (my brother-in-law) and I on the mesa. By this time, winds were approaching 40-60mph sustained, eliminating further potential for fires or outdoor BBQ'ing. Our plan for the following day was to head north, explore the Green River, then see if we could find the Green River Missile Complex and the "Crystal Geyser" along the Green River.

We took off late morning and found many trails that took us to the Green River, but no option to cross. We then decided to find the Missile Complex (which we did). What an interesting relic from the 60's and 70's and the cold war.

 

 

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After riding to the edge of the Green River, it was off to the Missile Complex:

 

 

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After thoroughly checking this location out, we took off to the West to find the Geyser. Sadly, the Geyser never erupted during our ~30 minute visit.

 

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We contemplated riding into Green River for a beer and snacks, but thought perhaps our non-street legal machines would get us in trouble, so instead we turned around and made the ~15 mile ride back to camp.

The following morning, despite the winds and rapidly dropping temperatures, we decided to ride into 10 Mile Wash toward the Green River. The wash is narrow and deep, with the walls towering overhead in some spots as high as 100+ feet.

About 3/4 of the way through the wash, we came to a deep "pond" that we decided to traverse. Little did we know just how deep this "pond" was. Ken went in first on his Yamaha and laid it down for a fraction of a second.. just long enough to allow the bike to ingest over a gallon of water; his machine was flooded out.

We decided that since I had ample tools that we'd dismantle the bike and get as much water out as possible, then figure out next steps. After over an hour of wrenching, we got as much water out as possible and limped the bike out another mile or so, before reaching dry trail. The decision was made that I'd drive the ~20 miles back to camp and return with a gallon of oil and other supplies to do an in-the-field oil change. Sadly, even after putting a full gallon of oil through the machine, the oil was still white and milky. We still decided to ride the machine out and wildly, the machine survived the trek. Just after getting out of the wash, the sky went dark, rain started and the winds whipped up to at least 60mph. What a day!

 

 

So now with my Kawasaki broken and Ken's bike no longer rideable, we decided the next morning, we'd pack up and head for home. We will be back..

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A few months prior to resigning my position with Nelson Labs, I agreed to come into the office at 7am to participate in another "Film Fest" video before heading out for a weekend of camping.

 

This video is the result:

 

28 Days Later, Zombie Apocalypse (339mb)

 

After leaving the company, this brief tribute was played before the entire company. In the almost 8 years in my role as CTO, I was mostly the only senior executive to participate in the fun company events, corporate games, etc. and this compilation was a tribute to the fun we had in the process.

 

PowerPoint Tribute to James King (24mb)

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Spot-Marysvale-to-Panguitch


On 01 Sept 2012 - 03 Sept 2012 (over Labor Day weekend), I set out for Lizzie -n- Charlies RV Park in Marysvale, Utah.


GPSr tracks here: Marysvale-to-Panguitch-Loop.gdb


Our goal was to complete a full loop from Marysvale to Panguitch and back, staying overnight in Panguitch before returning back to Marysvale.


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We departed Marysvale at 0930 Saturday morning, following the Paiute 02 trail until it connected to the Paiute 01 South. We climbed elevation until reaching about 11,600' near Delano Peak. The views were breath taking.




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After bypassing the Beaver High Adventure Camp and Three Creeks, we started onto the Paiute 88 trail. This trail was a very narrow two-track surrounded on all sides by Aspen and Pine. As the kids soon discovered, the trail was also quite technical in sections, with tight switchbacks, loads of rocks and other obstacles.


The 88 trail seemed to last 50 miles, as it just went forever. Somewhere high above and West of Junction, East of Beaver, we finally connected to the Paiute 67 trail and continued out southbound journey.




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Again, we continued southbound until reaching the 68 trail, which then took us out of the Paiute trail system and onto the Panguitch system. At this point, the trail was foreign and not on my GPSr tracks, so we relied on our compass to continue navigating us to the South and to the East.


 

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Finally, at around 7pm, we could see in the distance Bryce Canyon and what looked to be Panguitch (albeit three mountains to our East).


We continued on. Butts were sore, kids (and I) were hungry and tired. At this point, we were about 90 miles into the days journey.


We pressed on and finally made it into the far South/West corner of Panguitch. We checked into the New Bryce Western Motel, cleaned up and walked over to the Cowboy Steakhouse. Steaks were awesome, but I forgot this place specializes in traditional smoked/BBQ and not in fire grilled steaks.


Day 2: We fuel up and start searching for a place to have breakfast. A local informs us that a truck stop 3 blocks away serves breakfast. We are the only customers. We eat, head back to the motel to pick up the last of our gear and head out.


With everyone being exausted after Day 1 and the 101 miles covered, we decide to skip Casto Canyon and instead, follow the Fremont 02 trail into Circleville. Most of the Fremont 02 is wide open roads, so our speeds were averaging 30-35 mph. We were making great time!


At Circleville, we turn East and catch the Paiute 01 and follow that North, stopping for a brief break just before crossing Kingston Canyon.


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Again, the trail pretty much was wide open throttle until we again reached the junction of the 01 and 02 into Marysvale.

 

We arrived back at camp filthy, exhausted and glad to be back!




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San Rafael Swell in February

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In early January 2012, I posted a single question on ATVUtah.com regarding interest in riding the Swell late February. I received a few initial replies from less than 8 folks. As the proposed date (Feb 25) got closer, I saw more replies from folks indicating they had invited others to participate.

Little did I know that this initial query would turn into a massive event where more than 20+ people arrived with truck, trailer and ATV - including one gentlemen all the way from Texas.

My youngest son (Nick) and I arrived early Friday morning (having hoped to depart Thursday, but due to high winds felt it prudent to postpone our departure).

The drive up and over Soldier's summit was hairy. Fresh snow and Ice were on the ground and we really had to take our time towing the 43' 5th wheel down (and up) those grades.

Upon arriving at our camp destination (Buckhorn Well), we were surprised to find that some agency had created a cleared and dedicated camping location - complete with fencing, cattle guards, covered picnic tables and some sort of building structure.

Getting in (due to the size of my 5th wheel) was problematic. The graded county road did not provide enough turning radius to maneuver my rig through the cattle guard. After a bit of maneuvering, I was able to cut a 45 degree angle through the gate and make it in without making contact with the steel posts. Yet more damage to my 5th wheel averted!

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Upon arrival, the gentleman from Texas (Jerry) was already camped in his 20' travel trailer. We discussed the weather and overnight temperatures (being reported as being 13-20F each night) and agreed to do some exploratory riding in the morning.

As the next morning came, Jerry approached me to inform me that his exposed fresh water tank had frozen solid overnight and that he was headed into Castledale to secure some form of heater to thaw his tank ( in his words, "I am in need of a shower").

Since the outside temperature was still less than 20F by 8am, we gladly waited for his return and placement of a UV light under his TT tank.

Off we went to explore the nearby trails - our first stop being the crossing at the San Rafael River. The water depth appeared to be 2-3', fast moving with a very thick layer of ice over the far bank. Additionally, the far trail was very washed out, off-camber and thick with mud. We weren't quite prepared to make the crossing that day (considering Nick was on a 2wd Honda and Jerry was somewhat inexperienced (or so it seemed) ).

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Since we chose to not cross the river that day, we instead chose to follow Buckhorn draw South and cross the "Swinging Bridge". The trail was not technical, but it was scenic - to include a stop at the pictographs on Buckhorn Wash.

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While wandering around the side trails on Buckhorn Wash, we stumbled upon some sort of encampment. On the first pass by, I stopped to examine the contents: Many 5 gal water jugs, black bags of tin cans and other assorted gear. Nobody was around. After we backtracked and went by again, we noticed that a huge backpack (5+ day variety) and set of boots was now obvious near the 5gal water jugs. Whoever was there was clearly hiding from us.

So, for Friday, daytime temps were reportedly 42F, but the real-feel (due to wind) was less than 32F. Nighttime temps dropped below 20F. I emailed the group on ATVUtah.com to come prepared with extreme cold weather gear as Saturday was supposed to be same (or worse) weather - with the addition of high wind warnings.

Saturday morning arrives and I spend over an hour getting my ATV to start (due to the extreme overnight temperature). Just after 9am, the first trucks start pulling into the camp spot. After 30 minutes, over 20 vehicles had parked and more seemed to be coming down the county road. I was shocked to see so many people unloading machines.

I take a few minutes to collaborate on the trail route with a few regulars (Dennis and Glenn (both from the Ogden area), gather everyone around to determine experience levels (there were so many that I didn't know) and discuss trail etiquette (if we get to a turn, wait for positive signal from the person BEHIND you before you proceed on a trail turn). We decide to split up into two groups (at least initially) with 12 being in my group and depart. Our first stop, the river.

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Glenn goes through first and we determine that the water wasn't as deep as it appeared and he makes it across. We start to funnel others through. Our third rider (Dave) makes it through, but hits the sheet of ice with his tire and breaks the bead, but still manages to make it across. We spend the next 1-2 hours getting the tire back on the wheel. Who knew that Mayonnaise would substitute for grease.. Jerry sure discovered that after 40psi and when the bead does finally settle, that mayonnaise flies everywhere.. (he was covered head to foot in the stuff).

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Fixing Dave's tire

 

From this location, we continued South along Sid's Mountain, Eva Conover and through the ice and snow to Swayze's Cabin (south of I-70). We had now progressed over 40 miles into our route and were at the half-way point, but already 2pm.

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The next few sections were the most difficult: The Devil's Racetrack and Fix-it Pass. Boulder crawling, off-camber and rough terrain for several miles - this really slowed our group's progress. Stopping to assist, prevent tip-overs or rolling off the cliff was critical, especially considering were were rapidly running out of daylight and knowing that we had ~3 hours before the sun went down and were just past the half-way mark.

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Convoy along the Devil's Racetrack

 

We managed to get through the Devil's Racetrack with no issues. Most of the riders were capable and with some light spotting, we managed to get everyone through. Off to Sid's Mountain and Fix-it Pass. This location proved to be more difficult, especially for our younger and more eager 2wd young lady. While she seemed unafraid of the terrain and willing, the machine simply wasn't capable of climbing the extreme rocks. With 3 guys man-handling the machine and her father at the controls, we managed to get her machine out of the tight spot.

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Now for the other ~20 machines.

After what seemed like 30-40 minutes, we got the entire convoy through Fix-it Pass and continued our journey north. By the time we arrived at Coal Wash, the sun was already going down and the wind was howling. We stopped to regroup, do a head-count and allowed everyone to get even more bundled up with their cold weather gear. The temperature had easily dropped 20F.

Down coal wash we sped (with me at the front, easily hitting 40-50mph) and the group trailing behind. By the time we got to our next turn to head toward the Swinging Bridge, it was pitch black and very cold. At this point, trail etiquette went out the window. Nobody wanted to be left behind or in the dark. I waited (or so I thought) for the last riders to pass, waited an extra 5 minutes then proceeded alone (in the dark) on my own. Unfortunately, I was wearing my tinted goggles, and they made it far too dark to see at night, so I had to ride the remaining ~15-20 miles without eye protection. It was VERY COLD. Shortly before the Swinging Bridge, I caught sight of the convoy ahead of me (easily 1-2 miles ahead) and pressed on. Part of the group became confused at the next turn and I ensured they knew to turn left (West) instead of right (which they seemed about to do).

By the time we made it back to camp (staging area), folks were scrambling in the bitter cold to start trucks, load their machines and get out of the Swell. The time was 8pm.

So concluded a memorable and very long adventure in the Swell. Nick and I remained at camp that night, suffered through the howling winds and freezing temperatures and departed at sun-up the following morning (Sunday).

Unfortunately, it appeared to have snowed at Soldier's Summit again the night before and we had to again traverse snow covered roads towing our 18,000 pound load.

Total mileage was just under 100miles as indicated in these attachments:

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Garmin Track (unfortunately, my batteries died on the GPSr and I only saved the return half of the tracks):Swell-Return.gdb

 

A huge thank-you to Doug McGee for reluctantly (but still willing) to lead a good portion of the trail sections.

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Moab in February

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For the past few years, we've tried to remedy our cabin fever by either heading to Logandale, Nevada or some other warm destination. This year, the wife (Trish) and I decided that we'd head to Moab for a relaxing weekend.

What we discovered was that Moab really doesn't open for business until the 20th of February. Virtually none of the stores were open for business and the restaurant prices were double their normal cost (Bucks Steakhouse was asking $32 for a 13oz steak - based on their "Winter Menu" ).

Via Groupon, we secured a reservation a the Sunflower Hill Inn (Bed & Breakfast)). The room and location were perfect. Our room (The Sunset Suite) had an awesome balcony facing East.

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We got settled in, explored the area (by truck) for a bit then went on the search for dinner. We settled on Buck's Steakhouse (because there are only two food groups as far as I'm concerned: Steak and Meat).

The next morning (Saturday) the temperature was only 32F, so we decided we'd find a location to hide the "Bogley Stash". I determined that the area around Fins -n- Things, Poison Spider, etc. would be a great location. Off we went in the dually to 4wheel our way through the park. I found an easy enough location to stash the ammo-can and back to town we went.

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Once temperatures started to warm, we decided to go in search of hiking opportunities. Our first stop was Corona Arch (now made famous by a viral video found here). The hike in was an easy 2 mile rock and ladder crawl. Fortunately, we arrived before what must have been a school-bus unloaded a ton of kids.DSCN0104

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We hiked back to the truck and went into town for a quick lunch (thanks, Eddie McStiff's!). Once lunch had settled, we agreed to head to the Moab Rim trailhead. This trail is mostly used by huge rock crawlers and less so by hikers (due to the vast amount of rocks that need to be traversed). The hike up was about 2-3 miles of straight vertical gain; Trish really struggled with this hike and asked me repeatedly if I was trying to kill her.DSCN0119

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About half-way to the top of this hike, I placed my 123rd geocache hide in a small outcropping of rocks.

The hike back down was grueling. Gravity wanted to tear our toes off, but we obviously managed to make it back down.

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Back to the B&B we went to change, clean-up and inspect the nearby hot-tub.  With a bottle of red wine in hand, we enjoyed the hot-tub, clear star-lit sky until at least 11pm.

What a great escape. We'll definitely be doing this trip again later in the year (but this time, with our two boys).


Unfortunately, the drive home was pretty hairy. The route from Price to I-15 (about 80 miles) was snow packed, slick and hadn't seen a snow plow. I had my helmet cam nearby, so I put it on and started filming. The drive home:


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Fillmore and 5th wheel saga..

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On Friday, October 21st (2011), we departed Salt Lake City for Fillmore. Our goal was to get in one more camping and ATV'ing adventure before the weather turned cold and snowy.

On the first Fillmore exit, we stopped to hit Carls Jr. for a quick lunch. Just as we parked, we noticed a guy on a golf cart inspecting every trailer that pulled into the lot. At first, we didn't think much of it.

A few minutes later, this guy was looking at my 5th wheel tires with much interest. He came over and told me that my tire tread was separating and that if I pulled my rig to the service station a few hundred feet away, his guys would gladly mount my spare. I pulled to the service station and was immediately told that all six of my 5th wheel tires were coming apart.

Initially, it looked very likely that I was in a very dangerous situation with my trailer. I was quoted $2100 for 6x Cooper "Provider" tires in 235/80 R16. I declined and we made the 2-3 mile tow to the Fillmore KOA.

Google was fired up and I researched Cooper tires. To my dismay, I learned that Cooper doesn't carry a brand called "Provider", nor did they carry my tire size. Clearly, these guys were pedaling Chinese knock-off tires at twice the price I could source replacements from Discount Tire/Sears/Walmart.

To compound matters, upon arriving at the KOA, we determined that the front electric motor for the levlling legs was not working. We had to manually crank to lower (and then raise) the legs. Additionally, the rear garage door was not sealing completely, allowing both sunlight and bugs to come through.

We settled in that Friday night and for dinner, drove the ~50 miles to Hoovers for another awesome meal.

The following morning (Saturday), we decided to sleep in a bit. Overnight temps were near freezing, so nobody was really inclined to get out into the cold morning air.

My 11am, we had the ATV's loaded and were ready to roll. Destination: Marysvale (just shy of 60 miles one-way across two mountain ranges (Pahvant & Tushar).

Our route would start at the far North/East corner of Fillmore via the Paiute 03 trail through Chalk Creek.






Somewhere near the middle of the Max Reid trail (Paiute 01), the Honda Rancher lost all brakes at one of the steepest sections of trail. My tactic: Get my ATV and my sons in front of the wife and have her just coast down using the two front ATV's at brakes. Success!

Hunters were everywhere in the woods. How they managed to spot a deer is amazing considering how close they all were to each other. Deer to hunter ratio had to be 100:1 (100 hunters for every deer).

We returned to camp after sun-down with temps in the 40-50F range.

That evening, we discussed the situation with the 5th wheel tires. I went out and inspected and determined the tires would be able to handle the 140 mile return trip home.

We departed early Sunday morning and didn't exceed 55mph the entire trip home. We arrived without incident. Seems to me that tire center in Fillmore has a pretty interesting (and unethical) racket: Scope out every trailer, spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt), then when they hook somebody, they increase their tire prices by $600-800 over normal retail.

The quest for replacement tires is underway and the 5th wheel goes back to Motorsportsland for service on Friday. What an eventful weekend. It would be nice to have one outing with the 5th wheel not end with maintenance/repair issues!

On June 16-18th, my 13 year old son and I departed South Jordan en route to Marysvale. In tow, we had our massive 42' 5th wheel, two quads and my mountain bike. We were intent on participating in the Take Back Utah event at Lizzie and Charlies RV park.

We arrived Wed. early afternoon (after a nice lunch at Hoovers), staged the RV (can't camp without Satellite TV, XBOX360, Air conditionining, 50amp power and ice cubes!) and called it a day.

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On Thursday, we met with the TBU group and initially participated in the ride up to Bullion Falls and Monroe Mountain. After eating dirt & dust for a few miles, we (my son, myself and Gary Eli) decided to leave the group and seek out our own adventure. Our destination: Koosharem via the 53 and 33 Paiute trails (some of the most Black Diamond rated trails in the area).

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Considering we've ridden this area in years past without issue, we went with our normal half-day gear (wet weather, lunch, drinks). Normally, Marysvale to Koosharem is a 4 hour round trip. This day, it turned out to be a 9am-midnight adventure.

Why was it adventure? Let me tell you our story:

The ride up the Paiute 01 and 02 can be done in a truck; That was our initial trail up the mountain. Upon reaching 7000' elevation, we started to encounter many trails blocked by either downed trees or a combination of massive snow drifts and downed trees. Our only available trails to Koosharem were the 53 and 33. Did I mention Black Diamond rated? (BD=Extremely difficult).

Gary was in a Razr SxS while my 13 year old was in a 2wd Honda Rancher.

Both trails were not easily accessed due to the amount of trees that had fallen over the trail. We spent a considerable amount of time cutting the trees back. I initially used my trusty handsaw (never leave without it) until Gary came clean that he brought a battery powered Sawz-All. What a relief!

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About 1/2 way up the mountain, we encountered our first creek crossing. Was the creek ever moving and deep. After gauging depth, we determined that creek was 2-3'. Probably not safe to cross without either taking water into the intake or having a machine pushed-over on its side. I decided to toss my winch cable across, get across the creek via a fallen tree and hook up the winch cable.

Without fail, a few feet into the creek, I found a hole and the front-end of the quad sunk to the front-rack. Quick action on the winch and throttle popped me out before I ingested water into the machines intake.

Upon arrival on the other side, I reversed the winch process and connected to Nick's 2wd Honda. He clearly didn't want to ride it across, so I tried to pull it across with the winch without a passenger. The power of the creek tried to tip the ATV over, so I quickly jumped into the creek to stabilize the machine. Water was rushing over the top of the quad, so I had to react quickly by shutting the machine off (to minimize any damage to the motor).   We got the Honda across and repeated the process with the massive Razr.

Other than fouled plugs, no harm or damage was sustained! (WHEW!).

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This creek crossing process was repeated a few times while trying to make our way down the mountain.

Near the top (9800'), we encountered a trail junction: Monroe or Koosharem. The sun was going down and the trail we wanted to take was buried by a massive snow drift. Nick egged me on to try the snow-packed trail. I made it 30' into the snow drift before becoming high-centered and stuck. Gary decided he could get his machine in to assist, but also got stuck. Unfortunately, there was nothing close-by to winch to. After combining my 50' winch cable, my extra 50' nylon-coated winch cable, my 12' tow strap, Nicks 8' tow strap and a hand-winch from Gary, we were able to reach the sign post. Our fear was that we'd yank the sign out. We were grateful the USFS sunk and cemented those posts in well, because it got my machine free. In turn, I was able to winch Gary's Razr out. Another hour lost on the mountain.

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By now, it was nearly 5pm. Where did those hours go? Hmm.. cutting down trees, playing in the snow.. they all added up.

Shortly after extracting ourselves from the snow, we noticed the sky was becoming increasingly black and overcast. Temperatures had dropped 30-40F and the wind was picking up.

By now, we were thinking about an exit strategy and abandoning our route to Koosharem. Unfortunately, all other routes except the Black Diamond rated 33 and 53 trails were not accessible. The safe play was to get closer to civilization. Down the mountain we continued.

We finally reached Koosharem at ~6pm. The gas station and Cafe' were still open. Gary (being diabetic) needed food in order for us to continue. As we dined on burgers and corn-dogs, the storm started raging outside. Winds were easily 60+ mph with raging rain. Temps continued to plummet.

I had no cell service, but Nick's iPhone4g had some ability to dial out. I phoned the wife and put her on standby and to start contacting Flat-bed tow truck companies in Richfield in the event we couldn't make the ~60 mile trek back to camp.

We made two night attempts back up the mountain in driving rain & wind. Unfortunately, our visibility was so low, we constantly missed the trail we needed to take. Back down to Koosharem we went. As luck should have it, the gas station owner was just closing, but allowed us inside while the tow truck arrived (ALWAYS have a PLAN B). By ~10pm, we were loaded up on the two truck and en route to Marysvale. By midnight we were unloaded and back at camp.

Quite an interesting day.. and I'd do it again without hesitation!
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Took the quad out again Saturday to do some more riding in the Mercur/Ophir/Stockton area. My goal was to explore every side trail I could find.  
 
Even though I've been to this location at least a dozen times, I was surprised today when I found some trails that lead to new and interesting places.
 
The first new side trail was Above and just North of Jacob City. The trail climbed and climbed until it reached the peak of the mountain over Jacob City (north of). From there, a trail pressed North and would have dumped me into Soldier Canyon. Unfortunately, I had to turn around as a huge herd of bulls (horns and all) were blocking the trail, and I was in no mood to be gored by angry bulls (they were at 9800' elevation and seemed wild).
 

 
The next was N/E of Jacob City and in the neighborhood of N 40 24.034 W 112 14.720 . From this location, it would appear that I could drop all the way down to the far end of Ophir Canyon. Again, I had to turn around as a large herd of cows was blocking the trail and they refused to move.
 
While almost to Soldier Canyon, I ran into several members of the Northern Utah ATV Club (Gary & Co.). Thanks for stopping by, guys!
 

 
A few photos from my high elevation riding today:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several ways to get up there. One is along Ophir Canyon (paved road) at about: N 40 23 102 W 112 14.070. Another, which makes for a great loop is around: N 40° 20.355 W 112° 17.335 and then you could also come in from Stockton around: N 40 25.300 W 112 19.255.
 
All staging locations are very easy. It's not until you deviate from the marked trails that some of the riding gets a bit more aggressive.  
 
In fact, from the Stockton location, you could drive a regular truck most of the way up before the trail narrows to just ATV width. 
 
 
http://www.atvutah.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1240693879/26#26

We went out again yesterday (Nick, Alex, Megan and I) to explore this hastily abandoned camp. Seems far more vandalism has taken place since last year.

Still a fun area to explore:

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A gopher snake that decided that if wanted to sit under my ATV:
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For the past 3 or 4 years now, I've volunteered to be Santa Claus for a friend. Our friend (Jody) runs an exceptional day care and each day sponsors and open house to visit with Santa, take photos, etc.

This year, we added a Sub-for-Santa event to collect shoes/boots for a specific elementary school. The event was a success and we collected 28 pairs of shoes.

Two very memorable photos from that day:

Before (with dog and unhappy child):
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And After: Puppy was trying to eat my face.


 Where is James King?


 

Language Translation




 

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