Saturday, November 19, 2011

Carbon County Trail System

There has been talk for years about linking up several towns via an ATV trail system in Carbon County. Thursday and Friday I went with a friend to the Price area to check the trail and determine if there were any archaeologists sites along the route. We needed to check where they were going to add ATV gates and new restroom locations.

One of the many wrong turns

On Thursday, we started just west of Helper by the railroad tracks and headed south. Since the trail is not marked yet and all we had to go on was a pdf file loaded into the GPS, we took many wrong turns.  One such turn lead us down through a wash that was quite narrow in a few spots. Jon (my archaeologists friend) was holding the GPS in one hand and steering with the other. Coming up to this narrow bend in the wash his ATV started climbing the wall and rolled over on its side. Jon was able to jump off prior to being pinned under it. We were able to get the ATV upright and after a few minutes it started up. We did not see any damage to the vehicle so we continued on. There were several times when we took Dump road but ventured off of it to get closer to the railroad tracks.

Along the railroad tracks
After getting to Consumers Road we decided to head back and work on the Kenilworth trails. While loading the ATV's on the trailer, we only put one strap on each since we figured we were only going a short distance. We turned off at the Kenilworth and Center street junction and headed up to the first well site.  Jon noticed my ATV right on the edge of the trailer and we got out and quickly adjusted it. I laugh about it but it would have ruined the trip with only one ATV in working order. Dennis Udink met us at the well site and took us to the two new ATV fence crossings. We realized that this job would take a few more days and planned to come back on Friday. It was a cold day riding but fun to see new areas.

Blown tire

Heading to Price on Friday brought a few surprises. First, just short of the Price exit, we blew a tire on the trailer. After a quick change we met Dennis at Smiths and headed out to Clarks Valley Road (between Wellington and Sunnyside).

We unloaded close to the power lines and headed west along the trail. At the wash we could not find a way down in and around so we headed east instead. We traveled up Clarks Valley road a ways and then turned off east.
Jon replacing tire

The trail we were to take became progressively worse and at times we could not determine where the trail was. There were a few washes where we had to muscle our way through and then we hit the "hill". We tried to find a different way up but determined that this was the trail and the only way to go to get to the last ATV fence crossing. The "hill" had boulders about the size of basket balls and larger that you had to ride on or around and you had to lean forward and to the right (unless you wanted to find yourself at the bottom). Making it to the top, we took a quick break and cleaned up then headed to the last crossing. We were determined to find a new way off the hill but after much searching determined that going down the "hill" was our only option if we wanted to get to the trucks before dark and before the storm came in. I will say that going down the hill was a lot easier than going up even though some of the rocks threw us around quite a bit and going down in 2-wheel drive is the only way to do it (using 4-wheel drive would have locked up our front tires, not good). By the time we got back to the trucks, it was quite cool and the storm was fast approaching. We said our goodbye's to Dennis and made it home before the storm hit.

Now I have a new place to explore with Dennis (who had not been on a few of the trails before) but want to wait until it is a little warmer, the trail is properly marked and the trail knocked down so you can get through the washes without problems. Also, I want to wait until they fix that @#$%! "hill"!

Here are a few pics of the new "trails" being put in.
New trail east of Clarks Valley road (one of my favorite spots)
One of the washes we had to go down. This one was easy!
Dennis shutting the gate east of highway 123?
Jon and Dennis checking the maps
Torrey watching Jon work
Jon checking out the location of a new ATV gate
Torrey, Dennis, Jon
Jon debating whether this was worth the challenge (it's steeper than it looks)
Dennis closing one of many gates we went through

Heading into the valley of challenges

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Wedge

I had two events (Moab & The Wedge) planned back to back so I thought I would combine them and be gone 10 days straight.

First was to Moab for the 4-man / 4-women team event sponsored by the UGA. I hauled my trailer to Dennis and Traci Udinks place in Price on Thursday (Oct 13th), dropped it off and then headed on down to Moab. The tournament was good and I enjoyed the golf, the scenery and the company. I then headed back to Price on Saturday (Oct 15th), shopped and loaded my trailer. Sunday, I attended church with Traci and then headed to the San Rafael Swell (The Wedge). I took the long route down to Castle Dale since I had never been there. It was 20 miles to the Wedge area.  We were going to have camp #5 but it was already occupied so I camped in #6. Sunday night I just pulled in and left the truck hooked up hoping that the people in #5 would be pulling out. They didn't so I pulled in by the little hill and unhitched. My front end was jacked up so high that it made the trailer wobbly. The next morning I hooked back up & moved the trailer to a flat area on the east side of #6.
Camp at site #6
 Monday & Tuesday I explored the surrounding area & picked up a few caches. I also placed a few caches.
Nice view of the Wedge (looking south)
Little Grand Canyon
Nice rock formation
Wedge pond #1 (new cache hidden close by)
The Wedge
Close by a cache. Cool rock formation
West side of Wedge
West Wedge
Dennis came Tuesday afternoon. We went to talk to the people in spot #5 & they were leaving Thursday so we decided to stay where we were in #6 and change the cache page so that those individuals who were coming this weekend would know. I also put out my signs showing where we were camped. The temperature during the days was in the 60's and at night in the low 30's. By Friday I think the temp climbed into the 70's. Nice and warm.
Dennis trailer (far right) and mine
Wednesday - Dennis & I went to Buckhorn wash, picked up a few caches then headed to the railroad tracks to pick up a FTF. We looked a good 45 min but came up empty. The hiding place had a lot of shale rock that would tumble down when you got close. The rating should not have been a 1.5 difficulty. I walked to several caches & my knee was hurting so much I had to take a strong pain pill but I kept going. I walked more Wednesday than I did in several months combined. I was tired but it felt good. Just as we got back to camp, Keith & Vickie ( cowboyz) showed up. After they set up camp, their friends from Logan also showed up.

At dusk, Dennis & I headed to the Wedge to take pictures & burn steel wool. He showed me how to take night pics. It was neat. When the sun had gone down, Dennis lit the steel wool on fire & then spun it around over his head. We had the shutter speed set for 15 sec. That was one of the coolest pictures I had ever seen. Dennis standing at the very edge on the cliff surrounded by shooting sparks. Cool. We were trying to be careful but one of the sparks caught a bush on fire over the cliff. Dennis couldn't get it with the extinguisher so we pored water on it. Thank goodness it was a lone bush. That was funny.
Dennis twirling steel wool on fire. He caught a bush on fire over the edge of the cliff.

Best one yet

Thursday - I went out and placed a few caches and explored the area some. Traci and the boys showed up in the afternoon.

Friday - We explored a trail I had been on that Dennis wanted to go on. We took pictures of the west end of the wedge. Pretty cool area. On the way back Traci wasn't feeling well so she took the boys and headed back to camp. Dennis and I decided to explore some old trails and went cowboying out in the middle of nowhere. We had to use 4wheel drive to get through a few gully's.

Michael (top) and Bradley
Cool rock formation. I wonder if there is any pizza in there?
Traci and the boys by a survey marker
Dennis looking into Little Grand Canyon
Traci looking into Fuller bottom

Friday night we did a few night caches, one that was called the Christmas Tree cache. It was cool. My pictures did not turn out too good since I did not have a tripod. I was shaking too much but the tree was lit with solar powered Christmas lights. Way cool.
Looking for the Christmas Tree cache
Christmas Tree cache
Saturday - rode 65 miles to Cedar Mountain overlook. Great views, great fun, great people. Had potluck dinner at night. Tired!!!
Ken taking pictures

Ken and Jan by a neat pool (currently empty)
This type of rock cuts fingers real quick

Looking into the Wedge from Cedar Mountain Overlook
Chris trying to convince the kids the crack is nothing to jump across
Jan and Ken
Smart Torrey (the dog). Dennis (sitting) and Chris looking on
Chris texting on Facebook
Jan finding the cache
Dennis (red), Chris (blk), Kim (back) and Jan writing everyone's name in log
Ken (walking) and Chris (on 4-wheeler), Torrey relaxing
Potluck dinner
Kim (far left), guy from Huntington, Chris (back turned), Utah Jean

Chris (far left), Utah Jean (blue coat), Keith (red coat), Kim, Keith's friend (facing away)
Here are some additional pics of the area and week.
Wild horses
Rincon Canyon
The Wedge

Dinosaur track in Buckhorn Flat
Rock art in Buckhorn Flat
Dennis coming back from taking picture of rock art
Where can I rappel today?
Chris taking a power nap after a long weekend