The sand ride from Hell---almost arrested-----stuck in the canyon ?????
|We headed North then East out of Kanab, Utah very early in the morning after breakfast. I promised Kenny a nice easy day of riding beautiful backroads---heh, heh, heh, heh------Oh man was I wrong---big time. I also told Kenny to put on every piece of clothing he had with him as it was going to a cold ride all day, as it was about 35° when we took off---oh boy---were we in for it today!!! It started out innocently enough on a nice sandy trail. I didn't know we were going to jail either-----well almost.|
|This downhill looks very innocent huh ????? When I looked at it I told Kenny "If I ride down it----I'll never be able to ride up it". And if it gets worse ahead and I ride into another impassable obstacle---I would be trapped. Kenny sent me on ahead so both our bikes wouldn't be down there. It was worse ahead and I had to come back.|
|This is the same hill from the bottom-----it this were all rock I could climb it. But the sand at the very bottom and the sand on the hill provided no traction. Heck--we were having trouble keeping forward motion sometimes on level ground in the deep sand. Furthermore---we had a rope, but me and Kenny didn't think we had the strength to rope it up. The altitude was pretty high here also and every strenuous thing we did, we had to stop and catch our breath. To further humiliate me----2 young boys (who were with some jeepers) showed up out of nowhere (about 12 years old) and were telling me how to do it-----just runner wide open and drop the clutch old man and hang on. They were dirt bikers to (really nice kids) and said they would have no trouble blowing up this hill. I guess I could set me and my bike on fire and put us both out of our misery !!!!!!!!!|
|I had my razor knife out to slit my throat when I heard a motor---I turned around-----we were rescued at last!!! These were highly modified jeeps and could crawl almost straight up. I learned a modified jeep could go where I couldn't even think of !!!!! Someone was looking out for this old horses ass as we hadn't hardly seen a soul on our whole trip. Mark (the owner of this jeep) went to the top and dropped a rope to me and pulled me out. He was such a nice guy and was glad to help----and he rode a dirt bike too !!!!!! He gave us a lesson---"when in deep sand--you have to commit yourself to the sand". I'll never forget those words------yeh, we needed to be committed all right !!!|
|Mark invited us to have lunch with all his jeep buddies------but first Kenny had a little trouble getting there as you can see. He almost rolled off to the left down the mountain but caught himself. I went down to help and he said "heck, it's already down--I gotta get a picture of this". So he took one of me standing on it.|
|Jeep lunch----what a nice bunch of people. There were about 10 or 12 of them and they had hauled out a nice lunch and invited us to join in. We declined as we wouldn't miss out on a cracker and cheese snack from the quick store.|
| Here is Mark and Kenny
talking about jeeps. Kenny has a jeep also and is in the process of
modifying it extensively---everything of Kenny's is highly modified--don't
let him shit you--it's modified alright. His toilet at home is a highly
modified piece of equipment. Mark gave me his card and I promised to
send him a link to this story when I got it done. Thanks Mark !!!!!!
I told Mark about our ride down the Paria and he knew all about it and approved of our ride down the public road. Talking to Mark I could tell he was very experienced at this jeeping thing. A beginner out in this country could really get into trouble very quickly.
|Some of the more wilder looking machines.|
|Kenny's down again. When I fell down I was very careful to get back up before Kenny could get his camera out.|
|Ok--after that fiasco we were very tired. Mark gave us some directions but I think there were more turns out there than he remembered. Anyway we rode for miles and miles in deep sand and Kenny's big 650 was really wallering him around. We kept going and going and going and I tried to remember Marks words "commit yourself to the sand". So I did---opened her up, sat on the back of the seat and let here rip. Next thing I know we are wore out----tired---hungry--thirsty--and lost. We knew where we were at, but not how to get out of this maze of trails.|
|After a long time more riding in this stuff--we were desperate as it was getting late. We could see the road down the ridge (look at picture) but couldn't get to it without trespassing. We didn't want to--but we opened a fence with no trespassing sign on it and headed in the direction of the road--this was a matter of life or death we thought. More deep sand--on and on and on. We seen the road and were relieved----but the gate was locked and we were trapped in, and we're right in front of the owners ranch and house. Ok--time to face the music. Me and Kenny rode up to the house and a lady was standing there--I shout off my bike and waved and before I could say hi !! She said--"your in a lot of trouble boy" !!!!! Yeh buddy!!! So I popped my helmet off to show her I was just an old fart and started apologizing--never thinking to flash my pretty blue eyes at her !!!!!! But--but--but--mam--please--but--uh--uh--oh no--I'm sorry--and went on to explain.|
| She quickly grinned and
laughed at the whole situation and told us that in 12 years only one other
person had came up to their house----he was on a horse and lost also.
After some nice conversation--I finally said---"Mam---would you
please let us out of here" ???? (before you husband gets home). To
make a long story longer-----she told me the combination to the gate lock
and here I am opening it up. She said "be sure and lock it on the way
out" !! "Yes mam".
Thanks Mam !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At first--we had thought of throwing our bikes over this gate, but we realized we weren't strong enough to do that--then we were going to slide them under the barbed wire fence---no luck there--boy were we lucky !!
| Free at
last-----we didn't think we would get out of that one. Check out the
nice ranch home in the background. A real mansion.
Look here at Kenny-------cool as a cucumber. No worries what so-ever. Just lets his leader do all the worrying !!! :) Hey------"I'm on vacation" he says. No backhoes or sewers to fix---no phone--no kids--no bills---just him, his sickle and gatorade.
I'm still shaking !!!!!!!!! I know people in my own home town that would of took a pot shot at us and maybe buried us out in the deep sand somewhere. What a deal. You adventurers in Quadalahara, Africa, Tasmania, Kilimanjaro, Russia, Pakistan, Panama, etc.---you ain't got nothing on us !!!
| We gotta get back to
Cannonville before the sun sets or our bikes will turn into horses or
something. A storm is brewing in the distance but we never hit a
drop---not on the whole trip-----amazing !!!!!!!!
I can't remember the name of this beautiful rode--something like "Pissintheswamp" or something or other. Oh yeah----Skutumpah road.
| Just before
Cannonville I just have to climb up on top of the dam of Sheep Creek. It's
a man thing I guess.
Been there done that !!!!!!
Ok----we got that day out of the way. Now on another route back to Escalante. Dress cool Kenny it's going to be hot-----next thing were buried in a snow drift------again !!!!!!!!!!!!! More at Day 8.
Day 8 Very deep snow-----we open 2 mountain passes in the same day !!!! Yo--Da--Man--Mark.