10 Short of the Savannic
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  1. #1
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    The Arizona Strip is a section of Arizona cut off from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. Most of the strip is remote and undeveloped, which makes for some good riding. There are a couple of old mines on the strip that I've wanted to check out for some time, the Savannic, and the Grand Gulch. Things worked out so I could ride out there last Monday. I plotted my route using Google Maps and Garmin Basecamp. As the mines are quite a ways out I carried extra gas. The day was sunny, but also windy. Here I am on my way out of town. I helped build that runway years ago when I did dirt work.







    I was amazed how green everything was for this time of year. No doubt this is a result of the heavy rainfall we had about a month ago. The downside was there was a lot of erosion that took place as well. There are a lot of places where ravines were cut into the road, and also places where water had washed down the road and washed the fines away. Like this:







    And this:







    I crossed the Honeymoon Trail, the subject of a future ride report.







    The trail climbs up over the Hurricane fault. It's steeper than it looks, and there is quite a view from the top.







    OK, enough of that. I need to get on down the road if I'm going to get to the mines and back before dark.







    I also crossed the Temple Trail that I've already been on, but would like to explore further.







    Last time I was on this road I was in my Vanagon Syncro with my wife, and we stopped at this same place to look around. While there an A10 flew past below us. It was cool!







    To be continued.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  2. #2
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    I anxiously await part 2.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

  3. #3
    Senior Member lower al's Avatar
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    Thanks for picture

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Wingnut's Avatar
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    Nice! Dang, I need to find time to get down to southern Utah.

  6. #5
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys.



    The barrel cacti really like the southern exposure on this hill. There are a lot of them. Unfortunately I couldn't get a decent picture of the cacti, except for this big one in the middle of the picture.







    I saw lots of cows, but not much in the way of wildlife. I did spot, however, one of the biggest coyotes I've ever seen. He was way larger than the typical coyote, and dark colored - about the same coloring as a Mexican wolf. Anyway, I spotted him at the base of the ledge. I was about 100 yards away. He jumped to the top of the ledge and headed out over the rise. I barked and whistled hoping he would pause long enough for me to get the camera out and get a shot. Unfortunately this was all I got.







    This is pretty typical of the strip. Lots of wide open spaces. Looking northeast toward the Hurricane fault.







    There were a lot of these plants in bloom. I'm not sure I've ever seen them like this before. The bloom looks just like cotton.







    I used the bicycle routing part of Google Maps and it did a great job especially considering how remote the strip is. The routing took me through this little canyon.







    Everything was so green and lush. Usually the cacti are dull green and tattered looking. This cactus looks like it's doing very well. There were others, even up on the hillside that were very healthy looking.







    Oops! More evidence of a lot of rainfall recently. I'm sure I could've caved part of the bank in and rode up over it, but it was easier to just bypass it.









    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  7. #6
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    The historic Mount Trumbull schoolhouse. I've been here before, and so have some of you.







    The last time I was here I turned left to Toroweap. This time I turned right, headed way beyond Poverty Mountain.







    The Google Maps routing took me on some little two track roads, some barely discernible in places. As I was in ranching country there was a fair number of gates to go through.







    There were also ponds to collect rain water, the lifeblood of this desert country. Apparently this water hasn't been here long as the mud hasn't settled out yet.







    Eventually I popped out on Mount Dellenbaugh road, which is a major, well graded dirt road. I followed it south. By this time I was over 100 miles out, and started to get a little concerned over whether I would have enough gas to get back. With the extra 2 liters of gas I brought I figured about a 230 mile range. I decided I would go another 15 miles, and if I hadn't arrived by then I would turn around. After a few more miles I turned off the main road into Pigeon Canyon and started to descend. At 118 miles I stopped to evaluate. I got out my Benchmark map and between it and the map on my GPS I determined it was still another 10 miles or so to the Savannic mine. The 20 miles in and back would put me over my calculated range, which meant I would run out of gas before getting back to town. I so wanted to take the chance, but didn't want to have to call someone to rescue me if I didn't make it. So, I had a bite to eat and enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful surroundings, then turned around and headed home. This is looking down the canyon from where I turned around.







    And back the way I came.







    On the way back in.





    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  8. #7
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    This is the major north-south road from St. George to Mount Trumbull, a small ranching community on the strip. South of Mount Trumbull in Whitmore Canyon is the Bar 10 ranch where they pull river rafters from the Colorado River and fly them to Las Vegas. Anyway, the road is called Main Street. Some of the locals drive it at a pretty good clip. So, if you ever find yourself cruising Main Street check the mirror occasionally.







    Near this sign I found the remains of a coyote. Since he was fairly close to the road I would guess he was the victim of a hit and run.











    Here I am at the edge of the plateau, about to descend into St. George. The original road off has been converted into a hiking trail.











    Near the trailhead I found a few pinenuts the squirrels had missed. Usually if they are still in the cone this late in the season the pinenuts are no good, not well developed. I found a few that were good. Yum, I haven't had any of those in a while.







    Heading off of Quail Hill into St. George. The road is sure a lot better than it used to be.







    Here I am lined up with the runway for the new St. George airport. The red lights are the VASI (Vertical Approach Slope Indicator). They are warning that I'm too low. Red over red means you're dead, unless of course you are on a TW200.







    While I was there taking the picture an aircraft came in to land from the north. The runway lights came on and it was pretty impressive. Too bad the picture doesn't show it as well as it looked to me.







    It was pretty well dark by the time I hit pavement.







    I headed towards the nearest gas station. With no sputtering or other indication that I was out of gas I changed plans and made the turn to take the back way towards home. Shortly thereafter, with 192 miles on the clock I ran out of gas. I pulled out my spare 2 liters, poured it into the tank and cruised the rest of the way home.



    As it turned out I probably could've made it to the Savannic, and maybe even the Grand Gulch but it would've been oh so close. Too close for me. Good thing I've never had a desire to take up gambling. I don't think I would be very good at it.



    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  9. #8
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    While I didn't achieve my goal, it was a good ride. Man, those 2 or 3 minute stops for pictures sure add up!











    Epilogue: I've noticed that some people plan their rides to the nth degree, and others just jump on the bike and see where the road leads them. Each method has it's advantages and disadvantages. I think my methodology falls somewhere in between these two extremes. I did plan this ride, and thought I had it all worked out so I would achieve my goal. I relied on the distance calculation of Google Maps. Apparently they were not accurate enough, or I made a mistake somewhere. The routing did work very well, though. Oh well, a day out in the boonies on the TW is not a waste to me. I saw some new country I've never seen before, and had a very good time. I do want to see the Savannic and Grand Gulch, though. So, I'll be making another attempt in the near future. With the experience gained from this ride I'm confident I will be successful next time. I hope you enjoyed the ride!

    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  10. #9
    Senior Member old mad max's Avatar
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    Now that dub is "REALLY" set up for some serious back roads.. Nice dude. Fantastic photos. Being from michigan I'm not use to so much------------------------------------------------------------------------pause------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dirt. (o;.. Thanks for sharing. OMM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks! I do like the wide open spaces. I've never been to Michigan, but I've been to Wisconsin and was really impressed with the beauty of the area. It's a different kind of beauty than what I'm used to, but beautiful nonetheless. Someday I would like to ride around the upper peninsula of Michigan, as I've read a little bit about that. Thanks for your comments.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

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