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Discussion Starter #1
I love riding my TW, but it also serves as a vehicle to satisfy some of my other interests, like exploring, and history. I enjoy riding historic trails, railroad grades, etc. I've been aware of the Hole In The Rock trail for some time, and had hoped to ride the trail last year. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. When the opportunity presented itself this year I jumped on it.



The Hole In The Rock trail was a trail blazed by Mormon pioneers in 1879-80 to settle what is now southeastern Utah. More information about the trail here if you're interested. You can also google Hole In The Rock trail for more information, including YouTube videos of wheeling portions of the trail.



Day 1

I had some maintenance issues to take care of, including installing an oil cooler and rebuilding the forks so didn't get away until about 4:30 last Tuesday afternoon. I was off to intersect the HITR trail at Escalante, Utah, but wanted to take in a few sights on the way. My intent was to do as much of my ride on dirt as possible, but since I was late getting away on the first day I just slabbed it to Cane Beds, Arizona. I turned off the main road there, and diverted through Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The road is less traveled and more scenic. After passing through Cane Beds the road turns to dirt/sand for a few miles. When you cross back into Utah the road is paved.











The road north through Coral Pink Sand Dunes eventually intersects Highway 89. From there I rode south into Kanab to top up with gas. There would be no more opportunities to get gas until I reached Cannonville, quite a ways to the north and east. I then rode east on 89 towards Paria and Cottonwood Canyon. After awhile I took the opportunity to take a dirt shortcut. The road was kind of rough, but did take me past Eagle Sink, that I was previously totally unaware of.











I also rode by a guzzler. These are used to collect and store rainwater for the use of wildlife in the area.







Eventually, the sun started to set, and I found a campsite about 2 miles west of House Rock road. Here's the view southeast of camp as the sun is setting.







Home, sweet home! Well, at least for the next 4 days.



 

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That's some absolutely spectacular scenery. Thank you for sharing, and keep the RRs coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Day 2

I discovered that I forgot my sleeping pad, but slept well nonetheless. The following morning I was up at daybreak, broke camp and headed for Cottonwood Canyon. The Cottonwood Canyon road is a north-south dirt road through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This road starts out more or less following the Paria River. There are world famous slot canyons on the Paria, but you can't get to them by TW so I wasn't interested. There's another reason.







I was interested in the very scenic Cottonwood Canyon road. After finding the turn a couple of miles east of the Paria River I headed north through Cottonwood Canyon. The whole area is quite interesting from a geologic point of view. In some cases the layers of soil and rock have been folded to vertical. Erosion has left vertical spines of rock through the area like this:







And this:











There were a variety of colors.







And formations. The one on the left looks like Scooby Doo to me.







What would you name this formation? The one on the left looks like a guy with a Mexican sombrero.







This is Grosvenor Arch, near Kodachrome Basin State Park.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
All good things must come to an end, as they say.







An old cabin south of Cannonville.







I tried without success to locate a dirt road between Cannonville and Escalante. So, I just headed east on Highway 12. Highway 12 is very scenic, so it wasn't too much of a hardship.







In some of the canyons Highway 12 passes through there are ancient indian ruins. A roadside stop points out a granary on the cliffs above the road.











In the small ranching community of Escalante I grabbed a bite to eat, and topped up with gas and water. I then headed east a few miles to the turnoff to the Hole In the Rock trail.







The road is about 60 miles down to the Colorado River gorge, then 60 miles back. Except for some deep sand near the end it is pretty good road. I've been told that since the northwest part of the trail is reasonably good it more correctly is called the Hole In The Rock Road. The part across Lake Powell to the southeast is much more rugged, and is therefore more properly known as the Hole In The Rock trail. I will be doing both parts.



The country south of Escalante is fairly open, so didn't present many serious obstacles to the pioneer road builders.







Even under difficult circumstances the pioneers made time for recreation. They enjoyed singing and dancing. At Dance Hall Rock they found the acoustics to be quite good, and therefore a perfect place to have a dance.







 

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Discussion Starter #7
On the ride down it was very hot, well over 100 degrees. TW was doing alright since I had installed an oil cooler and synthetic oil, but by Dance Hall Rock I was starting to feel the effects of the heat. Fortunately I came prepared with extra water and a couple of things to help me cool off. My wife sent with me a little doodad that's like a neckerchief to wrap around your neck, but it has a sponge-like material in it. You soak the sponge with water, tie it around your neck, and it really helps to cool you off. I also soaked a wash cloth with water and put it on my head. Even under my helmet it made a significant difference. Feeling much better, I continued down the road.



There are interesting geologic features in this area as well.



















Eventually I arrived at my destination - the Hole In The Rock. This is a narrow slot in the canyon wall where the pioneers lowered their wagons and belongings to the floor of the canyon some 2000 feet below. The average grade was 25 degrees, but in places was as much as 45 degrees.























Unfortunately, my pictures don't really do the Hole In The Rock justice. In the picture on this web page you get a much better perspective of how steep it really is. That's it just to the right of center on the far canyon wall.



 

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Discussion Starter #8
While I was there a few boaters from Lake Powell hiked up the Hole In The Rock to sign the register at the top.







You can see that once across the river (now Lake Powell) the pioneers weren't in for a picnic. More about that later.







Once I had seen all I wanted to see I headed back to Escalante, and enjoyed a few more sights along the way.











I thought it was interesting you could very clearly see the lines of strata on the ridge to the west.







I thought I had travelled a long way from home, but didn't realize I had made it quite this far








By the time I neared Escalante it was getting late in the evening. So, about 5 miles south of Escalante I found a camp spot, and set up camp. End of Day 2.



To be continued.
 

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I love the geology up your way. I definitely prefer the climate down here in Southern Arizona, but your photos make me think pretty seriously about breaking out my hitch mounted carrier and toting the TW a few hundred miles North to put in some mileage. Thanks again for the incredible pictures!
 

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Day 2

And formations. The one on the left looks like Scooby Doo to me.





This ride is awesome and the views breathtaking. Can't wait to see more.



Oh, and Scooby Doo!!!! Funny maybe, but not nearly as pretty as your Scooby Doo, not even close.

 

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Awesome pics and ride report. My brother and i took scenic route 12 when we left zion national park and took it all the way to 24 and i would have to say its in my top 3-4 favorite scenic roads ive been on. Hopefully some day the t-dub and i will be riding through that area again. Again thanks for the pics and ride report.
 

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Most Excellent !!!!!!! Keep it coming, Keep it coming !!!!





Bag
 

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Very cool rock formations. Great ride report!
 

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OT a bit, but how does the Burr trail compare if you're tossing a coin and on a time budget? I'm guessing a bit less scenic.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I love the geology up your way. I definitely prefer the climate down here in Southern Arizona, but your photos make me think pretty seriously about breaking out my hitch mounted carrier and toting the TW a few hundred miles North to put in some mileage. Thanks again for the incredible pictures!


I don't think you'd be disappointed with a ride in these parts. I"m glad you're enjoying the report.



Wow what a great looking trip. Great pics thanks for them


It was a lot of fun. I am real pleased with how well the TW did.



This ride is awesome and the views breathtaking. Can't wait to see more.




I'm glad you like the pictures. I just wish I was a better photographer. It's better in real life.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Awesome pics and ride report. My brother and i took scenic route 12 when we left zion national park and took it all the way to 24 and i would have to say its in my top 3-4 favorite scenic roads ive been on. Hopefully some day the t-dub and i will be riding through that area again. Again thanks for the pics and ride report.


Yeah, I'm not real fond of riding the pavement, but Highway 12 is definitely worth it. Glad you're enjoying the report; there will be more here in a bit.



WOW! Thanks for the pictures.We have nothing like it in LA. lower Al


You're welcome! I enjoy sharing the fun.



Most Excellent !!!!!!! Keep it coming, Keep it coming !!!!



Bag


Thanks! Day 3 is coming up!



Very cool rock formations. Great ride report!


Yes, isn't it awesome what wind and water can do over time? Stay tuned, the best (in my opinion) is yet to come!
 
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