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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
On my way to and from Moab I travel through some interesting country and usually find some diversions. This year was no different. In one of the more remoter sections I came across this Triumph rider baking in the sun. You just don't race by @ 70mph without stopping to help in this remote country. I sure couldn't fix his broken engine but I could put him in the van's shade, give him drinks and call his insurance company for him. Nice young man moving from Connecticut to Oregon on his own with just the clothes on his back and a busted bike.
Took about an hour to make sure tow truck was on the way then off I went. triumph.jpg

Several diversions and a day later I camped at mouth of Black Dragon Canyon. Here is quick video of the canyon interior although I rode the trail another dozen miles or so before linking to the roads we rode in last years San Rafael Swell Group Ride. Enjoy! ( I sure did ) This canyon pierces the otherwise somewhat impenetrable eastern uplift of the San Rafael Swell so has a history of human passage , ceremonial use and rock art. Black Dragon name comes from one of these Paleolithic paintings.


More photos and stories to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
An hour later went for a hot springs soak, left a bit of Triumph engine oil sheen on the water but I came away smelling better. Later I caught up with Bananachunks at his camp to spend the night.


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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Next day part way down my favorite 93 mile dirt short cut my rear window burst so I backtracked to get cell coverage and search for a replacement in the Salt Lake basin...no such luck. Did end up seeing Bananachunks a few more times as we kept leap frogging each other. I kept finding more distractions to console me over unavailability of the window glass.


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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Camping at mouth of Black Dragon is getting to be a habit, one can ride under the freeway and explore scenic front range of the swell and range out into the San Rafael desert. The San Rafael River is only about 4 feet wide before it disappears into the desert pediment.
Only shade tree for many a mile was thick with communal caterpillar silk pouches, source of all the butterflies splattered across Bananachunk's faceshield and headlight.


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What happened to your window?
Stones thrown by restless natives?

Love that country...some of it looks like parts of Texas.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
While there are no people in the video or photos I did leap frog a group of large displacement adventure bikes through out the day. This is a nice place for night riding too, fairly smooth roads and a billion stars once one stops & turns off the headlight.
I have had these tinted tempered windows in-explicably shatter on bumpy roads in the past. This one was expensive though when a replacement was finally located & sent to Moab. So much for earning good karma after helping another biker.
Certainly everyone in our group was very helpful to each other, for example when window was finally installed TomT offered me his hotel shower but I was afraid my dirt would clog the drain, BadLuck picked me up , helped get my glasses fixed and took me home to explore his shop's fine collection of dirt & water toys. Great guys and gals in attendance this year. That darn Plumbstraight fed me breakfast every day so I gained a few pounds. What a crew!
 

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Great pics Fred, thanks for sharing, as usual.:icon_thumleft::smileinbox:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
This One Is For Purple

A really pleasant ride done either solo , or with a casual group isriding the eastern edge of the San Rafael Swell. Come back again and maybe stop & ride this on the way to Moab. Not that long, or combine with Black Dragon Canyon itself which then connects to the Buckhorn Wash for a full day easy ride. Smooth roads, towering canyons, even more smooth roads, rock art, and the San Rafael River.

Ride begins from a camp at the canyon mouth:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Forgot to point out in the Swell video #10 post that I encountered an antelope at 35 mph about at the 2:05 point in video. 2 seconds later he had out accelerated me and was leaving me in his dust. Fastest north American land animal for sure.
This area is easy to find for those seeking another riding flavor to their way to Moab. About 20 miles west of Moab.
 

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Canyon was a cool moist contrast to the full sun we all anticipated.
Some rocks, some rock art and a pleasant beverage break


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Love Black Dragon Canyon. Did you by chance get a chance to explore the cave that is a few feet north of the wall art. The entrance is a little hard to find but it’s pretty cool. Story is that it was a hide out for some nefarious robbers in the 1800’s. The entrance is about 50 yards from the refrigerator man.

What hot spring we’re you in? I don’t recognize it and would love to explore it. I live 2 hours north of this area and it is amazing and fun. Lots of slot canyons to play in.
 

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Another nice video from our great explorer. Thanks Fred.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Didn't know of the cave. Now have another reason to return.
Hot Springs are in the Big Smokey Valley, central Nevada.
On way home I explored along the Muddy River and overnighted beside a well made but never before used fire ring, looked almost neolithic.:rolleyes: The builder likely left prematurely worried about rains, I almost did. Looked like significant rain could trap a fellow there perched on a bench above Salt Wash for days due to very fine clay & silty soils .

Fun although there was no tree at the Lone Tree Crossing across the mighty Muddy, all of 6 feet wide. Bridge was all of 8 feet wide.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Touring the colorful canyon cut by the Muddy was fun but dusty before the rains. Lots of interesting erosional remnants dot the landscape, too hard to have been fully worn away. Few clues remain to explain their long eroded sources.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Up for one more exploration I pursued a possible new shortcut on my favorite shortcut but once out there the trail petered out in a salt pan. I knew the old Pony Express and Overland Stage Routes were on the far side with HWY 50 not too far to the north but no way was I pulling a trailer out there with storm clouds overhead.
So backtracked and continued on, turns and landmarks fairly distinctive. "Head for that there hill"
 
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