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Discussion Starter #1
I've been planning a ride through the Coral Pink Sand Dunes for awhile. It's a beautiful area that I've explored some, but there is a lot more that I would like to check out. There's a trail that I've wanted to do that passes Elephant Butte, then drops down to the river, then out to Highway 89 at Mount Carmel junction.







Mount Carmel happens to be at the east end of the road that passes through Zion National Park, and since today was Free National Park Day I decided I would ride through the park on the way home. Who am I to pass up a freebie?



After about 20 miles of dirt I arrived at the Coral Pinks.











After arriving at the Pinks I turned off on a road I knew led to some pictographs. I knew the road would be sandy but thought I would give it a shot and see what happened. I went in a ways, but the sand was pretty deep. I didn't have a problem with traction, just steering and staying upright. Sorry, no pics.



After getting back to the pavement I headed for the trail I was going to do. I had plotted a route and loaded it on my GPS so I could find the correct turns.







The area was surprisingly green for this time of year, no doubt due to a recent wet spell we had.







I found the turn and followed the route I had plotted on the GPS. I thought this road would be a little more solid, and it was to a point. I actually got up pretty close to Elephant Butte before the sand got so deep that it was difficult to stay upright. In fact, I had one slow speed layover of the TW. I figured it would be another 10 to 15 miles of deep sand, and that it would be more work than fun so I called it good. I'll go back in the Samurai or later on the TW when we've had enough rain/snow to firm up the sand.



On the pavement I rode towards Highway 89 and Mount Carmel junction, enjoying the sights as I went.







Near the east entrance to Zion National Park I spotted a windmill. This is a little different design than what we commonly see around here.







Getting close to the park.



 

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Discussion Starter #2
There were a lot of other people out enjoying the park. Some were speaking foreign languages. I saw a Mercedes truck and camper that had Euro plates. A lot of beautiful sights to see, as well.















In this shot you can see a bighorn sheep.







There's actually quite a few bighorn sheep in the park. A year or so ago we were coming through the park, and they were working on the roads so we had to stop at one of the portable stop lights. While stopped we noticed a large, full curl bighorn walking towards us. He was only about 50 yards away. I started fumbling for the camera. I finally got it out and went to take some video only to find that the SD card was full.
I guess I had filled it up at Grand Canyon National Park earlier in the day. Anyway, the ram came down and crossed the road not more than 20 yards right in front of us and jumped up a vertical bank right next to us. It was quite a sight to see. My son-in-law who was riding with us managed to get a picture of the ram from his cell phone as the ram went up a distant ridge. Even at a distance you can see how massive his horns are.







As we went on down through Zion there were other places where people were stopped, taking pictures of the bighorn sheep. At one place there were several on the hill above the road looking down. It was as if the sheep were as interested in the people as the people were interested in them. It was kind of comical to see.



More sights.







I thought I was going to get rained on, but I managed to beat the storm.







 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is a mile long tunnel through the mountain at Zion National Park. More information here if you're interested.



























After that picture my camera froze up, so no more pictures. I guess I should be glad I was able to recover the pictures already taken. The rest of the ride home was uneventful. I hope you enjoyed my little trip.
 

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Nice pictures and a great adventure. Read the link to the tunnel, very interesting. I enjoy pictures that show folks in old cars on an adventure, don't know how they did it. All my early adventures with my Dad back in the 1950's seem to involve 'overheating' and concern about brake-fade in the mountains. You certainly have a nice area to explore. Thanks again. Gerry
 

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That's awesome scenery. I've been wanting to visit Zion NP. After your photo's of the tunnel I want too more than ever. And with the awesome thunder of the TW exhaust, I want to bring my TW to go through the tunnel. Plus all the other area's you've shown.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice pictures and a great adventure. Read the link to the tunnel, very interesting. I enjoy pictures that show folks in old cars on an adventure, don't know how they did it. All my early adventures with my Dad back in the 1950's seem to involve 'overheating' and concern about brake-fade in the mountains. You certainly have a nice area to explore. Thanks again. Gerry


Thanks Gerry, glad you liked it. I also like the old history stuff, and remember those days of overheating,etc. I even have an old Desert water bag. Unfortunately it won't hold water anymore, even after soaking it for awhile. If you haven't seen the movie Horatio's Drive, I recommend it. It's about the first transcontinental trip by automobile. I enjoyed watching it. Horatio's Drive is available on pbs here. You can read about it, then click on the watch video link at the top. It's also available on Netflix.



Great trip!


WOW beautiful scenery!


Stunning scenery! Thanks.


Looks like a great place to live an ride thanks.


Thanks guys! Normally I prefer riding off pavement, but this was an opportunity that doesn't come along that often and the roads are nice and twisty. You just have to keep an eye on the traffic because there is lots of it. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures.



That's awesome scenery. I've been wanting to visit Zion NP. After your photo's of the tunnel I want too more than ever. And with the awesome thunder of the TW exhaust, I want to bring my TW to go through the tunnel. Plus all the other area's you've shown.


Thanks, Admiral. I did get some video of the tunnel. I'll post it up as soon as I can get it uploaded. Unfortunately, in the video you can't hear the awesome thunder of the TW exhaust, just the engine sound. I should've beeped the horn at least!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Here's a little video of the tunnel. No artificial lighting except for your headlight, so it gets pretty dark. My headlight did light up a little better than what it appears in the video, though.



 

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Goodness gracious that tunnel looks so so fun. After seeing that, I'm gonna talk with the finance minister and see if we can set up a trip early next year. Is the park fairly accessible in the March-April time frame?
 

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WOW. How long is that tunnel???????????? Great photos.. Reminds me of the bad lands.........



Now I know where to go hide when korea nukes us......... That's what some knot head said today.. OMM.
 

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Goodness gracious that tunnel looks so so fun. After seeing that, I'm gonna talk with the finance minister and see if we can set up a trip early next year. Is the park fairly accessible in the March-April time frame?


Yes, the park is open 24/7 year round. You would beat the crowds at that time of year. The temps might be a little cool, but probably not a concern for someone from Idaho. Lots of stuff to see in the park, and lots of trails if you're into hiking or canyoneering. They have a good web page for planning purposes. Lots of good riding for TW's in neighboring areas.



WOW. How long is that tunnel???????????? Great photos.. Reminds me of the bad lands.........



Now I know where to go hide when korea nukes us......... That's what some knot head said today.. OMM.


It's 1.1 miles. Glad you like the pics. I would like to get to the bad lands someday. I enjoyed your pictures of that area. I grew up during the Cold War when the threat of a nuclear strike from the USSR was a very real posssibility. In school we learned about all the nearby fallout shelters, how to make a fallout shelter, etc. The Zion Tunnel was, and I suppose still is a designated fallout shelter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Goodness gracious that tunnel looks so so fun. After seeing that, I'm gonna talk with the finance minister and see if we can set up a trip early next year. Is the park fairly accessible in the March-April time frame?


While you're in Zion you should consider hiking Angel's Landing, or The Narrows (don't let your wife watch this one) . You might also consider this.
 

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Absolutely beautiful. Having said that, there are definitely some challenges in those video's. I'm scared of heigths and got that queasy feeling in my gut just watch one of the girls sitting near the edge. I could do most of it, but horse blinders may become necessary!
So, with that said, you won't find me with a parachute on either! Heck, wife had a hard time talking me into the Cessna plane ride up in Alaska this summer.





. . .and you're right about not letting the wife watch the Narrow's. I can do that one no problem, but I think she would kill me if she had to wade through water any higher than her ankle. Lots to see there no doubt.
 
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