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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One of my first ride reports on this forum was Smith's Mesa. Because of it's beauty it's an area I don't mind going back to. Recently my Father in law told me about an old wagon road on Smith's. Apparently this old road was how people got from Cedar City to Springdale and what is now Zion National Park before they blasted a road over the Black Ridge south of Cedar City. We're talking the late 1800's. Anyway, I wanted to check it out.



Here I am at the base of Smith's Mesa. On part of Smith's is a supersonic test track used for developing ejection seats for the military. The point on the left is where the rails for the track end, and where the ejection seats were fired. They floated to the base of the mesa under a chute. More information here if you're interested.







Here's a video of me cruising up the side of the mesa to get on top. Sorry, I forgot to put some foam over the mic so you'll have to turn the sound down a bit. Yes, I'm still working on the quality of my videos.






There are no tours of the test facility








Looking back to the south at the water tower.







Here I am at the south end of the runway.







To the east of here about a mile is where the RedBull Rampage is held. If I remember right Gerry took a bike ride over there awhile back








I thought I might take the TW over there sometime and see if I can show those guys a thing or two. What do you think?







:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here's a shot looking off the edge of the mesa to the southeast. The edge of the town of Virgin, Utah is at about 3 o'clock.







Another one.







The first part of the trail.






There was a lot of petrified wood laying around.







More of the trail.






Looking off the east side of the mesa to the road to Kolob Reservoir.



 

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I like the guy that punts his helmet..that'd be me.



Funny thing is all those bikes have 10x better suspension than our tws.



Cool pics..Its got that grand canyon-ish sedon-ish look to it.



Do something about the tank...it sticks out like a sore thumb
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)




I guess I didn't get too many pictures of the road itself, except what's on video. It started out as a decent two track, then turned to not much more than an ATV trail.







More of the trail.





When I first went in on this road it hadn't been travelled on for awhile, and there were a lot of deer tracks up and down the road. Plenty of coyote sign, too. Looks like they're eating well.








The road goes to the top of this canyon, and doubles back like a horseshoe. It was mid afternoon when I went in on the trail the first time, and when the sun started to get low in the sky I was only about 1/4 of the way around. So, I had to come back out the way I went in. Some day when I have more time I would like to make the complete loop.







After riding this wagon road I have a renewed appreciation for the early pioneers that built and used these roads. Most of the early wagons had no suspension at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The sun was getting low, and I still had a ways to go to get back to the pavement.



















That's all for now.
 

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After watching the Rampage video,

I think I would rather be

an ejection seat test dummy.



Thanks for taking us along for the ride.
 

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Looks like a great place to explore! thanks for the great pics....
 

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Outstanding ride report! I only wish I was able to go with you, boo hoo.



Is the area still used in some way? I see you ran into "don't come any closer" signage?



I don't have time to read your link to abandoned and little known airfields right now, but I saved it to my favorites and will come back to it. Sorry if it answers my question if the area is still in use.



Video was great. Who cares about Contour's and Go-Pro's. Felt like I was riding. There's another video coming right?



Again, this is a great ride report. Well worth our wait. I'll be re-reading this one a few times. And the video.



GOOD ONE B-Dub!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks like it was a fun ride. That twisting road sure looks like a good time. Beautiful area.


It was fun! I'm pleased how well the 606 and Ceros hook up on both dirt and pavement. No surprises so far.



Do something about the tank...it sticks out like a sore thumb


Patience.



After watching the Rampage video,

I think I would rather be

an ejection seat test dummy.



Thanks for taking us along for the ride.


Yeah, some of those guys hit pretty hard. Glad you enjoyed the report.



Looks like a great place to explore! thanks for the great pics....


I'm not sure how much of what I rode is the original wagon road, but I enjoyed checking it out just the same. When I go back to finish the loop I'll take some more pics/video.



Outstanding ride report! I only wish I was able to go with you, boo hoo.



Is the area still used in some way? I see you ran into "don't come any closer" signage?



I don't have time to read your link to abandoned and little known airfields right now, but I saved it to my favorites and will come back to it. Sorry if it answers my question if the area is still in use.



Video was great. Who cares about Contour's and Go-Pro's. Felt like I was riding. There's another video coming right?



Again, this is a great ride report. Well worth our wait. I'll be re-reading this one a few times. And the video.



GOOD ONE B-Dub!


I think the test facility is unique, and consequently only used when it's uncommon capabilities can be put to use. Thanks, yes I just posted more video. I wasn't really happy with the first round of video, so went in a second time to get more. Unfortunately I've had a devil of a time trying to get it to upload. So, what I ended up posting isn't the best quality, but is better than nothing. Glad you liked the report.
 

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WOW! you guys living in the west really make me envious...I'm in western PA in the Allegheny Natl.Forest, where most of the trails and roads have been gated closed by the DCNR...I hope I live long enough to tour the west in an RV with the TW and explore what looks like almost limitless terrain. The east coast is a crowded,obsessively private, paranoid area for off road exploration...My only consolation is that I started dirt riding in the 70's-just before the restrictive changes started taking place. There are about 100 miles of designated off road trails in the forest, but generally I have to sneak around if I want to find some really out of the way places. Keep up the great pics -I can dream can't I ?
 

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Boy B-dub, what a FANTASTIC adventure! Those 'trails' looked pretty gnarly. As a review, what have you done to your bike. I was surprized by what looked to be a pretty 'smooth' ride given how rough the trail was. Also, the rpm range stayed to the low side and fluctuated little yet the bike pulled up those ledges effortlessly without benefit of much momentum. SO, what engine, suspension & gearing secrets do you have up your sleeve? Seems one thing we have in common is 'our velocity'.......
Thanks, Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Boy B-dub, what a FANTASTIC adventure! Those 'trails' looked pretty gnarly. As a review, what have you done to your bike. I was surprized by what looked to be a pretty 'smooth' ride given how rough the trail was. Also, the rpm range stayed to the low side and fluctuated little yet the bike pulled up those ledges effortlessly without benefit of much momentum. SO, what engine, suspension & gearing secrets do you have up your sleeve? Seems one thing we have in common is 'our velocity'.......
Thanks, Gerry


Yes, it was fun. i didn't go very fast because it was pretty rough. It appears smooth because I was using YouTube's stabilization feature. It works pretty well, but does do some weird things with the video. I tried it with stabilization, and without. Overall, I think in this case it was better with stabilization. This is with a stock bike and gearing, except for my ATV tire and XT350 tank. In this case the low first gear came in handy. The TW did pretty well, I only stalled once going up a hill, because I got bounced around and had to get off the throttle. Thanks for looking, and for your kind comments.
 

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Ya might want to set the focus to something fixed. The cowling keeps grabbing the auto focus and blurring the image.



<sigh> These reports make waiting for camping season seem to take forever! But keep em coming!
 

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I guess I didn't get too many pictures of the road itself, except what's on video. It started out as a decent two track, then turned to not much more than an ATV trail.







More of the trail.



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGxwOKFG59U&feature=related[/media]



When I first went in on this road it hadn't been travelled on for awhile, and there were a lot of deer tracks up and down the road. Plenty of coyote sign, too. Looks like they're eating well.








The road goes to the top of this canyon, and doubles back like a horseshoe. It was mid afternoon when I went in on the trail the first time, and when the sun started to get low in the sky I was only about 1/4 of the way around. So, I had to come back out the way I went in. Some day when I have more time I would like to make the complete loop.







After riding this wagon road I have a renewed appreciation for the early pioneers that built and used these roads. Most of the early wagons had no suspension at all.
I would love to make that loop with you. I will send you a PM and perhaps next time I am in your area we can do it.
 

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The first part of the trail.



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eOsOxuP_4U&feature=related[/media]



More of the trail.



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7nrJP3p-U8&feature=related[/media]


Amazing riding by B-dub on his unstoppable T-dub. Great scenery, too.



Was most of that in second gear? Are you using 14/50 sprockets?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks. Yes, stock sprockets, but with an oversize ATV tire. Much of the trail was 1st and 2nd gear. Some don't like the short 1st gear, but there are times when it comes in handy.
 
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