30 Aug TAT DAY 30: Moab UT to Murphy Hogsback Camp C White Rim UT (204km/127mi)
Rocks, rocks and more rocks. We started with the rocks in Arches National Park and have ended the day with the rocks in Canyonlands National Park and they have been fantastic.
We almost got off to an early start, but sometimes its one of those days when things take longer. You pack everything up, only to turn around and find you forgot something. Then the awkwardly shaped gas can does not want to be secured properly. Still, off to Arches by 7:30 ish which made the brief ride out nice and cool. Lovely park, we did a nice cruisey loop round it. Not a lot or actual arches to seen from the road, but we weren’t really prepared to go walking. In a past life we were avid rock climbers, so rocks get us all excited. These ones were particularly pretty.
Simon and I reckon we will have to come back one day and tour some of the national parks on a big bike so that we can have a more luxurious trip. One minor annoyance. Entrance fees. $25 per motorcycle, but its only $30 for a car!!! And I am pretty sure most of the people going through the park were not paying.
Then it was back on the TAT and we hit our favourite surface, sand. Lots of mountain bikers out and about though. Much better with a motor.
We had brought extra fuel with us today as we knew by doing Arches and White Rim, that it would be a bit tight. Of course almost exactly 100km into our day, the second fuel bladder burst. We really should have known better and tossed it when the first one died. It must be user error somehow, even though we made sure to vent it, and didn’t think we overfilled it at all. They just don’t seem to be user friendly or up to the task of motorcycle travel. we used what was left in the bladder to top up our tanks.
White Rim Track in Canyonlands National Park was our next destination and has been on our to do list as it is so close to the TAT. Another $50 plus camping fee. It has turned out to be an expensive day. They limiit the number of day visit and overnight permits, and the online booking system doesn’t let you book less than 48hrs prior. So its easier to just pitch up and hope for the best.
Spectacular views as you ride down the switchbacks. We stopped quite a a bit initially to take pictures, which added to our ride time.
It took us 5 hrs to get to our campsite. It was tough going, Groms do not like riding on bumpy solid rock. We think that for us it was one of the more challenging portions of our trip, mostly because of the length. Usually on the TAT the terrain gets interspersed with a bit of easier stuff here and there, but this was just non stop. The route starts of with nicely graded dirt as you go down, but then changes to solid rock, bumpy bumpy solid rock, interspersed with sections of hard dirt, hard dirt with rocks, and rocks interspersed with sandy bits. This is quite tough on little Grom wheels and suspension. It takes our full attention to pick lines and avoid damaging the bikes, if you were to ride behind us, you would think we were drunk by the way we weave from one side of the track to the other, stopping suddenly to avoid a rock or to weave around the edge of a rut. We were exhausted by the time we got to our campsite.
About 15km before camp, I suddenly lost power, seems one of those rocks ate my kickstand sensor. Fortunately, after our experience last time with Simon’s sensor, this was a simple 2 minute fix and we were back on our way. We felt like pros.
The ranger at the visitors center had recommended Murphy Hogsback camp C and we are so glad we went with it. Its about mid way round, any further and we would have struggled to get there before sunset, any earlier and we would have got there too early. We were the only ones there and it is one of the best camping spots we have had so far. Epic views, dead quiet, no mosquitoes, and we had it all to ourselves.