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  1. #1
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    Fruita Camping Anarchy

    I was in Fruita from Thursday PM to Sunday afternoon and I have never seen the camping sprawl like I saw this weekend. Typically, if all the 18 RD campsites are occupied, I would see cars motoring back to town to check out the River or Highline campgrounds. This time, people appeared to drive and put up a tent wherever the he!! they wanted. I saw one tent staked 10 yards from the bottom of Prime Cut and another set up in the 18 Rd trailhead parking lot!

    Here's a shot looking south from the bottom of Prime Cut at around 7:30 AM on Sunday.

    What's the general consensus on camping in this area?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    It's about to get lots worse..........

  3. #3
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    It's unfortunate for sure. Please let people know this is not okay if you see them. I'm sure a couple people started doing it and many followed - mob mentality style. I've heard there was a BLM ranger threatening tickets on Sunday.

    Please camp only at designated spots within the bicycle emphasis area.
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  4. #4
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    Yes, this was a wild weekend. Came in Friday afternoon and Road 18 was already full. Is this normal?

    Lucky us a friendly group of bikers allowed us to join them. So we camped legal and in great company.

    Probably a good idea to advertise the other campgrounds at Road 18. Probably not a whole lot would even know were else to go.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado
    I've heard there was a BLM ranger threatening tickets on Sunday.
    I sincerely hope they were actually writing tickets and not just threatening! We counted 14 seperate groups in this gully camping illegally and the trend continued further south along 18 Rd. I'd hate to think people left from this weekend thinking that was an acceptable area to set up basecamp.

    Here's an exert from the "Over The Edge" bike shop "Area Info" page. Sorry for quoting their material without permission but this needs to get out there before it gets worse.

    http://otefruita.com/area_info/?PHPS...911c7808931cd7

    Where to Camp

    * Colorado River State Park at Fruita - close, nice, showers, reservations - 858-9188
    * Highline Lake State Park - close to Kokopelli's Trailhead, nice, showers, reservations - 858-7208
    * Fruita Monument RV Park - right here in Fruita - RV, tents and cabins - 970-858-3155

    Free Camping

    What's the deal? There really is no free camping in most cases. It's either cash expense or environmental expense. Please! If free camping means chopping down our trees for your camp fire, or driving your car onto our fragile desert, or making another stupid connector trail from your campsite to the kessel run... Please don't free camp!
    Think and learn to camp ”low impact” or just head on down I-70.
    Thanks, now... on to free camping...

    Rabbit Valley - I-70 exit #2 almost on the Utah border, trails a many, camping in fragile desert environment. No facilities, use existing sites only.

    Bookcliffs - very few sites, very fragile! Camp only in existing sites and while your chillin in the evening, without a fire because they are forbidden, help us remove some of the awful bike tracks that are connecting from the camp sites to the trails. The trailheads are only a 1/4 mile away and the tracks are making a once beautiful meadow into a sad destroyed mess. Please, you come here because it's cool, remember it's not disposable, leave it as good or better than you found it. Thanks!

    (Bookcliffs directions? Stop in the shop and yes, you'll get the same speech again. Venting is less embarrassing for me than weeping openly)"

  6. #6
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    it sucks

    the situation sucks..

    my biggest issue.. the people who put a camp chair in a campsite to save for their buddies.. 1/2 the time it seems like they don't show up anyhow.. or they are taking 2 giant campgrounds for 4 people..

    oh well.. people are inconsiderate unfortunately..
    BBZ

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  7. #7
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    I spent five years working for the Forest Service as an OHV Ranger. Yes, the guy in the uniform on the dirtbike.
    This sort of campground expansion is what the BLM will consider "Resource Damage" new roads will start and get extended, new tent sites will get pounded in where cryptobiotic soil used to be, and the rangers will start by writing tickets. Next they will make the campgrounds $14/night/car, and then it will also become a day use area where you have to pay to park your car for the afternoon.
    To all the people who don't care or aren't hip to the ways of the campgrounds:
    Don't camp outside existing sites at 18 road or anywhere else. By doing this you are ruining a FREE campground for everyone else. 18 Road is a rare place where you can camp for free with toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings! All of this infrastructure requires maintenance. Be thankful when you show up and are lucky enough to get a free site if you don't go somewhere else. We can only hope that this great resource can stay free and open in the future, its up to everyone who uses the place!
    CruisenSurly

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lactic
    Rabbit Valley - I-70 exit #2 almost on the Utah border, trails a many, camping in fragile desert environment. No facilities, use existing sites only.
    Don't count on Rabbit Valley anymore. I was out there at the begining of the month and the dispersed campsites are gone/illegal. The first camping area is cramped and the second camping area is big enough for only one group.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  9. #9
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    sadly, theres probably not much that can be done other than either constant monitoring of the surrounding areas by officials, or closure!

  10. #10
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    18 Road Camping - Undeveloped Campsites

    This is an interesting dilemma...

    I experienced the madness last weekend and expect it to be even worse this weekend. The designated campsite were full and overflowing by Friday late afternoon. Several (10-15) groups pitched tents or car camped along the dirt road starting from 18 road and heading toward the cow-pond/prime cut trailhead (See photo from above post).

    If these spots are indeed off limits for camping, there are a couple issues that should be addressed. First, a few "no-camping" signs would probably help with most of the confusion. I did not see a single sign suggesting camping was off limits for the area in question.

    Furthermore, based on the BLM website: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo/...ookcliffs.html
    It does not appear that camping in these areas is strictly prohibited (see link for "using undeveloped campsites). This needs clarification.

    In terms of environmental sensitivity, the areas in question have already seen their fair share of heavy-use. For example, the 200+ head of cattle that were released on Saturday to range in the very undeveloped area where people were camping. Certainly people driving and camping on these areas isn't helping matters.

    I am as concerned about protecting this resource as anyone. But before the finger pointing goes any further, it seems that many of these issues could be resolved through the distribution information. Specifically, the BLM and other local trail managers should clarify the policy on undeveloped camping and put up a few signs so that there is no doubt...

    just my $0.02

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I noticed the lack of signage as well. I did see several of the plywood sign posts that last season had the "No Camping" signs were stripped bare. Not sure if that was deliberate, the wind/weather, or hungry cows.

  12. #12
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    There were and will be signs, but they get torn down as fast as we can put them up. They will be backup this Thursday. If they don't get town down before the weekend is out things will be easily understandable.
    The website is obviously hurtin' for an update....

    We will be out there the entire weekend, feel to flag us down in the truck or on the bike if you have any questions or concerns.

    -Your friendly neighborhood BLM Park Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by CLAW
    If these spots are indeed off limits for camping, there are a couple issues that should be addressed. First, a few "no-camping" signs would probably help with most of the confusion. I did not see a single sign suggesting camping was off limits for the area in question.

    Furthermore, based on the BLM website: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo/...ookcliffs.html
    It does not appear that camping in these areas is strictly prohibited (see link for "using undeveloped campsites). This needs clarification.



    just my $0.02

  13. #13
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    Thanks for your hard work out there!


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Mc
    We will be out there the entire weekend, feel to flag us down in the truck or on the bike if you have any questions or concerns.

    -Your friendly neighborhood BLM Park Ranger
    Thanks for the reply. We do appreciate your efforts!!!

  15. #15
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    Just bring some stuff that looks like a Gas/Oil drilling rig and the BLM will stamp it's approval for you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Mc
    There were and will be signs, but they get torn down as fast as we can put them up. They will be backup this Thursday. If they don't get town down before the weekend is out things will be easily understandable.
    The website is obviously hurtin' for an update....

    We will be out there the entire weekend, feel to flag us down in the truck or on the bike if you have any questions or concerns.

    -Your friendly neighborhood BLM Park Ranger
    Hi there mr scary man... i will be coming down to the junk this weekend to do some MTB riding/business stuff. We should try to hook up for a ride. Will you be out and about? And you say the firewood will be re-posted by thursday???

  17. #17
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    Is there an option for More Campsites ? The riding in Fruita is great, but the secret is out (waayy out) and the number of spring visitors crushes the number of campsites. I would be more than happy to PAY to camp at 18rd if I thought I might have the slightest chance to find a spot when I got there.

    There's a little humor in driving out there, watching ATV's blow donuts in the dust at the OHV areas or seeing 200 cows pound postholes in the muck, but a fella can't find 20 sq feet to set a tent down.

    Maybe more camping is not a BLM option, but it seems like there is ample public land available.

    P.S.
    I don't camp illegally, but I do find the Free Camping/Public Land lecture from Federal Employees to be a bit irratating. But I'm just a TAXPAYER.

  18. #18
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    FFTF just isn't fun anymore. Too many people, and too many irresponsible people to boot.

    I no longer attend. I do love fruita but tend to go when it's a bit calmer.

  19. #19
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    The Monument Camping could help

    I don't know if BLM can get involved with regulations at the Monument or not, but if the Monument campgrounds somehow got fire rings and started allowing fires I would go there first, and they have tons of spots to accomodate a large amount of bikers. I mainly avoid it because you cannot have fires up there and without fires on the plateau, it is cold camping up there. If I am coming after noon on a Friday to the bookcliffs, I know there is a good chance I will drive out there and come away with nothing. I think if the fire ban at the monument was lifted or modified somehow it might alleviate the pressure on the bookcliffs area, plus it's really close to great hiking, road riding, and the lunch loops.

  20. #20
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    The BLM should have anticipated higher traffic associated with FFTF and stationed a few rangers at 18 Rd to control the situation, but instead they sent their mt bike ranger to the Tabeguache in GJ to close a few insignificant illegal lines that have been there for close to a year now. Meanwhile, the desert @ 18 Rd was being damaged by vehicles because no BLMers were around to supervise. Good job BLM, nice to know you've got your priorities straight...

  21. #21
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinobiker
    The BLM should have anticipated higher traffic associated with FFTF and stationed a few rangers at 18 Rd to control the situation, but instead they sent their mt bike ranger to the Tabeguache in GJ to close a few insignificant illegal lines that have been there for close to a year now. Meanwhile, the desert @ 18 Rd was being damaged by vehicles because no BLMers were around to supervise. Good job BLM, nice to know you've got your priorities straight...
    Ummm why not blame the people who are actually doing the damage? Rather than blame the BLM, why not ask if the organizers of the FFTF had a plan to deal with the influx of visitors? Not that I don't think the BLM doesn't deserve some s**t on a lot of their management policies and practices, but who is doing the damage? Why don't WE do a better job of taking care of OUR land?

    Seems much easier to point the finger at a government agency like the BLM than to point it squarely at yourself. Just my opinion of course.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinobiker
    The BLM should have anticipated higher traffic associated with FFTF and stationed a few rangers at 18 Rd to control the situation, but instead they sent their mt bike ranger to the Tabeguache in GJ to close a few insignificant illegal lines that have been there for close to a year now. Meanwhile, the desert @ 18 Rd was being damaged by vehicles because no BLMers were around to supervise. Good job BLM, nice to know you've got your priorities straight...
    Actually, Josh, there was one Ranger at the Lunch loops, at least one and sometimes up to three at 18 Road, and one in the Kokopelli area during the FFTF.
    Last edited by Scary Mc; 04-30-2008 at 10:16 PM.

  23. #23
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    This isn't meant to criticize ScaryMac for having to follow orders and do his job, it is meant to criticize whoever in the BLM told him to go close those lines while the madness continued on out at 18 Rd. Another good question is, if all those rangers WERE out at 18 Rd - then why were vehicles allowed to drive off-road and campers allowed to camp anywhere in the first place??? It seems a lack of priorities on the BLMs behalf that they would send a ranger to close some insignificant line out at the Lunch Loops (that very few people even knew about, or where it is) while vehicles are driving all over the desert at 18 Rd- apparently in front of BLM rangers?!?

    ZRM, I never "blamed" the BLM for tracking up the desert, just for not stopping it. You do know it's part of their job to stop things like this, right? If the cops in your town were alerted to an ongoing crime scene, but instead sent officers out to do impertinent tasks while the crime scene persisted, you might feel like placing some responsibility on the cops for not stopping the crime - right? I have to give kudos to the local BLM for all their mt bike advocacy incl trailbuilding, but I just sometimes wonder if they're letting personal feelings affect their professional decision-making? Point is, the Tabeguache trail closure could have waited and the ranger could have been at 18 Rd making people follow the rules there instead - thereby preventing many new tracks and campsites from being created while waiting another few days to close the hidden, insignificant Tabeguache track.

    Is the BLM is starting to take it personal from the Freeriders?

    ZRM - as for blaming myself, I can't really identify with you here - I didn't drive off-road or camp in an undesignated site out at 18 Rd, I pay my taxes (some of which go to the BLM), and I'm not about to go and tell folks I've never met what they can and can't do! So point the finger "squarely" at yourself if you like, but I won't take responsibility for the ignorance and inconsideration of others. Nice try at the "feel-good, take responsibility" sentiment though

    PS ZRM, if you ever do go and try to police some mt biking/camping area on your own, out of your zeal for personal responsibility and civic duty no doubt, please let me know when and where - I want to see it!

  24. #24
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    Small detail: The photo at the top of the thread was taken the week before the FTF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMan
    Just bring some stuff that looks like a Gas/Oil drilling rig and the BLM will stamp it's approval for you.
    ain't that the truth.

  26. #26
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    please explain......

    Quote Originally Posted by dinobiker
    Is the BLM is starting to take it personal from the Freeriders?
    Who/what are "the freeriders" ?
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  27. #27
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    mountain racer you know who the freeriders are...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetreadway
    This sort of campground expansion is what the BLM will consider "Resource Damage"
    Fascinating. I guess these spots would be better 'protected' with drill rigs on them?

    Maybe not to you or I, but to the BLM bean counters, that's definitely what they'd rather see.

    MC

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinobiker
    instead they sent their mt bike ranger to the Tabeguache in GJ to close a few insignificant illegal lines that have been there for close to a year now. Meanwhile, the desert @ 18 Rd was being damaged by vehicles because no BLMers were around to supervise. Good job BLM, nice to know you've got your priorities straight...
    Great point. "Vindictively Reactive" seems to be the two-word synopsis for the local BLM rangers. Even more to the point is that the lines in question at the LL were put in sustainably and with minimal damage--I know, I've been riding them for over a year.

    -The trail in question followed a wash and was on rock for over 50% of it's course.
    -No crypto crust was crossed--each time I rode this trail I looked for a place where the trail designer/builder had fouled up, and could find none.
    -No trees were damaged, no bushes defoliated, and no cactus crushed. Not that I could see anyway.

    In short, I'd like to buy a root beer float for whomever installed that trail. Most sustainable and well thought out trail in the valley. Most smiles per mile to boot.

    And, once the aforementioned root beer floats have been consumed, I'd like to take a steaming long shot into the mugs of anyone involved, at any level, with closing that trail. Idiots.

    The moronic dingbats that effected the closure did 2000 times more damage closing it than the trail itself had created. Go look for yourselves and see where these mental midgets stomped through crypto crust to find juniper detritus to throw across the trail, unearthed huge boulders (must have taken at least two people on some of them) and left craters, smashed sage and crushed cactus. F*&^ing amazing. Presidential material for sure.

    If the BLM was involved in this, I'd like an explanation. Not an explanation for placing a 'closed' sign at the start of the trail, but some sort of logical reasoning that tells why it's OK for you flaming asshats to f*&k up the surrounding veg in the name of closing a trail that was better than anything you've built in the last few years.

    I'm waiting.

    MC

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    In short, I'd like to buy a root beer float for whomever installed that trail.
    I'd up the ante with a chicken-strips and a side of onion rings. Losing that route is a real pain in the rectum.

    Let's ease up a bit on the name calling though, hmmmm?
    Last edited by singletrack; 04-30-2008 at 09:17 PM.

  31. #31
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    uhh....

    Quote Originally Posted by dinobiker
    mountain racer you know who the freeriders are...
    Freeride isn't even a real word.
    Don't take the smooth lines fast, take the fast lines smooth.
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  32. #32
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    Why the Anger

    Well put MC. Mega Kudos to the creative designer- The trail in mention WAS unique.
    Those that could ride it loved it, those that couldn’t ride it surely wanted to, and riders not in “the loop” couldn’t find it…. Unfortunately there is a “Judas” in the riding circle.

    I and many others are at a loss to understand the logic behind the angry closure.
    >Was it closed to express authority?
    > Was it closed because of environmental issues?
    > Was it closed because of safety concerns?
    > Was it closed because only a handful of individuals could ride it?

    The Authority issue rings loudest- many individuals in low, low, low level positions try to make their work seem much more than it truly is. They often over express their importance and often have brewing inner anger because they are less then they think they should be. It is a lot like Penis Envy.
    If you take the time to see the anger that was expressed in HOW the trail was closed- you to will come to a similar conclusion.

    It can’t be the environmental issue- take a look at all the pink flagging throughout the LL. They will soon be building trails literally next to perfectly fine trails that have existed for years. If it was closed because of environmental issues, they surely wouldn't rip up more land to make another trail where one now exists. That just doesn’t make sense.

    Can’t be safety- regardless of the trail, mountain biking has unavoidable inherent risks.

    Was it too difficult? This is a possible answer because once again it relates to that Penis Envy idea.

    Please, for the sake of what is left of the LL’s ecosystem- next time you officially build or close a trail-- have a little respect for the environment. What MC indicated- their solution did much more damage than the existing trail.

    Cheers
    BRs

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditriders
    I and many others are at a loss to understand the logic behind the angry closure.

    > Was it closed to express authority?
    > Was it closed because of environmental issues?
    > Was it closed because of safety concerns?
    > Was it closed because only a handful of individuals could ride it?

    > It was fun.
    Someone must have TT'd it, the BLM hates that or anything else resembling a good time.

    Ed

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPEEDMONKEY
    Who/what are "the freeriders" ?

    Hey Monkey, sorry I missed you at Sea Otter. How did you do? Are you going to be "freeriding" at the MSC races this year?

  35. #35
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    Progress

    Hm, I haven't been on this board in nearly a year, and it's like deja-vu reading some of these remarks.

    Some of you have good points about trail sustainability and level of impact issues, but you portray your opinions as would a 14 year old kid who sees the world in terms of 'us against them'. Aren't some of you "professionals" in the GJ and Fruita community? You do yourselves and those associated with you a disservice when you advocate an unpleasant attitude in a public forum, and you make enemies of the few people who might actually be your connection to effecting change from within the agencies you so readily disparage.

    It's easy to make sweeping statements and act as if you have all the answers when you're protected in the shadow of your laptop lid, but what are you doing to improve the situation in real life?

    Why not share your concerns directly with the BLM and the City of Grand Junction (without the name calling if you want to be taken seriously) and take some initiative to help find more popular solutions to the problems?

    Have you considered that your local BLM and Forest Service Rangers are also frustrated with some of the decisions that are made at higher levels--decisions that they then have to execute and take all the flack for-- that are made by people who in all likelihood don't mountain bike (don't really get what's going on out here)?

    Complaining about it semi-anonymously isn't doing a lot to change things--at least not in the year it's been since I last examined this forum.

    Speak face to face to your rangers, and show a little respect and understanding. Especially you who are supposed to be setting examples in the mountain biking community here. They may not all be on your side, but some are more sympathetic than you seem to think. Maybe you could be productive if you worked together a little more. Write suggestions, trail ideas and concerns out to the BLM offices, where they become more than just whiny adolsecent slams on other individuals. Encourage others to do so--it may not produce miraculous results but it's the first step toward change.

    Or, you can choose to continue as you have, like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill over and over again only to have the Big Bad BLM roll it back down the mountain every time.

    We mountain bikers seem to be on the losing end of so many more government-related recreation management issues than is necessary. It seems that if we would spend less time complaining and more time working for our cause like the hikers and motorists do, we too might have greater successes.

    -see you next year
    I really need to change my avatar

  36. #36
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    I looked

    Quote Originally Posted by fruitadan
    Hey Monkey, sorry I missed you at Sea Otter. How did you do? Are you going to be "freeriding" at the MSC races this year?
    Hey FruitaDan, I looked for you at the 'Otter, but to no avail. It was good, I mean, how can you complain when you're riding dry trails and not even a single rain drop fell!?! I think it's the first time in Sea Otter history that it wasn't a mud fest. Race went well. Tough competition - pretty much a world cup. I won't be "freeriding" (since I still don't know what that is) but I will be attending a few select MSC events and Crankworx CO. See you in New Mexico in a few weeks!
    Don't take the smooth lines fast, take the fast lines smooth.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tumbl_ina
    -see you next year
    God, I hope not.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  38. #38
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinobiker
    This isn't meant to criticize ScaryMac for having to follow orders and do his job, it is meant to criticize whoever in the BLM told him to go close those lines while the madness continued on out at 18 Rd. Another good question is, if all those rangers WERE out at 18 Rd - then why were vehicles allowed to drive off-road and campers allowed to camp anywhere in the first place??? It seems a lack of priorities on the BLMs behalf that they would send a ranger to close some insignificant line out at the Lunch Loops (that very few people even knew about, or where it is) while vehicles are driving all over the desert at 18 Rd- apparently in front of BLM rangers?!?

    ZRM, I never "blamed" the BLM for tracking up the desert, just for not stopping it. You do know it's part of their job to stop things like this, right? If the cops in your town were alerted to an ongoing crime scene, but instead sent officers out to do impertinent tasks while the crime scene persisted, you might feel like placing some responsibility on the cops for not stopping the crime - right? I have to give kudos to the local BLM for all their mt bike advocacy incl trailbuilding, but I just sometimes wonder if they're letting personal feelings affect their professional decision-making? Point is, the Tabeguache trail closure could have waited and the ranger could have been at 18 Rd making people follow the rules there instead - thereby preventing many new tracks and campsites from being created while waiting another few days to close the hidden, insignificant Tabeguache track.

    Is the BLM is starting to take it personal from the Freeriders?

    ZRM - as for blaming myself, I can't really identify with you here - I didn't drive off-road or camp in an undesignated site out at 18 Rd, I pay my taxes (some of which go to the BLM), and I'm not about to go and tell folks I've never met what they can and can't do! So point the finger "squarely" at yourself if you like, but I won't take responsibility for the ignorance and inconsideration of others. Nice try at the "feel-good, take responsibility" sentiment though

    PS ZRM, if you ever do go and try to police some mt biking/camping area on your own, out of your zeal for personal responsibility and civic duty no doubt, please let me know when and where - I want to see it!
    Dino, My point is that I think it important that the MTB community as a whole, especially in those areas that have deliberately tried to make themselves into a "Mountain Bike Mecca" need to take an active role in managing and protecting their area. After all, bringing more people into the area is part of a deliberate action. Part of that can mean doing everything you can to think through the issues and impacts that events like FFTF are going to have during the planning stage and coming up with the best solutions you can. That's not to denigrate the folks who organize FFTF, I'm sure they work hard and do the best they can but it's a big event and the ability of the promoters to manage the impacts of it need to grow with the event.

    I have in the past promoted large races and one of the questions I have had to answer in the permitting process is how are you going to deal with the influx of campers, etc. I don't know if the folks who organize FFTF had to have some sort of plan to deal with the influx of visitors at 18Rd or not, but if they didn't they should have. Maybe having a volunteer campground host(s) stationed there to deal with questions, or even a large sign on the road as folks are leaving town informing folks that the campground is full and here are some alternative places to go, something like that might be helpful. Big events like FFTF can quickly overwhelm the staff of local land agency offices so why not help them out? After all, isn't it true that FFTF is an event that is intended to promote the area and bring economic gain to the community? (absolutely nothing wrong with that BTW) Why not have the community pitch in to help minimize the impacts if that isn't already the case?

    Land agencies have a lot on their plate and not a lot of resources to deal with them. Often when a permittee puts on an event, there is something of an assumption, or even a requirement that the organizers will police their event. When you say "why wasn't the BLM enforcing camping rules", well why not take it a step further and ask "why doesn't the BLM have someone along on all the group rides to make sure everyone stays on the trails?"

    Congress is doing a good job of starving the land agencies, especially when it comes to Law enforcement. I've always thought that the rules are pretty well posted at 18rd. That's not to say that I always agree with the priorities of the FS or the BLM, but one thing I've found is that as you go up the chain of command, there is usually a reason for how they do things. You or I might not agree with those priorities, but they have a pretty wide ranging constituency that they have to answer to so I'm not going to take it too personally when I don't get my way. That doesn't mean that I don't participate and provide input, but I have a pretty good understanding that they can't do everything they would like to do, let alone what I would like them to do.

    This is why I pitch in an volunteer, not only for trail maintenance, planning, and building, but less fun things like weed pulling and yes, illegal campground and trail restoration. Something we have here in Summit County where I live is an organization called "the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District". The FDRD works really closely with the local ranger district to help with all the things that need to be done that there is no way the agency has the staff or money to do. It has a forest stewards program that gets folks out on the ground to be eyes and ears for problems and issues and also help educate folks on good stewardship practices. Similar organizations are beginning to pop up all over; maybe there is a need for such a group in the Grand Valley?

    Anyway, I'm sorry if I came across as being holier than thou or anything like that. It sounds like you really care about the area as I care about the place where I live. Way too many people have this sense of entitlement that tells them that they should be able to do whatever they want, be it camp off of designated areas or build trails where ever they want. We get a lot of visitors where I live too and most of them are pretty conscientious about their impacts, but quite a few of them aren't. Since our economy depends of visitors coming in and leaving money behind and not all of them give the area the standard of care we migh like, we have to do what we can to educate them, do the best we can to prevent damage from happening in the first place (fences, gates, stuff like that) and when the first two fail, clean up after them. It's a ***** for sure, but it's just one of the trade offs of a tourist economy. One thing I'm sure of, if we (that is the MTB community as a whole) really cares about the land we have to (1) take a good hard, honest look at our own actions and maybe pull back a little and show some restraint and respect, and (2) police ourselves.

  39. #39
    Do it for FUN!
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    So where should I camp this Friday? I checked the state parks and they are all full. Is it really bad to sleep in a van at the trailhead on 18 road??

  40. #40
    lone rider
    Reputation: big galoot's Avatar
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    Camping in the North Fruita Desert

    This year was worse than ever! For the first time I couldn’t find a spot in the campground. Probably because I didn’t show up on Monday. I ended up camping by the OHV area.
    I too was wondering what’s legal. Here’s what I found
    As slow as the government is it’s probably current

    North Fruita Desert boundaries:
    North Coal Gulch Road
    South private land-basically the canal
    West HWY 139
    East 21 RD
    BLM final plan confusing legal info:
    No camping is allowed in the mechanized emphasis area except in designated campsites. Dispersed camping will still be allowed in the remaining areas of the planning area. non mechanized (purple) and other areas ?(green)

    Bicycles and motor vehicles are mechanized so that's pretty much the whole North Fruita Desert.

    http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...ita_Desert.pdf

    http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo/...campsites.html

  41. #41
    Colorado
    Reputation: Drop the Seat's Avatar
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    Map of the "Official" camp sites on 18 rd please???

    I always thought it was dispersed camping up there, meaning you could camp in spots along that road that are designated camp spots. But, it's the definition of camp spot that most people don't get. If it looks like a camp site? but no sign?

  42. #42
    banned
    Reputation: KarateChicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easymzm
    So where should I camp this Friday? I checked the state parks and they are all full. Is it really bad to sleep in a van at the trailhead on 18 road??
    get a hotel room, cheapo

  43. #43
    "I thought you were dead"
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    Ample free camping.....

    ..... can be found in Whitman Park -> 5th & Ute in Grand Junction.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnstormer
    ..... can be found in Whitman Park -> 5th & Ute in Grand Junction.
    or along the Colo River Front Trail...

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnstormer
    ..... can be found in Whitman Park -> 5th & Ute in Grand Junction.
    If you run out of gas money to get home, you can make some cash at the Horizon Drive exit.

  46. #46
    The dude who made it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billybobzia View Post
    the situation sucks..

    my biggest issue.. the people who put a camp chair in a campsite to save for their buddies.. 1/2 the time it seems like they don't show up anyhow.. or they are taking 2 giant campgrounds for 4 people..

    oh well.. people are inconsiderate unfortunately..
    Take the site and sell the chair back to them....

  47. #47
    canuck
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    my attitude and back hand is more firm than "your chair"...

  48. #48
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    Plenty of sites open now I'm guessing, it was 103 on Saturday.

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