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  1. #1
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    TR - Thanksgiving in Moab (Utah x-post)

    So it took me quite a while to get around to pics and this trip report, but still want to get one put together. We did some awesome riding! A friend of mine bought a townhome in Moab this summer and invited me out for Thanksgiving. He could only make it for the 4 days, but Gil and I went for the whole week.

    To break up the drive we stopped in Hurricane/St George for a ride. A couple friends of ours were spending half the week there so we hit up Guacamole in the morning with them.

    Heading out


    Cool shot heading over to salt on the rim


    I think Christian regretted the full rigid bike but he wouldn't admit it


    Playtime on the rocks


    Twisting and weaving


    Closing the loop on the outer rim


    Guacamole is always such a fun ride, we covered almost everything there in under 3 hours. That is also nice, because it meant we had time for a second ride.

  2. #2
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    We stopped in for lunch and then headed off for a second ride. There are tons of great rides in St George and new ones are still popping up. I wanted to check out one I saw on Trailforks, that seemed to end with a good descent and had some good reviews...Babylon to Little Purgatory.

    This ride is a ways out of town. From Hurricane you head north to 15, or from StG you go north on 15. Then a ways off the highway. To what seems like middle of nowhere.

    Cool formations on the drive out


    Big surprise to start was a stream with flowing water


    We crossed it a number of times to start, and the ride wasn't looking that promising at first


    Then we turned off the initial trail onto Historic Babylon and it got better (but not easier)


    Amazing views behind us in the late afternoon light


    And great views ahead too. I-15 is somewhere between us and those mountains


    After some tough climbing up a gully we hit the top and start to drop down Little Purgatory. More great views...


    Trail was perfect IMO... raw, chunky, little traveled


    Some fun switchbacks and steeper towards the bottom




    A few nice drops too. Perfect level of tech


    Then back down through the stream crossings. A bit more rideable heading back to the truck.

    I really liked this ride, would do it again. It is probably one of the longer descents in StG. Not as hard as Grafton but still a fun descent with a few tech spots.

  3. #3
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    Day 2

    After StG we had dinner at a nearby restaurant and then hit the road. We still had a few hours driving to get to Fruita. Plans to spend a few days there and GJ were in doubt due to rain in the forecast but we could get at least one day in.

    Comedy set in when at midnight and the gas at 1/4 tank I figured we could make if from the Moab turnoff to Fruita. I know the gauge drops faster the last 1/4 tank but I normally get 50-60mi out of it before the warning light comes on, so 60mi to Fruita shouldn't be a problem. Well the needle dropped like a rock and the warning light came on 25 mi later. WTF??? 40mi to go. Can I make it? I've never driven more than 20mi after the warning light came on. Rather than take chances I turned tail back toward the turnoff. Better late than run out of gas, that would have sucked at 1am. Finally made it to the 18 road campground at 2am. There's something to be said for never passing a gas station when you are below 1/2 tank!

    Waking up was a little chilly


    We broke camp and then parked down at the lower trailhead. Climbing up Prime Cut


    The spark coming out of the guy's ass is a nice touch


    At the upper TH we headed over to Zippity


    I last rode Fruita back in 2009. I love to pooh-poo it since 18 road gets hyped so much but damn these trails are fun




    We climbed back up Zip Off, a trail that I don't recall existing last time here. It climbs back to Zippity, from the west. Very nice climb until the last few hundred feet (HAB)


    Still traversing back to Zippity


    Great views from Zip off


    For the next lap we hit Joe's Ridge, another classic


    Another really fun trail


    We didn't have a huge amount of time left so we opted for a few odd man out shuttle laps on PBR. This trail was a lot more fun than I remembered. I rode Gil's bike, a new Intense Primer as my front skewer had snapped on Joe's part way down when I tried to tighten a loose wheel. I couldn't keep the maxle tight after that. The Primer is a fun bike for sure, felt really solid. My first "real" ride on a 29er. We took off back to town in time to hit the bike shop where I got a new skewer.

    Gil on PBR

  4. #4
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    Excellent post, loved it!

  5. #5
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    Enjoyed your ride summaries and pics!
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  6. #6
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    Awesome!
    2017 Giant Trance 2
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  7. #7
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    Good stuff!

  8. #8
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    Very interested to see this RR of the Babylon/Little Purgatory. It's one of the few trails in St. George Hurricane I haven't tried yet. Seems like I'd kind of written it off my list several years ago based on one guy's assessment. Then I was just reading a description of it at Utah Mountain Biking - Trails, Information, Repairs and had a renewed desire to try it. After your ride report I'm even more keen to give it a go.

    In order to access the top, did you have to pull out of the wash where you did? Was the trail pretty obvious? Or was that just the better option at the time due to the flowing stream?
    Last edited by KRob; 03-22-2017 at 05:04 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    In order to access the top, did you have to pull out of the wash where you did? Was the trail pretty obvious? Or was that just the better option at the time due to the flowing stream?
    KRob, the trails are on Trailforks and we had little trouble following them. They are pretty obvious except for a few short sections on grassy slope where it is very faint. The trail follows the wash we were in at first for 150-200 yards and then stays above aside from a few more crossings. After the last crossing the trail climbs away, stay on it and it will take you up top. The trail is little used, eroded in spots, steep in spots, and raw/techy, so not for every one. I think a lot of people wouldn't like it. But it is mostly rideable and a different vibe from most of the other local trails. And as I mentioned, one of the longer continuous descents I've seen in the area. Definitely check it out, seeing the stuff you've posted before I think you'll like it.

  10. #10
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    Day 3

    The forecast was not cooperating with us this trip and rain in Fruita/GJ would chase us over to Moab pre-maturely.

    We camped over near Klondike bluffs, and got rained on most of the night


    We packed up in the morning during a break in the rain and headed into town for breakfast. It was looking clear through mid afternoon so we headed over to Amasa back area.



    Climbin'




    More climbin'


    Great views of the La Sals would become a theme for the trip


    Playing around


    Great views at the top




    Still lots of work on upper Ahab


    Then the descent... Gil brought the go-pro, so you can watch me miss key turns!




    And we finished just in time for a rain delay



    We were able to get the code to get in the condo early and were living large as it rained outside.

  11. #11
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    Day 4

    Navajo Rocks seems to be the trail system of choice for riding immediately following rains. After stopping in at the shop we headed out to the trailhead. Plan was to ride part of the loop and then head up to the Mag7 area via a new-ish connector, and then back on 7up.

    Cruising Navajo Rocks


    Lots o rocks


    When the bridge is too wide it takes some style to make it look cool


    Always trying to find the ideal picture angle at this rock...haven't quite got it yet!


    Is it Christmas yet?


    From the boring part of Navajo Rocks


    Up top


    Next we turned onto Chisholm Trail to connect us to Mag7


    Really fun trail with a huge variety of terrain, and great climbing grade




    Hole shot


    We took Getaway Tr down a few miles before connecting to the Mag7 network


    Great views there


    We dropped down a ways then climbed back to the top of the Mag7 network. From there we took 7up back to Navajo Rocks. Here's some vid of the good part of 7up. Most of 7up sucked. It drops down part on singletrack, part on jeep road and part on big rock slabs. Lots of elevation lost on jeep trail and too much climbing for a descent! Next time I would ride back on Chisholm for sure...


  12. #12
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    Continuing on....


    Day 5

    For Day 5 I planned a somewhat unique ride I've been wanting to do for years that would include some rarely ridden and lots of new-to-me dirt. As a bonus we could ride right from the condo...

    To start we headed over to the Pipe dream trailhead, where a lesser known trail called Hidden Valley starts with a stout hike a bike up a wall of rock

    Playing around at the bottom. We HAB'd up to the saddle in the background.



    Most of the way up. Trail reports I'd seen suggested having to toss the bike over massive boulders, but it was really just a run of the mill steep rocky HAB



    The Hidden valley opens up



    Great views of the La sals



    Hidden valley is a totally unique trail in Moab - flat and no rock after the HAB up.



    But it is hard to get to, and there is no riding back down the climb if doing an out and back, it is far too steep and rocky



    At the back end of Hidden Valley a short climb leads to a short singletrack descent and then jeep road which connects to the sandy and then rocky Moab Rim Trail



    Moab Rim is your typical steep up and down slickrock jeep trail



    With a great view looking right down on Moab



    Getting hungry Gil tries to capture some feral purse dogs for a snack



    Fun descent back down to the river.



    We hit the highway for a couple miles then did the climb back up Hymasa and headed in the direction of Pothole Arch



    The views up there never disappoint



    Though they can be a bit sketchy if you don't like heights



    Looking down, first time I've ever seen a rider on the jeep road below



    And on to Jackson! Having done first trips here in Spring and later having limited time I'd never done this trail before, but it delivered!



    Lots of fun challenges



    And like many trails, over too soon



    This is why you don't ride it in spring, under water



    To close the loop we spun a few quick miles on the road back to town and then picked up Pipe Dream trail, headed south



    Pipe dream only runs about 5 miles but at this stage of the day it seemed much longer. It's not an easy trail on tired legs...



    When you get here you're almost at the end. A couple more pavement miles back to the condo and it was beer:30!



    Here's a few vids of Jackson so you can amuse yourselves watching me miss more turns







    Fun day in the end. If I re-do, I might start with Pipe dream first. That was a beat down at the end of the ride.

  13. #13
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    Day 6

    By day 6 the trails over in Fruita/GJ had started to dry out after rains from a few days before, so we made plans to head back and ride Grand Junction.

    As with Fruita it had been many years since I'd last ridden Grand Junction so I was looking forward to a return trip.

    Kokopelli trails was first up, and we hopped right onto Moore Fun, cuz who needs a warmup?

    Starting off with a bit of climbing



    It didn't take long for things to get technical





    Still climbin'





    And yup, still more. After a few tries I made it up this switchback



    At some point things trended from up to down, and we headed over to Mack Ridge. Which pics belong to which trail is a bit hazy after some months, so just enjoy the ride like we did



    Great views of the river



    This was onto Mack Ridge for sure, some nice technical sections on the back side









    Some footage from Mack Ridge



    Next we crossed back on Lions to Steves and Marys. View from Lions:



    Tough climb out of a wash



    Continuing on above the river





    We checked out the drop in onto Horsethief bench but didn't ride it as we were getting short on daylight



    But a few good miles back to the truck awaited



    Beers getting close!



    Kokopelli trails were harder than I remembered with some legit technical challenges. I love trails that are challenging both up and down.

  14. #14
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    Day 7

    By Thursday Dom, wife and friend had showed up in Moab and we talked Dom into heading back to Grand Junction to ride Lunch Loops.

    Lunch loops was the trail system that convinced me to buy a dropper post back in the day, with lots of short steep ups and downs. Seems like there are plenty of new trails since my last visit and we started off on one of them out of the trailhead.


    Climbing Pet E Kes



    Perfect climb up!



    Holy Cross was always a favorite so we decided to hit that up first. This and Free lunch were really the only two trails I remember.



    Everyone claims 29ers are better? These guys cleaned this first time each I think, it took me half a dozen run ins on my antiquated 26" wheels.



    I did have it easier making a loop top of on this rock though



    Maybe I am just regressing but the techy climbs on Holy Cross seemed a lot harder than I remembered



    Dom and Gil got way ahead after I took some pics and missed some of the side features. Caught up to them at the trails namesake



    Wish more places had signs like this



    Squeezing under the tree



    29er wheels make the drop look big



    Yes, it was...



    Riding the cliff edge



    Drop in after the road crossing on Gunny loop. Aside from this drop we rode that trail the wrong way!



    On to Andy's Loop



    Cave ridin'



    Backside of beyond



    This climb had a couple tough surprises near the top! I was lucky not to topple over and down the cliff after stalling out



    This was the last I'd see of Gil and Dom.



    Footage:









    My rear hub had started making funny noises on Gunny loop and by this time it was no longer freewheeling smoothly, leading to dropped chains every 50-100ft. I couldn't even coast. Even trying to pedal at the same rate the wheel spun to avoid freewheeling didn't work. Fortunately by the time it really got bad there were no cliffs to throw the bike off. Would've liked to have ridden more but my day was done!

  15. #15
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    Day 8

    Mag7 is permanently on the to-do list for Moab, so that was our planned ride for Day 8. The only wild card was my bike. I had called around to all the shops on the drive home day before but none in Fruita or Moab had a regular Stan's free-hub, only XD driver. Price of progress! I was prepared to rent a bike for the day if need be so we stopped in at Chili Pepper. But the mechanic thought he could get me going again and an hour later we were out the door. The freehub body had bowed out where the hub pawls are held but he was able to shave them back enough to get it to spin. Not perfect but good enough...

    No pics or stopping for the first few miles til we crossed the road and stopped to warm up



    This little up is always a good challenge



    The guys got ahead of me and somehow missed a turn ending up on the old heinous Goldbar Rim jeep trail rather than singletrack. They waited for me somewhere, by the time we figured it out I was at the top and then had to wait for them.



    Finally they get to the top, time to roll



    Blue dot (or whatever they call it now) is one of my favorite trails anywhere. Hard to beat the combo of views and tech (up and down)



    Yeah, those views...



    This drop seemed like a great idea til Dom burped his tire on landing



    More droppage



    Lining up the gap jump...or not



    Roller city



    Footage:



    And onto Portal. Gil dismounts for no-thing!



    Dom's friend Jeff cruising along



    I never seem to get any pics on Portal, stopped and got a couple that day!





    Footage: It must suck to ride with someone when you're go-pro'ing who always wants to stop and take pics!







    Felt bad for Dom and Gil as the shuttle retrieval took til after dark and it wasn't exactly warm out. Great ride though, bike survived which was also nice!

  16. #16
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    Day 9

    Last day... We were going to do a quick ride and then get out of town before an incoming storm made the highways a mess.

    I figured Dead Horse State Park would be good for a quick ride, albeit not so close to town. Never doing things the easy way we decided to drive in the back way up Shafer Trail.

    Token pushing over the rock pic



    Sign at the Potash plant says "Stop - No Trespassing - Your GPS is wrong" but doesn't tell you that all you have to do is stay straight rather than turn. Finally figured that out and continued on.

    Great views over the river







    Looking down from the top of the switchbacks



    The drive up Shafer took a lot longer than I thought it would, so it was getting late to still do a ride. Just as well, it was frigid with howling winds up top. So we bailed on riding and started the drive home.

    Had to stop at Monument Valley for the token pic.

    Someone please run these fools over



    But not this fool. Apparently I suck at doing headstands. I blame the wind.




    Heading down a hill toward Flagstaff the first sign that something was wrong was cars everywhere in the ditch. Time to back off the speed, its ice! This was maybe 20min north of Flag. It took us 4 hours to get just past Sedona. 17 was a parking lot. Semis like this one were stuck, couldn't get up the hills so two lanes traffic had to merge around them. Plows couldn't clear the road because of all stopped the traffic.



    Made for a late night, but good times! Fun trip. I don't think I'll do Moab again at Thanksgiving, it was too cold for this Socal wimp even with the condo. I'm glad we made it out there though, we got lots of good riding in. Also, I may have to stop slagging the Fruita/GJ trails. Overhyped maybe, but damn they are fun!

  17. #17
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    Sweet!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  18. #18
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    Good stuff. Another great trip in the books. What's on tap for this summer?

  19. #19
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    AZT300 is this weekend. Iceland in August. Other than that plans are a bit up in the air due to snowpack in the mountains. Hopefully bikepack the CO trail. And I'd finally like to get up to WA and ride Mt St Helens. Then whatever 2/3 day trips I can sneak in... You?

  20. #20
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    Very neat, great shots!

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