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Escalante Capitol Reef Moab area

K5wrench

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Camped in the Dixie National Forest.
Below Lion mountain.
Heading down to drive Hells Backbone to Escalante.
Should almost be outta the snow soon.
The 6.2 loves cruising these mountains.
Swapped out the hpca switch.
Greased up the ORD bushings and Tom Woods driveshafts.
At 9,600 ft elev.
Trucks over there clattering away, waiting.
Down into the slickrock i go.

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ZooMad75

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Awesome. Might look into the hole in the rock trail. A little further south but probably warmer and still has slick rock.
 

Stephen

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Don't count on ANY dispersed/camp on your own type camping in the Moab area. They have pretty much shut down all camping that is not in a campground anywhere near town and a lot of areas out of town.
I did stay in a little blm camp area behind gooney bird rock one time that didn't have any people in it during EJS, so there are hidden little gems but they're hard to come by. The previously mentioned camp area on Kane creek is remote enough that it might not be full and isn't a bad place to spend the night.
 

K5wrench

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m1009-at-escalante-utah.35979
https://ck5.com/forums/media/m1009-at-escalante-utah.35979/

A little video i made walking around Red Breaks.

Don't count on ANY dispersed/camp on your own type camping in the Moab area. They have pretty much shut down all camping that is not in a campground anywhere near town and a lot of areas out of town.
I did stay in a little blm camp area behind gooney bird rock one time that didn't have any people in it during EJS, so there are hidden little gems but they're hard to come by. The previously mentioned camp area on Kane creek is remote enough that it might not be full and isn't a bad place to spend the night.
Thanks!
Yeah, i figure I will use this area of Escalante and Dixie Nat forest for camping.
Make day trip to Moab.
I know, I picked the busiest possible time to see Moab.
Temps are great right here in Escalante.
Like 60 degrees.
So far, there aren't many people here.
Sure, there is traffic on hwy 12 and folks at the trail heads around the Escalante river.
But out here on the washboard road on Spenser Flat, ain't nobody.
I might head into Escalante town and see whats doin'.
But I think I will disperse camp around here tonight.
Theres lizards here!
Been a while since I saw those.

I have a feeling it gets hot here later..
 
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K5wrench

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Camped on slickrock.
Even a legal spot no less.
I went down to the Park Service office in Escalante and got a permit.. i was running low on vitamin B too.
It is free to camp here.
Just supposed to stay on the road and camp in sites with Carsonite posts.
Well there was a big chunk of slickrock guarding access to this site.
No Priuses allowed.
Although, i don't think boondocking here would be a problem.
Technically, you are supposed to camp at the designated spots.

No reservations.
They don't even know who camps where.
No numbers or anything.
But I don't mind having the permit all the same.

I might make this my base of ops for Zion, Bryce area for a few days.

Damn that Blazer looks good on sliclrock.
Haven't had to lock the hubs of even pull the sway bar disconnects.
Soon.

Hells Backbone is blocked by a lot of snow.
But i went as far as I could.
Might drive up from the other direction too.
Beautiful country.
Just beautiful.

Tomorrow I may wheel down Hole in the Rock.
It is close.. in fact it is in the distance behind my blazer in the picture.

Really wierd to be off work.
But I am getting into it.
I really need to find a chick that likes this stuff.
Ahh well.
Whole place is practically mine.

So quiet here.
No trees, so you can only hear the wind in blowing past your ears.
When it is calm.. wow!
I've been across 22 states on foot.
Nothing quite like this.

I'll sleep on the ground tonight.
Back seat of the Blazer is mighty tricky for sleepin.

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K5wrench

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A little hike along the Escalante river this morning.
Rewarded with Escalante Arch.
And.. a clean pair of socks since you have to ford the river several times.
Bonus!

Stopped at Kiva coffee house.
I have instant coffee but i could not resist playing tourist and getting a fufu coffee in a tiny cup.
The guys at Mechanical Masters would laugh me outta Wyoming if they saw me.

Heading towards Bryce Canyon today.
Just gonna wing it.

6.2 running good.
No smoke.
Not burning any oil.
Starts instantly.

I am beginning to think I might have killed the crankshaft in the previous motor.
Had the injection timing too far advanced.
Just had the line on the pump a 32nd of an inch towards driver.
Why?
Because at 94,000 miles it is said the timing chain stretches causing the injector pump gears to be retarded since they are driven off the chain.
I knew it blew a lot of black smoke, but i live at 9,000 ft.
Figured it was the altitude.
But this 6.2 I swapped in, unmolested, 34k miles, and pump marks dead square lined up.. this 6.2 doesn't blow any smoke at all.
At least very very little.
I had nothing to compare it to since it was my first 6.2
However it did get 17 mpg.
Just like this one.
So i have to believe it wasn't too far off.
Anyhow, I may never know.
But a diesel timing light with a luminocity probe is not out of the question.
Who knows.
Maybe it was already cracked.
Maybe this one is about to die too.
Whatever happens will happen.
Just do my best to keep it full of oil and coolant and keep an eye onnit.
Sure has no lack of power.
It's a sweet canyon cruiser.


Heading over towards Bryce.
Some weather coming in Tuesday.
Should make for nice sunsets.

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K5wrench

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Keep it coming dude. I need my desert fix. The commentary is great.
Those two words are said to be the last spoken by Edward Abbey.
I cannot nor would not claim to have the poetry and self effacement of Cactus Ed.

However, like Ed, I took one look at Bryce with it's tour busses and throngs of people and politely pointed my truck towards the landfill.

That's right.

Highway 22 north out of Bryce, little green sign says 'Land fill 14 miles'.
Taking a page from "Abbey's Road", Instead of taking a left or a right on the neatly wrapped and well thought out "plan".
The highcountry is still filled with snow.
At Bryce it has all the visitors hemmed in up top.
I have no stomach for crowds right now.
So back towards the desert for me.
"Take the Other".
I took the third option.. no turn at all.. straight ahead towards Antimony along the East Fork Sevier river.

Now according to my old fashioned paper maps, to my left and right is the Dixie National forest.
Has been my friend so far on this trip.
At Widstoe Junction there appears to be a forest road that circles back towards Escalante.
I may go poke around back thataway, and see what I can see.
May find that, like Hell's backbone, the way is blocked by snow, and that is acceptable.

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K5wrench

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Widstoe.
By the way, there is land for sale here between CR1660 (my map says hwy 22) and the Dixie Nat Forest.
Cedar Breaks nat monument outside your front door.
You can see them in the distance in the last picture.
That old red house and plow truck..
Man.. my dream to own a place like that.

The M1009 chugged up the snow covered road within 1000' vertical feet of the pass.
Turned me back.
Explored a few forest roads.
There are Hoodoos here around Widstoe just like in Bryce.

Snow still holds the high country in these parts.

Back to my desert tonight.
A smile on my face.

Widstoe.
Who knew.

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Post Script:
I never did find the landfill.
But what I did find is unlimited camping opportunities just 20 minutes north of Bryce Canyon.
Free camping in the Dixie National forest.
Try fr 131 or fr 132 or head up to Widstoe and fr 3217 and fr 3216.

Rolling back on 12.
Low on vitamin B again.
Then Spencer Flats at Escalante for the night.
 
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K5wrench

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Life in the desert sand.
The morning is cool, just above freezing up here on the flats.
No sound.
Just the slow moving clouds, whole sky full of them moving at once.
Like a hollywood backdrop.

I am in the mood for more dirt roads today.
Zion isn't going anyplace.
And I am not too keen on crowds.
Felt immediate relief when the wheels hit sand again.
So i will listen to my heart today.
Time to find a new place.

So I will point the truck towards Boulder Utah.
Dip through Escalante creek one more time.
Get a fufu girlie coffee in a tiny cup at Kiva and most likely put my little finger out at a 90 degree angle drinking it.

Then I will take the Burr trail to Bullfrog.
Either camp somewhere along it or head all the way down to Glen Canyon.
The river has been on my mind.

After I walked 7,500 miles of the Triple Crown at 40 years old, I had a crazier dream to hike and float the length of the Colorado.
Another was to walk and float the Mississippi from it's furthest spring in Montana, which I visited on the CDT, to the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, hiking long distance trails had depleted my savings.
Glad I did them.
But reality hits you when you approach your 50's.
There ain't a lottery ticket nor any family money waiting for me at the end of this.
I will need to get there on my own.

Instead of taking those hikes, I went back to work.
Saving for retirement.
Making plans to own a little place someday.
Maybe own a tow service and put that robbing bastard in Lovell out of business.

Here I am on the cusp of 50.
I have had a good life.
Would have liked a few more friends.
A wife perhaps.
But that wasn't along the path I took.

Standing here in red sand.
The tracks of little night creatures recorded there at my feet.
A powerful K5 Blazer waiting to take me places nearby.
The things I did or didn't do seem quite far away.

Think I'll go fire that thing up and roll.

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K5wrench

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159 miles from Bullfrog Utah to Blanding Utah passing through Hite.
8.1 gallons of diesel burned.
A surprising 19.6 mpg.
I was cruising below 60 mph.
Really interesting country.

Spent the night on the sand at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Temperatures in the low 60's and breezy.
Very cool this morning.
The desert is wet.
All the intermittent springs and streams are flowing.
No rain, but the skies are full of cloud.
A south wind in Blanding.

Canyon lands is very close.

I am down to 2 bananas, a half box of dried banana chips (why.. just why?), plenty of PB&j, plenty of tortillas, most of a block of mild cheddar, tuna packets, and 3/4 tub of miracle whip spread.
Could use some chips and snacks.

I will stock up on food, vitamin B, ice.

Have not really made plans for my approach to Moab.
Actually.. i haven't planned anything this trip.
I am tempted to mess around in the Abajo mountains in the Manti La Sal forest but then retreat to Monticello and take a room.
Could use a shower.
Yeah, i took a dip in the Colorado.. and it was bloody cold!

It is my 50th birthday.
I will have to seek out a pizza joint.
Really craving pizza this whole time.

Pictures from yesterday.

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