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Thread: The M~D~U Report: A Thousand Miles of Dirt in Utah

  1. #41
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    Wow!! Pictures are worth a thousand words! Amazing photography and trip! Thanks for sharing!!


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  2. #42
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    Man your adventures are always documented and captured so well! Thanks for bringing us along and adding more and more to my adventure bucket list. lol
    Nathan

    2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon - Stock "Build" Thread

    Moab, Check. Canyonlands, Check. Arches, Check. Estes, Check. Palo Duro, Check.

  3. #43
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    Great TR so far. Can't wait for the next installment....subscribed

    Darrell

  4. #44
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    1999 UZJ100

  5. #45
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    Jan 2012
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    Wyoming
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    The M~U~D Report: 1000 Miles of Utah Dirt

    Chapter 3: Well.....that was..fun

    We got up at a decent hour to pack up and hit the road. Today we had a couple of rockier and more fun sections of road to drive. Little did we know we going to take on way more then we had signed up for.

    But we didn't know that at all yet. Instead, the Colorado River was below us sparkling in the sun. We were headed to Dewey Bridge to get to Top of the World.

    IMG_1645 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Of course, Dewey Bridge is long since been retired. But it is still pretty cool. The new bridge isn't nearly as cool looking.

    IMG_1652 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-2.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    To get down to Dewey and to the highway, we got to drive down a rather fun section of road. Not difficult but fully entertaining. Views were of course spectacular in Utah fashion.

    IMG_1655 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1657 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-3.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-5.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-6.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    After making it to the bottom we encounter a rental Moab jeep full of...German? Not sure honestly, defineitly not from around “these parts” folks though haha One of them was able to ask us if their jeep on 35s and 4'' lift could make if up the trail we had just come off of.

    I smiled and said, “that thing won't have a problem!”

    Excited they set off to were we had just come. I bet they had a hoot.

    We meanwhile crossed the rive and pulled into Dewey Bridge. This was once the largest suspension bridge in Utah.

    IMG_1662 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-8.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    though...it is hardly a bridge anymore!!

    M~D~U-9.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    This was a pretty speacial moment for Mike and I. We had been here once before way back in 2012. I had been in Frankenstein though and it was the last trail in the day light I ran before rolling him. We had very much enjoyed our visit to this trail last time and were looking forward to tackling it again. I had heard it had gotten pretty rough through out the years.

    M~D~U-10.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    We set off over the smooth maintained road to the trail and hit it hard and fast. The original plan was to make it almost to Moab by the evening so we moved along the trail at a good pace up the numirous ledges and bumpy slick rock.

    Apparently we move fast.

    M~D~U-11.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Before long we caught up to a group of 11 jeeps. They were from all over and told us that there were 30 of them in Moab for a big get together. Thankfully not all 30 were on this trail at once.

    Then there was some odd miscommunication or lack of leadership or...I don't know really. But some of them let us pass, and the rest..didn't.

    So we were caught in the middle of a jeep meet! Haha!

    M~D~U-12.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    There was one toyota FJ with them. I joked with him saying,

    “Don't worry! We are here to rescue you!”

    He smiled but didn't say much.

    M~D~U-13.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1666 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    Needless to say, we just moved a long, didn't get many photo while we were caught in the middle of a jeep meet. But eventually, we made it to the top.

    M~D~U-14.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    The jeeps had their turn with getting their photos of their rigs up there. Mike and I ate lunch and waited patently taking photos of the vast landscape below.

    IMG_1669 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-15.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-16.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-17.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-18.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1672 by mike digirat, on Flickr

  6. #46
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    Eventually though, the jeeps were done and they went on their way to eat lunch else where. Mike and I took our positions and got the classic TOTW photo.

    IMG_1676 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1678 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1679 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1682 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-19.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-20.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    After getting our moment on the perched cliff. We turned and decided to go down the way we came up to avoid the Jeep traffic.

    Plus we got to get more photos doing our own pace and thing.

    Which was fun on the bigger ledge part of the trail.

    M~D~U-22.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-23.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Igor stretching his little legs.

    M~D~U-25.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-26.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    And the bigger ledge here.

    M~D~U-27.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-28.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-30.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-31.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-32.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Red head had no issues of course. It was a miracle Igor made it down without rear bed side damage.

    M~D~U-33.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-34.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-35.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    We then enjoyed the rest of the trail taking in the great view down below the Butte. We were once again, looking back on where we had just come from.

    M~D~U-36.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-37.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-38.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Now instead of getting back onto the main road to continue our trip, we turned right or south, to got to the Cottonwood Canyon cut off. Mike and I had also both done this last time we were here but the other way. We remembered very little about it and weren't worried at all about it.

  7. #47
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    The canyon is a smaller one, but still very pretty. The lighting from the perfect sunny day was awesome too.

    M~D~U-39.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1690 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-40.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-41.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-42.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1691 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1707 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    Once you make it to the bottom and cross the creek, things change. It becomes much rockier and worse for me, loose rock.

    Not ideal for a truck with open diffs. Add some ledge's and Igor was struggling.

    M~D~U-43.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    I got out to reassess my line.

    M~D~U-44.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    I knew were I wanted the tires to go. But missed the spot again on my second attempt.

    M~D~U-45.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-46.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Mike came up to help spot me and I showed him the line I wanted.

    M~D~U-47.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    With his help, Igor finally made it up.

    M~D~U-48.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-49.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Only to get caught again.

    M~D~U-50.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Damn multiple ledges!

    But with some more spotting, some skinny pedal, luck, and miniscule amounts of skill; Igor made it up the ledges.

    M~D~U-51.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-52.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-53.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Doing a little wheelie! Ha!

    M~D~U-54.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-55.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Then it was Mikes turn.

    M~D~U-56.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-57.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Mike has Lockers though, so he didn't have any problems..other then trying to drive through a rock haha!

    M~D~U-58.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    After that the road smooths out and gets narrow on a cliff. But relatively smooth road save for a spot or two.

    It was right after this spot I heard the first bad news of the day over the CB.

    “****, dude I just blew a tire” said Mike.

    “Seriously?!” I said

    “Yep, trying to find a flat spot now before it's totally flat” he said.

    “Damn. Im coming back”

  8. #48
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    M~D~U-59.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Mike didn't just get a flat. That rock murdered that tire in a hateful brutal sense haha

    M~D~U.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-2.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    But we both agreed that a flat tire is always preferred over anything else breaking. We got to work getting the spare off and jacking up the truck.

    M~D~U-3.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    less then 20mins later we were ready to role.

    M~D~U-4.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-5.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Could stick your finger in the hole of the tire.

    M~D~U-6.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    We came out of the canyon back on the main road. It climbs up pretty high before diving down back into the canyons.

    M~D~U-7.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-8.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-9.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-10.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    By now the sun was getting low in the sky. Which meant two things.

    1. Beautiful lighting.

    IMG_1709 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-11.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    1. We needed to be looking for a campsite.

    M~D~U-12.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-13.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-14.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    But I just kept pushing it, not liking anything we were finding. We came up to a fairly large pull out right on the side of the cliff. But I nixed that idea thinking it would be too windy and set off down the very long steep hill.

    This hill...turned out to be VERY VERY hard. Completely caught us off guard.

    I was making my way down the large ledges when we got to one in particular huge ledge and I started down it. But Devin said

    “Monte NO! This is huge!”

    Well...she wasn't wrong..

    M~D~U-15.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-16.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    This ledge was massive and steep. Considering I had no belly skids and only 1'' of lift with 33'' tires. I wasn't feeling confident going over it with the low hanging Tcase on the Tacoma.

    Some folks had obviously encountered this issue before and had started a bypass to the right. It was super tight down hill corner though around a hacked up tree followed by a very tight left hand turn to get back on the trail into steep ledges and rocks.

    Here is the big ledge we avoided. Picture makes it look so small!

    IMG_1712 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    And the route after the ledge we had to turn into

    IMG_1716 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    Oh boy.

    So I backed up Igor and started down.

    IMG_1710 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1711 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1718 by mike digirat, on Flickr

  9. #49
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    Sadly, photos are light here as after the first turn the tree stump almost dented my truck. So I got the axe out and whacked it down some more.

    Then after I got around it, and truned back down hill. Igor started 3 wheeling HARD. Mike and Devin had to hang off the *** to keep him from rolling.

    But after that, I was home free.

    Mike slowly made his way up the steep road back to his rig.

    M~D~U-17.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-18.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Started the turn and despite our learned knowedge on trying a wider line..

    M~D~U-19.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Mike still got some Moab pin stripes.

    M~D~U-20.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    This was a multi point turn. 4-6 I think. Was very tight.

    M~D~U-21.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Then turned parallel to the ledge..

    M~D~U-22.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Then a 3 point turn to aim down hill again.

    M~D~U-23.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Which got a bit tippy.

    M~D~U-25.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    The rock by the passenger rear tire though hit the sliders the whole way down. Got the wheels pretty good too.

    But once we eased passed this spot. It was all good.

    M~D~U-26.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-27.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-28.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Finally we were down the terrible hill. 200 yards of hell, took us over an hour and 15 mins to get down.

    M~D~U-29.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-32.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    We were pooped.

    The large pullout at the base of the hill would suffice for our camp spot that night. We enjoyed the fading light as we set up our tents.

    IMG_1720 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-30.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-31.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    The excitement wasn't over though. It started to drizzle a bit while Devin got dinner going and Mike was setting up his stuff still. I got to building the fire.

    As I was down on my knees splitting up wood for kiddling I had this funny though run through my head...

    “Wow, I'm tired, I better not cut one of my fingers off”

    About 3 second later, I put the axe into a small piece of wood, and the brand new razor sharp axle went clean through it...



    and into my knee.

    I swear I saw blood squirt out.

    “God damn it!” I yelled standing up immediately walking back to my truck.

    “what?” yell Mike from somewhere in the dark.

    “Oh I just put my axe into my knee”

    “Wait...what??!!” Said Devin as I walked up to the truck, a look of terror on her face.

    “I'm fine, didn't even hurt” I said.

    Then I looked down.

    Holy ****!

    M~D~U-33.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1721 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    In the span of 20 second the entire inside of my pant leg was covered in blood.

    “well that's quiet the gusher!” I laughed half heartedly.

    It's at time's like this, you don't want to find out your first aid kits are...well lacking. But between Mike and I we had enough bandages to clean it and wrap it up.

    Lesson: Get a better first aid kit!

    Thankfully it wasn't super serious and only hurt a bit as it had been a clean cut. It was very deep, but not deep enough to cut ligaments..thank god.

    Mike and Devin both hit the beer hard after the long day and the stressful ending. But we had a great night around the campfire. It is always better when you have made it through something unexpected and very challenging.....and all your body parts still attached in my case. Ha

    We all slept quite good that night.

    Devin and Mike both got up before me. As I started getting dressed I heard someone walking up, and looked out the window to see a biker who had just walked down the massive hill we had come down the previous day.

    “Morning!” he said to Mike.

    “Good morning” replied Mike.

    “Did you guys drive down that thing???” he asked point at the hill.

    “Yep, somehow we did” laughed Mike.

    “Holy crap. I barely made it down walking” He said.

    He took off pedaling away. I bet biking all 140miles of this trail is one hell of an experience too.

    We had a good laugh looking back up at the daunting hill its memory still fresh in our minds..

    IMG_1724 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1727 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    “I can't believe you drug me down that think” said Mike to me.

    “What! I didn't drag you!”

    “Whatever, you went, so I had to. Same thing”

    “Least we aren't going up it!” I laughed.

    With that, we set about packing up camp.

    IMG_1726 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1729 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    M~D~U-34.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    I also took the morning light to inspect all the new pin striping I had acquired from our venture down the hill.

    M~D~U-36.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-37.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

  10. #50
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    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wyoming
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    Glad I got these made just a week before..

    M~D~U-38.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-39.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Mikes rig also took on some new body art

    M~D~U-40.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-64.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    But, all in all. Not to bad! Better then a cracked Tcase.

    With the trucks packed, we set off to the next leg of the trail.

    M~D~U-41.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    As we were driving out through some very fun twisty washes. I noticed a very small label on my APRS OSM Map. I zoomed in to read it.

    I stopped the truck I couldn't believe what I was reading.

    “Holy **** Mike,” I said over the CB, “wanna know what this road is called we are on?”

    “What?” he asked

    “ROSEGARDEN HILL!”

    Holy sweet mother Mary and the baby jesus.

    We just made it down Rosegarden hill.

    For those of you that don't know this name, I suggest youtubing it. Trail Damage rates this trail a 7-9 out of 10. Most of the “harder” stuff we were planning on being on were 7s.

    I just started laughing.

    “Damn, I can't believe you drug me down that” Mike said

    Still in disbelief and also feeling stupid for having not read about it in our research. We pulled onto Onion Creek Road to head to Thompson canyon.

    IMG_1733 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    We were now down in the valley that TOTW overlooks.

    IMG_1738 by mike digirat, on Flickr
    IMG_1740x by mike digirat, on Flickr

    Thompson valley is a smooth maintained road but man is is pretty. There is even a great camp spot on it I highly recommend.

    M~D~U-42.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-43.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-44.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    We passed the biker guy down in the valley and started to climb up and up looping back around towards the valley.

    M~D~U-45.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    Canyons..canyons everywhere.

    M~D~U-46.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    M~D~U-47.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    I was running low on gas at this point though. We found it interesting my gas light had come on well before Mikes. I had been driving a while now with it on and with no scan gauge to tell me exactly how much was left. I decided to pour a fiver in.

    M~D~U-49.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    We were now climbing towards the La Sal mountains. And once again, able to look down to where we had come from.

    M~D~U-48.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1742 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    Before long we were flying through the La Sal forest service road and at 8000' elevation in forested mountains.

    Talk about a change of scenery.

    Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1745 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    Once again we could see where we had come from.

    IMG_1747 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    At the peak of about 8600' we were headed back down when devin spotted a bathroom by a large pull out. I pulled in and she used the facilities while I looked around the area. I was greeted by a wonderful surprise.

    M~D~U-50.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    I'll be damned! Dino tracks!!

    I quickly yelled at Devin to come check it out when she was ready and radioed Mike where we were. This little detour proved to be quite awesome.

    Plus the view of the overlook was awesome.

    M~D~U-51.jpg by

    And I looked down..and what do you know.

    M~D~U-52.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

    How awesome is that? Mike and Devin had joined me by now and were also very taken aback by the dinosaur tracks.

    M~D~U-53.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
    IMG_1758 by mike digirat, on Flickr

    This wasn't my first time seeing dino tracks as there are some near my home town. However, these ones were massive compared to those.


    M~D~U-54.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

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