Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ride 18: The "Where Am I Now" Loop

Our Utah friends decided to stay for a second ride around the area but couldn't get as early a start as the day before. Where to go? The "Where Am I Now" Loop!   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 18: "Where Am I" Loop ]

At least that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. The ride is one you can take from Mesquite in a "strong" half-day and crosses… three state lines, some of them more than once, so that most of the day you have no idea which state you are in.

We trailered up to the Woodbury Study Area trailhead in Utah on old Highway-91 – at least that's what they call it even though no one in living memory has actaully seen anyone studying anything there.

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”
Miriam Beard

Staging at the Old Mormon Wagon Road trailhead would have been better but the parking isn't negotiable by a large trailer — Rod pulls his house behind him. The area a bit north is much more conducive for larger trailers and is what we need to use frequently.

We decided to run the loop counter-clockwise today so crossed the road, headed west then turned down south at the intersection toward the Old Mormon Wagon Road.

The road then runs under the power lines, through canyons, under bluffs and finally into Beaver Dam Wash. Across the wash, on the ground, at the opening of a side wash is a large "X" made out of rocks (used to align arial photos). This is the trail to take for "the Snake."

Red, high-walled trail sides wind serpentigenously across the flat at dizzyingly tight radii. Taking it at speed can be a life-altering event. About the time you are getting tired of having this much fun, you come up and out and across the flat to a fence at (well close to) the Nevada border.

The hills at the gate provide great "air" but did prove a bit too much for the six-seater despite teeth-clenching grit and determination.

We made a short stop at the 3-corners monument for the obligatory photos then headed the short distance west along the fence to the gate for the connecting trail to Initial Mesa.

Getting a bit late we opted to head back to Beaver Dam Wash and go north up to the "long water trough" landmark for the remainder of the trail.

The last portion, back across the flats is an incredible ride through the areas most densely-packed, old-growth Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolia) forest of the whole area.

A great ride to cap off a too short visit.

Learn A Little More

For those of you who have trouble finding addresses or need to use your GPS to find your bedroom … you aint seen nuttin' yet! Spend two minutes to hear why you shouldn't feel so bad.


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