Wednesday, February 22, 2012

GEO-tography: Deserts

In the past I have showcased examples of landscape photography, which has included photos of mountains, valleys, plains, lakes, coast lines, and a variety of other types of landscapes. That's what I'm calling GEO-tography – photography of the "GEO."

I guess it depends upon where you do your riding as to what pops into your mind when someone says: "landscape"; but, around here it's pretty much desert. I admit that sometimes it hard to actually see the desert for all the sand, especially when you are washing it out of your hair and shaking it out of pretty much every bodily orifice.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Offroad: Parashant - Grand Gultch Mine

I have written about offroad rides to the Grand Gulch area a few times previously: Offroad: Savanic, Offroad: Mine Hunt and Offroad: Tassi Springs. Here is a submitted trail which can test all of the bolts and nuts in your rig – especially the one behind the wheel.

Gordon got a new Can-Am so he and Hugh decided to give it a test run up to one of their favorite locations: Grand Gulch Mine, down there in the Parashant wilderness. The Parashant arm of the Grand Canyon is to the southeast of the Virgin Mountains from Mesquite Nevada. The Grand Gulch Mine is on the bench between Grand Gulch Canyon and North Fork Canyon in western Mohave County, Arizona.

Their ride, taken in late winter from Whitney Junction, turned out to be a 96-mile (round trip) to the mine and back over the same route. It was cool late winter and, of course, taken in their side-by-side UTVs. Even so, they rate the trail very difficult due, in large part, to the portion beyond the Savannic Mine – i.e. over the top to the Grand Gulch.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Extreme Sleepovers

Everest Base Camp, Nepal (Credit: Andrew Murray)While researching for an unrelated post I stumbled upon an article which had me mesmerized enough to journey on a major diversion of such proportion that I still can't remember what it was that I was originally looking for.

The great gimmick these days seems to be trying to set yourself apart and garner attention by calling whatever you are doing an "extreme" something. "Extreme Makeover," "Extreme Sports," … "Extreme Politics," "Extreme Tree Hugging." You get the idea.

So I was a little taken back to see the title: "Extreme Sleepovers" – sorta sounds like something your teenage son is begging for you to authorize over spring break. It turns out however, that if anything has the real right to call itself "Extreme" anything it's this: doing research on Mt. Everest.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mesquite-Overton Loop Trail

Pretty much a yearly tradition for the Mesquite Kokopelli ATV Club last Saturday's ride welcomed a hefty number of new members, almost doubling the size of the club this year and took the backroads over to Overton along the Mormon Mesa.

From the water tank trailhead, (the large gravel parking lot at the top of Ben Franklin Drive), the trail began first to go up and over Flat Top Mesa, a very scenic ride in itself. Once on the other side in Toquop Wash the trail to Overton begins just on the other side of the I-15 bridge and heads west beginning the climb upwards.

The first goal is to run along the Virgin River over to and cross the Riverside Road at Cook Bottom. The twenty-two rigs made it easily across the highway in shifts as there is rarely any traffic on the highway.

Hugh blazed the way following the Virgin River along power-line roads and offroad trails for about 7 miles (17.5 mi from the trailhead) until one last "up and over" brought the group down into Half-way Wash.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

GEO-tography: Birds

Most of us old codgers spend more time sittin' on our offroad bikes than ridin' on 'em compared to "young bucks" who wanna' just get there! After a few miles of bouncing around on an ATV or JEEP, it's a welcome relief to disembark and sit a spell.

Besides, that's when you see things and hear things. Only the very naive think they can see the sights in a moving vehicle – what, merely wave as you pass by the Grand Canyon? It is true that compared to what many kids listen to today, an ATVs engine is probably barely noticable; but, not for a chipmunk or a bird! If you're wondering why you never see any wildlife on your rides it's probably because of the direction you have your key turned.

You don't want to have to reply "the handlebars" when you get home and are asked "what did you see today?" If for no other reason than the fact that it makes it easier to convince your wife to let you invest in next season's model of bike - you need to bring back some pictures! Some intrepid souls even learn to like taking them and then even become quite good at it.

That's the point of these collections that I call "GEO-tography." Photos of the "GEO" that you and I see in our offroad forays. And, you really know that you are getting the hang of it when you can capture one of those flighty birds on film (or memory chips as the case may be).