Lake Powell with a Side of Beef … Basin

posted in: Uncategorized | 3

Having now written a seres of these posts about my journeying through Utah and canyon country, I’m going to use a few less words for a while and let the pictures do the talking for most of this post…

In this period I rode down Beef Basin Road to get onto Highway 95 through Natural Bridges National Monument to Rt 276 where the road ends at Lake Powell.

 

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Sunrise from Needles campground

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 Cottonwoods following the minimal river flow as I turned onto Beef Basin Road, heading South

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Shay Mountain, Abajo range

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All I could find on this huge dip in the terrain was that it was called “The Pocket”. Stunning colors.

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 Cathedral Butte, still on Beef Basin Road for a while

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The road climbed slowly and steadily from about 5200’ to 8500’, watching the scenery and vegetation change was spectacular.

 

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 Riding through the Bear’s Ears

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View from the Bear’s Ears down the valley.

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 Windy route 276 towards Lake Powell

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On the side of the road, a dried up puddle of dirt. Have you ever seen dirt dry like this? Looks like the material people put on their roofs in the Southwest, no? I figured this was do to some chemical in the dirt that caused it to congeal like this. Anyone else have any thoughts?

 

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The Henry Mountains, across Lake Powell

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That night I camped at near the marina for Lake Powell, called Halls Crossing. I was told there was a ferry that crosses the lake, but I arrived to find that the ferry only runs on Saturdays (it was Sunday). So a week hanging out here?

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Nope. The only other people in the barren campground had a boat and offered me a ride across the following morning!

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Super kind women, dropped me in a tiny little inlet on the far side of the lake, 3-4 miles from the road…

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I popped off my bike shoes and hopped in the water to carry my bike off the boat onto the beach. My friendly water taxi of kindness sped away, and I got ready to ride on as the silence rolled into my awareness. Standing there, surrounded by the vast beauty of Lake Powell with my own private cove, I wondered why I was rushing off. I was no longer on a schedule to get anywhere by any particular time. I left all that in Colorado. I had all the food I needed for a couple more days, and access to water all around me. So I stayed the rest of the day in my own private cove!

 

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I took the free time to do a bit of overdue maintenance on the bike. I was about to true my rear wheel when I realized that it was only the tire, not the wheel, which was out of true. Once I pulled off the tire, I saw the problem. The tire casing was coming apart at the seam.

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 So sad. I LOVED this rear tire.  Old tire on the left. Huge amount of rubber and enormous side treads for cornering. It was the widest tire available that would fit my frame, a WTB Kodiak. No longer produced by WTB, this tire was actually closer to 2.65” in width when mounted onto my Velocity Blunt 35mm rim. That rubber would have lasted at least another 1500 miles. Since Durango, I’ve been completely converted to riding the fattest possible tires.  The bike rides way more comfortably on trail and can handle much more terrain with minimal loss of speed. I don’t know why I traveled the first 6500 miles on narrow 2.1” tires. Silly! Luckily I was carrying an extra tire, but it was a bit painful to accept that my tire could not be repaired. Sigh. 

 

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After I cleaned up my bike, I decided to go for a walk and explore the area around me. On the trail near my cove, I found tons of shells all over the ground. I realized that the area I was walking upon used to be underwater not too long ago, as Lake Powell is now about 90’ lower than it was only a few years back…

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Sunset from my cove.

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3 Responses

  1. TeriAnn
    | Reply

    …hootie hoo hoo..!!!
    just checked out a whole bunch of your blog ..!!!
    ..SO GOOD..!! so so good… crazy awesome beautifull words/photos… xoxo tatsass

  2. Dana VanVoo
    | Reply

    Scott, the mud you encountered does indeed look like a terracotta roof tile one would see on southwestern style building. The ground typically soaks up moisture right away in the arid South West, but if its a significant amount of moisture then a good size puddle or mini pond forms. Each day there is no further moisture the puddle evaporates, & the intense SW sun causes the mud to curl, then form cracks and thus the terracotta tile mud forms. Pretty kewl! Judging by your photo the texture is smooth like milk chocolate and somewhat thick so the moisture was fairly recent before you took the photo.

    I sure am enjoying your blog and am rereading your posts to get caught back up to speed. Your private beech at Lake Powell looked quite nice! I’d have to hang there for a while too.

    • Scott Pauker
      | Reply

      Thanks for the explanation Dana!! Very cool. It was like milk chocolate!

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