Friday, September 19, 2014

Crazy German from Finland attempts White Rim Trail on a sidecar!

When I planned our route through Colorado I read about a thing called White Rim Trail. Stunning nature, adventurous riding and not too many people there. That sounded like something I wanted to explore. When I told Uli about it he was all in and offered himself as a guide. Great! He knew the area inside out and had been riding the White Rim Trail already many times.

We left Grand Junction with some slight delay, stopped at Fruita to get me a WTF sticker and continued nice roads via Cisco and along the river to Moab. We did not stop in the beautiful river valley for any pictures since the mission was to ride WRT!
Short break in Cisco ...
Cisco (Ghost town)
Refueling in Moab and off we go via Potash trail to see how it goes. We had some bumpy roads in West-Africa, but other than that I rode the sidecar mostly on graded gravel with some mud road sections here and there. This was new territory for me!

Colorado River

Wolfi - go there ... and don't fall (Photo by Uli)
Uli - you, too!
Uli went into action photographer mode - thanks man, I like that one! (Photo by Uli)

We arrived at the T-section of White Rim trail and Potash trail and Uli's comment was that I am so darn slow with the sidecar :D The first five miles of the road to Musselman Arch were very easy. However right after Musselman Arch the more adventurous part of the trail started and I went on for a few hundred meters just to see how fast I could go.
Test ride on the bumpy part of White Rim Trail (Photo by Uli)
Musselman Arch
Dry-run ;)

We enjoyed the scenic views and had lunch. It was now 13 o'clock, riding with the sidecar on the trail would be possible. With that short test ride we estimated that it would take me many hours before I would be able to complete the entire trail (I stress the “I” here, because Uli was riding so much faster compared to me). Then we would have to head back to Uli's house and the poor guy had to go to work the next morning. I agreed with Uli's suggestion to let it go, ride back to Moab via Shafer Canyon road and being able to enjoy more of those stunning views without being stressed of finishing the trail. The Shafer Canyon Road was fun and obviously again the road was well maintained.

Shafer Road ahead

Shafer Road

Fun with the fish eye lens :D

Wolfi in action (Photo by Uli)

Uli thought: "OMG - is this guy slow" (Photo by Uli)

And another switchback (Photo by Uli)

From there we went to Moab to refill fuel and visit the micro brewery where Uli had a beer and I had some ice cream. We took it easy on the way back to Grand Junction and stopped here and there for a few pictures. Since we had time we explored some side canyon with a creek and had a little fun there as well. We swapped bikes for a few miles and Uli got the taste of riding a sidecar. Let's see when he will have one to go riding with Ludi :D


Hey man, I am not THAT heavy :D (Photo by Uli)

Yep, so it is!

Now that was "loma" (loma = vacation, holidays, Urlaub in Finnish) (Photo by Uli)
We arrived at his house a bit after sunset. Skippy had made some food and we watched the pictures of the day with a few beers :) A great day!

Our track - 450km
If I would attempt WRT again, I would need to start before sunrise and right away from Moab. It certainly would not be fun to ride the trail when its dark. I would also unload all what is not really required and make the bike as light as possible (had far too much nonsense with).

Uli, thanks a lot for all the cool pictures!

And here's another fun video "Made by Wolfi" - enjoy!

I also made a full length video of White Rim Trail and Shafer and Potash road. Enjoy!

~ Wolfi

Friday, September 12, 2014

Silt - Grand Junction Aug 28th - Sep 3rd 2014

The following day we went to see a vet - Rebecca - because of Lyra. She had had some problems with her back legs and we could not identify ourselves what it could be. Rebecca did not find anything serious and thought Lyra might have beginning of arthritis. Well we got some medication to see whether that would help. We will see.

Somewhere along the road before Grand Mesa.

We were done early and this would be a short riding day. To avoid that issue and not to be too early at Uli's place we rode via Grand Mesa. Beautiful roads through the forest and fantastic views into the valley, until we reached the clouds or better said the soup. The fog was in some places so thick that I could not see Skippy riding in front of me – maybe 10m visibility.

Driving through soup.

The great view to the valley :)
It was also pretty chilly up there and wet. We tried to catch the few sun beams which came through the cloud layer when we had a break. We rode through Delta and continued on HWY 50 north towards Grand Junction. What a difference in temperature and landscape. In the valley it was hot and dry and no tree in sight. We stopped somewhere along the highway and stripped all warm clothes off :)

Break nearby Delta.
Uli welcomed us with an open heart. Our girls and Uli's dog Ludwig got along right away – a big relief. We did not know how long we would stay here. Plenty of things to organize and several posts to publish including the travelogues. Uli showed us Grand Junction downtown with the Farmers Market and then shortly the Colorado National Monument.

Funny art in Grand Junction downtown.
Skippy was shopping for peaches.

 A few impressions from Colorado National Monument:

Skippy loves the heights! (the place appeared to be known for successful suicides)

We got to talk to a few neighbors and we thank one person very much for generous contribution!

Uli made some plans for us and Sunday was a hiking day southwest of Red Mountain Pass together with his girlfriend Cindy. We climbed up the hills with his off-road vehicle and then had a nice walk around Porphyry Lake in the Porphyry Basin. Our girls loved it and even Hertta lost all her senses, which resulted in the fact that she had a big blister on her paw in the afternoon.

Skippy got new pants...

... and a few stickers :)
Great selections of organic produce at local Sprouts! Fruitarian heaven :D

Wolfi's beer collection!
Ludvig & Lyra.

My Finnish girls enjoying the snow!
Porphyry Lake

Lyra loved the place and was heavily trying to catch some Pika.

Pika's food storage.

Marmot having a sun bath :)

Yes, this area really reminded us of Switzerland, both in nature and in price level!!!

We had lunch in some Mexican restaurant in Ouray and they had a habit of pinning the tip money to the roof and then later donating it to some charity.

Unfortunately this "herb store" was closed when we got there and Skippy didn't get her Alien-medicine :( Have to go there at some other time...

There was also some bike maintenance to do, but first there was the idea to ride White Rim Trail with my sidecar :)

Our track.

A short travelogue by Skippy, should be visible in all countries!

 - Wolfi