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Thread: Cedar Mountain Bikepacking

  1. #1

    Cedar Mountain Bikepacking

    One of the things I envisioned when I bought a dirt bike was being able to ride and camp along the route. Friday after work I left for just such a trip, close to home on Cedar Mountain. There's a geocache there whose owner is no longer involved in geocaching, but the container was in need of replacement and it made for as good a pretext as any for me to head out. Earlier in the week I'd gathered all my usual backpacking gear, carefully packing only the absoulte necessities in order to keep the weight down. My bike is underpowered enough carrying just my bulk without bogging it down further. I pulled out of the driveway at 4PM and followed my planned route on mostly back roads until I hit the gravel road near Elmo. I stopped briefly at Victor Cemetery where a pair of pronghorn watched me curiously. By 5:30 I was at my camp spot on the rim of Bull Hollow. I set up my tent and guyed it out using large rocks since there was no dirt in which to pound stakes on the conglomerate bedrock.




    Ready to roll out



    Pronghorn near the Victor Cemetery



    Camp spot on Cedar Mountain





    I had plenty of time to kill before dark and I hiked down to the geocache to replace the container. My camp was a few dozen feet from the cache, but with a cliff between the two it took a circuitous route to get there. The original container--an ice cream bucket placed 12 years ago--had lasted surprisingly long in the elements. It had become brittle, and no single remaining piece was longer than a couple of inches. I saved what I could of the original contents and packed the rest of the junk out, leaving the original logbook (however badly weathered) for future finders to thumb through. This geocache is a favorite of mine and I'd been there twice before, but each trip was just a there-and-back. This time I explored the area a little, scrambling over and between huge, building-sized chunks of conglomerate that had calved off the mesa.




    Dead ponderosa pine leaning on a cliff



    Hideout



    My log in the book from 11 years earlier



    Tiny claret cup cactus



    Twisted pinyon pine





    Returning to my camp, I boiled some water for dinner and set up a bed in the tent. I really wish I'd brought a book or magazine to pass the time until bed time. I spent the evening watching the changing sky and listening to the various animals around me. Surprisingly I could hear toads--mostly to the west down in Bull Hollow--making low *whooomp* sounds. I also heard some large animals, either cow or deer, making some sort of bleating or bugling sounds to the east on the plateau. I'd never heard anything like that and it freaked me out a little at first. I had good cell service and a good charge on my phone, so I occupied some time reading forums and news websites. I almost always have music playing when I'm at home but I prefer not to while camping. However, that often leads to getting songs stuck in my head, and this evening, for some reason, it was the Alan Parsons Project's Eye in the Sky. Ugh.




    Dead ponderosa pine



    Bird perched on the dead ponderosa



    Hunter power plant



    Camp at sunset



    Hilgard Mountain 60 miles away



    Colorful clouds at sunset



    Tent and motorcycle





    I turned in at 10:30 and slept fitfully through the night. I was either too warm or too cool or just uncomfortable on my flimsy camp pillow. Once while dozing off I was was roused when a nearby noisy cricket stopped chirping, and I was preoccupied with thoughts of why it stopped. At 6AM it was becoming light and I knew I wasn't going to get any more sleep. I got to work heating water for coffee and then found that somehow I'd left breakfast at home. Instead I ate a granola bar while I sipped my coffee and watched the sun rise. I packed up camp and hit the road at about 7:15. Consulting my GPS, I took a slightly different route home. I passed through Cleveland, Elmo, Miller Creek, Ridge Road, Highway 10, and I was home by 8:30. Traci was awake in bed when she heard me pull into the driveway and came to greet me with the dogs, who were happiest of all to see me.




    Sunlight on Red Point at dawn



    Starbucks for breakfast



    My gear before packing it up



    Gear packed



    GPS at the end of the trip





    Photo Gallery: Cedar Mountain Bikepacking
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  3. #2
    The dogs are always the happiest to see you... which is why they are such better friends than humans. If you are unsure abut this... throw your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car, then go drive around for an hour or so. When you open the trunk only one will be happy to see you. That one, my friend, is your true friend in this life.

    Good trip report, except that you failed to add pics of the mentiond dogs...

  4. #3
    Awesome report.

  5. #4
    After seeing that sleeping pad I can see why you didn't sleep well! I got a Klymit Luxe that is light, small, and super lush. I sleep like a baby now. I've done a few backpacking trips on the moto with the bag on my back and it's miserable, especially if there is any real dirt biking involved. Luckily my DR has a rack on the back so I can strap everything back there. Now, I've got a pelican case back there that makes it even easier.
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    beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

  6. Likes Udink liked this post
  7. #5
    Bogley BigShot
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    Got to have a good sleeping pad!

  8. #6
    The foam pad is just to protect my Big Agnes Air Core (darker red bag in the gear photo above) from pointy rocks. I slept on a foam pad like that once several years ago and could never do it again. Just picked up a Klymit Cush pillow to replace the crappy Intex pillow I had been using, I think that'll make a difference in how well I sleep.

    I'm thinking about building a rack for this bike. I'll definitely need something like that 'cause a friend is wanting to ride the White Rim and we'll probably spend a few nights there.
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  9. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Udink View Post
    The foam pad is just to protect my Big Agnes Air Core (darker red bag in the gear photo above) from pointy rocks. I slept on a foam pad like that once several years ago and could never do it again. Just picked up a Klymit Cush pillow to replace the crappy Intex pillow I had been using, I think that'll make a difference in how well I sleep.

    I'm thinking about building a rack for this bike. I'll definitely need something like that 'cause a friend is wanting to ride the White Rim and we'll probably spend a few nights there.
    I'm running the full Klymit line. The pillow, the long pillow, and the pad. I love their stuff, especially the refurbished stuff off ebay from their store. Super cheap and with a new warranty.

    The White Rim is amazing. There certainly isn't a need to spend the night, it's only about 130 or so miles and I'd say about half of that moves at a pretty good clip. I hope you like sand, we did counter-clockwise from MIneral Bottom and the initial sound was pretty bad, not for our group, but we passed a bunch of guys on big bikes going the other way and they were SUFFERING! I thought we took our time and still finished it easily in a day, doing it in two would be fun but that would only be like 3-4 hours of riding a day. Plus if you do it in one day you can spend the other day riding Potash and Shafer and the million other beauties near Moab.
    beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

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