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Proposal: TwoSpoke bike camping trip in Canyonlands NP?


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Old 10-14-2017, 01:47 AM   #11
rola643
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Originally Posted by newleaf150 View Post
I never thought foam sleeping pads were a problem until I went camping as an adult . These days, I'm a believer in semi-self-inflating pads from this company, in particular. Be sure to add a patch kit, 'cause Murphy. I say 'semi' because you still have to add a few breaths to the mostly inflated pad in order to make it comfortable. Nothing like actually inflating a standard one by lungs from flat. I've done that. No.

I get that camping is not everyone's thing, and there are plenty of objections beyond sleeping comfortably on rocky ground. Be happy in the knowledge that your tent, sleeping bag, pad, and whatever other gear will get to ride in the 4x4, making for minimal mass to be hauled along with you.
Yea, roughing it now is a cabin! Teasing me tho with the idea a 4X4 would be hauling the heavy stuff. Next year would just be tough. My daughter has decided to make a Grandfather May ish time frame next year and we have reservations already in Myrtle Beach in June. My PTO is going quick


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Old 10-14-2017, 06:39 PM   #12
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What are the night time low temps.?
8.34lbs./gal/day x 4 days = 33.36 lbs not the worst if you're going downhill


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Old 10-14-2017, 10:28 PM   #13
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What are the night time low temps.?
8.34lbs./gal/day x 4 days = 33.36 lbs not the worst if you're going downhill
As for water, you're right that hauling 4 gal could be worse, but don't forget all the rest of your food and camping gear, etc. Also, the 1 gal per day figure allows for little in the way of exertion. I understand the White Rim Road can be run in a 'mostly downhill' route, but there are still some very sharp, tight ascents.

As for the temperature question, the answer depends on where you are in the park, and what time of year it is. In the early spring or late fall, temps are generally 60-80* F in the daytime, 30-50* at night per the Park's weather guidelines page. They also hasten to point out that the park can easily see temperature swings of 40+ degrees in a single day.

In the summer, temps often exceed 100*. Additionally, altitude can play a big part as the park ranges from a mere 3100ft all the way to up to nearly 7200ft. The lower you go altitude wise, the hotter it gets.

Winter temps are listed as 30-50*F in the day, 0-20* at night.

Late summer offers the possibility of violent thunderstorms and flash flooding. By and large, I'm initially liking a date in late Sept. or early Oct., but that's still very much open to discussion.

What do you all think?
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:57 PM   #14
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^Yes, curious about that because that determines the weight of the camping gear. Colder = heavier.
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Old 10-15-2017, 10:17 PM   #15
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It turns out that some people do through-ride the White Rim without automotive support. Here is a nice writeup from one such.

What it boils down to is that in the winter, it's possible to comfortably ride the route in 2-3 days, with H2O resupply some 60mi in where the road runs close to the Green River. Note that per the article, the water is very silty and would require extra steps/equipment to successfully treat.

It's also looking like the 'classic' loop route will essentially require some 5k+ feet of climbing regardless of the direction in which it is ridden. The route starts at Canyonlands' Island in the Sky Visitor's Center, which is also where the required back country permits are obtained. From there, it drops off the side of a cliff, almost literally: Shafer Road is essentially carved out of the side of the cliffs it descends.

On the other side of the loops, the road climbs back out of the canyons and once again onto the rim.

While I like the idea of doing the route as an unsupported tour, that strikes me as a much more advanced type of trip. A SAG wagon, especially with a willing driver, adds a great deal of leeway for mistakes and bad decisions on the part of the cyclist(s). As I've never done this type of trip before, I must admit that I like the idea of starting 'easy' and working up from there. I like it even better that in this case, Mrs. Newleaf is as excited at the prospect of getting to drive the whole route as I am at the prospect of getting to ride it with a SAG!

Also, I am leaning toward a 4-day through ride in order to give plenty of time to both enjoy views available from the road, and to hike to various destinations which happen to lie a ways off it. It's worth remembering that the entire area outside the road is considered a wilderness. That legally means that neither bicycles nor automobiles may ever leave the road for any reason. Without equestrian connections, that means hiking to anything not immediately adjacent to the road.

Finally, it's important to note that Canyonlands 'Island in the Sky' is essentially separate and different from Canyonlands 'Needles' and Canyonlands 'The Maze'. All are parts of the same geographically contiguous park, but it is not generally possible to reach one part from another without going outside the park. This is because of the geology of the canyons themselves. I bring this up because any googling of 'Canyonlands' which relates to this trip must also include 'Island in the Sky' and/or 'White Rim Road' in order for the results to be germane.

There are some incredible looking rides in the Needles area, to say nothing of The Maze. I am open to exploring those, along with other roads within Island in the Sky. The proposed loop on the White Rim Road, however, is generally seen as the iconic, bucket list route. Whether it happens next year or the one after, I want this ride to happen. Mrs. Newleaf wants the drive to happen. Between the two of us, I hope that means a good chance of actually pulling this off. If it works out for others to come enjoy the 4x4's cargo largess, all the better! If not, all the more capacity for my crap .

It's worth mentioning that I'll have my DSLR, and while I'm not the greatest photographer, I'd be thrilled to get action shots of any group members riding thrilling (and legal) parts of the road. Additionally, Mrs. Newleaf is both an excellent cook, and a foodie. Given the opportunity and cargo capacity, back country steak is a virtual certainty, though enjoying it would require advance notice and likely chipping in some $$. I see no reason to charge riders for the use of the 4x4 or gas, as that'd be getting used for the two of us in any event. I'm afraid we're less open to buying trail food for everyone, however .

That said, if preferences are known in advance and plans laid accordingly, there's no reason we can't all enjoy some really good eats while on the road.


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