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Low Temp ADV

So I’m just gonna say it now to start things off. WOW THAT WAS COLD!!!!!

A friend from work talked me into going on a ride with him last week. The plan was to go from Salt Lake down to Saint George on the highway and then get on the dirt and ride to Lake Mead and then highway all the way home. Pretty straightforward…should be fun.

I wonder what that would have been like.

Day one went easily enough. We made it down to Saint George around lunch time and got right on the dirt. I was really nervous about this trip cause I’ve never been much of a dirt rider and this big new bike is intimidating. After a few miles of well maintained dirt roads I was feeling pretty good and we were making good time. The road did start to get pretty crappy towards the end of the day but I managed just fine. We found a nice flat spot with some trees and green grass and set up camp and ate some dinner. The whole day was spent down on the valley floor so there wasn’t much to take pictures of but here’s some anyway.

So If you’re not familiar with the desert you may not know how stupid cold it can get at night even after a long hot day……I am familiar with the desert but for some reason I was surprised to find myself cold in the middle of the night. I did my best to just huddle down into my sleeping bag and attempt to sleep till morning. Unfortunately my sleeping bag had other plans for me…….the zipper snagged after a night time bathroom break and I was stuck with a bag that absolutely refused to close and what was surely Antarctica outside my tent. I lay there, awake, shivering until 5 am. It was stupid. I went from the tent to starting a fire in the blink of an eye. Once I had warmed up I started think I was just being dramatic last night and I couldn’t have actually been that cold…..then I tried to brush my teeth. Both of my Nalgene bottles were frozen solid! SURPRISE! It gets cold at night you dingus! What I’m trying to say is that I could have prepared better.

We took our time getting ready for the day and waited to the last second to get some much deserved sunshine before leaving.

14 miles…..12 hours. That was day 2. We started out alright and actually had a pretty fun ride for the first 30 minutes of the day. We were in this narrow canyon with a technical but somewhat high speed trail down the middle with some awesome views. 

Unfortunately that was a very small portion of the day. 

We soon realized that our road was rapidly shrinking on us and we were probably going the wrong way. Our route specifically included good roads to keep things mellow and help us make good time since we had to cover so many miles and somewhere along the way we had made a wrong turn. We battled through some trail that would have been fine for a dirtbike but was way too much for 600 pound adventure bike. Around lunch time we came to the edge of a cliff and the trail went down a series of 3 foot steps right at the edge of the cliff. It was not something I wanted to go down. We sat for a while trying to figure out a different route and discussing backtracking. After taking into consideration our remaining fuel and water we determined that the best option was forward…..this had to be the worst of it right? (hint: it wasn’t) I went first and Doug spotted for me and helped me not fall off the edge. After the steps there was about 300 yards of loose football size rocks. It took us an hour to get through there. Then we spent the rest of the day alternating between big loose rocks and sand drifts while twisting in and out of a dry riverbed. The same trail on a dirt bike would have been a blast! I was not on a dirtbike though……I was on a chunk of Austrian lead. I had to pick my bike up off the ground multiple times that day. We moved at a snails pace all day and went until it was dark. Finally we gave in and set up camp in the dark. There wasn’t much time for pictures that day but here are a few. Keep in mind these are from mellows parts of the day when I could take the time to snap a picture so they don’t reflect the whole day.

All better!

If our day had gone as planned we would have been in Mesquite Nevada for fuel and water and dinner but instead we were lost and had run out of water because of our detour being so labor intensive. I skipped dinner and went straight to the tent for some sleep I knew I wouldn’t get. I was fortunate enough to set up my tent on top of some goat head thorn weeds and proceeded to immediately puncture my air mattress. I spent the night freezing on the ground.

Here’s camp the next morning looking almost cozy

By absolute luck we landed next to a cattle corral and discovered the next morning that there were troughs filled with water. What would you do lost in the desert with no water and a only vague idea of when you might see water again? I began boiling water to refill our bottles so we could continue.  

We had determined the night before that our goal was no longer to see the hoover dam it was to get to a town. After much fiddling around with 3 GPS units we figured out where we had gone wrong on our route the previous day and how to get back to a better road and then out to Mesquite Nevada. Luckily we had almost made it out the night before so I only had to suffer through a few more miles of sand. once getting back on good dirt roads we made great time to Mesquite. But after 2 nights of poor sleep and a day of torture I was not on my game and I was falling down in places I knew I was capable of getting through. I determined that as soon as I saw pavement I would head home on it. 

We had a late lunch and I broke the news to Doug that I was tapping out. He still wanted to push on to a place called Gold Butte (where we were supposed to camp the night before) and then head home the next day. So he hit the dirt and I hit the road. I decided to stay in a hotel in Saint George for the night since it was about 5pm and I had 4 hours to go to get home. 
There is so much dirt in my beard…..I need a nap

I had a nice warm shower and a good night of sleep and headed back home. I made it about 50 miles before I had to pull over and find hot food. It was 24 degrees and the speed limit was 80….I was cold. I found a diner in Cedar City and ate a huge pile of food.

This happened while I was riding around trying to find a restaurant and trying to not freeze.

The rest of the ride home was terrifically cold too. The temps never got above 36…all the way home. I think it fair to say that the bike is in the garage for the winter now.

Here’s a few random pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Also this….cause I’m a dingus

And finally, it seems fitting to finish off with this….
/adˈven(t)SHər,ədˈven(t)SHər/ : an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

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