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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 on: September 26, 2009, 04:21:07 AM
DaveH
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« on: September 26, 2009, 04:21:07 AM »

A whirlwind of excitement blew threw my house last night.  Dave Kirk was the first to arrive.  His race actually started the day prior:  get off work 5pm, get in car and drive to St George *all night*.  That's from Washington, kids.

The Flagstaff duo of Troy and Blair rolled in around dinnertime.  They were so full of crack and excitement there was no waiting, it was time for the final packing and ride!  They all left together sometime after 7pm Friday evening.

Dave continues to amaze with his apparent resistance to sleep deprivation.  After being up for ~40 hours he was amazingly upbeat and positive.  Maybe that was because his shuttle stars all aligned?  He was sporting a new, handmade, behomoth seatpack, custom lights, and in general a much more refined kit than his rack setup of the '07 Grand Loop Race.

]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_PhFtjJbmlI0/Sr3yNOsdIPI/AAAAAAAAJ20/mh-EuJT3-Bg/s400/P9250027.JPG[/img

Troy's bike choice was a rigid 29er Coconino, smartly loaded, particularly with the 50 oz nalgene on the bottom of the downtube.  A true desert rat.

]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_PhFtjJbmlI0/Sr3yKc8GMhI/AAAAAAAAJ2k/Au0wndoDhxo/s400/P9250015.JPG[/img

Track their progress on the whizbang Trans Utah tracker.  Click here for the version with status points.  Word on the street is there will be 2-3 more ridings starting next week.  I wish I was going to be one of them!
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 08:09:29 AM
ScottM
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 08:09:29 AM »

Awesome, thanks for the pics of the riders/setups.  I saw that they got a jump on TU last night.  Probably wise given the forecasted temps.

I updated the tracker with the new start time, so the splits should be accurate.  It'll be interesting to see how many points Troy gets through.  He is sending coordinates in as text messages from his cell phone (Spot-less tracking) but will show up on the main tracker:

http://trackleaders.com/transutah

Dave Kirk is a beast!  I don't see a tent icon on his individual page, did he ride all night after the 40 hour drive?!??

Go guys go!
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 05:27:18 PM
DaveH
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 05:27:18 PM »

Dave is really something, it's amazing how he manages sleep dep.  One of the best.  It also worked out quite well for him in this case since it allowed him to get to the high country before it got hot.  Troy and Blair got pinned by heat at the beginning of Kolob road.  I was just over there and I think it's pushing 95-100 right now.  Ouch!

Troy is doing something quite novel on his own tracker:  he's communicating (more than just location) with us!  http://juniper-solutions.com/epicrider/ , check out the map, click his icons and you'll see info he's texted in.  Really, really cool.  Anyway you can grab those texts and put them in the trackleaders updates?

Just took a gander at the weather.  There's a system coming in Tues-Wed, looks to be short lived but possibly a hard hitter, temps to drop 25-30 degrees.  Snow is in the forecast....no...not again....
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 08:22:17 PM
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 08:22:17 PM »

Looks like Dave will be in Cedar City soon, maybe even soon enough for a hotel room to make sense.

Edit: Well Dave hit Ceder right at 10:30pm, perfect timing, I am impressed, lets see if he rooms up and then how early he starts up the big ol climb out of Ceder
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 09:52:36 PM by trail717 » Logged


  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 08:24:25 PM
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 08:24:25 PM »

the text comments are cool, how does that work?
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 07:50:14 AM
ScottM
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 07:50:14 AM »

Troy is using his phone to send a text message with [lat,lon,comment] data.  He then has some magic on his site to transform that into a SPOT-ish feed that my tracker can easily read.  The text doesn't come through, since SPOTS don't have text, but I could add it.  If more people end up using this kind of tracking I'd do it.

The biggest downside to his method is he has to manually enter the lat/lon coords, meaning he's not going to send too many messages.  Also, you have to have some tiny bit of cell service (he says he's able to get texts through even when he can't make a voice call).
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 07:57:34 AM
DaveH
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 07:57:34 AM »

Satellite phone + spot functionality + voicemail + text....

Who opened this damn can o worms anyway?
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 09:25:50 AM
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 09:25:50 AM »

Looks like Dave got a good nights sleep in Cedar.   

10:20am, he is about to leave the hardtop and hit dirt, should be up Navajo Lake in a few hours and then on some great singletrack. 

Is the fishing lodge at Navajo still open?  If so Dave's got a cold drink, some snacks, nice weather and then single track much of the way to the store at Long Valley ahead of him for the rest of the day………ahh to bad I couldn't.…..
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 09:45:00 AM
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 09:45:00 AM »

He's got a ~1000' climb up a jeep road from the end of the pavement.  That jeep road goes directly to the trailhead for the Virgin River Rim trail.  It's about an hour of sweeeeet singletrack to Navajo from there (unloaded and honking, maybe 1.5-2 hours loaded and cruising).  Less than a mile after hitting the trail he'll be at Lundell spring, some of the sweetest water in Utah (when the sheep are gone Wink



The lodge at Navajo is still open - will stay open thru mid-Oct weather depending.  It'll be afternoon when he gets there, hopefully he gets to enjoy some slightly better grub than what's in his pack Wink

New to this years route is the VRRT from it's western TH to Navajo Lake, plus the Navajo Lake loop singletrack.  The loop singletrack is buff, flowy fun with a surprise at the east end and the lodge at the SW end.  I'd guess it will be challenging to make Long Valley junction by dark, we'll see what he does!
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 04:32:37 PM
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 04:32:37 PM »

Was logged on from Yuma AZ last night...now I am in San Diego....weird to think about how much I moved around today and then check back on the TU and see how far Dave, Troy & Blair traveled.........

Anyway it looks like Dave got a 1 hr break at the Navajo lodge but it also looks like he is headed 'back' to the other VRRT TH?  Wonder if he 'saw' that other TH when he rode down to the lake? Anyway still lot of light left to knock out some VRRT and get closer to Long Valley.  Maybe he will get a hot "brunch" tomorrow.......

Looks like Troy & Blair are climbing out of Cedar, if they make the lake and camp that will give them the whole VRRT in the light tomorrow.
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 05:42:37 PM
Chad B
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 05:42:37 PM »

Still no tent icons from Dave Kirk...Resilient is right.
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 05:46:54 PM
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 05:46:54 PM »

Resilent for sure, but he did stop for 8 hours in cedar city.
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 07:19:07 PM
ScottM
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 07:19:07 PM »

Resilent for sure, but he did stop for 8 hours in cedar city.

Yep, guess he left the SPOT on and it had signal somehow, he's got a cluster of points there, so no tent.  Sad
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 07:57:54 PM
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 07:57:54 PM »

Ahhh....Looks like Dave spent "hours" at Navajo Lake.  I suspect we will get post trip 'story' about lost around the lake.........

Now it's almost dark and high lonely single track ahead.  Wonder how much 'light' Dave is carrying?  Camp up or keep riding???

Looks like Troy and Blair have set up camp or at least stopped for a bit

The Spot tells all...........
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 08:01:48 PM by trail717 » Logged


  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #14 on: September 28, 2009, 05:14:12 AM
DaveH
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2009, 05:14:12 AM »

Dave is the master of night travel.  I'm starting to think he preferes it Wink  The Virgin Trail is not bad at night - fairly easy to follow and a well defined trail, but it ain't easy.





He did get the first few hours to Navajo in the daylight.  The big far reaching views to Zion (and the harder climbs, rougher terrain) come after Navajo.





Troy and Blair will get those views for their day.  It'll be specatuclar with the fall colors going off.

The road ahead for Dave eases up for a bit with easy cruising for the most part to Long Valley, the restock option before the Paunsaugunt. 

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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #15 on: September 28, 2009, 10:53:25 AM
Chad B
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2009, 10:53:25 AM »

Thanks Dave for the pictures and story board. Stunning views.

Dave, what is that out-n-back for on top of Barney Top? Do you have to ride to the top of that peak for the race?
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #16 on: September 28, 2009, 11:15:21 AM
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2009, 11:15:21 AM »

Dave, what is that out-n-back for on top of Barney Top? Do you have to ride to the top of that peak for the race?

The southern tip of the Aquarius plateau is Powell Point - called Escalante mountain by the locals.  It is one of the most spectacular views on planet earth.  You see most of southern Utah and some of Norther AZ, lake powell, Bryce Canyon...

It dominates the scenery for a few days before you get there.  If riding the route, you would understand that you MUST sit on top of that massiff for at least a lunch break.  LW & I did a 8 day bikepack in the region in July - our final camp was on the point.  Simply amazing spot to camp!  But it is complicated by a lack of water.  There is  none close by...from Pine lake to the next water is a good long ways. 

It is a crux in many ways, but if a rider makes it that far they are studly and have earned the goosebumps that will surely take over them.
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #17 on: September 28, 2009, 03:44:56 PM
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2009, 03:44:56 PM »

Those SPOTs do indeed reveal all - no secrets!  And, Dave's SPOT is saying he likes to tag on extra miles Wink  He either detoured to Hatch or missed the turn to Pole canyon - hard to tell from the data.  Looks like he didn't quite go all the way to Hatch?

In any case, Pole canyon is a hard to find singletrack that climbs up to the Paunsaugunt.  I was a bit concerned about how hard it would be to spot but he had no trouble getting up that trail to the plateau.  The views as you attain the top are nutty - my first impression was "how come this side of the plateau isn't a national park too?"  Well, I'm glad it isn't!



The next ~30 miles are tough.  A real "out there" sensation overtakes.  Google Earth is really fun to look at for this section Wink  Night will find him somewhere on the Paunsaugunt, and tomorrow he will likely begin the ascent to Powell point.  Hope he's checking the weather cause that's certain to play a role late Tues - Wed.
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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #18 on: September 28, 2009, 05:24:07 PM
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2009, 05:24:07 PM »

Ah, just got off the LA freeway complex, what a relief, now its time relax and check some Spot action……

I don't think Dave lost much time with his extra ‘pavement’ miles, maybe 30,40 min most.  My guess is his brain was asleep in ‘cruise mode’ as his legs enjoyed a bit of smooth pavement and he just sailed past the turn off.
Ha, he was probably still sipping on a cold coke from Long Valley.

If I read the Spots right Dave pretty much rode thru the night, slept for about 4-5 hours in the wee hours and was back at it with some ‘banker’s hours’ this morning.  Also, looks like he only took a short break at Long Valley to eat/resupply.

Blair's Spot says he and Tony stopped/resupplied at Navajo lodge but unlike Dave did not miss the TH up to the ridge line.

DH:
Anyway, now Dave is in an area I know nothing about, does he have a well defined trail ahead of him if he plows on into the night again, as seems to be his modus operandi?  Also what type of ‘water’ is there along those ‘tough 30 miles’?? 

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  Topic Name: Trans Utah 2009 Reply #19 on: September 28, 2009, 06:00:28 PM
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2009, 06:00:28 PM »

DH:
Anyway, now Dave is in an area I know nothing about, does he have a well defined trail ahead of him if he plows on into the night again, as seems to be his modus operandi?  Also what type of ‘water’ is there along those ‘tough 30 miles’?? 
Things get tricky on the trail ahead.  The Grandview trail is what it's called, and due to it's remoteness and difficulty it doesn't get a lot of use.  For the most part it is well defined - it was created about 15 years ago by a trail machine from what I understand.  But there are some areas where it's overgrown, and there are wash crossings that are steep/rough.  Plenty of sand too...  Water is not too bad.  There should be water in at least 2 spots, probably 3-4 in the stretch.  The Robinson Guzzler is on the waypoint list/gpx track and can be a key source.

This is the area where one certain rider was disoriented in the Paunsaugunt Enduro and got to experience a forced bivy in rainy weather.  That trickiest section was removed from the route (the trail is actually wiped out by mudslides in one spot).  It's not a layup - but the GPS track should get him through.

If anyone is keeping tabs on Blair and Troy's progress and has an opportunity to talk to them, let Blair know his spot needs a clearer view of the sky, buttons towards the sky.  When he was packing his SPOT LW noticed he had a lot of stuff on top of it, that's surely why we are seeing so few reports from his unit. 

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