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South Draw - a Torrey Tale

Bob Palin

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Ever since I took the Tundra up the South Draw through Capitol Reef NP I've wanted to return on a bike, it was a very tight road for the Tundra and looked to have some interesting side trails. On this day I took the CRF in the truck to the start of road that leads down to Lower Bown's Reservoir from UT12 and then on to the South Draw


The water is Lower Bown's, the green mazy area to the left of it is Tantalus Flats and South Draw is a little more to the left and lower down into Capitol Reef.



Here's the route, the yellow road on the left is UT12 and the yellow at top right is the end of the scenic drive in Capitol Reef NP.



The first section of the descent to Bown's is a steep, rocky ATV trail through the trees called The Rosebud Trail, every time I stop I think I hear the trees whisper "Rosebud". It was overcast and I was concentrating on the trail so I didn't take any pictures of that area.


Below Bown's there are a number of stock corrals, various streams fill the reservoir and run well all summer supplied from Boulder Top and providing good grazing.



These rock formations always remind me of those ancient Thai temples in the jungle.





The CRF with it's new 4 gallon tank, the second line of graphics on the tank used to say CRF450X but it wore off on my knees, oh well.



I think this is the stream in Larb Hollow on the side trip



Eventually I found myself on a trail under the phone (power?) line, I have no idea what it supplies, there's nothing out here. The trail kept getting narrower and wetter, the rabbit brush is just coming into flower which is supposed to mean that it is 6 weeks to the first frost



until eventually I decided I had gone far enough, right around the next corner was a large puddle I didn't want to risk in this remote place



Looking down into Pleasant Creek, it was quite a steep entrance and exit



Pleasant Creek runs like this from spring to freeze, if you have ridden north in UT 12 you may have seen a very pretty small waterfall just above the road about half way between Boulder and Torrey, that's Pleasant Creek.



CRF contemplating a nice cooling bath



The road is at bottom right, the sign announces entry to the park.



Captiol Reef - The Waterpocket Fold



The road gets a bit rocky



and descends into South Draw



Once well into the park the road is smooth and wide, this was my goal, to get to the view point for the Golden Throne which is about a mile from the scenic drive.



Turning around I find some interesting clouds building



The road through South Draw runs through the bottom of the wash for a couple of miles, earlier in the year it can be quite wet and muddy but today it was almost dry.



Rising up out of the draw on a narrow section, only just wide enough for a 4x4 at points and needing high clearance in places.



From here it was just re-tracing my steps, I was getting tired after about 4 hours out there, I had drunk the entire contents of my large CamelBak and was soaked with sweat. Foolishly I decided to take the Rosebud trail again instead of the road, I lost concentration on a simple corner and the bike got away. I fell resulting in a rather badly twisted ankle, I didn't take the boot off until I got the bike back in the truck, which was a good move because it was swollen quite nicely. Still hurts to walk 48 hours later so it may be a little while before I can take the CRF out again. bncry.gif

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Sorry about the ankle (but it'll heal, and I'm sure the CRF shook it off), but MAN, those are great pics. Looks like a great 4 hour trip. Thanks for sharing.

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Your tales from the back country of Torrey are a "must click" for me. Thanks for posting these. I've been out there several times but have never left the pavement. It's a beautiful place to live!! thumbsup.gif

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I am so jealous of your backyard. Great scenery.



Your jealous!!!!! eek.gif


He hasn't mowed the grass (what grass there is), he clearly has not pulled any weeds in a millenium or two, and all the dirt, dust, and mud in the backyard!!!!! UUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!


Slob! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif


I definitely want to come over and play in his sandbox! thumbsup.gif

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Wish I was with ya...then we'd both be lame...Can you reserve me an ATV for Wednesday and Thursday before Torrey??grin.gif...better make it two....one for you and that ankle...I love the pix but I'd sure like to see some of these places in person....I hope the ankles gets better and can't wait to get there....



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Bravo, Bob! Your photos and running narrative are wonderful . . . What beautiful country. Thanks ever so much for taking the time and trouble to share it will all of us! thumbsup.gif


Hope the ankle gets better fast.

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Unless you've got a large patch of 3M reflective stuff on each butt-cheek, them rear turn signals ain't gonna do much good. grin.gif
That's OK, the one on the right side was ripped off completely in the ankle incident. I'll replace them when the inspection is due...
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Hello Bob

Thanks for the beautiful pics. I can't wait to get to Torrey. It has been 10 years since I was through there in May '96. The next 2 weeks before we leave will probably seem like 2 months. How are the shocks working out? I have decided to put some Ohlins on Ruby in Jan./Feb. She got new shoes and fluids today so she is ready for the Nev., Torrey, Az. loop. See you soon.


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Hey Bob,


I got laid off today. (This was NOT the pink slip I was looking for!)

As a result, I may have more time on my hands than I'd been planning on.


I could drive the camper up with RT and a couple of quads in tow, if you're inclined to go play in the dirt after the weekend... (The 4x4 quad even has an automatic transmission and floor boards - perfect for a rider with a twisted ankle!)


What do you think? Shall I change my travel and lodging plans?



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After the Torrey weekend. (22-24 Sept.)


I'd like to do some peg-draggin' curve-huggin' sweeper-screamin' RT play over the Torrey 12 weekend.


Then (if I'm not confined to the ER) we could do some dirt-spewin' trail-bangin' quad-trashin' during the week.


(Hey Whip - are you up for it?!)


Of course, I DO need to get spousal sign-off on the time, but I DESERVE it!




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That is some back yard. This is not fair, now I can't make up my mind to ride the RT out or the DR650. dopeslap.gif Great photo's and report. Nothing like that in Oklahoma. I am really looking forward to seeing the Torrey area. Thanks for sharing. clap.gif

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I decided I want to be Bob when I grow up. thumbsup.gif
It'll be too late once you've grown up wink.gif


It's coming to an end soon, have to find a job this winter bncry.gif

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Bravo, Bob! Your photos and running narrative are wonderful . . . What beautiful country. Thanks ever so much for taking the time and trouble to share it will all of us! thumbsup.gif


Hope the ankle gets better fast.


That goes for me too Bob. Thanx for sharing and see in a couple of weeks!

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more torrey tales? :wince: torture on a poor working soul like me.


Bob, once again you are the intrepid guide.


I feel like I'm repeating myself.


Ah....Torrey. Torrey is calling!


I guess I should start posting a ride tale from May.

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