Day 10: Baker to Richfield

301 miles on the road really has a way of wearing you out.  I’d slept well, it was finally a warm night camping; the low was only 58, but I wasn’t refreshed.

I packed all of my gear and ended up talking to Blaine again; until his wife yelled at him to stop talking and finish packing the RV.  That was fine; I really needed to finish packing too.

I hit the only gas station for 50 miles; a 24 hour unmanned operation and headed out into the country. The plan was to make it Richfield, Utah and shortly after heading out from the campground I was in Utah:

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The first tracks for the day were amazing.  The riding was fairly easy;  there were a lot of straight gravel sections but the views were just spectacular:

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The track made a left and started to head directly toward the mountain.  I decided this looked like the perfect time to turn on the GoPro.  The trail went up past Crystal Peak.  I’m not sure that it exactly qualifies as a “mountain pass” but the lead up and ride past was a movie like definition of one:

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Once over the pass there was a subtle down hill;  the elevation barely descended. Riding the TAT East to West would have ruined this pass completely.  There would be no build up; just a drop into a valley then onto Baker, NV.

The road from there was basically straight.  I ran it non-stop until I found myself at a main road and a train crossing:

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About another 10 miles up the road I spotted I-70.  If you look to the middle left of this picture you can spot a semi cruising down the interstate.  (It looked a lot closer; the picture didn’t turn out as impressive as I’d expected).

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I had the odd realization that I could hop on that Interstate and be back in Pittsburgh in a few days.  A very weird thought after spending so much time so far away from home.

In true TAT fashion; an easy morning was followed by a complicated afternoon, I ran into the below signs:

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The signs probably only applied to hunters but I looked at my GPS for a go around anyway.  Nothing…except I-70.  I didn’t like that idea and said heck with it.  I’d just seen another TAT rider coming the other direction; we waved but neither of us stopped.   I could see their tracks coming out of this section. I figured it was either no problem or they’d gotten the attention of the owners and trouble was on it’s way.  I decided to be optimistic and go for it.

I followed the track for about a mile or so and saw the same set of signs facing the opposite direction.  I figured it was only that small section.  However, I started to see signs with arrows showing routes as “ATV Approved Route”.  These continued and I started seeing road signs showing the direction towards the nearest towns.  I was heading to Kanosh to grab some fuel then pushing onto Richfield.

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I fueled up in Kanosh and started up the track again; which lead into Fish Lake National Forest.  I started passing quads, side x sides and dirt bikes all over the place.  This area was a designated off-road vehicle area and it seemed like it spanned the whole mountain.  I tore through this system following my GPS track for a couple of hours.  It was roughly 40 miles to cross over the mountain and into Richfield.

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I passed a group of people standing around drinking beer but I had gone the wrong way.  I turned around at the top of this hill and on the way back down they stopped me and asked if I’d just come from some town I’d never heard of.  I told them no; I’d just come down from Portland, Oregon 10 days ago and I was headed to Pittsburgh.  They were blown away by that; probably because they were all drunk. Anyway, I told them the story thus far.  They confirmed Nevada was crap for riding but said I was about to really enjoy the next week or so through Utah and Colorado.  With that I was off.

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I finished out the last 12 miles down to Richfield, passed some cattle, and grabbed a motel.  I decided to stay for a few nights so I could do some small maintenance on my bike, my gear, resupply and recharge a little before heading into the heart of the trip.

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Oh and Richfield had the first Walmart I’d seen since Portland and the only flashlight baseball bat I’ve ever seen.

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It does indeed look “High Performance”. Welcome to Utah… Mileage: 172.

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