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:
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:
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:
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:
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh and Richfield had the first Walmart I’d seen since Portland and the only flashlight baseball bat I’ve ever seen.
It does indeed look “High Performance”. Welcome to Utah… Mileage: 172.