Driving back roads in southern Utah

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Dennis Prince
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Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:08 pm

We are planning a trip in September to southern Utah and northern Arizona, we plan to drive as many back roads and jeep trails as we can in a month in our T's. I am wondering if anyone has any experience with the roads and trails in this area and any suggestions for places to go, things to see and places to camp. Thanks Dennis
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by D.Yoder » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:17 pm

This is an unbeoliveable trip with a T.
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Utah Backcountry Discovery route.
Look it up on the net.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by modernbeat » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:23 pm

I've driven all over the Escalante area, and all around Lake Powell in Jeeps and trucks. Will be covering the area again in a T during another trip from Peublo, Colorado to Los Angeles in mid summer after the passes in Colorado are open.

What sort of roads are you looking for? Easy dirt roads? Harder trails?

I guess my first recommendation would be Burr Trail Road off Utah 12 outside of Boulder, Utah, down through the Burr Trail switchbacks, down to Bullfrog, then 267 to 95 to 261 then down the Moki Dugway, all the way to Mexican Hat.

Another route would be to start in Cannonville, then take Kodachome Rd south. It turns into Cottonwood Canyon Road which goes all the way down to Hwy 89 with lots of side roads and camping on it. The intersection of Cottonwood and 89 is near the Toadstool Hoodoos.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:27 pm

It's been about forty years since I was there, but I enjoyed the remote roads south of Henrieville. Places to see include Kodachrome Basin, Grosvenor Arch, Bryce View, Chimney Rock, Shakespeare Arch, Cottonwood Narrows, etc. Near Tuba City are Dinosaur tracks, and farther east is Monument Valley, where you expect to see John Wayne leading a company of cavalry. Another great place to explore is Canyonlands National Park (inlcuded on Dean's map), and the Coral Pink Sand Dunes are worth a visit.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by modernbeat » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:32 pm

Also, explore the KMZ files on this site. They have gathered up a lot of data in those files. The "Utah Trails.kmz" is pretty useful.

http://offroadinghome.com/nevada/nevada.htm

They've also got more files on the other southwest states.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by modernbeat » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:35 pm

Steve, I was right there in 2017!

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by modernbeat » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:38 pm

The Moki Dugway

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The Burr Trail switchbacks, looking down

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:08 am

Thanks guys, This is some great info,
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keep it coming. The type of roads that we are looking at are all kinds from paved to maybe fairly serious 4x4 trails, the landscape and the driving experience are what we are after. We do quite a bit of dirt and gravel roads and even some areas without roads.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by BobD » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:08 pm

A good place to camp just above the Moki Dugway is Muley Point. One can overlook Monument Valley from here.
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View from Muley Point.

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Scenes on Burr Trail, Henry Mountains in background. A nice place to camp on the upper Burr Trail is Deer Creek CG.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by DLodge » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:08 pm

Dennis, you might try contacting Russ Furstnow to see if he still has a spare tour book from the Canyonlands Tour. We went on that one in 2009. It was based in Kanab and covered southern Utah and northern Arizona.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:31 pm

Finally got caught up on things and have time to post about our trip. There were 3 Ts and 5 people, we took motor homes and towed the cars from place to place and then drove the back roads. We put 4,150 miles on the motor homes and close to 2,000 miles on the Ts, went to 13 National parks, 8 National Monuments and 14 state parks in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and California in 51 days. About 60 to 70% of the T driving was on dirt, gravel or less. We did an amazing amount of driving in creek beds. The cars are a 26 roadster pick up (early, titled as a 25), 26 roadster and a 27 roadster pickup. In 51 days I never had to put up my top, the others put theirs up for the shade. Our route took us from Central Oregon down into Northern Nevada and then down to Hwy 50 and across Nevada to Great Basin National Park, we drove to cars up to 10,000 feet on Wheeler Peak and then out a dirt road to Lexington Arch, about a mile and a half of the road was washed out so we drove in the creek bed and made it to the trail head, by then it was to hot to hike to the arch so we drove back out and back to our camp out in the desert. This is going to take a number of post to tell the story and show some of the pictures. (and I am a really slow typest)
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:23 pm

After Great Basin we went to Virgin Utah out of Zion and drove the Smith Mesa loop, a 80 mile dirt road with spectacular views and only saw 1 other vehicle. The next day we drove into Zion, had to ride the bus in the valley, man was it crowded. We drove on through the park and through the Mount Carmel Tunnel (1.1 miles long) it is another world on the other side. What a beautiful area. A little about our cars, we all are running Z heads and larger cams, air filters, 5.25/21 6 ply tires, aux. transmissions and Ruckstells. We carry tire chains, tire ropes for the sand and the 27 pu has a 5,000lbs winch on the front.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dallas Landers » Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:48 pm

Looks like a blast to me! Nice photos!


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:20 pm

Thanks Dallas, Yes it was an incredible trip. From Zion we went to Bryce Canyon and toured the canyon, mother nature worked over time on this area, it has to be seen to really appreciate it. Not any back roads in this park so we were forced to stay on the pavement.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:37 pm

We left Bryce Canyon and went a short distance to the Kodachrome Basin State Park, Steve and Jason recommended that we go to Grosvenors Arch, (we tried to go to as many of the places that that were recommended on the forum) it was a really nice drive out to Arch and more great weather with very few cars out that way. Some of the back roads out of the area were washed out, so we didn't get to go to all the places we wanted, good reason to have to go back.
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The Arch for some reason tipped over.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:05 pm

That happens with vertical photos on this site. I don't know why.

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I always rotate a vertical shot 90º left or right (it doesn't matter which way) then turn it back right side up and save. That makes it show up correctly when I post it.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:40 am

When I was there in my modern last year, all I could think of was driving it
in my TT. Spectacular T driving. We went east to Blanding, Cortez, and Durango,
then north over Red Mountain Pass, and Ouray, then east again to Gunnison,
Salida, Leadville, and then NW across lots of open space to get home to Spokane.
Just about every inch of it was awesome T driving. I often wonder why T people
live in places where they fear driving their cars when there is so much good driving
to be done in this country.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:48 pm

After Kodachrome Basin we went to Capitol Reef, one of my all time favorite places, the red rock country is perfect for Model T touring and there are no bad views. We drove up the Capitol Wash and went for a hike and then toured around a while and found a Fall Festival at Fruita and had a really good time. The next day we loaded up and went on a overnight camping trip to Cathedral Valley (the stuff of dreams). To get to Cathedral valley we had to drive a ways down and across the Fremont River and then through the most varied landscape I could imagine, we were in the rocks,desert trees Dolomite hills, creek bottoms and the most beautiful valley. It was about 90 miles and I am so glad we didn't try to do it in one day. (it will take more than one post to show the pictures)
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:01 pm

I have no idea why the pictures didn't post, I will try again.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:05 pm

On to Cathedral Valley
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:44 pm

Those photos make me want to head out that way again.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by B. Callfas » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:22 am

Thanks for taking the time to post those fantastic photos.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:58 pm

We left Capitol Reef and headed to Goblin Valley which is another incredible place, it isn't very big but is amazing. We spent some time exploring the valley and talking to other tourist. We did a lot of talking to people about the cars and what we were doing, we got some really unusual question and comments, like 4 time we were ask if the cars were rentals and twice people thought we were part of the display. At camp we noticed that one of the neighbors was a goat, and talking to his owner he told us about a hike to a cave so we went and it was well worth the effort. After the hike we drove out of camp to a place called Red's Canyon, it was about an 85 mile drive and went thru some more really neat country, there was a number of miles that were in the bottom of the canyon in the creek bed, on that trip we only saw 2 pick ups and a hunter on a 4 wheeler. If you have ever wanted to drive your T on the back roads, Southern Utah is a great place to do i
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dallas Landers » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:06 pm

Dennis you sure know how to get the best out of your T. I like the photos, a few a day is something I look forward to.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:08 pm

On to Red's Canyon.
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I got a lot of video of driving in the creek but evidently no pictures.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:25 pm

Oh, boy. I need to get back there.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Billy Vrana » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:05 am

You guys should work for the department of tourism. That looks like alot of fun,

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by AdminJeff » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:38 pm

THIS IS AWESOME!!!

Beats the hell out of driving around town every day!

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by John Warren » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:40 pm

Steve, If you ever decide to come out this way, you are welcome to base here if you want to drive the rest of the way with your T.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:06 pm

We next headed to Arches National Park and the Moab area, this is a area that we wanted to spend a few days. We camped about 12 miles out of Moab and 10 miles from Arches. The first day we got up early and got to Arches as the sun was coming up and beat the crowds to the park, Arches is another spectacular area (lets face it the whole southwest is awesome)and we spent a lot of the day there and the park filled up with tourist. After lunch we went into Moab to the brewery and then went to a couple of Jeep rental places to scout out some back road trip, the Jeep tour people were pretty blown away by where we wanted to go and were really helpful with information. I am going to do a number of posts about this area, first our camp and arches.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:23 pm

Great stuff. I want to get back to Canyonlands in a Model T.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:46 pm

The next day we went to Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands Island in the Sky District, we found out when we got to Canyolands that it was free National Parks Day, everybody else knew it and man was it crowded and the wind blew hard all day but it was sill a good trip with wonderful scenery. When we got back to camp we found our neighbors camp blown all over the place and we spent a while gathering up equipment, clothes and supplies, they came back to a real mess. It stormed all around us but all we got was wind.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:53 pm

Steve, I don't know which District you visited in Canyonlands but outside of The Needles District was my favorite (that trip coming soon to a post near you). It is just waiting for you!
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:15 pm

I wonder if anybody has ever done Elephant Hill and the Silver Stair in a Model T. :)
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:54 pm

Steve, I talked to a couple of local 4x4ers about Elephant Hill and one thought we might make it and the other thought we would be crazy to even try. The day after going to Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands, it was time to go to town to do laundry,so we went and after laundry decided that we should go visit the local 4x4 park and see what it was all about. We decided to try a couple of the trails (we were probable the only ones on the trail with laundry on board), we went out the Fins and Things trail to where it met the Porcupine Trail and followed that until we got to a point where we decided that if we broke something (like my wood wheels) that it would change our whole trip so we turned around. To say that people were suprized to see us would be an understatement, it was fun to see the look on their faces. I taked to one guy and he wanted to know what we were doing there, so I told him that we came to show them how we use to drive those rough roads and he got defensive and said oh ya what do you mean? so I said you know those big boulders and those deep holes that you drive over and through? And he says ya! and I said we drove around them.He laughed and lightened up. It was great fun but those serious off roader go places I would have trouble walking.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by D Stroud » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:10 am

Dennis,is that a Model T Territory Marker I see on the right side in that last picture? :shock: Dave
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by D Stroud » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:11 am

Dennis,is that a Model T Territory Marker I see on the right side in that last picture? :shock: Dave
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:59 am

It's been almost fifty years since I went up Elephant Hill in my Jeep wagon, so my memory of it may not be reliable, but I think it would be OK in a T with a Ruckstell.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by olebmw » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:26 pm

I can't imagine doing the Elephant Hill area in a Model T. A friend and I did it a few years ago on off road bikes [motorcycles] .
When your on top of the boulders, the way off is kind of hard to see except for the tire marks. More than a couple of time we would free fall a few feet getting off the boulders. However,there may have been easier off ramps ,we didn't look for them.
If your in the area, Needles Outpost is a small store with fuel and food.A couple of miles east is the entrance to Lockhart Basin road that will take you to Moab around eighty miles to the north. That could be done in a T...... maybe. There is a nasty little narrow drop off into a canyon in the Chicken Corners turn off area,that changes with every heavy rain storm.
I like the Utah Road and Rec. Map Atlas by Benchmark for off road trails.
Also the Adventure Rider.Com forum is a good place to usually get a quick reply on local road conditions.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:21 pm

Dave, if that is a trail marker it's not from a Model T (thankfully). After finding out what serious 4 wheeling was like we went back to back roads. The next day we drove the Shafer Trail, another incredible drive. We went back out to Thisland In The Sky District of Canyonlands, you enter the park and then turn off on Shafer Trail road, you drop about 2000 ft in elevation in the first few miles on a steep twisty dirt road with great views and we were early so there was very little traffic. We spent most of the day doing about a 50 mile loop back to camp. There are quite a few place with petroglyphs and are worth spending the time to see.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Kaiser » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:34 am

The good thing about having your laundry with you when going to a 4x4 park is you can change into clean underwear after things get really scary :lol:
What a great trip, thanks for the beautifull pictures !
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:38 am

It is 9ºf outside right now and everything has a heavy blanket of snow covering it.
The last week has largely been spent moving that white stuff and I am SO sore ! As
I look at your photos, I can feel the warmth and really wish I could tag along. I guess
I am, kinda-sorta. 👍
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:01 pm

On the way to The Needles District of Canyonlands we stopped by Newspaper Rock, the most amazing collection of petroglyphs I have ever seen. When we got to Bear's Ears out of Needles and found another great campsite, set up camp and drove into the park. Every one of the places that we went was amazing and unique in its own way and this was no exception, there were very few people there and we had a great drive. Next was Beef Basin.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:06 pm

I gotta ask! Is the bike in cases you feel the need for speed?
Great photos Dennis. What a trip this must have been.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:28 pm

The photos make me want to get up and go, but that shot of the switchbacks is especially wonderful.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:58 pm

The next morning we heaed for Beef Basin, it was dirt the whole way for camp it was a little over 100 miles and probably the most challanging drive of our trip, it was steep, winding, rough, rocky, sandy and beautiful. It took up almost all day to do the drive and didn't see another Vehicle until we were about a mile from the end of the drive, I look forward to some day going back and taking a couple of days and drive it again. As always the pictuers don't do these places justice, I took gobs of hours of Go Pro video and it really hard to edit the videos and the thousands of pictures. The 3rd picture is as far as we could go, it went into a really bad area that goes to the Elephant Hill area. The last picture on the right side is a sand hill that we almost got to use our sand ropes and the winch to get up.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:10 pm

From Bear's Ears we headed to Mesa Verde near Cortez Colorado, We met the daughter of a couple on the trip, we had a really good time with her and she joined us on the drive to Mesa Verde, it is a very interesting and pretty place to visit. The park is a giant mesa(go figure) that had a lot of cliff dwellings in what has to some of the hardest places you can imagine to get to. Their building skills were incredible, I just have to wonder about their choice of locations. They don't know why they built there or why they left, well worth a look. As far as takeing a Model T, this is where we ran our cars the hardest, what isn't up is down,except on the way back, then it's down then up and the park was busy so we were holding up traffic with very few pull outs but still a good trip.
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Look behind the cars, that's a long way down
Look behind the cars, that's a long way down

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:44 am

One of my favorite national parks. I love that place. Fifty years ago Cortez looked like it would be a great place to live. Unfortunately it seems a lot of other people thought so too. Now it's too "developed" to suit me.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Duey_C » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:38 pm

Beautiful views! Thank you!
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:18 pm

From Colorado we headed back to Utah to The Goosenecks State Park, it is a pretty spartan park but it was only $3 a night and came with a great view. We took a day off and did some repair work on the cars, for the way we had been driving the cars we had very few problems. The tow vehicles were preforming great and the Model T's had a few small problems like exhaut comeing loose, a broken brake rod, loose starter drive and at Goosenecks had to redesign the brake actuation set up on one of the T's that recently got hydraulic brakes. We had been planning this trip for a long time and had everything we could think of including a 110 wire welder that we ended up needing 4 times on the trip. On our "day off" after fixing the brakes we went for a test driveof only about 20 miles and drove Johnson Road at the foot of the cliffs out of the Goosenecks, another great drive.
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Monument Valley in the distance.
Monument Valley in the distance.
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Tomorrow we drive to the top of the cliffs.
Tomorrow we drive to the top of the cliffs.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:01 pm

Next day we drove up the Moki Dugway and out to Muley Point and then to Valley of the Gods. The Moki Dugway is a road that was cut into the side of the cliff (like the Shafer Trail) in 1949 for Urainium trucks to get to and from the mine, it a fairly good dirt road as a matter of fact it is a state highway but it is not recommended for motorhomes or trailers. It is a 10% grade most of the way and a nice drive in a T. When we got to the top we met a fellow that has spent a lot of time in that area and he told us a lot of stories about the area, he said that we had to go to Muley Point, that it is the best view in all the world. Well I haven't seen all of the world but it is a spectacular view! We were able to see the road that we drove yesterday from up there and parts of Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley and what seemed like a big piece of the west from up there. Our guide also told us about some petroglyphs that we had to hike to and then lay on our stomachs and crawl out to the edge of the canyon and look back under a big rock to see. The weather was grand, another great drive. We went back to camp and later headed to Valley of the Gods, we got a late start but got to see sunset in the valley and it was after dark when we got back to camp. I would like to go back some time when I could spend more time and as it is a National Monument you can camp in the valley.
Johnson Road down there.
Johnson Road down there.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by George House » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:58 am

I don’t know...... I’d be afraid I’d inadvertently drive the roadster into the background of a John Wayne movie...😡
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:57 am

George, Wait until we get to the Alabama Hills where a lot of the old black and white movies were shot. I didn't feel like I was in an old movie, I was.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:09 pm

What wonderful stuff! I love this.

When I hear Alabama Hills I think early TV, like The Lone Ranger.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:58 pm

Steve , There is a camping area of the Alabama Hills called the Lone Ranger. Let me know when you want to go to some of these places and I will meet you there, I really want to go back to almost all of these places and there are more to come on this trip.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:38 pm

From The Goosenecks we heared vto Munument Valley in Arizona, I was at Monument Valley many years ago but didn't get to drive the valley loop and have wanted to go back ever since. We got there early enough to go out to the park but there was so much traffic on the loop road that the dust was terrible so we diecided to come back early the next morning. We got there in time for the sunrise which was amazing and to beat the crowds and it worked, there was not a lot of people out yet. The Monument Valley loop road is a must see if you are ever within 100 miles of it. We also found out what the animals on a safari feel like, they have these trucks with 4 rows of seats that the locals give tours with and when they would drive by there would be 15 to 20 people taking pictures of us.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:39 pm

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"What are all those old Fords doing here?"
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:39 pm

Steve, In that valley I think that one of those old Fords was John Ford. After Monument Valley we went down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. If you are going to the Grand Canyon the north rim is the place to go, only about 10% of the visitors go to the north side and I think it is a prettier place. We found a really nice camp outside of the park about 15 miles up on the mountain at 9150 ft elevation, with the fall colors it was beautiful, it gets cold up that high in October. We woke up to 22 degrees and the wind blew all day, but we bundled up and headed out to see the park, the Model A Ford Club of America was having their national tour at the same time, we heard later that there was 370 Model As on the tour and we saw 8 driving down the road and never talked to one of them. The canyon is a spectacular hole in the ground but you don't get to see a lot of it, and with the wind blowing hard, you don't want to stand to close to the edge. It warmed up to about 50 and we had a good day and saw some great country. My ignition switch quit and I had to wire in a toggle switch at our lunch stop but I carry a switch so it was no big deal. I did figure later that since I don't run on mag that I could rewire the switch to work on the mag side but to get the lights to work I had to run a jumper wire from the batt terminal to the mag terminal.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:53 am

The difference between the south rim and the north rim averages about 1200 feet. The highest point on the south rim, Grandview Point, is at 7400 feet. Imperial Point, on the north rim, is at 8800 feet. This is why the south rim vegetation is dominated by junipers and piñon pines, and the north rim has a lot of ponderosa forest. From the north or the south, the canyon is an amazing sight.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by kelly mt » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:44 pm

This is an area I want to explore in my T. On the list for happening soon. Great photos.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:14 pm

Pat, We may be coming up your way later in the year to explore that part of the world. We left the north rim and headed for the south rim, it is only 7 miles across the canyon but it takes 204 miles to drive from one side to the other. When we left the north side they were getting ready to close for the season, like Steve said it is 1200 feet higher and they get a lot more snow. We found a camp about 6 miles out of the park. We decided that it would a good idea to go to the park on Friday before it got busy on the weekend, man were we wrong, it was really crowded every where we went. There were lots of bus loads of people and some were very rude but we still had a good time and saw some great scenery. At one stop a ranger said he was in charge of the social media for the park and wanted to know if he could use a picture of our cars on the Facebook page, I told him he could use my car but I couldn't speak for the others so he took the picture below. The wind blew hard all morning but it was nice in the afternoon, so we figured it was a good time to check over the cars. One of the cars had a windshield stantion that was breaking off and the drive shaft tube where it was shortened, the weld was cracked, so out came the welder. We did a lot of what my wife calls TNT (tapping n tightening), in no time everything was ship shape again.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:43 pm

When we left the Grand Canyon we headed down to Yucca Arizona to visit a old friend that we hadn't seen in over 25 years, he and his wife built a home way off grid and I am glad we had the Ts because there is no way we could have gotten the motorhomes out to his place. On the way there we drove about a 40 mile section of old route 66 complete with Burma Shave signs and some tacky old tourist traps, it was a nice diversion from the freeway.Their house is about 24 miles off the paved road, it was a nice drive out to their house and we had a great visit. Their place is right where the Sonoran desert and the Mojave deserts meet, it is a really pretty area but everything out there is trying to hurt you. The place that we camped was off the highway a little way with another great view. When we were getting ready to go for our drive a Jeep Club for Lake Havasu stopped at our camp and we had a nice visit while they all adjusted their tire pressure. It turns out that across the road from where we camped is Ford Motor Co. proving grounds, I am not sure what they are trying to prove, it was closed but they have a UFO museum in the parking lot of the compound. We also went for a nice drive out a pipeline road thru the desert.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:08 pm

THE ONE WHO DRIVES WHEN
HE'S BEEN DRINKING
DEPENDS ON YOU
TO DO HIS THINKING
BURMA SHAVE

So say the signs as you approach Seligman from the east on old 66. One from the early fifties I remember near Wrightwood said

TO KISS A FACE
THAT'S LIKE A CACTUS
TAKES MORE NERVE
THAN IT DOES PRACTICE
BURMA SHAVE

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by kelly mt » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:50 pm

Dennis, let me know when you're coming up. We'll be up in Canada on our spring tour in mid June but should be around most of the time.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:45 pm

Thanks Pat, I will be getting ahold of you. Leaving Yucca we headed toward Death Valley, on the way we spent some time out of Tacopa California. We camped out the Furnace Wash Road and drove the cars into Tacopa, there is a hot spring and 2 brewerys but the place was like a episode of the Twight Zone, it was deserted and appeared dead so we headed over to the town of Shoshone, turns out it was the first of the planned power outages in California. We lucked out and the tavern had a generator so they had ice cream and cold beer. Just outside of Shoshone is the Dublin Caves which is a group of man made caves that when the local mine closed, some of the workers that had no place to go dug into the canyon walls and lived in them, pretty rough living. The next morning we went for a drive out the Furnace Wash Road and out into the desert, the women thought we had finally lost it when we spent a bunch of time following ant across the desert (picture 4) but we needed to know where they were coming from and going to. Maybe had lost it. When we got back to camp we loaded up and headed to Death Valley. On the way we went thru Death Valley Junction, if you are ever there make sure you tour the Amagosa Opera House. There are 4 people that live in town and there is a motel,cafe and a opera house, some great history. We made it to Death Valley but that is the next story.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:01 pm

When we got to Death Valley we stayed at Furnace Creek in what was a parking lot with a picnic table at each site but it was reasonably priced and had access to showers, laundry and a swimming pool, we used them all. It was the first place that we camped where we had to remove the trailers and park them else where. The first drive we took was to the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at -282 feet it was a nice morning drive. On the way back we took some side trips and saw some unique landscapes, the Artist Palette is more colorful that the pictures show. Later in the day we drove the 20 Mule Team Canyon, another real cool one way road. We actually spent some time sitting in the shade relaxing, something we had done very little of and then went swimming. After dinner my wife and I went for star light drive out in the desert, lots of stars out there. Another great day, tomorrow we drive to Rhyolite (a ghost town in Nevada) and the road through Titus Canyon.
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The white spot on the cliff is sea level
The white spot on the cliff is sea level
The Artist Palette
The Artist Palette
20 Mule Team Canyon
20 Mule Team Canyon
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:14 pm

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Speaking of Twenty Mule Team, this is what I use to wash up before dinner. Rosemary DeCamp would be pleased.

The views of Death Valley take me back to Thanksgiving weekend in 1953 when we visited Scotty's Castle. I was twelve and my little brother was seven. We saw Scotty in front of the castle. I remember him sitting in a chair. Mike remembers him sitting in an open car. Thus doth memory make fools of us all.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:06 am

Steve, The road to Scotty's Castle is still closed from a huge wash out in 2015. My memory is getting so good that I can remember things that never even happened. Fun fact about a 20 mule team, it was 18 mules and 2 draft horses, the mules could pull longer but they needed the draft horses to get things moving.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:00 pm

We wanted to beat the heat and the traffic so we hit the road at sun up, It always amazes me how hot it can be during the day and cold at night, we beat the heat, it was cold when we set out. We were worried about holding up traffic going up Daylight Pass, it is steep and winding with few places to pass. We beat the traffic as well. We were headed to Rhyolite, a ghost town in Nevada that is a cool place to visit, they have a very strange outdoor museum. Then we headed out the Titus Canyon road through the Grapvine Mountains back into Death Valley. It is a 27 mile long one way road that is often closed due to flash flooding. We stopped at the top of the mountain and had lunch before heading down into the canyon, the landscape changes again and again, it is amazing and beautiful scenery. The narrow areas of the canyon have to be experienced to believe how awesome it is. It was a 100 mile trip and and great day.
Rhyolite
Rhyolite
Lunch
Lunch
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:31 pm

From Death Valley we headed to the Alabama Hills out of Lone Pine California. This is where a lot of the old black and white cowboy movies were shot, I wanted to go here ever since I was a kid, I just didn't know where it was. It is another unique area of rock formations, if you watch enough old movies you even recognize some of the rocks. In town there is a really nice western movie museum, while we were there one of our group ask if an old collage room mate of his that was from Lone Pine still lived in the area, it turns out that he is on the board of directors for the museum and lived about a 1/2 mile away. We went to his place and he was there, they hadn't seen one another in years and it turns out that his grandfather was the person that rented props to the movie people, such as livestock, wagons and ranch locations. We had a very nice visit with him. The following day we went to Manzanar National Historic Site, it is the site of one of the WW 2 Japanese Relocation Centers. I knew a little about these camps but it was very enlightening and humbleing. I recognized a name on the roster, a good friend growing up, there were 24 people there with the same last name, that his family would have been inturned never entered my mind. There is not much left of the camp but it is well worth a visit. When we got back to the Alabama Hills, I spent some time driving around through the rocks playing cowboy, I was the good guy (of course). We didn't spend near enough time here, I will be back.
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Mount Whitney in the back ground
Mount Whitney in the back ground
Manzanar
Manzanar
What is left of one of the Japanese Gardens
What is left of one of the Japanese Gardens
Playing in the rocks
Playing in the rocks

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:03 pm

It still steams me to think of Manzanar and places like it. Was it racist? You bet. I went to school with kids who spent the war in those camps, and they're just as American as anybody else.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:38 pm

Steve

And LIncoln jailed journalists opposed to him and suspended Habeas Corpas...you got jailed and had no access to a judge...period.

For younger readers who may not have learned in school or had living relatives who survived the period:
History is littered with wrongdoings by well meaning and not so well meaning men. With the Japanese having detailed maps of, as well as detailed knowledge, of goings-on at Pearl Harbor, I do not doubt that in the day, there were serious fears of just who in the Japanese Schools were friends and who were foes, and it is clear they were not all friends (but who?). It is indeed a terrible thing in retrospect, but I myself chose to not impute today's knowledge and sense of "right" against that of history...be it Civil War or Internment Camps. Ours here at Heart Mountain has been turned into a very sobering and moving museum, and the BOD is attempting to recover buildings sold off in the '60's to ranches for use as storage. It is indeed sad today, but a dire time then. Racist or not, their home country was using POWs for target and bayonet practice, and is indicative of Japan's sense of superiority and cemented a very well founded dread among Americans. My grandfather survived Bataan, Death Camps, and a Death Ship to Japan. I imagine if he had ever visited our local internment camp, he would not be as nearly moved by it as I was. It's all about point of view, and frankly, while I cannot speak for him, I doubt that his views could be considered racist given his experiences, but his views would certainly be different than mine, and probably would not pass a sensitivity test. Perspective varies views. It would take someone of considerable pure heart to impute racism to him. To be certain, internment was a terrible thing, particularly when viewed with eyes that did not experience the era.

A side note to this is an interesting fact that Tokyo Trials did not mete out harsh sentances for torture like in Nuremburg. The Japanese had the good sense to make useful medical advances while torturing their prisioners to death and they kept good records. Information, some of which is used to this day, all the while being covered up at the time of its discovery. So it appears that there is bad torture and there is good torture. It's great to be on the deciding side.

Dennis

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:46 pm

Perhaps I should not have posted the above but the term "racist" is tossed about by people often with a myopic view of a subject and zero belief that there could EVER possibly be a fundamentally sound reason for feeling or acting a particular way at a particular time. That term's use is overplayed and worn out. My rant is over.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:44 am

Yes, there was real fear of what Americans whose parents or grandparents came from Japan might do. In those days before "development" wiped them away there were a lot of issei and nisei farmers in the Palos Verdes Peninsula near where we lived. My mom dreamed that some of them had wired bombs to her bedsprings, and she woke up in a panic trying to untie the wires. There was not the same suspicion and fear of Americans whose parents or grandparents came from the other Axis countries. Why not?
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dallas Landers » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:14 am

Dennis, I'm really enjoying your photos and story of your trip. I notice the winch on one of the cars. Did you have to use it? Sounds like a few repairs were made but no major problems. What a fun trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:28 pm

Thanks Dallas, Glad your enjoying following our trip, thankfully we didn't need the winch but came close a couple of times. We did have a few minor problems but considering where we went and what we ask are cars to do, they did real good.
When we left the Alabama Hills we went north, stopped at Schatt's Bakery in Bishop, stopped by Mono Lake and ended up camped a few miles out of Bodie California. Bodie is a ghost town that is a state park that is kept in a arrested state of decay. When the people of Bodie left it was all at once and in a big hurry leaving behind things like a saloon with bottles still on the bar and balls still on the pool table, books on the school desks and a lesson on the black board. There ae lots of buildings in town and a large mining operation on the edge of town. They give tours of the mine but weren't during tours when we were there. Another place to see if you are ever in the area. When we left Bodie we followed the recommendation of a local, we took a different route to get back to camp. Well, we couldn't find the road that we were told about, so we ended up driving about 30 miles to get back to Bodie and the road we knew went back to camp, we back right at dark.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:51 pm

There's a story that a family planning a move to the notoriously wild town of Bodie heard their little girl praying, "Goodbye, God. We're going to Bodie." The editor of the Bodie paper said the words were accurate but the punctuation was wrong, and that what she really said was, "Good! By God, we're going to Bodie!"

For a time Mark Twain worked at the newspaper in Aurora, a few miles away across the state line in Nevada.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by kelly mt » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:16 pm

About 30 years ago I had a small ranch just over the hill in the Mono basin about 8 miles away. Bodie is really cool.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:32 pm

We headed to Yosemite up over Tioga Pass (9943ft) after some of the roads that we had driven in Utah and Death Valley it wasn't as bad as we had imagined and a very pretty drive. We drove through the park and found a camp on the west side just out side of the park on the road to Hetch Hetchy Reservour. We got there early enough that we decided to drive out to the reservour, when I was in the Boy Scouts, a long time ago I use to back pack in that area quite a bit. It was really nice to visit and was like I remembered it. Hetch Hetchy is a large part of the water supply for San Francisco, it is gravity feed all the way to San Francisco about 150 miles, quite an engineering feat. It was a nice drive and the weather couldn't have been nicer, it was fall and the trees were turning colors, it was beautiful. The next morning we headed for Yosemite Valley, getting pretty cold in the mornings but warmed up nicely, there was a fair amount of traffic but not bad considering we were in Yosemite, they were still running a few buses but we were able to drive most places. When tourist season is in full swing, cars are not allowed in the valley. We drove around the valley and went for a couple of short hikes and went to the lodge, if there were alot less people it would be nice to stay at the lodge. That late in the year there was not much water for the water falls but still beautiful.
Hetch Hetchy
Hetch Hetchy
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Won't post right no matter what I do.
Won't post right no matter what I do.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:00 pm

After Yosemite we started for the coast and the Redwoods, on the way we drove up hwy 49 through the gold country, my wife and I drove our T through this area in 05 and there is much more traffic now than back then. We spent the first night outside of Placerville in a RV park, we had gotten to the part of the trip where there was little to no public land to camp on. I have a neice, nephew and 3 grand neices that live near Placerville and went to visit them for the afternoon, 2 of the grand neices are brand new and I hadn't met them yet, we had a great but short visit. The next day we made it to the coast and stayed the night in Willits at The Golden Rule Rv park that is on the ranch that was the home of the race horse Sea Biscuit and he is buried there. From Willits we went to Leggitt to another rv park and drove the Avenue of the Giants, it is a magical drive through the forest. Later we took a drive down a back road that ended at the beach. We had on this trip gone from over 10,000 ft to 282 ft below sea level and from the top of the mountains to the ocean. We were now headed home and I for one was not ready for the trip to end. Almost forgot getting to drive thru one of the giant trees.
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Road to the beach
Road to the beach
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:15 pm

While we were asleep the power was shut off for what turned out to be days. From The Avenue of the Giants we went north up the coast and stayed at the Elk Prarie state park thankfully they were open with no power, just about everything was shut down, luckily we didn't need fuel at that point. We went for another nice drive on the Newton Drury Scenic Byway. Than we went up the coast and stopped at the Trees of Mystery, we rode the tram up through the tree tops to the top of the ridge. While at the top of the tram my wife ask a young fellow to take our picture, it turned out he was from our town (Madras) and he recognized me as the guy who let him crank start a old car at the fair, we give rides during the fair to the old homestead museum at the fairgrounds, small world. We ended up at a rv park just out of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park,we had time to go for a drive out another special road (Howard Hill Road) that weaves through the giant trees to a grove of trees were we went for a hike. What a peaceful place to drive a old open car.
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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:52 pm

What works for me is rotate, rotate back, and save. Maybe other devices differ.

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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:38 pm

Thanks Steve, That works sometime and not others, for me it seems to matter more what day than what device, I guess I could have bigger problems.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dennis Prince » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:58 pm

Jed Smith Park was the last time on the trip that we would have the cars off of the trailers. From there we went toward home and could have made it all the way home that day but something said take your time to us. We went past the road to Crater Lake but since we have been there on T trips in the past we decieded to stay in a snow park out of Diamond Lake, and just sit in the sun, drink beer and champagne and relax. We had a really nice time just sitting, a anther great dinner and turned in early. On the trip we only ate out 5 times. In the morning we drove the rest of the way home with the same number of cars and people we left with. The best trip ever! When we started the trip we started putting stickers from where we went on the kitchen door of our running board kitchens, we turned into 10 year olds and would rush to be the first to get a new sticker but you couldn't put it on until we had driven in that place, if there was no sticker we would write it on the door in marker. Now that we are home I will biuld another door and frame the old one and hang it in my shop. Thanks for letting me share our trip with all of you. If there is a moral to this story it is that the old cars were made to drive not just admire, if you drive it there will be plenty of people to admire it. So get out there and drive it!
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Greg's kitchen door
Greg's kitchen door
Jim's kitchen door
Jim's kitchen door
My kitchen door
My kitchen door
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Map of the trip
Map of the trip


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:34 am

Thanks for taking us along. Taking the pix, posting, writing, editing all takes time
and effort, especially out on the trail. Kudos for doing that for us.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:30 am

Thank you so much for the thread, fantastic pictures, and wonderful tales! I hope I can do something like this someday.


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Re: Driving back roads in southern Utah

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:36 am

Thank you Dennis for sharing this adventure. Burger is right on about the time to take us along and I agree with you that they are made to drive. If they were to just look at they wouldnt have wheels. I look forward to doing something like that one day and cant wait till your next adventure.

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