November 1, 2016
What a gorgeous November we are having. Chilly mornings give way to clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds with temperatures in the upper sixties to lower seventies. Who would have thought it ? Weather history states highs should be in the low 50s and lows in the high 20s. Looking at the extended forecast, that might just be the case next week. But for now, it's weather bliss !
Way back on November 1st...yep, that's how far behind I am as I am still struggling with making time for the computer...we joined Dee, Chris and Scott, and Dale and Ward (Rolande's son) for an awesome day of wheeling on Steel Bender. There are two described routes for Steel Bended in the Charles Wells Guide. We did what Dee refers to as the backwards route starting at Ken's Lake. It is rated difficult because of numerous tall ledges (some with bypasses) so larger tires, high ground clearance and lockers are recommended. Joe and I had done the Steel Bender Loop Route a couple of times, but this was our first time to do Steel Bender Flat Route trail south to north. To say it's 8.8 miles of epic scenery and fun ledges would be an under statement. Here is a small sampling of our fantastic day.
Riding along Spanish Valley Road towards Ken's Lake which is only about 5 minutes from Gopher Flats.
Scott and Chris led our group followed by Dale and Ward, Dee, and us bringing up the rear.
Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho, it's off to play we go !
After we all climbed down the loose gravel and boulders know as Witches Step, Scott, Dale and Dee had fun climbing back up and down again.
First Scott in his YJ...
then Dale in his buggy...
...and Dee in Blanche.
There is one more tricky spot. Its a huge boulder (Charles Wells says extreme ledge), 8 feet high or so on the driver side and less on the passenger side. It has washed out at the bottom with lots of loose rocks. The taller driver side is close to a deep drop off. Dee goes first trying her hand at the tallest section of the boulder which she has done several times in the past. It wasn't meant to be this day. After backing off the boulder several times on the loose rocks and sliding closer and closer to the drop off, she needed a strap and a winch to pull Blanche back up onto level ground.
All turned out good and Dee climbed the middle section...6 feet high or so...along with Dale. Joe and I took the far passenger side with Dee spotting us. Scott had climbed earlier to winch Dee.
From there it's an easy drive on slickrock, down through some washes, and across the creek to the exit on the north side. This is definitely a trail we look forward to doing again...on wheels and on foot.
Until next time...let the good times roll !
HAPPY TRAILS !