Down by the River on Potash Rd, UT

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I knew it the other day, while at Dead Horse State Park looking downwards at the minuscule Jeep passing by, that soon it would be us down there. Here are the two pictures looking at each other… the first one that you have already seen, from above, and the one below from where the Jeep was… or close, as Spirit and I took the ride yesterday.

long canyon trail 1

I actually made an error labeling it "Long Canyon trail", it is "Potash Rd" aka "South Fork Rd" aka "County Rd 142" which turns into Shafer trail, just opened I heard today. This is the view yesterday from the bottom! You can barely see the sun protective awning on top the visitors point, that’s the big rock on the right, but it is there…

Dead Horse SP

What I did not know was the humbling experience it turned out to be as we rode in deeper into the canyon, 300 million years after it all started. We had also tried the ride a day earlier, in the afternoon, the clouds making up some nice backdrops for pictures compared to the harsher and bright sun of yesterday, but I could see the rain coming down ahead of us and getting caught on that terrain in wet conditions was not a wise choice. We then turned around.

Potash Rd 2 

As we started the road passed the Moab Salt Company, by the Colorado River, who owns five miles of it, with a deeply rutted top and sand patches, the signs recommending "four wheel drive vehicle" made its appearance. We are a 1 x 3, the sidecar is a different animal of sort off the black top, I always have to see it for myself as it can do some difficulties and not others. It seems that I learned a couple things from the Jeep drivers, those daring "rock crawlers", low tire pressure (28psi front and rear, full pressure for the sidecar) and slow speeds, crawling speeds. From brown rocks to red all turns very quickly. It is all red as we ride in… the red you are seeing, a color that somehow keeps you on your toes. A duller red under the clouds, vibrant almost blinding under the bright sun, as two different worlds when passing through on those different days.

Potash rock 1  

Potash Rd 1

I would post a thousand pictures of this area if I could, and it is so hard to decide which ones have to stay behind! I don’t care for thumbnails and I apologize for those on dial up. The pictures do not tell the story of the road conditions. Not that it is a good thing for them to be rough, but they are, much more than it shows and unlike a two wheel motorcycle, our 1200lb vehicle, Spirit and I included, does well when… crawling. Keeping an eye on the beauty of it all is also then a so much more enjoyable moment.

Potash Rd 3  

balanced rock

We started the ascent, rear tire still spinning a bit in loose rocks and gravel, always looking for flat spots to stop for pictures… always pictures! Not using a point and shoot camera, the glasses have to come off, helmet, at least one ear plug to hear oncoming traffic or wild animal if any, and gloves… one torn now because of too many stops!!! I actually retract what I said about listening for incoming traffic or wild animals as Spirit lets me know right away with his ears up and frowning forehead, generally 6 to 8 minutes ahead which will transform into a growl when a subject is getting closer! Amazing as at the same time he has become Mr Social here in Moab, yes, we cannot ride by ever unnoticed, he was even on the local News when one of the camerawoman stopped one day on a trail and started filming him… well, this time I was in it also. Since I do not watch television I did not have a chance to see the segment. Maybe some day a full length movie! he sure puts enough smiles on everyone’s faces…

balanced rock 1  


I saw this eagle in the rocks, I have no clue if I am the only one that has noticed it, probably not. I see many rock faces, many rock animals up always on the cliffs, some just for an instant suddenly drawn by a shadow or a sun ray, thinking it is my imagination gone maybe a bit wild from too much of an overload on the sensory perceptions. But this one, very obvious. Picture related also… we had stopped at a tunnel coming out from the side of the road, built most likely for rain diversion, and also for hikers to get on the other side of a hill separating the road and the start of another canyon. Spirit was a bit nervous going in, he followed me for a change instead of leading… and I took the pictures!… untouched pictures, only cropped, this is how they showed up on the screen!… Mr Spirit… a vision in itself. My new "favorite" picture…

tunnel show the tunnel

Spirit and the tunnel

How many of you by the way did watch Howard Dewitt’s video? I truly do not think I would have taken this shot if I had not myself watched it… a few times. Let me know what you think of the video. I am trying to be interactive through the comments section.

Potash Rd 8

So we are now on to the next day, the sunny day. I have been making up maps as before, but sorry, somehow the fonts are just not coming up very clear anymore. They are fine when saving it, but not when publishing them. If someone knows of another software besides Microsoft Maps and Streets, please let me know. Maps again would be very nice. This is the scenery after more riding which welcomed us, just 1200 feet above the Colorado river. A trail which began as a cattle trail constructed by John Sog Shafer (seems that I finally got the spelling correct on this one!) in 1917, turning into a truck route in the 1940’s for the ore and uranium miners, its construction ending up in 1952.

Potash Rd 3 

Soft sand at times, most of it blown away by the winds leaving flat layers of slickrocks with some sharp edges like stair steps and shelves, mixed with softball size rocks is what we rode on in places. Nothing too challenging but needing caution. I always joke that because of the sidecar I don’t fall anymore, it definitely applied yesterday! I am running out of space today, the rest of the ride will be on the next Blog… with also some pictures of ‘rock crawlers’, the road on the edge really conductive to vertigo, I still have many pictures of the cool trucks that are in town, the excitement just has not stopped since we have been here except for today… the bike has not even been started!

Potash Rd 6

We are always under deep appreciation toward the readers that have send in a contribution helping this website’s expenditures. For those who have not, continue enjoying the site, pictures, recipes, and if you feel it’s worth $1 a month, the contribution button is above, snail mail is below…

Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

You be well and stay well…. Ara & Spirit

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2 Responses to “Down by the River on Potash Rd, UT”

  1. Tim Spires Says:

    Wonderful views and as always very entertaining!

  2. Starla Myers Says:

    Wow! The photograph of Spirit in the Tunnel is Fabulous! What a Beautiful Art Card Image that will make. I just watched the video from Mr. Dewitt. Absolutely Beautiful & Enlightening! Thank You for Sharing his Positive Outlook on Life & it’s Possibilities. I will look at things from a whole different angle… starting Now. I have written down his words…”I won’t SEE It, until I BELIEVE It”… to serve as my daily reminder. Peace be with you Ara & Spirit. Starla

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