Over my head, Moab, UT

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

I think and I know, most likely being around many four wheelers, that I have been riding over my head, meaning… going places I should not go, crossing creeks a bit too deep. Old Faithful and the mounts of Spirit’s car, over steep slab ledges, deep sand, getting stuck against the cliffs trying to maneuver hair pin curves, being put to an extreme test. I have to acknowledge that the decision to sometimes turn around is alright. That is what I should have done yesterday as finally taking on too much water, in a good spot I have to add, all systems quit! Right passed a deep creek crossing, when soaked head to toe, we stopped to dry out, Spirit included shaking his own water off as hit by lightning (he does not like water!), all was well, made it to the top of the final hill of this trail and as we started to descent… all quit! Karma did not fail us however as we rolled down all the way to a parking area where trucks are left behind for the bicyclists.


These are by the way the rest of the pictures from our ride onto Potash Rd, the continuation of the last Blog.

First time for everything, the rig had to be towed back to camp and the air filter has been drying all night in front of a heater… spark plugs are nice and dry. If the fix is not the wet and soaked air filter I have no clue what else it could be and we might have to take the long way to Salt Lake City to have some repairs done. "Bummer" as we use to say! Suddenly I feel as no transportation is not a good thing! I keep thinking that once the filter is dry, it will start, but it did not start without it… I now feel ignorant not knowing if an engine should start without an air filter. Time will tell… today.

Potash Rd 10

Of course this allowed me to take a lot of pictures on Jane Creek Rd and Hurray Pass, including some cliff jumpers with their parachutes. One more hobby around this area to consider, and I will post those next time as for now the ride to the end of Potash Rd is still fresh in my mind. Looking back after yesterday’s jaunt, that ride was a much easier one and I plan to return more than once just to be there, just to take in this spirituality that lingers on this middle plateau between the top mesa and the Colorado river below.

Potash Rd 9  

Potash Rd 7

It is as being in between times, stepping on ground formed sometimes in between those 300 millions of year it is taken to form it all, patiently, one day at the time, one layer at the time in its own particular colors and textures.

Potash Rd 1  

Potash Rd 4

This is where I do not do well… at all!!! With a bad case of vertigo I will hug the cliff to the point of scraping it as I also did yesterday and the day before going up another trail called Onion Creek. I cannot look down and suddenly all senses needed are off, definitely when they should be on. That is generally where the loose sand and rock mixtures are, and I have been happy already a couple times to have a come along with a strong line and an anchor with me, versus the electric winch that was mounted on the sidecar at some point. Truly that come along is a great invention!… and generally it is only after I save myself that a four wheeler comes by asking if we needed help.

Co river 1  

Co river 2

Oh! I know that you would laugh if you saw me take these pictures!… Sideways, legs spread apart, inch at the time I get closer and closer, I have to look in the view finder and freeze barely having the momentum to push on the shutter. It does not look like much in the picture, but there is a lot of emptiness down below and that is where my stomach wants to go. A point and shoot might be in those cases a better solution… I can close my eyes, extend my arms and shoot a few, eventually one might come out alright. Even better… much better… don’t go!!!

Potash Rd 5  

Potash Rd 2

As the trail started to separate (a good thing!) from the Colorado river, this was the scenery that greeted us and the greeting was accentuated by rougher terrain. The slab ledges which don’t look like much in the first picture above, made us stop and find a way to get around them. I met an Hydrologist yesterday on our ride, and we talked about the trails. She works full time in this area and knows them all, including their degree of difficulty, and none of her information matched mine. I am done listening to the four wheelers, I know they mean well when they look at me and nonchalantly say "Oh! that trail… a piece of cake for you…". Even the roads on the map that show dirt road versus 4 wheel drive road do not match the rigs ability. Still, many doable roads, and I do know where they are. Hiking is also not a bad thing!…

paddle rock  

Spirit on the edge

Of course Spirit is never bothered by heights as you can see, only wish I could train him to take the pictures. He will actually get closer, look over and just lays there in the sun taking it all in. Much to learn from him still. We also came across some Jeep crawlers… insanity at its best! I stopped to watch them from across the river near Moab inching their way up and down boulders, spotters standing next to them.

Rock crawlers 

Rock Crawlers 1

Well, as I write this I have been trying to start the bike and it is a no go. Water is drained, filter is dry, maybe something else has gone wrong while a bit of too much rough riding. Seems, unless a miracle, that we will be headed to Salt Lake City on Thursday very early. A great shop was recommended to us, just got off the phone with them, of course this is a real busy time for them but they will try to fit us in. We will be back here as soon as all is fixed.

Bronco 3

Bronco rear Bronco 1
Bronco 2 Bronco inside

This Bronco was one of my favorite 4×4, "Diesel Power", as it has a 3.9 Turbo (big!!!) Diesel engine, was doing a photo shoot while I was also playing with the camera. Enjoy… maybe by some miracle as the sun rises and shines and… dries everything… the rig will start!

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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5 Responses to “Over my head, Moab, UT”

  1. Rudy T Says:

    Ara; A couple of years ago, some of the guys from North Ga (you know many of them) took a ride to that part of the world. Some of them on KLR 650, DRZ400 and some on DR 350’s. Their comments were that it was tough even for a KLR 650. So, my dear friend ARA my greatest admiration to you and to your adventures. If it is true that sometime in the past we showed you a few lines on the Cherohala, we could probably follow your lines today.

    Happy traveling

  2. Darren S Says:


    Unless the BMW has some sort of sensor in place that prevents it, your machine should start just fine without an air filter installed. It won’t run opimally, but you should be able to start and ride it.

    I will remind you to check all your fuses, as it sounds as though you may have shorted something out. Chances are, you will find a blown fuse, replace it, and the bike will fire right up.



  3. 4doorbronko Says:

    Great pictures as always.
    Maybe a helmet cam for Spirit so you can send him out for those “height challenged” shots? :o)

  4. admin Says:

    Thanks Rudy… they are tough trails for this rig and unfortunately I have to be a bit wiser in my choices. Actually we did not break anything… the HEC is old… much water did it in!… There is still no better rider than you… and Jay! I will never forget the very first time I got behind you two… and loosing you at every curve!!! You two are true Artists on two wheels…
    A helmet cam for Spirit is an awesome idea!!! I have to observe more the position of his head… From Star to Movie maker… this dog does it all!!!
    Thanks for the reply Darren… it is a short… very short now!
    be well… Ara & Spirit

  5. DaveF Says:


    Found your blog tonight. My wife, daughter and I are headed to the Shafer Potash route tomorrow in a Jeep. It is great to see a preview.

    On the way down to Moab from Boise we went to see the Spiral Jetty on the northern shore of the Great Salt Lake. The next morning (Easter) one of our tires was flat. Fortunately Sears was open! We had to buy new tires because they said the tread was too minimal for them to repair it. This caused us to spend the morning in SLC so we had the opportunity to have Easter lunch at Red Iguana. Very good.

    I have been thinking that Moab really needs to kick up the foodie quotient. Maybe you can find some investors and start something. Instead of eating out we have been roasting beets and other organic veggies from the Moonflower market next to our apartment.

    Good luck with the repairs.

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