Archive for June, 2008

A ghost of a Ghost Town! Widtsoe, Utah…

Monday, June 30th, 2008


We set up to look for the ghost town of Widtsoe yesterday (wrong spelling on the map by the way!), a change in the scenery going from red to green and higher elevations! I just realized today why all the roads have been quiet, as they have been even on this weekend, it is 4th of July soon and everyone is saving for fuel! That is my explanation anyhow. The "Wodtsoe" sign was marked very clearly at the turn off a bit west of Escalante, I did have to stop at the BLM’s Welcome Center to find out wether a right or a left was needed at the fork, left they said. I did not see its name on the map and figured that mine was just not detailed enough. I knew we were going by the fire that was happening last week and had been put out now for a few days. A trickling water fall welcomed us as soon as we crossed the bridge off Highway 12…


fire 2  

I just wish they would get it together on naming the roads! It is 187, or Old Canyon Rd that turns into John’s Valley Rd or NF17! All depends where you are and who you talk to. Nice dirt road starting out fairly smooth and changing soon with elevation to some slick rock patches and much washboard. I really don’t like washboards anymore! Fast or slow it just beats up the rig and I actually stopped once to soften the suspension and let some air out of the rear tire. Made it just a bit better but not much of an improvement. It is really hard to set up a sidecar rig for both dirt and black top. Easier for dirt, on the soft side, but will end up with horrible handling on the paved road… we compromise.

road 2  

road 1

It was a nice day, as every day has been since we have been here, no rain in sight yet and just a peaceful setting, a bit different space from the past days into the Red Canyons. All has been quiet within these past week, being a child of the 60’s as I always said it, I am now having fun saying it again! There has been much thought, or some anyhow, as thinking about it will not change a thing, as to what happened to all these past years. I think everyone aging a bit asks themselves the same questions. Every decade that goes by I keep telling myself that they are my prime years!… 20’s… 30’s… and on. And now, well, at 60 they must truly be prime!

fire remnants

fire remnants 1  

We passed by the area that was on fire, one road was still closed… and talking about fires, as I really thought that the incident subject of last weekend was water under the bridge, and trust me that it is in my mind, I read in a Forum a comment from the Vice President of the Club calling me "insensitive and crude" because, I quote "I have attacked the Rally Master who is now legally blind, severely physically handicapped, and mildly mentally slow from a motorcycle accident four years ago, and he could not process my rants fast enough…" I had to read this a few times… this was the first time that I was learning of his disabilities. Never noticed it when we received our warnings within an hour being on the premises… and I have to say that I am a fairly observant person!

fire remnants 2

I find it being a facet of "some" individual’s human nature at its best, really and truly, the culmination of egos put together and wrapped tightly with the "me, me, me" syndrome… They are rare, a reason why I had totally forgot about it, but I guess it is still around, sadly it might take centuries for it to disappear. I am left speechless regarding the Rally Master’s condition exposed suddenly as is. All I see are the same individuals trying to flip the coin… so we are now the bad guys! Of course, I find the scheme so normal for such characters, but, not well done enough to discredit my thoughts. I sure hope this is the last of it, hearing from this "upper management" destined to obviously have too much fun in future Rallies. The insults?… that has never been brought up… I get the picture! Now I have some real ones to post…


The road started going up, passed the smells of burned wood and still some remainders of lingering smoke and as if it had been ordered for us to be present, a beautiful carpet of colorful flowers. A must rest area for the both of us, water break, some walking around taking it all in, as if suddenly we were back amongst the green luscious hills of the east coast.

road 4

road 3  

We then arrived to an intersection with five roads! Seems to be much snowmobiling here in the winter as three of them had their signs up. That left 2, we took the logical one (!!!) and continued our search for the ghost town. What comes up must comes down I figured and sure enough eventually it was all downhill, but still no ghost town! I actually did a search on Google when we returned and nothing has come up. I am glad I did not do the search before hand, we might have never taken that beautiful road. There were a few old structures here and there…

ghost town 2

ghost town 3 ghost town 4

I would not mind fixing it up, probably was not part of a town as they where a couple miles apart from each other, in great locations however.

ghost town 5

Spirit’s ears when up, he is my radar! Silence was buzzing in my ears but I could not otherwise hear a thing. And then it was a frown as finally the sound of a chopper could be heard. It took a few minutes as suddenly the big bug in the sky went right over us. I had seen fire fighting planes, the ones that scoop thousands of gallons of water in just a few seconds, but never a helicopter set up for that purpose. The camera was put away at the time and my settings where not quite right… it still made for I think some good pictures, a bit mysterious catching the blades as totally still!

chopper 1 

chopper 2  

A bit of entertainment for us in the middle of nowhere, specially for Spirit, a new sound and a new sight!… a big bird passing by. The road had leveled off by then and again the scenery changed, rock formations reminding me of Bryce Canyon a bit, where we will go and camp for a while soon.

road 6

If the scenery was not as spectacular as in our previous rides, the "space" sure was. There is no lack of roads around here within a 200 miles radius and more. There are some I know we will not be able to ride because of deep sand, just a couple, it is otherwise a Paradise for back country exploring. The day end up being a long one since we now had more time on our hands by not finding the ghost town and end up taking another road to Grosvernor Arch, a more challenging one with deep sand, backtracking and scouting Kodachrome State Park for only a few minutes right before the sun totally vanished from the face of the colorful rocks.

white mountains  

The rest of the ride… next time! There will always be… "a rest of the ride".

As always, you be well…

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