Sego Canyon Adventure

Most travelers speeding east-west on I-70 through Grand County, Utah probably do not notice the small town of Thompson as they pass. Aside from the gas station, Thompson has little to attract passersby, but just north of town is Sego Canyon which is worth a second look.

Your adventure begins at Exit-187 on I-70. After leaving the interstate, turn north or Highway 94 and check your fuel level. You may want to fill your gas tank at the Shell/7-Eleven convenience store before heading into the back country. Then, continue north on Highway 94 through Thompson till you see the signs directing you to Thompson and Sego Canyons.

The winding road through Sego Canyon goes from rough pavement, to rock strewn gravel with areas of sand. At first the road is suitable for a car, but becomes a narrow, rough Jeep trail that provides a fun ride between sandstone cliffs, tall pines, and high desert landscapes.  Overall, the trail is not difficult or technically challenging on a motorcycle.

The sandstone walls near the mouth of the canyon display ancient art from three different Native American cultures, of three separate eras. This site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but sadly vandals have defaced many of the painted and carved images. 

The art above is credited to the Archaic people who lived in this area from 8,000 to 2,000 years ago, Experts claim these people were nomads who did not build permanent structures, but lived in caves or temporary structures. All that remains of their passing are these paintings.

These images are Barrier Canyon Style, which consists of larger than life manlike forms painted with no eyes or hollowed eyes and often no arms or legs. Over the centuries the Anasazi, Fremont, and Ute tribes also left their mark near here.

The ghost town of Sego, began as a small mining operation in the early 1890s when rancher Harry Ballard discovered coal and bought the land. By 1911 he sold the mine to a group of Salt Lake City investors who expanded the operation. The remnants of a railroad they built to haul coal is still visible in the canyon.  

The old company store is missing its roof and main floor, but the floor supports still protrude though the exterior stone walls. Decades later, the stone work on the building remains remarkably solid.

At one point Sego boasted a store, a boarding house and numerous homes for miners,  But, by the late 1940s, low profits and financial problems caused the mine to close and the town was eventually abandoned.

Since it is a ghost town, there has to be a ghost car. This battered, rusted, shell looked sadly at home resting beside a collapsed pile of dried out, splintered lumber that may have once been a home. 

Aside from the ghost town and Native American art, the natural beauty of Sego Canyon is worth taking time to admire. I spent several hours enjoying the sights and sounds of the canyon and did not see another person the entire time I was there.

I would liked to have stayed longer, but approaching darkness and some threatening storm clouds convinced me to head back to the highway.  Sego Canyon was a fun ride, with some interesting sites, as well. Next time you are in the area, I recommend you stop and see for yourself.   

Wolfman Wolf Tail Bag

I have ridden with the Wolfman Wolf Tail bag for over a year it has held up perfectly. Also good, this medium size bag holds a lot of stuff in its full 30 liter capacity. There is plenty of room for day rides and long distance adventures.
Keep your smaller gear organized in the three "crescent" zippered pockets; one each side and another on the rear of the main compartment. There is plenty of room in the main compartment for larger items.

The huge main compartment has room for a first aid kit, tool kit, snacks, and a couple of water bottles. This compartment also has a zippered gusset that expands this compartment to hold even more. 

On the front is a large mesh pocket. This pocket is handy for temporarily holding things, but the mesh and lack of a zipper limit the pocket's usefulness. The Wolf Tail bag is not waterproof, so pack accordingly.

On top, the bag has a adjustable bungee that's good for holding gloves when you are off the bike. All together, there is plenty of room for gloves, tools, water, or whatever you need to carry.

The bag attaches to the bike with bungees and hooks that allow for easy removal and installation. I usually leave the bag on the bike, but had a problem the one time I removed it. When reinstalling the bag, one of the plastic hooks snapped off.

These hooks are pretty beefy, so I was surprised and disappointed when it snapped. So, I emailed Wolfman and explained what had happened. Their customer service was great and they sent a replacement bungee & hook by priority mail, and without any hassle. Nice!

Some have asked if the bungees are strong enough for riding off road. Wolfman recommends a strap mounted bag for a rough off-road riding.  Personally, I have rode over some rough terrain, and the bungees have never caused a problem off road or at highway speed. 

Other nice to have features are a rear carry handle and a couple of D rings to attach a shoulder strap when you want to carry the bag with you. Finally, the rear and sides have reflective piping to help you stand out a bit better during night rides. 

If you need some extra hauling capacity for what ever you ride, the Wolf Tail bag is worth a look.

Hill Climb To A Desert Ridge

This was a winter ride up a rutted, frozen road. The GoPro lens bends the horizon and hides the steepness of the climb up this ridge.

Moto-Camping Stool Review

The Grand Trunk camping stool is small enough to pack on your bike and big enough for a seat when needed. The seat area is 12.6 inches by 10.6 inches and sits at a height of 14.5 inches.

When broken down, the stool's small size comes from removing the legs. But, don't worry about losing them, they are attached to the seat frame with shock cord, just like a tent. This also makes it fast and easy to set up.

When the legs are removed and stowed with the attached velcro strap, the chair goes into it's bag and you have a package that measures 15 inches by 7 inches, and is 2 inches thick.

When the legs are removed and stowed with the attached velcro strap, the chair goes into it's bag and you have a package that measures 15 inches by 7 inches, and is 2 inches thick.

The stool in its bag easily fits inside my Pelican 1450 case with some room to spare. It weighs in at just 22 ounces, much less carrying a full sized folding chair on your bike.

I've used this stool on a couple of trips and I like that it's small, lightweight, easy to set up and take down. Also, it's less expensive than similar chairs on the market. Most importantly, it keeps my butt out of the dirt and pine needles during my morning coffee and that makes for a good morning in the forest.

Wolfman Expedition Saddlebags

I like soft luggage on the KLR and this summer my trusty bike is sporting this Wolfman setup. These Wolfman Expedition saddlebags are great for carrying your adventure gear or whatever you haul on your bike.

The Expedition saddlebags have been around for a while and have a great reputation. They are waterproof, durable and come in yellow or black. I like the yellow for greater visibility on the road.

Wolfman devised the Universal Saddlebag Straps which allow you to mount these bags on many different types of racks. I use these Precision Motorcycle Racks and they work fine. Installing the bags is quick and easy.

The first step is to lay the bags across the bike. Then adjust these main straps to an even height on the left and right sides of the bike.

The bags attach to the side rack with the Universal Saddlebag Straps. Each bag uses four of these, two on the front and two on the rear. Above is the front side attaching point of the right side bag.

This picture shows the two rear straps for the right side bag. These small straps work great for keeping the bag secure on the rack. Put some gear inside the bags to provide some shape while you mount them. I have found this makes things easier.  

My rain gear is stuffed in the bottom of this bag, and there is room for a lot more. Each bag has a 19 liter capacity. If you have trouble with metric conversions like I do, just remember these bags hold a lot of gear when they are carefully packed.

With the bag packed, tighten the upper and lower horizontal straps across each bag. This pulls them tight against the racks where they will remain pretty secure.

To close the bag, roll the top tightly down and secured with the verticals strap on each side. Be sure to let the air out as you roll the top down.

Finally, this "V" strap threads from the back, through a front D ring and clips on the back side again. Pull this one tight to squash down the top of the bag and you are done. 

Before starting down the road I double check all straps and ensure everything is secure. At every stop, I give the straps a tug to ensure all is well. They are normally a bit loose the first stop, but after things settle down, the straps stay very secure. 

After your adventure ride, these bags are easy to remove and store, or just leave them on the bike. The bottom line here is, I like these saddlebags and recommend them to give your bike some extra hauling capacity.   

Coffee Fix When Moto-Camping in the Wild

I need my coffee in the morning and I want real coffee - not that freeze dried stuff. That is seldom possible when moto-camping, but these little VIA ready brew coffee packs from Starbucks are a good substitute. 

These single serving packets weigh nothing and take up no space in your luggage. But, on a chilly morning they will quickly and easily provide your morning coffee fix. Just heat up some water using a Jet-Boil or similar device and mix the coffee in your cup. The first time, I was a bit skeptical to say the least. I was expecting that freeze-dried taste, but after a sip I was a whole new man and happy that my camping coffee woes were no more.