ROFarts Lost in Utah; The Story

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Day 1: Continuing from our planning thread we all met up at Sand Island near Bluff on Sunday or Monday. We had a fun BS session and get acquainted meeting around a nice fire Monday evening. The weather report was not looking great and sure enough our jump off Tuesday AM started in damp and foggy weather. Our very first stab at hitting the dirt at Butler wash was thwarted by lots of mud and high water. Recent rains and more during the week limited us to mostly pavement and gravel roads. Red clay when it's wet is nearly impossible to drive in and we practice "leave no trace". Next we did the Valley of the Gods loop which was pretty dry being mostly gravel. Then the rains returned in earnest so we headed down to Mexican Hat for a hot meal. Next up was the drive into Goosenecks SP where there is now an entry fee. After admiring the great view we headed up the corkscrewed Moki Dugway. We drove out to Muley Point to find a spot for the night. It was drizzly and windy but Frenchie was prepared with his propane campfire and he rigged up tarps to fend off the rain and wind. Frenchie stirred up another pot of his famous 4x4 goulash with no fish parts. It sure was good on that cold evening. Despite the weather we did get to see a great sunset.

This will be continued after I get my trip notes sorted out. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1446135100.519177.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1446135132.985651.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1446135160.804755.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1446135190.356985.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1446135236.515340.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1446135264.684210.jpg
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The Land Lord
Learning about Expedition Portal

This is Bruce aka SanDiegoBogeyJK. I was in Moab with a group from San Diego called JustRuns. We had been doing Moab trails for 5 days. I was camping in the rain for 3 days at the Willow Flats campground near Island In The Sky/Grand View Overlook when they all decided to go home. I was still wanting to explore the area, so I went down to the Needles District and started up Elephant Hill. It looked too daunting to do alone, so I headed back to the parking lot at the base of the run, and ran into FrenchieXJ and a nice guy named Charles Watson. They invited me to join them on Lockhart Canyon run, a 50 mile run from Hamburger Rock campground (near the Needles section of Canyonland) to Chicken Corners/Harrah Pass. I thought that it was very nice to invite a complete and untested stranger to join them on the run, but I was really wanting to do the run and knew I should not try it alone. I accepted their invitation.

They turned out to be the nicest guys. They gave me a lot of camping and driving tips, but most importantly, they told be about this great website--Expedition Portal.

We all made it through Lockhart Canyon with a lot of spotting and getting out and walking the obstacles. I posted some photos.

They all wanted to go home at the end, but Ace told me of his plans for the remaining trip--to do the San Rafael Bulge. He told me about Swasy's Cabin, the Rock Panel/Rock Art past the San Rafael River, the Wedge Overlook which may also be known as the Little Grand Canyon of Utah. He told me where to get maps, where to camp, etc.

I had a few extra days and a lot of curiosity, so what was started on this planning site by complete strangers to me was finished by me--a stranger to the site and now a new member.

The funny thing was that I had seen them camping at Hamburger Rock before I tried Elephant Hill, and was hesitant to interfere with their camping experience, so I didn't introduce myself. That was a mistake. The major lesson was to always say "Hey!" to fellow explorers--it opened huge doors for me!


Morning Bruce.....
Nice to see your post. I'm still sorting thru my pictures. Will try get them up later today.
It was nice to meet up with you, and hear that you completed what we started.
I have plenty of excuses, but my hats off to you. Do hope to meet up with you someday again along the trail..........CW

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Bruce it was good to meet up with you and wheel together. Real glad to see you "pressed on regardless" and did the Swell area. Regret that I didn't go too but was worried about getting into more mud. Great pictures too, thanks.


Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Day 2: More rain this AM but less windy so after breaking camp we headed out at our normal 9:30. The road was slick and sloppy but we soon were on pavement and more rain helped clean the rigs. Stopped briefly at the Kane Creek Ranger Station to check on road conditions. The book simply said "all bad". Continuing on blacktop we did the tourist thing at Natural Bridges NM. Then we headed east towards Blanding but stopped for a walking tour of Cave Towers Ruin. We set up camp at the north end of Comb Wash at a nice sandy spot under some cottonwoods. Then a young man walks into our camp asking to borrow a shovel. He is surrounded by several 4x4s with winches and he wants a shovel. Frenchie being the good guy sets out to help and Marty joins him. During the rescue Frenchie gets stuck and has to be strapped but after playing in the mud for 30' the hiker is freed and sent home. About now the sun is breaking through the clouds and all the cameras come out to record the spectacle of the sun lighting up Comb Ridge and turning it to gold. Another nice fire and more campfire stories capped the day. Kenda says goodnight

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Day 3: Headed east to Blanding for supplies and a tour of the Edge of Cedars Museum. After a lengthy museum tour we drove north to Monticello where Frenchie took a detour to the towns swimming pool. We did a long climb up into the La Sals (aka the Blues) then dropped down to Newspaper Rock where we had lunch. We had seen a lot of rain that morning which discouraged some of our group so we said goodbye to Mike & Vivian and Marty. The remaining crew; Frenchie, Charlie, Dale & Kent and I headed into Canyonlands Needles District but stopped short of the park and camped at Hamburger Rock. Don't look now but the sun was finally breaking through. All I wanted to do was sit in the sun and soak some heat into my creaking joints. But too late as we got hit by more showers before I could set up camp. We did a potluck supper and built a big warming fire.


2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
great pics and story...
You guys seem like a great group of travelers and I look forward to meeting up on the dirt someday.
Looking forward to more


Expedition Leader
ROF Utah 2015

With a very sharp point of view.

Day -2 (that is day before day- one).
With some finally completed repairs, I was able to get out of town a day early. I needed some rest and used the day early start to get out of town. I was excited to see some of my good friends again. This worked out good with the slow drive to Sand Island campground, Bluff, Utah. I got to camp in time for some great visiting. I do not know who had the gray cloud hanging over their head and brought it with them. The evening started with some light rain on and off, not enough to drown a giraffe, but enough to get his back wet.

It was nice to see Marty again and we had many hours talking over the past and reliving the days gone-by. We did this away from the others so as to not bore them. It was also nice to have a person who can keep up with me in the talking and stories. :chowtime:

We joined the others (Mike, Vivian and Charlie) with our group discussions and more talk of our past trips together. This is what makes the ROF group so special. We can tell the same stories over and over, with our memories they are new stories again! There are a couple who have better memories still. We are working to correct the defect problem in their brain, some are fighting to not loose what they think they need. :campfire:

With the rain drops serenading us to sleep we have a peaceful night. :camping:That is if you discount the animals (giraffe) and noisy truck Jake brakes.

Good night see you tomorrow!

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Nothing to do with this trip but a lot to do with all our trips. Saw this on FB from Expeditioneers and decided to share.

"Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles. While the roads and trails we travel might be rough or technically challenging, they are the means to an end, not the goal itself.

The goal is to see and learn about our world. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant, they too, are simply a means to an end.

History, wildlife, culture, scenery, self-sufficiency - these are the rewards of Overlanding."