What made this trip extra special was that Dr. Rock and LDF of Mobius Trip were going to be there doing some riding. I had read their great Advrider reports, and was looking forward to meeting them.
My first visit to 3 Step Hideaway was in 2013, when I drove out to look the place over and spend some time getting to know the owners, Scott and Julie Stevenson. I had a great visit and made plans to return. This report is from
my October 2014 trip. For this visit I took my DR650 with me so I could get in some riding, and take more time to explore the area.
My drive from Northern Colorado to La Sal Utah is about 450 miles, and by the time I got close to 3 Step, I came across 3 riders on Lisbon Valley Rd. It was Dingweeds (Scott), LDF (Francine) and Dr. Rock (David) trying to get back before the last rays of sunlight ended. We all arrived just in time for Supper. Scott and Julie made a wonderful meal and we all sat around and chatted before calling it a day.
As usual, the morning sunrise was spectacular. The cool dry air, combined with the prospect of a fresh made breakfast makes for a great start to the day.
Scott, David and Francine had gone on a long ride the day before, so they decided to stick around 3 Step and do some mods to their bikes and relax.
I had been wanting to do a section of Long Canyon near Moab, and it was a perfect day for a leisurely solo ride.
On the way out, I stopped for this photo op next to the 3 Step entrance sign.
On the way up to Moab, I decided to stop at the famous Hole in The Rock. I had ridden past it a number of times of my trips to Utah, but had never stopped to see what was there. It was already getting warm and I figured something cold was in order.
It was pretty interesting. It had a small petting zoo, a few motel rooms and of course a restroom! I had seen photos of this one-of-a-kind "Jeep", and had to admit that the design work was pretty impressive. The Hole in The Rock and this Jeep was featured in a scene from the latest "Transformers" movie with Mark Walberg.
It's never too early for good ice cream, and the lady in the store seemed to like me, so she gave me the last of the fresh Strawberry. Adventure riding energy food with a perfect balance of sugar, fat and....more fat. Yummy!
I zipped through downtown Moab and headed out 279 towards Potash Rd. I was looking for The Jug Handle Arch which was the turning point into Long Canyon.
Even though I had taken this route a dozen times in the past, I had to stop and take pictures of the fantastic
canyon walls. The colors and textures remind me of a stone canvas painted by mystical hands. Simply Amazing!
After missing the turn off, I circled back and found the beginning of the trail into Long Canyon. I have ridden most of the roads and trails in this section, but had never done the cross over to where the trail connects to 313 and into Canyonlands National Park.
After several miles of spectacular scenery, the canyon road begins to climb higher and higher. Each new turn in the road presented views more spectacular than the last. The weather was perfect and the lighting was at it's best for showing the depth and details of the canyon.
I got to let Bailey out from her job of keeping watch over the chicken pen, and then I gathered some fresh eggs for breakfast. If you enjoy real home cooked meals, this is the place!
This section of road was nice and wide, with small rocks and patches of deep sand. The further in I rode, the better the scenery.
Like most of Southern Utah, there were dozens of neat rock formations all along the trail. Lots of photo ops to stop for and enjoy the view.
The scenery was overwhelming and the need to stop and take lots of pictures kept the riding pace nice and slow. This was a photo ride, so I was in no hurry. Just taking it all in!
The famous fallen rock. I stopped wherever I wanted, as I only saw one vehicle going through the canyon, and he was a ranger of some kind.
Dead silence in a beautiful remote area....perfect!
The next section was fun to ride as it involved going uphill in very loose sand and rock, and making a sharp lefthand uphill climb. Fun!
The road leads to this overlook at Pucker Pass. The ride up is fun, and the views are some of the best in the area. This is looking Northeast towards Arches National Park.
People that know me would tell you that I love heights! Not in a reckless way, but in a shuffling up to the edge way. I'm not a base jumping kind of guy, but I can understand the attraction of taking that big step into open space... with a parachute of course!
I then finished the ride over to 313 where it connects to the entry to Canyonlands National Park. My goal was to take a ride down Schaffer Trail. I have ridden the trail a number of times in both directions, but was always with other riders who were usually in too much of a hurry to really enjoy the scenery.
I am an artist by profession, and I tend to see things on a much deeper level than the average rider that is just passing through. I see not only the colors and textures, but I think about how much effort nature put into sculpting one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
For those of you that have been here, you know how spectacular this area can be. On this ride I noticed how the Park Service has widened and improved the road to where even a family in their minivan can make it's way slowly down and across to Potash Road. I guess that's good, but it seems to me that it takes away that little bit of mystery for us adventure riders about the challenges this ride used to present.
While the photos don't show it, there were dozens of family filled vehicles up and down the trail. I almost felt out of place, as I only saw two other motorcycles on the off road portion of my ride. Maybe the other riders were elsewhere, looking for less traffic, less people, and more adventure?
I doubled back, and as much as I didn't want to, I took the main highway back to 3 Step. I was looking forward to tomorrows ride with Dingweeds, Dr. Rock and LDF, and I didn't want to miss out on supper and Julie's great cooking.
The ride back was relaxed, with my head filled with all the images of the things I had seen and done.
And when I arrived, Sweet Bailey was there to greet me. The end to a perfect day!!