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-   -   The Plateau Posse... (http://www.expeditionexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1187)

montanablur May 10th, 2008 11:23 PM

The Plateau Posse...
So, I've been waiting on the rest of the gang to show up for three days, stuck in Southern Utah. I thought I would go out and see some of the sights... Here are my camps from the previous three nights...

Lake Powell

Canyonlands National Park-up over there... You can actually make out the point I am on in the next photo, right hand side two thirds of the way up you will see a faint plateau on the horizon.

Canyonlands National Park-down over this way

Heading down to do the Mormon Emigrant Trail tomorrow, I should be able to update by Thursday. I will also have all the shots posted up in the adventures section of Expedition Exchange, if Ho and John let me.

traveltoad May 11th, 2008 07:26 AM

I look forward to it!

DCWhybrew May 11th, 2008 01:56 PM

Great photos. I look forward to viewing the photos from the trip. I think the desert is prettiest when it rains, the contrast from the clouds and sunlight is incredible, makes the desert colors pop out.

montanablur May 22nd, 2008 09:17 AM

Part I

The crew met up in Moab and headed South to the Mormon Emigrant Trail.

We rolled into a canyon camp under a blanket of stars.

The nice canyon driving wasn't going to last long.

Within a quarter mile of leaving camp the winch was out.

Within a mile Steve pulled his drive shaft to diagnose an ungodly noise. This about the time Nick's electrical nightmare took hold.

Not long after getting back on the trail and watching the weather move in, Rob lost a rear shock. The wind had to be blowing at 40 knots...

By the time we reached the crux of the trail the wind had subsided and rain took it's place.

Normally I wouldn't post a photo like this based on it being technically horrid, but I felt it illustrated what we were up against. The rain was coming down good at this point and it was getting dark, that photo was shot at 400 iso @ 80th to give you an idea. The trail was originally cut into the wall by Mormon pioneers for the width of a wagon, which by all accounts isn't much wider than a horses ass. Steve's rear tire is on the edge of that cliff in soft, wet sand. This is the last picture I took that day as I needed to be winched through that point and things just got worst as we camped at the next wide spot. I think Rob has pictures of the beginnings of a flash flood that traveled through our camp that night.

After a long night being battered by wind and rain we waited out the storm and headed out.

The rain had changed some of the obstacles for the better. This crack was filled in with close to 8 inches of sand making it infinitly easier.

hochung May 22nd, 2008 09:40 AM


montanablur May 22nd, 2008 09:53 AM

Part II

Looking out over Cedar Mesa towards Monument Valley on our way to meet Marc.

We enjoyed a beautiful night under the stars in the Cheesebox area.

This is why you always, always have a filter covering your glass. A $70 new filter vs. a $1500 new lens.

Lake Powell.

Rob replaces his shock with one Marc brought down with him.

On to Nick's truck, who blew out a front shock on the way to the lake. Marc engineers a front Fox 12" travel shock out of a spare rear OME shock.

While the mad scientists re-engineered suspension components and rewired a fuel pump, Rob and I cut cord to length. We had all of our rear doors tied down because of the wind.

A lot of this...

To get to some of this...

Marc... Handy with a sling...

The sunsets were just awful this time around...

Chef Marc prepping his should-be-famous beef stew.

When you can smell it, its done...

A day rebuilding a drive shaft. It seems a rock or something was flung up into the CV and bent the balls cup causing all sorts of problems. Marc also spent a goo dpart of the day re-wiring Nick's truck, again.

Steve threw down the Korean BBQ for a sweet sunset meal that left all of us rolling in gluttony.

montanablur May 22nd, 2008 10:19 AM

Part III

Nothing like a hot shower to get your day going right. Yep, you heard me right, hot shower. Marc will never cease to amaze and bewilder us common minded folks.

The Rob in his natural element. Anyone that has been out overnight with The Rob will appreciate this.

We saw three of these signs on our way into the Black Hole...

Lunch break in a massive amphitheater.

Frogs were all over the place as we reached the water.

The Rob drops into a crystal clear pool of water in a corkscrew maze of sandstone.

The Black Hole

Deeper into the Black Hole.

The salmon that The Rob brought was gobbled up pretty quick after 6 miles through the Black Hole.

Our last morning together as a group. You can see the La Sal mountains between the trucks on the horizon and the Abajo mountains on the far right of frame. Those mountains are 60 miles apart and we are 90 miles west of the La Sals at 9000 feet.

johnlee May 22nd, 2008 10:36 AM

Holy shit.

Those pics are awesome.

traveltoad May 22nd, 2008 11:07 AM


That's it.... wow.

mtnrovr May 22nd, 2008 11:14 AM

Thanks Sinuhe. That was a great post!

montanablur May 22nd, 2008 12:26 PM

I'm glad you guys are digging the post. This is just a few of the images, I will have all the images posted in the adventure section soon and hopefully when Steve, Marc, Rob and Nick get back they will post up their perspectives.

So... This being our last morning together, I thought why not go and get good and stuck before anyone has a chance to finish their morning coffee. This was a good lesson for me and never under estimating the pull of gravity. It looked like a simple snow crossing, we walked it first poking the snow and looking for any hidden obstacles. Again, it looked straightforward, stay high and plow through the snow nice and slow, which was fine until I tried to back up to give another push with some momentum. The melting snow had caused the edge of the road to get real soupy and soft. My rear tire was sinking quickly. I'd be a liar if I didn't say I was nervous.

Marc immediately took charge of the recovery orchestrating 3 winches. Steve's truck was anchored to a 36" tree and Marc was anchored to Rob's truck. Marc's truck was attached to my rear recovery point, Steve's truck was attached to my roof rack just for stability by way of a pulley system, my winch went to a tree at my 10 o'clock.

Once the lines were set Marc called out the commands, slowly pulling my truck up and away from the edge and back towards safety.

We left Marc and headed West over the Henry Mountains, the last mountain range in the lower 48 to be mapped, also home to 500 free range Bison... That we did not see.

Capitol Reef.

We rolled into Boulder and checked into Poles Place Motel. The lady that runs the place is a total nut case, but a good second choice if the Boulder mountain Lodge is full. We went to Hells Back Bone Grill for dinner, where I caught up with some old friends and ate locally raised NY strip.

The next day we lost Steve to Salt Lake City, he needed to fix his drive shaft proper. The Rob and I headed West through Zion to Hurricane where we replaced The Rob's fan clutch and ate some great Mexican food at Lupita's. Mmmm Lupita's. With the cooling issue resolved we headed back towards Zion for our last night of the trip.

...And that is how I spent my 14 days in the desert.

JSQ May 22nd, 2008 01:13 PM

I think the travelogue bar just got raised a number of notches.

johnlee May 22nd, 2008 01:35 PM

Big time.

hanchung May 22nd, 2008 02:38 PM

great pics. thanks for sharing.

dchapman May 22nd, 2008 07:11 PM


Love the Busch Light pic. 2nd best to Natural Light, of course.

greghirst May 22nd, 2008 10:30 PM

Outstanding pics, Sinuhe!

The Doc Bronner and Dove pic cracked me up. My wife uses both as well.

Nadir_E May 23rd, 2008 08:46 AM

Thanks for the inspiring trip report, Sinuhe! Beautiful pictures! Between the trail challenges, weather challenges, and vehicule challenges I'm guessing that's a trip you'd remember all your life even if it hadn't been breathtakingly beautiful!

johnlee May 23rd, 2008 05:08 PM

You guys are bad ass.

One looks at this pic of the Korean BBQ:

It's Korean BBQ. That's cool. Not a huge deal. Just cool.

But I think the last thing that would come to mind when looking at the photo above is that it's the work of a caucasoid:

No Rolex or nothing. Just a caucasoid. But a caucasoid cooking Korean BBQ in the field. That's sweet.

benlittle May 23rd, 2008 05:42 PM

Very cool:gee:

johnlee May 23rd, 2008 05:58 PM

Sinuhe, if you're willing to share some trade secrets, I was wondering how you achieved some effects in your pics.

First is, how do you get that ethereal look in these pics?:

The figures look almost transparent. The boys remind of Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Obi Wan at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Second, how did you get the coals to glow like this?:

The glow is really intense. That looks like some Kryptonite shit.

Steve Rupp May 23rd, 2008 05:59 PM

I totally need to get out of the truck a little more and run around like Sinuhe.

Steve Rupp May 23rd, 2008 06:04 PM

good luck with that one John. I think you guys will have to come out with us to get tips like that. :D

montanablur May 23rd, 2008 06:17 PM


They are all long exposures. No trickery. I didn't use a timer and just walked into the frame about midway giving me a ghost like feel.

The coals look that intense because I'm actually exposing for the coals not it's surroundings. It was shot just after twilight so there was a fair bit of ambient light available. To the eye the coals looked gray as they always do.

That caucasoid didn't just do Korean BBQ, he did it well.

johnlee May 23rd, 2008 07:26 PM

Steve, I'm not bad ass enough for these runs. That canyonero stuff looks tough. Please send your pics to Ho. I'm eager to see the rest.

Sinuhe, thanks for the explanation. Also, I'm digging the pith helmet.

montanablur May 23rd, 2008 08:00 PM

Yeah, I was in the shop when I asked about them, then seeing one in Aaron's thread I had to have one... It's a good desert lid and provided some unexpected protection on the bumpy Hole In The Rock Trail..

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