circling horseshoe/millard via bike and packraft

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3 day solo trip from mid March, 2015. 175 miles of mostly dirt roads; some well known to BP readers, others nearly extinct. I also encountered a section of difficult moto track at the north end. The packraft portions were merely river crossings from one road head to another. As is usual with these off-the-chart river activities the tamarisks posed the greatest challenge.

Upon arrival at Hans Flat ranger station I learned the Flint trail was closed due to snow. They did not, however, have a problem with me pushing my bike down. On previous occasions involving Elephant Hill and the Schafer Trail rangers have turned me back from biking on closed roads. Overall I find the long time Maze rangers a chill and laid back bunch compared to the rest of CANY.

Water on this loop worked out pretty good. I was equipped to deal with silty river water, but didn't have to. Recent snow followed by warmer conditions had filled potholes; that plus a few small springs provided what I needed. In drier times the only reliable sources would be the river, the springs near the Great Gallery (4 mile round trip hike) and the springs below the Maze Overlook (3 mile round trip hike).

Met @steve on the last tiring miles. His friend offered me an ice cold Odwalla smoothie from their leftover White Rim supplies. Won't forget the taste of that one!

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Lonely roads

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Interesting riding

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Going with the flow. My wife's Alpacka Yukon Yak, technically a little too small for me but ounces lighter than my Llama.

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On the west rim of Horseshoe Canyon. My old Integral Designs solo shelter held up with parts of a paddle.

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Getting the last minute beta from our friends at Hans Flat

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Laying down first wheel tracks on the Flint Trail.

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Stocking up on solid water before dropping below snow level. Bagpipe and Elaterite Butte in the background.

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Maze Overlook

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not much going on between Ekker and Millard Bottom. A favorite place of mine to bike. Buttes of the Cross behind.

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#5
"On previous occasions involving Elephant Hill and the Schafer Trail rangers have turned me back from biking on closed roads. Overall I find the long time Maze rangers a chill and laid back bunch compared to the rest of CANY."

In my 38 years of visiting the Maze I have found this to be true. Probably has to do with what you went through to get to the ranger station.
 
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#6
Great report. I though you had packed a big jug of milk when I saw that one pic of your white container.
 

slc_dan

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#8
I love the length and difficulty of your trips. You are really able to push why going light is so important.
 
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Thanks everyone for reading this report, although being bike powered, obviously is a bit outside the norm of the activities pursued here.

Going light and solo in one's local area is definitely easier. Long term planning and strict adherence to those plans, rain or shine, are unnecessary. I typically avoid inclement weather, and its associated need for more substantial equipment, by simply waiting for the next weekend. Forecasts are also generally reliable for the short trips I do.

With extensive local knowledge there's seldom really big environmental surprises looming out there, of the sort that can turn trips around to full-on survival events. Again this allow me to eliminate certain gear or big water loads, and take a few chances without risking life and limb.
 
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#10
When we ran into you and you said you covered 175 miles in 3 days I thought I heard you wrong. I can't get over the intensity of your adventures. I definitely won't be re-creating this one!

I couldn't believe what fantastic shape you were in either. You look like you could run a marathon in under 3 hours.

Keep the bike stuff coming, I love all sorts of backcountry adventures.
 

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