Day Four Riding - Southwest CCW
Miles: 315 miles

It was rather cold when we started and by the time we turned off of US189 we had ridden through some of the smoke created by the wildfires but we felt we should be safe from the fires where we were going. Before we knew it we were at 8500 feet and sitting at McDougal Gap. We had been here in 2004. The road up to the pass and going down the other side is by no means difficult but it is a nice ride. The road is looser gravel especially on the back side so we kept a good distance between us. This road dead-ends into Greys River Road where we headed south. This road is a comparative highway to the other gravel road we were on and we really booked it down the road. We were flying down the road so fast I was worried we would get to the end before we ever had a chance to stop. We ended up stopping on the road along the river where it was right next to the road for a pic. Not much to see but we were enjoying the ride; wide open and great scenery. We made a longer stop once we reached the Tri-Basin Divide. There we overlooked La Barge Meadow and those open expanses. Next we climbed over the Commissary Ridge at 9300 feet and continued a southerly course following Smiths Fork Creek. The creek stop was nothing special but we needed to stop and look around a bit. We were back riding shortly and we broke from the trail to run down to Cookeville for a gas stop. We might have made it to Kemmerer but we were not certain. So, it was not a big inconvenience to drop down the roughly 12 miles each way for a piece of mind. We were back going quickly and climbing the Tunp Range. Somehow we made a wrong turn and couldn’t find the trail that would take us down to Big Spring. I thought I had this route nailed but something in this area causes the GPS to fail. In 2004 before GPS when we relied on maps the same darn thing happened. In the end we made the best of it and found our way around after a couple of mistrials. Once we got to a certain point we tried to route to the specific POI but it didn’t work. So, we just continued to ride and eventually found our way. We found our back to Hams Fork creek and continued south stopping along the creek just as we did in 2004. We rolled past Lake Viva Noughton choosing not stop and rode into Kemmerer for another installment of gasoline. After gassing up we hightailed it up US189 to avoid an incoming storm and over to Fontanelle and up the East side of Fontanelle Reservoir where we stopped at the dam for a look around. Continuing north we rode through the Alkali Draw which is an area of about 17k acres of nothingness but it is also quite scenic. I think the area was covered by water millions of years ago, and now it is a small series of washboard topography with big sagebrush and small wooded shrubs. The trail was a little rough but it was very enjoyable. This truly was the definition of in the middle of nowhere. From the time we left the dam to the Alkali Draw and even beyond I think we saw one truck, and that was it. We continued on with a plan to climb Stewart Point. Despite having a POI when we saw the road up to Ross Butte we thought for sure at was Stewart Point and off we went. It was a nice climb up the hill and somewhat challenging. When we made it to the top we rode over to the northern point and was overlooking the New Fork and Green Rivers just before they converge. It was a great scene just as the sun was setting in the West. Little did we know at the time was that we were on Ross Butte and not Stewart Point. Maybe Stewart Point would have been better but by the time we reached it would have been too dark, so the mistake paid off. We rode back into town the back way from the south and stopped to wash the bikes before heading back to the hotel. We went to the Brewery for a late dinner and a couple of pints. Nice Day!

7-25 Southwest CCW