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  • J.F. Rowan

Heading to John Jarvie Historic Ranch

The John Jarvie Historic Ranch located on the Green River, is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

It was a super boon-dock camp experience at Ashley National Forest. Even with a couple of nights where the temps got down to 23 and 24 degrees, we hated to leave. But, time again for laundry, showers and supplies, so we broke camp and headed north.

A quick stop in the center of Dutch John (still in Utah) at a private RV park, showers and laundry were accomplished. But wait, what the heck? As I walked around the back of the trailer, I noticed one of the bikes was hanging precariously by a thread. One of the clamp/arms that secured my bike had completely snapped off at the weld point and was nowhere to be seen. The only thing holding the bike on was a small plastic strap that held the rear tire in place.

This is an example of when the arm clamp is present, and working. The other one is missing.

And this is what happens when a bad weld decides it's time to fail. Somewhere a few miles back is a clamp arm, usesless even if I could find it.

The clamp arm now missing, zip ties and a rescued piece of wood came in handy for securing the load until we could get somewhere for parts or a new rack.

If it was to be repaired, it would require parts that in total, would exceed the cost of an entire new rack. We had to get somewhere and figure what to do, but we were miles from anywhere where I could feasibly accomplish a repair, let alone order parts.

So, I took out my supply of zip ties, fashioned a stabilizer bar out of an old board I found and secured the bike as best I could. It worked great and got us all the way to Indian Crossing BLM Camp Ground, near the John Jarvie Historic Site located on the Green River about 28 miles northeast of Dutch John. To add to the challenge, getting there we traveled over about 15 miles worth of washboard ridden dirt roads. Sometimes we had to slow to about 4mph just to keep the cabinets from exploding off the walls of the Tiger. Even the 2-mile entrance to the campground was riddled with washboard and potholes. It was no wonder we were almost the only campers at this site.

Tucking in at the end of a long day. Our consolation was a great sunset and cold cocktails.

(click on photos)

The Green River. Quite high due to rapid snow melt, flow was about 8000 cubic feet per second. You can see Yvette leaning back slightly while she's taking a photo because staring at the water long enough can make you a bit wobbly.

We took a few days off to explore the historic site and to do some small repairs. The John Jarvie Historic Site was interesting, having been the hideout for Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and other outlaws. We found that even though it was officially closed on the day we went to explore it, we found a volunteer who was more than willing to give us a personal tour of some of the more fascinating aspects of the site. It was one of those great moments of both learning how pioneers survived and renewing our appreciation of the conveniences of the modern world.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

The Green River flows through an area of Utah called The Flaming Gorge. Simply spectacular. The river itself was at a record high level where we were, just downstream from the Dutch John Dam. The height of the water, plus a flow rate of 8500cfm, made for some interesting views of the water near our campsite.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Warm days and cool nights made our stay comfortable, but it was time to move on. I rigged the bikes using some wood and zip-ties to keep the two bikes as stable as possible. We planned to head to Steam Boat Springs in Colorado to see about our options regarding our bike rack. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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