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Grand Adventure

Video TR: Utah West Desert - wild horses & Pony Express Trail

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I headed out to explore Utah's West Desert this past weekend with my buddy Bob, and aside from a flat tire (!) we couldn't have been more pleased with the weekend. 

The West Desert comprises a lonely series of mountain ranges and extraordinarily flat valleys, stretching from the Wasatch Front to the Nevada border. It's home to such curiosities as the original Pony Express route, a herd of wild horses, and the military's Utah Test & Training Range. We found and filmed the herd, explored a preserved Pony Express station at Simpson Springs, and checked out the Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge. 

There's no shortage of camping opportunities out there on BLM land. We found a cozy spot nestled among the junipers at the foot of the Sheeprock Mountains. For those insisting upon a marked site, there's a small primitive BLM campground at Simpson Springs that offers pit toilets, water, fire rings and picnic tables.

Here's our video from the weekend:

 

Edited by Grand Adventure

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Wow, this video made me sick!  Sick that I'm still stuck in ND!  We lived in Aridzona and New Mexico for 12 years.  My job, military at the time, and now my wife's job, civil service for the military has kept us away from the desert for way too long.  When my better half retires within a couple years, we are going to head back there, atleast for the winters.  We both miss the beauty of the desert south west.  If ya want hot, stay at lower elevations, if it's too hot, 1 hour drive and your up in the cool pine forests.  Loved watching the wild horses, desert deer/sheep, etc.  Bears in the upper elevations, elk, deer, etc.  Mostly miss southern NM the most but it is all sooooo much better than 6 months of below freezing, several months below zero.  Man, I miss the desert something fierce!!

 

Thanks for the video, made me seriously homesick for the desert.

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6 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Wow, this video made me sick!  Sick that I'm still stuck in ND!  We lived in Aridzona and New Mexico for 12 years.  My job, military at the time, and now my wife's job, civil service for the military has kept us away from the desert for way too long.  When my better half retires within a couple years, we are going to head back there, atleast for the winters.  We both miss the beauty of the desert south west.  If ya want hot, stay at lower elevations, if it's too hot, 1 hour drive and your up in the cool pine forests.  Loved watching the wild horses, desert deer/sheep, etc.  Bears in the upper elevations, elk, deer, etc.  Mostly miss southern NM the most but it is all sooooo much better than 6 months of below freezing, several months below zero.  Man, I miss the desert something fierce!!

 

Thanks for the video, made me seriously homesick for the desert.

What a great reply! Thanks, NDBirdman! Ironically, I've never seen the Dakotas but would love to.

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16 hours ago, Grand Adventure said:

What a great reply! Thanks, NDBirdman! Ironically, I've never seen the Dakotas but would love to.

Thanks!  Norf Dakoota is gorgeous.... summers and maybe 2 weeks in the fall.  South-West, mostly around Medora and the park area is really a must see.  The rest... well, just imagine a big open prairie with homesteads/small towns scattered about, it is all the same.

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33 minutes ago, NDBirdman said:

Thanks!  Norf Dakoota is gorgeous.... summers and maybe 2 weeks in the fall.  South-West, mostly around Medora and the park area is really a must see.  The rest... well, just imagine a big open prairie with homesteads/small towns scattered about, it is all the same.

Still on my list, despite your attempt to convince me otherwise. ;)

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Marc- we've spoken before via email. You go to all the places I want to go to! Lots of them I've been to in Utah years ago. I just wanted to tell you about our trip back in the 70s out to the west desert just like you guys went to! We went to Ibapah, if I remember correctly, and then just turned west and headed straight out into the desert. No road, no nothing. Three trucks- one with a camper to serve as our cookhouse, and two more just for us to ride in. We slept in sleeping bags. We went to Fish Springs, but I can't remember if that was before we headed into nowhere or after. I think before. Really, really appreciate your videos, and as I have said before, I will be looking you up when I return to Utah! Thanks again!

Edited by RangeMaggotBob

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6 hours ago, RangeMaggotBob said:

Marc- we've spoken before via email. You go to all the places I want to go to! Lots of them I've been to in Utah years ago. I just wanted to tell you about our trip back in the 70s out to the west desert just like you guys went to! We went to Ibapah, if I remember correctly, and then just turned west and headed straight out into the desert. No road, no nothing. Three trucks- one with a camper to serve as our cookhouse, and two more just for us to ride in. We slept in sleeping bags. We went to Fish Springs, but I can't remember if that was before we headed into nowhere or after. I think before. Really, really appreciate your videos, and as I have said before, I will be looking you up when I return to Utah! Thanks again!

Very cool tale! I don't imagine that places like Ibapah looked any different in the 70s than they do today. The Deep Creek Mountains that rise to nearly 12,000 feet do so on the doorstep of Ibapah, and they've been on my radar for many years now.

I'm looking forward to meeting someday. If it's this summer, though, you'll likely be catching up with us somewhere other than Utah. My career has been lacking as of late, and three days ago I walked into the office and submitted my resignation. My wife, the dogs and I are going to wander around the western U.S. with the RV for a few months while I figure out what I want to be when I finally grow up. We're looking to hit the road in early June, and we'll be uploading frequent videos from our route -- wherever that may be.

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