Let’s get one thing out of the way. I’m not good at fishing. I have zero desire to deal with a sloppy slimy fish on the end of a line, let alone have to deal with removing a hook out of the slippery sorry bastards mouth. I don’t enjoy the taste or feeling of fresh water fish in my mouth or in my belly. No matter how “perfectly” Sean and Roy cook the god-forsaken thing. I don’t like it, never have, probably never will. I do, however very much enjoy hanging out with friends and shooting the shit. This was one of those weekends, so I buy a stupid fishing license and bring a pole and some hooks.
As usual, the plan is to leave around 2pm. Original campsite destination was a small clearing at Cleveland Reservoir (GPS 39.578408, -111.242685), which is on UT SR-31 about 20 miles up Fairview Canyon somewhere on the border between Sanpete and Emery counties. Maybe ½ mile of dirt roads – Glover was joining us later that afternoon and he’s not exactly fond of riding a Harley in the dirt.
Miraculously we actually left on time. We headed south on the 15, up the 6, and south on the 89. Let’s take a quick break from the ride here for a sec… Right as we got on the 89 we run up behind some mouthbreather in a dumpy old Yukon pulling a trailer with a 330CF acetylene gas cylinder rolling back and forth on the trailer. Part of me wanted to hang back in hopes the tank would roll off and create a beautiful stupendous fireball. No such luck – we passed the guy signaling that he’s got a problem and we continued on. The point here – secure your fucking loads people.
We rolled through Fairview and made our way to Triangle Bar in Mt. Pleasant. This place is pretty small, I don’t really know if it’s the only bar in town, but Mt. Pleasant is small, so I expect it’s really the only watering hole. There’s a little pizza place next door to the Triangle – so while the bar doesn’t serve any food, you can get a pie and bring it in. When you walk into the crusty little hole you notice the typical shitty bar chotsky here and there, and dollar bills all over the place. This is not the first time we’ve taken up time at the ole Triangle – next time you’re there look closely and you’ll see a bunch of Grim Cycles stickers throughout the place. We took it upon ourselves to add to the wall.
The pizza was gross, but we were hungry so we ate it, kicked back a couple beers, and continued on our way – which was really backtracking our way to Fairview. We stopped at the grocery store to grab some provisions and inevitably ran into a few folks we knew. As big as this planet is, we’re all in a pretty small world.
We stock up and head over to meet with the fabulous Mr. Glover. There’s a little ice cream shop in Fairview – so of course, being the pigs we are, we meet Glover there and have ourselves some milkshakes – which is an absolute mistake, especially when we’re headed the opposite direction from the toilet for the next 24 hours. Anywhoooo… We end our glutinous dairy-fest and head over to grab gas and firewood.
Somewhere in the background the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies is playing. I’ve strapped lots of crap to my dyna. This isn’t out of character for me, or my bike.
We head up the 31 and to absolutely no surprise of anybody, we decide to bag the original camp spot and start toward to Millers Flat on FR 0014 (which eventually ends up at Joes Valley Reservoir not really too far away). Apparently the fishing is way better at Millers right now. Whatever. Fishing is lame, and so is catching, and so is eating lake trout.
By the way – Roy and Sean are big into fishing. I’m just talking shit on it because I can.
Not exactly sure if Glover’s Sena was connected to the group, but he sure wasn’t saying much if it was. The ½ mile of dirt quickly turned into about 3 miles of washboard dusty roads, with a fairly decent amount of silty sand mixed with some crappy gravelly spots. Sorry Jon – we really didn’t plan on that.
We get to our spot right at dusk and start setting up camp.
This is a decent spot, plenty of flat area in the trees. Glover may have scored the best spot on the mountain. We’re not far off the road – maybe 50 yards, but it’s late and we’re out on a pretty remote mountain road. The staple motocamping setup is a small backpacking tent, blowup sleeping pad, and our trusty Helinox backpacking camp chair. Glover doesn't have one of these little guys - I told him I would bring one for him next time - and I will. You can get your own Helinox chair on Amazon - click here. They are kinda pricey but worth the money.
Plenty of shenanigans went down, but none are worthy of telling the world about.
Around 7am we’re awaken by what sounds like a trucks carrying a million pounds of loosely packed windchimes and gongs rolling through our campsite, again and again, for about 15 minutes. Being that it’s freezing cold, nobody really got up to see what the god-forsaken noise was.
Around 8am we wake up to this
Tens of thousands of sheep. Yes, now there’s sheep walking through our camp for a good 30 minutes – and there’s precisely zero chance of going back to sleep after this shitshow, so we get up.
The Jetboil Java Flash is a life saver on mornings like this. If you don't already have a Jetboil, get one here.
Buy one of these. Trust me, you need it.
This camp spot is at just under 9,000 feet elevation, so even with the sun up, it’s a balmy 28 degrees for a couple minutes...
I succumb to the fishing thing and we head down to the lake. Glover took a detour and found a shitter about 5 minutes west up the road – so apparently it’s not completely remote up here.
On the south side of the lake there is a natural spring that pops out of the dirt. We set up shop next to the spring (GPS 39.539561, -111.243535).
Roy “caught” the biggest fish, but alas, it escaped him. Between the 3 of us we landed about 15 pretty decent size trout, kept 5.
All good things must come to an end, so we head back to camp and cook these disgusting creatures. Sean and Roy are seemingly orgasmic eating the fish. I am not, and Glover is a vegetarian, so.. .yeah.
We break camp and head down the 14 to make our way back to the highway.
I’ve been running adventure bags on my dyna for a while and they have proved to be a decent backup plan for a kickstand.
Millers Flat is really not too far from home so it’s a quick gas stop and time to head home.
Merging from hwy6 to I-15 north, according to Utah County’s finest assholes, my lane changes are “concerning” so I get pulled over and of course I don’t get a ticket – that’s called the Power of Positive Thinking, and I use it to avoid tickets, and eating lake trout.
See you on the next run...