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2014 Flying Monkey Adventure Rally - Zion, UT

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Each summer now for about 4 or 5 years (?), Jesse Kimball has organized this event he calls the "Flying Monkey Adventure Rally."  I never knew where that name came from until this last time.  Apparently, the first one was held near this old military testing facility that had rocket sleds where they'd put a monkey in a flight seat and blast it off to see if he survived the g-forces.  I guess the staff of the facility named the area the "flying monkey" test range or something and it just stuck.

 

The location of the event has since been moved to the wonderful Ponderosa Ranch Resort just east of Zion National Park.  Really nice place where you can camp for something like $10/night.  Hot showers, jacuzzi, laundry, wi-fi, restaurant, etc...

 

My first FMAR I was still learning how to ride the big bike and I was amazed at how big bike friendly all the trails were.  It's like a GS rider paradise.

 

Here's a pretty basic video of my first FMAR

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Don't get me wrong, I do support our NPS employees but Zion has some of the worst.  The most direct way to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is through Zion National Park and they essentially make it a toll road since we were just riding through and not even stopping.  Coming back through the next day, they zapped me for my pillion since I had come through solo the day before!  Then Zach turned left down this road so I followed him.  A tour bus driver motioned at me to turn around and then Zach stopped and said "I think we're not supposed to be here; we need to turn around."  So you know what we did?  No, we didn't continue riding down the road, ripping up dirt trails, littering and starting wild fires.  We TURNED AROUND.  On the way out this tour bus driver scolds us by getting on his PA system for his passengers saying "let's show these motorcyclists what we think of them riding in a restricted area" and then gives me the "thumbs down" sign.  It's funny because my middle finger on my left hand just LEAPT up from my grip at that same time!  So were now exiting the restricted area and pass the lodge where I see this ranger SUV pull a u turn and turn on their lights.  At that point I was PISSED OFF!  Who T.F. are these nazis?  They're probably going to tase me because we took a wrong turn!  Luckily the SUV was not coming after us so we got away without any trouble.

 

Easily the highlight of the event, an overlook at Toroweap on the north rim of the Grand Canyon

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Great "illegal" views of Zion on the way back

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