Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zion National Park

I am happy to say that me and my wife got some much needed time for ourselves and with nay options to go escape in the wonderful state of Utah, we found ourselves heading down south Friday morning. Destination was Zion but we stopped in St. George to see some sights and then headed for our Gooseberry bike ride. When we got down off the mesa it was dark and we found our hotel and might I say I was absolutely loving the leisurely time management we were on. After getting shortly settled we were off to the Bit N Spur restaurant down the road and had extremely good meal. Chile Verde with lots of chips and salsa to fill me up proper. It was almost 10pm by the time we were done and the place was a ghost town so we tucked in for the night. The next morning I awoke and anxiously peeked out the window and found towering magnificent cliffs. It was a sight to be seen let me tell you, Zion is a very very special place and if you are reading this do everything you absolutely can to go see it on the off season and enjoy the crap out of it. Had a solid breakfast at the hotel free buffet, I guess I like waffles now. With a full belly we headed out in the car up the road and took a few stops to explore off the road.

 Our first destination was outside of Zion at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. When I arrived I must say it was way cooler than I expected. A pretty big are of dunes and we took our shoes off and played int he sand for an hour.

After some time playing we were back in that car to hit one of two hikes planned for that day. We caught the shuttle going up the Canyon since they don't allow cars, I must admit it was tranquil as the bus rolled up the canyon giving us our history lesson. We got off and started a walk to Emerald Pools.  Since we had most the morning to ourselves we were now in the park with many other people which kind of buzz killed but I was enjoying it none the less. We made it to the lower pool and decided to go to the upper, it was a nice hike but somewhat un impressive. 

Down the way on the canyon shuttle we stopped at the car to have a bite, I was surprised to feel not very ambitious for the last hike for some reason, I was tired. I was fighting a cold since Friday and I was a little worn out I guess. Luckily my sweet lady got me off my butt and we started our walk up the Watchman trail. This was an awesome trail, completely different feel and jus a ton of awesome! It was so good I didn't want it to end. The light became pretty awesome on the way up and Zions true glory was in full view and looking beautiful. We took a bit up on the top once we ran out of trail, it is a moment in my life I will not ever forget, I was so happy to be there with my lovely wife together taking it all in.

I was sad it was our last evening but we had one last great dinner and then headed in the morning .

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Goosey Goose Friday

We arrived in Zion with enough time for the planned ride that evening at Goosebury. Goosebury Mesa is a very popular trails out on top of a mesa between St. George and Zion. While we geared up a truck full of polygamist were screwing around in the parking lot, reminding me of how those idiots live in our state. Off we went on the trail, my wife has been off the bike about a year now and off a mountin bike trail for probably 5 years. So she was a trooper on the white trail, it was pretty friendly but not as much as I though it was. She did so great though, we did not make it to the outlook but we did find the rim and found a rock and watched the sunset over Zion which was absolutely spectacular! what a way to start our weekend getaway in Zion!

Corner Canyon Friday

We got Grandma to watch the kiddo for the weekend so me and LuAnn could get some much needed time together. We both love this beautiful state and we decided we have not spent enough time in Zion National Park. Bur before we could et off in the morning this guy went over to Corner Canyon for a pre dawn ride. Enjoying the suspension on the downhills lately but made the switch back to the Belltown and was good with that. As I began to ride my legs felt like dead weight, they felt lifeless. Not use to this feeling but I kept on and they warmed right up just fine after a few minutes thankfully. Not knowing what route to take I ended up on the shoreline going up and did a loop on the potato hills. Came across another rider in the dark and greeted each other and was nice to know I was not the only one out there. As I rode over Ann's I saw 4 more lights down the trails, another nice sign when your out riding solo in the mountain. At the top of Rush I got down just fine as light began to show and then over to rattler where I ended it an at the car after 90 minutes.

Park City Monday

Oh my goodness I got up for another Park City ride, it started in the darkness ofcourse, I found Jenni's trail and headed up. As I rode up I was stirring up memories of my first winter after moving to Utah. My first pass was at Park City so it always has great memories. Climbing up Jenni's it took forever to make it to the mine where I made an error searching for a trail and found myself on double track and then found single track. It happened to be a trail called two steps and it went up so I was fine with that. After many switchbacks and an incredible morning glow from the sun rise treating me on the way up I was at the yurt and out of time and needed to descend. Down Mojave and then over Mid Mountain and I came around a corner and caught a momma moose and her calf drinking 20 ft away on a streambed and we both crapped ourselves. I reacted with as fast of pedaling as I could and may have said a few explicit words before we both went our ways and I was in safety. I have seen so many moose this year its crazy, I think about 10 so far. I made my way to Spiro and get on down. I was a little disapointed in the way down, it was real choppy and worn out. None the less it was a great ride down to the car and another great start to a day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birthday Monday

Well it had to happen sometime, I hit 30, we did some stuff that day and Dad was off in the evening for a ride and had 2 hours to burn so off I went to Corner Canyon Trails. Armed with a fresh drivetrain on the Tanuki I was hoping to really rip down some trail. The legs felt like crap, I guess some kind of thing with being 30, they just had no life in them, but that did not stop me form riding. I Took shoreline trail Ann's trail and found it pretty secluded compared to the main trails. I love that trail, mostly climbing it from the city. I arrived at the summit TH expecting more time but I did not so it was a straight forward descent, turned metallica on and really tried to run down a fast run. Too bad my gears were skipping like made so I was not bale to run as fast as I would have liked but it was still impressive as I placed 75 out of 2271 riders, I could definitely knock it down a few numbers on the next run. Man another good ride, temperatures have been stable here in Salt Lake, it looks like plenty more riding before we get shut down, loving it!

Satruday at Park City Mountain Resort

Man I wish I had more time to ride Park City so I got off on another morning adventure. Arriving at the resort base at 6am I had the light running as I found my way to Armstrong trail, a trail I have not ridden. It is known as a friendly climbing trail that is newish to the trail system, it offers a good climb with good views. It was pretty straight forward as I climbed past lifts and found it to be a very nice grade and enjoyed the crap out of it as I arrived at the intersection of Pine Cone Ridge which was a trail I rode last Saturday. I knew it was a 50 minute long trail which would give me unlimited options from the top for a long long descent but I was on a time frame and decided I would explore the lower trails without making my way to the top of the mountain. I strolled along mid mountain enjoying the first light hitting the golden leafed aspen trees, for those who have not seen before, it is absolutely magical! I made my way t my next intersection and climbed Crescent Mine Grade trail. I had to check my phone a lot more than I would like since there are plenty of trails in the area and Park City has done an absolute great job of adding to them over the years. Hit a fire road and made my way to a trail I never heard of called Mojave where I would finally point the bike downhill and rip. Having no suspension on choppy heavily used trails was terrible, reminding me to ride suspension where it counts. Most the way down I was feeling good until the front tire went soft, I remembered the last time I added Stans liquid to it, it has been a long time. I had a patched tube in my pack and opened up the tire off the rim to find a gold ball sized mound of stans hardened into a rubber ball. A strong reminder of maintenance on those tubeless setups is vital to success. Put air in the tube and was so happy it was holding air and I rolled down CMG down to the base with fingers crossed not to pop another tube. This has been the 5th tube this month I have replaced, time to get back setup tubeless proper and stop popping these tubes I hope. Stellar ride for sure, only a few more of those left I think with winter right around the corner, I can't wait to be there in December when I will be riding on snow!