Thursday, May 28, 2015


     Well the weekly ride was on, rain was in the forecast but I should be able to squeeze one in I kept telling myself, your never far from the car on this ride so it's never a big deal. Pedaling I though I might have some worn legs but with the sun kind of out I was feeling in good spirits. The trails were nice and dry and I headed for my normal loop and came across a trail block. It looked pretty unofficial so I pedaled on and came across another, still not convinced there was any reason for it I got my answer when I finished the trail. No clue what is going on but I would call the city when I got a chance. Heading up the Black Ridge as normal, little wet but riding good, dropped down the backside and right before I hit the road I ran into a large obstacle, a new home being built foundation. I looked for a good way around it but the best way was right along the steep edge with body piercing rebar lurking below. Pretty big Uh Oh on the towns behalf but luckily no workers were there so I got thru in peace. Then pavement to the Juniper loop, and back to the car and a good ride.

Park City

      I have been quite anxious to get into the high country, rain has been an event taking place just about every day, sometime s little and sometime alot! Not complaining one bit, I welcome rain with open arms in our dry climate. With that I was gathering intel that trails were looking good up there and I was planning to head for Park City Resort and then changed my mind and went for Flying Dog  which is just down the road. This was going to be an early morning ride, surprise right! Got my crap together at 5am and was on my way. As some light was in the sky I could see showers around the valley, it was not wet at my house but as I drove thru cottonwood heights I got hit with a downpour that lasted a few minutes. I was worried about where and how much it might have rained last night, I stayed on plan and arrived at Glenwild trails where I would start my ride. Good memories up here for sure as I began my pedal on damp trail. Came across a lot of puddles, the trails were much more wet than I thought. I pedaled on and made my way up the mountain on a truly beautiful wet stormy morning. By the time I dropped down into Glenwild I was pretty worn out, I had a bad head cold that had me far from 100% but it was game time and I had to put out. I had planned to add mileage to make it a 20 but a number of things had me content after the car was in sight. I look forward to riding more trails up in Park City, there is an exciting new trail know as WOW trail thats coming which is exciting. But like all things in Park City, they come with crowds and everyone else trying to get theirs, the one bummer about it but with all the trails I can't complain

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saturday 20

       Saturday I squeezed in a good ride, I was feeling good and wanted to do a 20 miler, little did I know how slow I was going since this last loop but I had plenty gas left. Trails were in good shape and the canyon as very lush and smelly as I climbed up. I was not exactly murdering the trails but was enjoying a good morning before the rain.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tuesday laps

    Originally I planned on not riding this Tuesday since rains came Monday night and was calling for Tuesday morning showers, but when I woke I saw blue skies and the sun and so I brought the bike for a just in case ride. After dropping Landon off I was off with hoped of good conditions. The trail was moist but not leaving marks so I stayed down low and ran the loop I usually finish my rides with. Horse have done a number to the trail, I hate horse owners I'm sorry. I don't blame the horse at all I blame the lazy cowboys and girls. Shitting all over the trail, stomping holes into the trail, I wish they had their own riding zones they was us bikers do. They're unpredictable animals no matter how perfect their riders think they are, they're taken into high traffic areas recklessly. Theres arguments on both sides I understand, but I will never be a fan until I am up in the high wilderness hunting for game. Anyway I cranked out a lap and was going to call it a day but I got more motivate and rode two laps. It was beautiful out, the sun felt so good and warm on my skin, my legs were beat and tired and have been lately. There were wild flowers everywhere and really made quite the ride hence the ride title on strava. Another wet week is going to make rides tough, looks like friday morning might be my last shot for the week.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Monday Adventure ride

      With lots of rain this week I knew I was going to be riding Little Cottonwood Canyon Quarry trail. Other trails simply are not ready so I was trying to figure out a way to add some spice to the ride. I live really close to Dimple Dell Park, a sandy valley with plenty of tire sucking trails and horses. The streambed from Little Cottonwood Canyon flows thru the park, well the remains of it anyway since the population growth water seems to no longer flow thru it due to water demands. Anyway I have been in here once before this winter and it was a nightmare, the trail was really good but at times was very soft like a beach, uphills were impossible, but when it was good it was good. I got on google earth and started hunting around since I knew there was worthy stuff somewhere in there and it might take some recon. Luckily scouting was pretty much enough as I looked at strava segments and intel.
       So I was out the door by 5:45am and riding right from my house, miss that about where I use to live in CT where I would merely pedal across the street. I entered dimple dell and found what I needed, a basic dirt road cover in mulch, it was pretty bland but it was better than trudging down below in sand. The morning was beautiful, the mountains where blanketed with a shelf of clouds glowing in a early morning blue. I was so happy it was not raining but it had the night before so the ground was moist and mulch chips pretty soft at times. The trail went the length of the entire park until it exited on the NE corner where I linked more pavement to Little Cottonwood Canyon and found some trail that linked to the parking lot where I normally park, so far successful with my mapping.
      Now the straight forward ride up the quarry trail, it was still a dark morning with such heavy cloud cover but the canyon was soaked with moisture also reminding me of early CT mornings. There were plenty of bikers out, I was certainly not the only one out getting some. Some endure bros must have forgot to pickup his garbage as he was shredding epic and had to peel off his goggle lens sheet, cool dude..... I took my time on the way down since I was without a tube on my suspension bike, I missed charging it hard but still had fun. It was a nice downhill cruise to link the trail back to dimple dell. Once I hit Dimple Dell I entered a different location and found single track! I hit a few dead ends as it forked but dropped down nervously into valley for a hopefully pleasant ride along the dry streamed. Luckily most was dh so any soft sand was ridable and it was actually really fun ride through the trees and lush valley. I caught myself feeling like I was up in the mountains despite being technically in the desert. Plenty of horse dumps and puddles until the exit but I was all smiles and having a great time. As I exited the park and headed on the main road back home I was really happy with the ride, a good 20 miles and a great start to the week!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Saturday Mehhh

  Saturday morning was looking like it was going to be dry for a part of it, the weather has been wet around here and that's just fine, I am squeezing in rides when I can. This one called for a early wakeup, on trail by 5am I had an ambitious goal of 3 hour ride and lots of miles. That all faded as I climbed up to shoreline south and found soft dirt, I turned around and headed for Rattler and shoreline north. As I rode I realized I would be doing laps and out and backs and wether that was the case or not my heart was leaving the ride. I just didn't feel great, I was happy to be riding but was not in the zone. So I pulled the plug after a short hour of riding and went back home and went back to sleep before the family woke up. Pretty disappointed to have felt this way but I listened to my body and that was probably the right move.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday herriman

Nothing fancy about this ride, it's pretty bland but gets the job done while I get free time with the boy in school. On my last loop I saw something in the trail, before I could do or think anything I already ran it over, it was a snake! I stopped my bike to see if any damage was done to the critter, I approached slow in case of a rattler, he had the markings that said Rattler but upon closer inspection it was a harmless gopher snake, a common snake that gets mistaken for a rattler. He seemed just fine and I hope he goes about the day without an injury and I rode off to close out the loop on very tired legs from setting records the day before this ride.

Monday Ripper

      Lots of rain this last weekend so I was off looking to not leave a tire print anywhere by Monday. With not much travel time as the normal I reluctantly headed for Little Cottonwood Quarry trail. A good 7 mile out and back solo trail that you will always be sharing with many others. Hitting the parking lot I was lucky to find a spot, plenty of knuckleheads out there enjoying the spring evening. Climbing up the trail I was feeling like I made a mistake as plenty of people coming downhill, plenty of endure bros, racers and beaters. Somewhere I fall in there maybe I am in the all mountain warrior bracket, none the less I was cranking uphill at good speed. I had someone I was chasing for awhile and apparently that helped me break all my personal records. Once reaching the top I turned right around and hit the two off shoot trails. Those sections really call for more travel if you want to carry speed, but really reminds me of my old trails back in CT. I hit the lot and turned back around and told myself to climb back up, it's somewhat hard to gather the desire to climb the same trail out and back twice, but I had time and I wanted miles so cranking I went. Few more users passed my by as I was climbing which was going to leave me with a very quiet descent which would be nice. It was getting dark but I think  could make it without my light. Upon reaching the top this one was going to be a straight run without the turn offs, I set myself on speed mode but was not full throttle. It was a heck of a run down with no one to dodge, I forget how much I love this descent, wide, rocky and good pitch for good speed. I placed well on the leaderboard, really well, not bad in my opinion fora monday.

Desert Backpacking

     Besides biking my next favorite thing to do is backpack, there is just something about putting all your stuff in a bag and going out into the woods to be one with the land. Luckily I live in Utah and that just makes it one of the absolute best places to adventure! Even when you think you have experienced most the state you can cross borders to Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming I mean the fun can NEVER end! This trip was one a few weeks in the making and I was so thankful for the stars to align, I have been wanting to share this place with my friends for awhile now and had just shared it with my wife a few weeks prior to this trip. Coyote Gulch is a grand place, it has many features including, swimming holes, petroglyphs, arches, a winding stream and stunning scenery. This is by far the most traveled roue likely in Glen Canyon Area for good reason, you will be sharing it with others which always takes a bit away from the solitude aspect but incredibly enjoyable none the less.
      On Friday we were on our way out of town by 7:30am with a pretty good start for a 6 hour ride to the trail head. The drive down I-15 is straight forward and fast, upon exiting the highway you are taking the main route to Bryce Canyon National Park, A place I still have not set foot on but plan to this fall likely. The drive was very familiar since doing it just a few weeks prior. My good friends Brent and his brother were my passengers and we were ready for a peaceful weekend away from cell phones and daily duties and happily now on MAN TIME. I was sad to be away from my family but they would be just fine without me. The plan was to explore some slots before the hike but due to Brent's bad knee and back due to a car accident a month or two ago we made the better judgement to not add more miles to what was already a test of how well his body would hold. So it was decided and we would be hitting the trail earlier with more chances to find camp so I could not complain.
      We started on foot at a mellow pace around 1:30 and began the long dry hike down Hurricane Wash. It was not that hot but man the desert sucked every amount of hydration out of my body, I had plenty of water to reach the confluence of Coyote Gulch but found myself with a dry mouth. As we walked the dry desert Prickly Cactus Pear flowered in beauty along with many others. This environment is harsh, plenty of sage brush and junipers and not too many others until you hit the water. With a steady pace we strolled into the Gulch as the walls grew more grand around every corner and Cottonwood trees floated seeds through the Canyon hoping to land a spot to start another generation. It was heaven, cooler and now I was barefoot for the weekend trodding ankle deep stream that flows the entire weekend.

         We passed decent campsites along the way looking for just the right one, when we ended up at Jacob Hamblin Arch.We were tired of our packs and I settled on it being camp for the night despite it being exactly where I wanted not to camp. It sports an alcove of a towering rock that echoes every cough sneeze and fart in the horseshoe. As we set up camp I took notice to a loud mouth next to us that I knew was going to be annoying until it was lights out. We took a walk to the spring and filled up and drank happily as we viewed the majestic arch from it's other angle. It was awe inspiring as usual despite seeing it three times in my lifetime so far. We threw the football along the stream on the way back to camp and soon filled our eager bellies and in restful content I hopped in my hammock to relax and read my Audobon society book my brother gave me. I find it great to read every trip and I love gaining knowledge of all things wonderful in my environment from the the flowers to the trees to the birds and creepy crawlers. Loud mouth mgee next store was at it telling his poor buddies one long drawn out story after another. It was extremely distracting and I begged my friends to move camp with me but I ended up settling due to a long day and lights out was arriving soon. We played cards into the darkness and then my buddies went into their tent and I hopped into the hammock for some final peace and quiet from our neighbors and finally soaked in the tranquil solitude I was yearning for. The stream trickled as I was able to stare into the moonlight of the sillohoute of Jacob Hamblin Arch and review my thoughts and recharge my batteries as I rocked back and forth in bliss. I could have spent a lot more time in the hammock but an hour did just fine, I was nervous to spend my first night sleeping in it. Into the tent I stumbled over catepillars and frogs and had a really good nights sleep. One of the best I can even remember backpacking honestly.


I awoke to Brent's brother coming out of his tent and I opened my eyes and saw mostly a little light and I tucked my eyes back to rest. I shrugged it off and dozed on and off tossing in my bag in complete comfort as the morning went on and the Canyon came to life. I was almost 7am and that was good enough for me as Brent and Brandon were up so I crawled out of the tent and into the hammock for a mighty fine morning.
        After an array of morning routines we were off for the day on river by 8:45 for a long day peacefully treading the stream bed crossing campsite after campsite as the sun grew warmer and I grew more stoked for the day. It's a winding canyon filled with vegetation in a surreal magical setting, every person should experience this place, a true oasis amongst the desert. The sun light would soon hit my skin offering warm heat on my soul as I reflected amongst massive canyon walls towering over my head.

       We walked for miles until coming upon the main features, a stream splitting into fingers and pools and after a tight squeeze it opened up again. Soon we came upon Coyote Nautral Bridge, yet another marvelous sculpture the river carved. Then a boulder choked area where the first real waterfall emerged, we stopped and dunked our heads under the fall which cleansed our spirits and awoke all the more to the majestic place we were ingesting. We had a snack, I sat on top of a large boulder relaxing as I took in the sights, another arch named Cliff Arch. While the other were eating I was playing around getting pictures of the next waterfall down. I came up with the bright idea to leap off of it for a killer picture. Once the guys were done they came over and I hopped off and hit ground a lot harder than I wanted but got the shot!
        A little ways down we came to another waterfall, this one having a tricky but quick down climb, I guess the guys had enough for the day since they were not interested in another down climb. I however planned to reach the confluence with the Escalante River and they happily let me go on my way in doing so. They said they would stay in their spot for an hour and then head back. I insisted they head back when they feel ready. Still I felt the sense of urgency and took off running down the Canyon. I am not a runner but this was as good as one was going to get. Running barefoot I would probably pay for it but man it felt good as I ran freely among the canyon walls in absolute euphoria. I ran a good 20 minutes straight hopping deep spots, rocks and traversing sandstone around the mandatory spot. It felt absolutely magical as I ran. I had reached the confluence, the two waters collided into one another, the Escalante being deeper and almost aqua blue. I turned my head around the corner to see Stevens arch but had more work to do. I crossed the river and made my way as fast as possible without shoes on until I stood before it. Wow what a spot, the massive hole in the wall was impressive, I wish the land could tell me how it ever created it as I gazed in awe at the Arch and blue sky behind it. I took a minute and headed back the way I came with a good running pace despite obstacles. I am pretty positive this will be the most breathtaking best run I will ever have in my lifetime.


   I reached back up my homies in a 45 minute round trip, must have been a good 5+ miles run. We set off back tracking our steps at a very leisurely pace. We had just two more adventures on the way back, the petroglyphs and swimming hole. Neither I have experienced or knew much about but swimming was going to be an impressive way to end the day! We found our approximate entry point for the spring filled pool, it climbed a steep trail laced with massive amounts of poison ivy. The trail split and we soon found the place. It was impressive, a large clear pool with perfect cliffs to jump off surrounding it. I looked around and found that I was too handicapped without shoes to cliff dive, I was bummed but happily hopped in. The water was very cold! too cold to swim and fully enjoy but I happily stood still half sub merged for a good 10 minutes with the sun keeping my upper half warm, the day could certainly not have gotten any better.

           After the swim we made our last detour up a hill side where we could view some Native American Artwork, it was quite a ways up the hill and we were not ambitious to see it up close but we could see it basically from the stream and no one desired the climb up.

       We passed many other people on the way back, I was sure the campsites were going to be bumping. It was quite the opposite, I saw less people than Friday camping and just maybe we might have the arch to ourselves. We passed the spring and loaded up with fresh water and headed for camp. I was happy to find only our tents and we all chilled out for an hour as we took turns in my hammock and soaked in an incredible day. Once we rested our bones a little, we set up horse shoes and had massive fun playing one another. Soon our bellies were crying out and it was dinner time which I was looking so forward too! Two meals and I was still wanting much more food but it will do just fine. The sun was setting and we had neighbors, a group of 12 year olds likely, they sang a hymn that echoed in one heck of a cathedral for us to hear. It was something I will never forget, hearing voices sing against the canyon walls in that setting, absolutely incredible. I wanted to go over and plead them to sing another but soon they did let one more out and I soaked it in. Wow what a place, the desert has been kind, this was an unforgettable day. We played cards into the night and I entered the hammock once more but this time with my sleeping bag and pillow, this was home for the night. As I sway in the darkness I cannot but feel euphoria running through my mind, this is great, then my eyes eventually closed and I fell fast asleep.


             I awoke to the sound of splashing, someone or something was traveling fast through the canyon, I pop up to see a deer bouncing down the stream. Well good morning Mr Deer I guess that's my cue, I lie in my wonderful resting spot floating above the ground for the next hour until I would inevitably be forced to pack up. Extremely sad to be leaving the Canyon I was happy to be heading home to my family, I was really looking forward to knowing they were ok since I was now 48 hours without contact. The hike out was nice, the sun was battling clouds and it was very pleasant compared to others. As I left the stream I wondered when can I be back next, I hope this year! The rest of the hike was smooth, despite my right foot, it ached in pain from likely running barefoot, by the end of the hike it was really really bad. I pressed on without breaks since that made it worse and hit the car and waited for the others. So long desert hope to be back soon, you will be in my thoughts until my next experience.