A visit to America - family, bikes, friends, and desert!!!

My sister Erin and I getting goofy at the "balancing rock" in Arches

Well, this trip was a little of everything . . . I decided to combine a trip to WSU and U of Idaho college recruiting with one to meet up with my family for a road trip from Colorado Springs to Moab, UT. The story is too long, and likely not interesting, to tell here, but I'll add a few highlights and then share the photos!

  • Got to ride a section of Captain Jack's trail in Colorado Springs - had to do it as a there-n-back ride, so I couldn't ride all the way to the valley, but that trail has some serious potential! It was fun to explore the hills around my sister's cabin :-)

  • Upon arriving in Moab super late, I had a great moonlight run - made me super glad that I'm in decent enough running shape to make that an enjoyable experience! The desert is so vast!

  • Rode Porcupine from Hazard down on my first Moab day - was super overwhelmed by how technical the trail was, and I don't think the altitude helped! Since I was alone and am perhaps one of the chattiest people on the planet, I met a lot of great folks and had a fun ride. I also learned a bit of the trail so that next time I rode it, I knew there wasn't any bike-eating rock-gnar except for the places where there was clearly bike-eating rock-gnar. I also learned a little bit about lifting my front wheel to more gracefully ride off of things . . . what a difference that made! That silly bike was so fun, I found myself laughing as I rode away from a few things, entertained at the fact I hadn't off'd myself in the process!

  • By the best alignment of the planets ever, my lovely friend Rebecca Bailey was in town for a work event, which meant that I got to hang out with her in the evenings and stay in her super nice hotel room :-) We laughed at how normal the whole thing seemed, even though she's a friend from Alaska who's been living in Canada for a year . . . but then again, why wouldn't we be in Moab having slumber parties?!!? Sometimes life is altogether too entertaining!

  • Although the logisitcs of the trip got all funktified, I did get to have some fun family time, and it was nice to combine a personal trip with getting to see them :-) Lessons were learned, so hopefully we can just improve upon the concept in the future!
Okay, now the photos. I didn't get my camera out for the first few days, so no photos of Porcupine from Hazard down or of the 18Road trails in Fruita . . . sorry Sherrie :-)

Beautiful drive from Cisco to Moab . . . I was blown away, and so glad to be doing it at the end of the day - thanks Rebecca for the great suggestion :-)

I met a guy who had just painted this picture of the surrounding area - thought it was pretty cool, even if it was on his dashboard so I had to take the photo upside down!

Riding slickrock . . . how can you go to Moab and not ride slickrock? This trail is the first time I learned that it hurts to fall on slickrock . . . and that I really need to let up on the front brake sometimes! Good ride overall though, and I had enough energy to go explore the BarM trails that afternoon, after a smoothie of course!

Scenic view of the Moab Valley
Look closely to see the bikers :-)

I had met these two guys on Porcupine the day before and was glad to see them again - super strong riders, super fun to ride with!
Happy on my new bike - seriously amazing piece of metal!!!

On slickrock with Porcupine from Hazard down in the background!

Amasa Back!!! I was super glad to get out here. I had plans to meet the fam at noon, so I got up early and left the car with temps of 42 degrees! Oh well, it was super nice climbing weather and I had the trail to myself until halfway back down :-) It was nice to have the solitude, but I was happy to see folks too - sort of odd riding technical singletrack with nobody around to pick up the pieces should the need arise :-)

When I looked up and saw the trail disappear in a jumble of rocks, I thought of Sherrie and how much shit she'd give me for considering this a bike ride.
View from the plateau on Amasa Back . . . beautiful morning - so nice to be out there before the crowds and the heat!

It was so beautiful up top that I couldn't make myself leave . . so I messed around with self-portrait features :-)

. . . and took so many photos I had to post at least some!
I made strangers take this photo just so I'd have at least 2 of me actually on my bike!

There are a few trails in this area that just became legal and I'd be intrigued to ride, but they're supposed to be a little high on the gnar-factor . . . given my time constraints, lack of partner, and penchant for starting with the classic version, I figured such a ride can wait for my return - gotta admit though, my interest is peaked!!!

That afternoon, we went to Arches . . . the fam on a car trip through one of America's finest national parks.
Much more entertaining when you get goofy :-)

Then it was time for more fun and excitement . . . Porcupine from Burro down - easily one of the best mountain bike rides ever . . . and the fun factor is increased by being able to take a shuttle to the top! The ride has about 1500' of climbing throughout (and 7000' descent!) and lots of techie fun stuff to play on, a few sections of fun rollers to fly off of, some super flowy singletrack, some super hairy exposure, and some amazing scenery. I rode this day with a blast from my ski past and the TGR group he'd organized. It was super fun to ride in a group, and I rode a lot more than I had the first time from Hazard down. Again, I was overwhelmed by how amazing, incredible, and FUN my new bike is! She just goes . . . and I just hold on :-)

Burritos on the way down . . . mmmm mmmm good! Our little group of 5 split off in the front of the pack . . . Kellie doesn't play well with others and the group of 16 was way too much for me! But, we had a great ride and I loved the lower section (major progress after having emotional events over all the rock drops the first time!).

On my last day, I got up super early so I could ride in Fruita before the long drive back to Colorado Springs . . . if I hadn't run out of gas, I would have had much more time to ride, but as it was I got to explore a fair bit of the Kokopelli's Trail system (and managed to case it big time on a bit of slickrock - that one hurt, and left a mark or three!). Fruita is definitely a place I'd like to get to know better :-)

A trail shot - I really liked this area - was surprised to run into the river and see the lovely views I saw :-)

Overall, I'm super glad to have gotten a taste of Moab and Fruita riding and definitely want to return - next time, I think a southwest road trip would be in order! What I do know is that mountain biking is super rad, and that my new bike makes it almost a whole new sport . . . and definitely ups the fun factor!!! Hip hop hooray :-)

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