Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Counting the Days -- Utah 2011

7 Days, 7 days, 7 days -- It echos around in my head. I find it hard to think about other obviously more important things as we prep for the second trip to Utah. There are tons of things to do and take care of before we catch the flight back out into the canyon lands.  Kids, clean the house, make sure the basement doesn't flood, packing, don't forget helmets... 

But it's far more fun to think of the rides on mountain bikes with rocks and dust flying, avoiding cactus and cliff edges.  Then there will be the days spent hiking, exploring narrow canyons, and climbing to high places.  The image below is one of the mountain biking destinations we will get to explore called Gooseberry Mesa, and it's going to be hard to not just stop and stare. 


Pretty much the same thing happened last year in Moab. Amazing rides where every turn or obstacle got better than the last would also just come to a halt from because the view wasn't something to just ride by in the pursuit of more singletrack.

This year we will be in Virgin, Utah with a staggering population of 394 people.  We picked this place because of a really great rental house that we came across and the proximity to bike trails (out the back door) and Zion National Park which is about 20-30 minutes away.

View Larger Map

The St. George/Hurricane/Springdale Utah, area is quickly becoming another major destination for mountain biking.  I am seriously excited by the prospects of riding these bikes in desolate places that would take days to reach by foot but can be navigated on a bike in hours. It's like Christmas every day when you get to ride bikes in country this beautiful. 

People I have talked to have mentioned that riding in this area is great and "much less crowded" than Moab. 

Uhmmm...I remember rides in Moab in the peak season where I didn't see another soul and was basically alone in the wilderness.  I can't imagine a place being "much less crowded" than that.  Yeah, the slickrock trail in Moab was packed, but it's a classic ride that is a mile out of town practically, and packed was relative to seeing nobody else for miles. 

Our bikes for this adventure rented from the good people at Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane Utah.

Rocky Mountain Altitude 29r


Felt compulsion 26

Mmmm...two wheeled goodness.

We are actually planning on a couple days by foot only on this trip in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, which is a "heck" of a place to lose a cow I hear. 

What I'm not riding bikes every day until I fall over...repeatedly?  Yeah, I know...totally insane idea, right?

The National Park Service, in all their wisdom, doesn't allow bikes for one, secondly, there are too many places that are just impossible to get to by bike.  I'll post pictures of as much as possible when we are out there through various forms of time-wasting social media, and once we are back, you can count on endless gushing and long winded tangents into the history and geology on this blog.  I just can't not babble on about the place. 

Hey, in another life I may have been on the Utah tourist board...who knows.

I love this sign.  Don't be that guy. 

Apparently the guy below didn't look at the aforementioned sign. 

If you see a picture of me pulling a downhill / freeride stunt like that, trust that I didn't get gutsy and go for it after downing a 6 pack of Red Bull.  Something has gone HORRIBLY horribly wrong, and please make sure to chisel something nice about me on my headstone. 


1. A Devoted Husband, Father, and Friend who liked to bike A LOT...
2. An all around awesome guy that died waaaay too soon.

Or depending on how you actually feel about me:

3. He wasn't too much of a dork...often.

Heck, what do I care is on my headstone?  I'm the dead one in that scenario.  Have fun with it people...

Seriously, we will be having as much fun as we can without hurting ourselves.  I can't promise that we come away without bruises, lingering cactus thorns and less skin, but it is an adventure and not a cruise on a ship to some sanitized tourist trap.  (That's not a knock on the Cozumel trip...the SCUBA diving there is awesome and my friends lost skin and shattered iPhones renting scooters in Mexico... That takes some serious guts to ride scooters there.  I'm still in awe of your display of badassery.)

This trip is going to be great including all the unplanned stuff that we can't possibly think of in our preparatory lists of stuff to do.

I promise Mom, we won't forget our helmets...