Monday, October 20, 2008

desert riding: part 2 of western states ride

continuing our merry trip in the desert, Dennis and I sit and write our blog, combined meories of travel, crashes, skin loss, eating++ and epic off-road memories..
DAY NINE (REST DAY) 10/13/08) Wound assessment, bikes to Poison Spider for same, we to the understaffed Pancake Haus @ the Ramada for hearty breakfast. Later, went to Miguel’s Baja Grille for dinner: waded through a small waiting crowd, and were eventually greeted by a fourteen-year old boy who told us to “wait 20 minutes.” After 45 minutes we were seated right at the front door, cheek to jowl with the waiting hordes. Bolted after sitting for five minutes or so without a waiter in sight. Wound up at Moab Brewery which is big, busy, and served passable food along with their own microbrews. DL had fish and chips and SF had blackened tilapia on penne washed down by Derailleur Ale and Polygamy Porter. DAY TEN (10/14/08) RIDE: Sovereign and Salt Wash Trails. Time: 2.5± hr. (RT); 3+ hr. (TT) Gross. elev. Gain: ??’ Mileage: ?? Notes: Disembarked at Willow Springs Road, rode around in circles for about 30 minutes, serarching for thrilhead—no luck! Returned to car and drove to Dalton springs Road trailhead. Ledges, slickrock, etc. Difficult navigation due to braiding of trails. Got some help from a Ride with Respect trailbuilder who provided data for Lat.40 map we were using. Met Salt Lake MTB stage-racing couple who panned BC Bike Race as overly technical, citing pro riders completing a 30 mile stage in over 4 hours(?). EATS: Desert Bistro. Excellent and creative menu coupled with earnest (but unpolished) service. Started with rabbit sausage with goat cheese and just-out-of-the-oven bread. SF followed with melt-in-mouth buffalo filet in a rich reduction sauce, and DL with Antelope medallions on corn meal patties in plum/whiskey/habanero reduction, washed down with a Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Zin. Wow! DAY ELEVEN (10/15/08) RIDE A: Slickrock Trail. Time: 1.5 hr. (RT); 2 hr. (TT) Gross. elev. Gain: ??’ Mileage: 14± Notes: Had the trail almost completely to ourselves. Until the final mile or two, saw more dirt bikers (about five) than cyclists. Rode a counter-clockwise figure-eight loop inlucing the “Practive Loop.” Despite all warning against novice riders, saw a mother getting a shifting lesson from her husband in parking lot while young kids looked on. Always a blast, and the climbs are quite challenging. RIDE B: Amasa Back. Time: 3 hr. (RT); 4 hr. (TT) Gross. elev. Gain: ??’ Mileage: 11.2 Notes: Awesome trail: technical ledgy climbing and descent, great views. EATS: Returned to Miguel’s and found it much less crowded than last attempt. Had a delicious dinner of fajitas, fresh margaritas, and excellent salsa. DAY TWELVE (10/16/08) RIDE: Poison Spider Trail (“Cliffhanger”) and Golden Spike Trail. Time: 3.25 hr. (RT); 4.5± hr. (TT) Gross. elev. Gain: ??’ Mileage: 18.5 Notes: Short, super-technical descent right from trailhead, then a climb made quite difficult by tread of loose, round rock and sand mix. Upper sections very sandy in parts. Trail on mesa was flat and uninteresting jeep track. Upper section loaded with big uphill ledges and super-steep slickrock. At end of PST, met couple with dog. Scouted first section of Portal Trail—appeared no more exposed/dangerous than Lion Loop in Fruita. Riding couple comfirmed same. Attempted to ride lollipop loop at end of PST, but lost our bearings and wound up heading south on Golden Spike Trail (big rolling slickrock!) to PST. EATS: Zax for pizza and beer.

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