Rick & I in SW Utah… so far.

Warm night @ JEM TH. Forecast was for weather change around 10:00AM. Sure enough almost to the minute. I was installing slime tubes in my tires after my rear flatted, desert riding you know, and I was watching the sun warm the peaks to the west. One moment I looked up the peaks were clear, 1 tube change later and the peaks are occluded in precipitation clouds and the winds picked up.

Rick showed up shortly. Decided that weather was too inhospitable and Rick, after 6 straight days of riding, said that he could use a day off, said today is good day to rest. We drove into Hurricane to bike shop. Dave, whom I met yesterday was working. I introduced him to Rick. Dave volunteered to guide us on new riding area at Little Creek, across the valley from Gooseberry. Cool. 3 of the girls from yesterday showed up and we chatted. They were camping until tonight for X number of days and w/o showers. And the shop displayed a Turner Spot DW only in a large frame. Just as good.

I did my wash. In the laundromat there was a car w/ WA plates and Spokane license plate carrier. i said hello, they didn’t get into a conversation.

Drove to Springdale to the bike shop for a shower. About a 40 mile round trip for a shower.

Plan was to meet Rick @ his campsite @ Little Creek. I set off. He was back 8 miles on a washboard road. Took me 30 mins to get to his camp. It is windy and chilly. I invited Rick into the warmth of my van from his pickup truck canopy. i treated us to Haagen Daaz butter pecan ice cream. He said he didn’t want any because he has already had his ice cream for the week. He accepted a small bowl.

Temp dropped more during the night and the wind picked up rocking the van. It is still dark @ 7:00AM. Temp was 22 & blowing snow shower. I was snug. I stepped into the weather to visit Rick in his truck. He was snug and packing stuff . We planned our day in the warmth of my van. Nice having internet access as we read the forecast. Weather was better down @ ST  George were Rick wanted to ride anyway.

We drove S to ST George. Very windy but temp is in 40s & no snow. Rick arrived @ TH before me and was searching out the TH. We conversed by cell phone. Very windy. Tights, long underwear top, & long finger gloves. I was toasty. Very windy, getting blown around on my bike. I missed a turn getting back onto trail. Many trails out in desert, lots of motorized trails & damage. We head off up hill enjoying pleasant technical challenges. Ride wandered trying to find the spice route over to the Santa Clara trails for a long ride. Missing trail signs to map the way. Ended it as an out & back for 18.93 miles in 2 hrs 35 min for 2542′.

Rick, bikes at rest, cold & windy
Rick, bikes at rest, cold & windy

Make plan for tomorrow that is to ride guacamole mesa near Zion NP entrance. Drove back & past Hurricane to primitive camping alongside the bank of Virgin River. Parked in very sandy spot. Hope I can drive out.

Phillies smoked Yankees in 1st game of series.

Still cold & windy along Virgin.

From Thunder Mtn to Hurricane Rim

Last night my campsite was furthest in off road. I passed 2 eurovan campers. My spot was exposed but it was open to the east. That detail worked to my benefit this AM.  It was cold inside. i had the heater on low and doubled up the down blanket. My alarm goes off @ 7:00 so i can listen to Bob Edwards show on XM NPR. The van temp read 15 degrees. AT 8:42 the temp was 31. I drove by the first vw camper. They were in the shade and the temp was back to 15.

Drove W on rt 14 climbing over and then dropping down thru the Dixie NF. Topped out @ 9910′. Fall came and went here as well as back north. The trees are bare, leaves having blown to the wind. Dropped into Cedar City, drove past the bike shop I did business w/ on my 1999 trip thru. The shop was an AMP dealer and I arranged for a bike part to be shipped here on that trip. I remember it was 1999 as it was the first year I had my VW bus and I was on a 3 week road trip w/ my AMP. The AMP and the VW introduced me to many people I would not have thought to meet.

Dropped into Hurricane, UT to warmth and green leaves not turned yet. I parked just out of town and set off to ride the loop consisting of Goulds Rim, JEM trail, & Hurricane Rim for 21 miles and 2259′. Desert riding is so varied. This ride was different that Thunder mtn. There is still a bit of pain in my hip however the active release freed up my body and I have a fuller spin. Too bad it is propelled by a used engine. Ran into 6 women from ID & MT down riding for several days. Several of them bore reminders of miscalculations. They were in great spirits. Temp @ TH @ 6:24 was 61.

goulds rim
goulds rim
bike shop is on to something
bike shop is on to something
desert riding
desert riding

I camped @ JEM TH. As I was preparing dinner the women rode by. One asked for h2o and I obliged. Site is exposed to world. Long lasting sunset.

Forecast is for nasty weather tomorrow bring high winds, cold, and rain. At 4340′ it will rain, not snow just a few miles north.

Made phone conatct w/ Rick, we are in the same area code. Actually he is out & up @ Little creek area which I understand is like Gooseberry mesa which is just above me but miles by road.

I use Verizon. I was amazed @ coverage down thru remote UT. I have strong signal up outside small town of Hurricane.

All the way to Panguitch,UT

Sat turned out to be the long interstate drive from Twin Falls, ID to Park City,UT and a bit below. Cruise around 60mph on a 75 mph interstate. Everybody was kind. I flashed the truckers when they were clear of my front end, several blinked back, appreciation I hope. Refill covered almost 29 mpg.

Made park City around 5:30 in cloudy  sprinkling day. Found a bike shop in the yellow  pages and called. Guy said they are discouraging riding Mid Mountain Trail because it has been wet and trails are soft and bikes will damage them. he said that last weeks snow is still above the trail which acts as a reservoir of wetness. trail is probably done for year. I responded as a responsible rider and moved on.

I was looking Rick’s phone number up when the phone rang. He told me about Thunder Mountain up Red Canyon outside Panguitch. Worked as a ride drive for me.

I found a neat failed development paved road system outside Provo for the night.

Today up & gone early to clear skies. Temp in 30s.

Made Panguitch around noon. Saw several campgrounds offering showers making life better. Drove up into red Canyon which is on way to Bryce NP. Parked @ Thunder Mtn TH and rode the paved bike path 5 miles to entrance on dirt road. Working my hip pain out. My rib tissue limits my deep rapid breathing. TH is @7180′ which is foreign to me. Elevation, sore hip, damaged breathing, out of shape, and something else must have made the climbs almost breathless albeit they short & not often steep. Scenery is surreal. I will load pictures another time. Real enjoyable ride. Desert w/ sandstone HooDoos. I stopped quite a few times and took pictures. Digital cameras are so good for the memory and the many pictures they hold.

hoodoo on thunder mtn trail
hoodoo on thunder mtn trail


more trail awaits
more trail awaits

Back in the desert. Leaves have fallen. Skies are sharp blue. Chilly but not cold. Hardly anybody. $5.00 shower in XG. Going to camp up Red Canyon & make LaVerkin tomorrow to join Rick.

Desert. Sage, junipers, lodgepole & P pine. Dry. Quite the contrast from even “wet” Spokane to here. Thinking about the lush forest rides since my May exposure to desert. temperate rain forest of the Puget Sound. Really an environment to experience. With fall & winter cold coming on sunshine is sought. Last May in Sedona the axiom was seek shade. In this colder temp I wonder if it holds true.