Back to Fruita

Three day holiday weekend and no crowds on the trails I chose to ride. Very exposed place where I am sleeping, junipers are the only shade and they only grow only so tall. I parked the van at a different angle to put the right side in the shade which shades the refrig helping keep stuff cold inside. Windy. One morning when my senses greeted the day I was astounded by the quietness outside: no wind. One night after dinner I walked a bit: once again no wind. It isn’t that the wind makes a lot of noise, when blowing it creates its affect. Getting very warm. Solar shower heated to 135 degrees sitting on the van hood. Way too hot to just stick my finger in the water. Too windy for a shower even when in the 80s. Low humidity and evaporative heat loss from wind makes for a chilly goose bumpy shower.

So I sat in the padded van driver seat studying the Navajo Rocks trail system. Big eyes want to feed the body on a big ride. Thought was to ride from camp the 1.5 miles of gravel road to pick up Chisholm then ride the entire Navajo Rocks returning the same way, ride would have been close to 30 miles. Now reality was going to meet my reality. I picked up Chisholm then turned right on Big Lonely to ride down Coney Island which again rides better this was as it is a lot of sand tread. I made Middle earth which is a cut thru kinda splitting the system in  half and a bail point. I elected for the bail thus eliminating Rocky Tops and Ramblin. Still riding in full sunshine in 84 degrees and my age affected body and addled brain the ride was 23.77 miles climbing 1176′ pedaling 3 hrs 8 mins. Trail elevation gain per mile was less than 100′. The tread has a lot of slick rock patches while just a blue square trail the pounding of the rock irregularity surface sent I’m not happy signals to my destroyed right shoulder. I like these trails. Again, hardly anybody on the trails. Big Lonely in spite of its name had the most riders at about 6.

Back in ’78 while thru hiking the PCT and living that lifestyle on weekends I encountered lots of backpackers. We got uppity about them and called them Wally Weekenders because they only came out on weekends. On Monday the trail was mostly the thru hikers. Same thing about riding as gthe weekends are when the normal 40 hr per week workers show up. This weekend on Mon afternoon many of the weekenders were gone. I was all alone at my campsite. The Horsethief BLM XG fills to capacity by middle afternoon most days.

Tuesday I Headed out for Fruita and Grand Junction driving I70. Head wind @ 80mph speed limit me at maybe 65. Continued to Junction. I picked up my new helmet at REI. I found the local Best Buy and bought replacement speakers that BB says will fit in my dash. Curiosity caused me to look at Crutchfield where I bought my stuff. Their installation guide shows these speakers not fitting. I called them this AM who supplied additional speaker info. I drove to BB this AM before the install appointment and queried a sales rep who looked at their install info and said the speakers will fit. I am now waiting affirmation at my 11:00 install appointment.

I drove back to Fruita stopping first at Ov er the Edge right in downtown. Welcome greeting from familiar faces. I hung around a little while. Took a shower at a health club: nice to have clean hair. Then dinner and beers at Hot Tomato. Jan, a co-owner visited with me. She said they have added a coffee shop and are working on a bakery. I see Hot Tomato stickers around the country. Another beer at the Copper Club hoping to involve someone in a Craig conversation. No such happening. I sat on the bench outside facing the main street to get a feel for local community vibe. I noticed that everyone stopped for the 4 way intersection. I did see drivers not coming to a dead stop but slow enough to indicate compliance. Calm drivers.

I drove out to a BLM TH outside of town. In years past I had slept in the lot. This spin thru I say no camping signs. Cross that spot off. Back up was a dirt shoulder on a dead end road near the state police barracks. I waited till after sundown and lower temps to park my van for the night.

Speaker install time.

Water resupply

3 days of stationary camp and hot temps required more than 3 gallons of drinking water per day. Last night the other maybe 4 spots out where I camped were occupied. I did not leave my locked chair to hold the spot as the anchor was too far removed from the spot. I drove down to town and replenished my water, caught up on email, and started this for short while as I want to get back out to get a spot.

Yesterday was Saturday of a 3 day weekend. I rode from camp ultimately riding down Bull Run and Great Escape which are popular downhill shuttle rides and I encountered so few riders. The ride was long and arduous, 28.55 miles climbing 2342′ in 3 hrs 56 mins burning 1610 cals. Beautiful day and riding conditions. My speed is what my body gives me. I watched a younger male rider just spin up a hill that I panted up. I rode from camp spot which is 1.5 miles of dirt road before single track to pick up Chisholm to Horsethief trails going down Getaway to Bull Run continuing down Great Escape then climbing back up on Arths to start of Getaway past Bull Run side trail to Mustang connecting to Chisholm back.

I finished reading 1984. I recommend the book to you. Frightening.

Temps are climbing into the upper 80s. Leaving on Tuesday for cooler Fruita.

No more juniper gnat bites while up at Horsethief. Current bites are healing with the itching not happening. The Benadryl had no noticeable effect.

Lots of rigs with mountain bikes attached.

I filled the solar shower and hung it on the van hood, the sun heated the water beyond comfortable. Wind was blowing too strongly to make a shower comfortable. I have found that wetting my washcloth and squirting a bit of Bronners peppermint soap on thne cloth then wiping my body down leaves me feeling clean and out of the wind. Today I drove down to town while remembering the shower still maybe attached to the hood. I pulled over almost into town to see if I would be buying a new shower. dang, bag was still attached, no purchase required.

Making today a rest day after 2 hard riding days. Last week I rode 5 out of 7 days which appears to be my norm.


Noseeems aka juniper gnats


I suspected as much as I started seeing raised welts on my body plus an itchy sensation.

, scratching until the skin breaks open and weeps. I have yet to see what does the feasting on my body, I only experience post feed pain. These buggers live in the juniper bark to emerge only once a season. The female must have blood to lay eggs. Otherwise male and female are vegetarians. She picks a spot of skin then chews a hole with her mouth parts. When capillary blood oozes out she s[its saliva in the hole which acts as an anticoagulant that keeps the blood from clotting. The itchiness comes from the body’s reaction to the saliva. Years ago after a bout of chiggars I asked a pharmacist for suggestion to eliminate the pain, he said Benadryl which is an antihistamine. I heeded his advice for that episode which cleared the bites up quickly. Last night was very hot with bouts of blowing dust. I didn’t sleep well. I woke up at times to scratch the bite sites. Today I bought Benadryl but it hasn’t provided the complete relief I had hoped for. I got chewed up prolly at the N Klondike campspot. It ain’t fun.

Wed was another worked day out at N Klondike trails. Just lots and lots of tech moves requiring lots of body gyrations, more than just pedaling muscles enlistment. I rode from home this time starting on Alaska which climbed up to the top of the ridge at 5331’ dropping down to just under 4800’, 500’ of elevation profile. Follow the paint lines to avoid wheel sucks. I crossed the road to ride the pedal trails on the way back to the van. I do like pedaling for its soothing effect contrasted to the hurky jerky slick rock tread. Hot day. 12% humidity, 92 degrees outside. 14.53 miles climbing 1317’ pedaling for 1 hr 56 mins almost straight. Encountered a group of gromms pedaling away. Great trail etiquette. I complemented the adult leaders.

The solar shower soaked up way too much heat necessitating adding sink water to temper. I drained the solar water into the Helio for a pressure wash shower. I set my shower up in the shade of the van which also blocked some of the stiff breeze. The joy of washing off the ride grime, I sleep better.

Forecast called for increasing winds in the afternoon and into the evening, riding early avoided getting blown around. The winds did pick up later, strong gusts picked up dirt creating wind dust devils that I could see moving towards me. The van was hot, the open door and windows lessened the heat but when the wind blew dust I buttoned up. There is fine dust on flat surfaces inside. The wind continued during the night such that I chose to sleep with the side door closed. 66 degrees this AM.

Today was a rest and resupply day. I drove back down to town. Laundry, poured 6 gallons of water, one at a time from Gearheads. I was out at N Klondike for 3 nights. I consumed 2 gallons of drinking water then 3 quarts from my emergency jug. I can last 3 days between water replenishment. Shower at the Aquatics center which is now in the summer open pool season.

I bought a replacement table at Gearheads, same as the one taken at Sedona.

Tuesday was another Klondike trails ride. Lots of effort required for not many miles of riding. I like the riding. On Monday Chili Pepper cut .5” off each bar end bringing the width to 750mm. This was my first ride, I seemed to handle OK. Great having a fully working front brake. Spent the night at N Klondike helping support the next generations of juniper gnats.

Last week I started reading signs in shop windows stating they would be closed . Closer exam revealed that the closure is for Memorial day weekend this weekend. Caught me by surprise. My next visit spot will be Fruita which will be crowded decreasing the likelihood of finding a camp spot. I decided to remain here in Moab as I can find sleep spots. Tonight I am back out past Horsethief XG at a new spot up on the flats exposed to the winds. I will ride from here for several days then drive down to town for resupply. Campspot is 5761’ town is in low 4,000’.

I am reading 1984 by Orwell. Trump claims he never reads books. Orwell’s book seems to be guiding his actions. Life needs to be based on facts and memory. It is really scary.

The front left speaker sounds cracked. Find a car stereo shop in Junction next week.