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Canyoneering in Arizona

I went on my first Canyoneering trip a few weekends ago. This trip was actually a class offered through Scottsdale Community College. The trip is run by Josh from One Day Adventures.

We left on Saturday morning and drove about 2.5 hours to our first destination and our campsite for the night.  After everyone set up camp and had lunch, we set off into our first canyon.  The toughest part of this trip is the hiking to the canyon.

Canyoneering by default means that you are going into a canyon, which means that you’ll have a steep downhill hike on the way to the canyon and a steep uphill hike on the way back up.¬† Because it was September and the water was cold, we all had to get full wetsuits.¬† Hiking with a wetsuit on is not fun and hiking while carrying a wetsuit on your back is only a little bit better.

The first canyon that we were doing was called Bear Canyon. Below is a Google map of it.¬† I am not 100%¬†certain of the path that we took since I didn’t have my GPS with me. ¬†After a decent hike and a bunch of boulder hopping into canyon, we came to the spot where we finally had to get wet.¬† We put on our wetsuits and gear and proceeded to lower ourselves into the water.¬† The first canyon was very green and gray.¬† It had a mossy feeling to into.¬† Unfortunately the water was not flowing and had been stagnant causing it to become brown and smelly.¬† Because my camera was not waterproof, taking pictures was very limiting.

The water was very cold and I was glad I had rented a 7mil wetsuit, even though the dive shop recommended a 3mil one.¬† The students who had the 3mil wetsuits were cold and shivering.¬† We had one rappel of about 15 feet, which wasn’t very high at all, but it counted as my first ever rappel.¬† At another drop we used a ladder to drop directly into a dark deep pool.¬† From there it was a short swim through the canyon to the end.

We finished the day with a massively steep hike up the canyon.  When I got to my tent I just laid down and immediately fell asleep.

Day two took us to the¬†Salome Jug.¬† This canyon is very different from the previous day.¬† One thing to note is that the temperature is now over 90 degrees as compared to the previous day’s 60 degrees.¬† Now I’m wishing I had a 3 mil wetsuit.

To get to this canyon, we had to do about a¬†2.5 mile hike to the drop in point.¬† The water was flowing and it was nice and cool.¬† The canyon was beautiful on the inside and we spent alot of time floating down it.¬† There were also many rock waterslides, but we couldn’t do them all due to the water depth at the landing.

To finish off this canyon was a 30ft rappel down a mini-waterfall and then a good swim (float) to the end of the canyon.  Once at the end, we had to do the 2.5 mile uphill hike back to the car.

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Hiking in Sedona ‚Äď Arches

This was a short day trip that I went on with my friend Audrey who was also my personal trainer. We decided to hit a couple short hikes. The theme of the day seemed to be arches.

Interesting story… While we were buying our day pass at a trailhead parking lot I started talking with this lady from California. I asked her what trail she was doing, she said Fay’s Canyon. Well, that was the same trail that we were doing. She told us that its her favorite trail and that every time she comes for California she hikes it. She’s been there 3-4 times already. She describes this incredible view at the end of the hike.

We part ways and eventually start hiking Fay’s Canyon trail. We don’t see the lady or the car. We hike to the end and we can’t seem to find this “view” that she was talking about. After a looking for ten minutes we decide to give up and head back. On the way back we see the lady walking up the trail. Great, we can ask her how to get to this magnificent view.

We walk up to her and before we can say anything she says, “It this Fay’s Canyon?” LOL

Anyway, we find the arch at Fay’s Canyon and climb to the top of it. Then we head to Devil’s Bridge Arch and climb atop it. The last arch to do was Vultee’s Arch but we never got a chance to do it. Next time…

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Sun Valley 2008

This year we decided to go back to Sun Valley.  We had a great time on the trails back in 2004 and were eager to get back and ride our favorite trails.  Half of us were flying and half were driving.  My flight was from Phoenix to Salt Lake City to Hailey, ID.

I only had 20 minutes to make my connection flight at the Salt Lake City airport and it happened to be super far walk from terminal to terminal.¬† I made it to my flight with just a few minutes to spare.¬† My brother and Rico did not.¬† Luckily flights from SLC to Hailey are like city buses, there was another flight in 15 minutes!¬† I don’t know how they can afford to have that many flights a day.¬† When I got on the plane there were only 6 other people on the plane.

After a short hour flight I was landing in Hailey, Idaho.  The Hailey airport is a very small airport with a very small staff.  My first site was the groundswoman pushing the ladder towards the door.  The same person unloaded the baggage and brought it to the terminal.  Inside later, the same person was checking in people for flights.  She has many jobs!

My luggage didn’t make it on my flight, but luckily it came on the flight 15 minutes later, along with Rico and Kevin.¬† We got our rental cars and drove to Ketchum.

July 13th

For our first ride we went with the good ole Chocolate Gulch Trail.  Since none of us were really in shape this year, this was our warm up ride.  The helmet camera was back in full force. Hard to believe how the world was before Youtube but this sites finally getting an upgrade to streaming video and cool photo albums.

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Chocolate Gulch Video (click below to play) (right click here to download hi-res version)

July 14th

We did a new trail on day two.¬†This trail was called Little Basin and was up by Stanley. As you can see from the pictures and video, there were many creek crossings. This was a pretty decent trail with not alot of climbing. I honestly don’t remember that much about this trail even after watching the video.

In case you are wondering, its the Garmin Edge 305 that is tracking our rides and giving us these great maps and elevation profiles.  I highly recommend it.

album:/sv2008/littlebasin

July 15th
On day 3 we rode the Imperial Gulch trail.¬† The trail has changed since we rode it back in 2004. There used to be bulldozed road at the top of this trail, but it’s totally gone now. It’s still a great trail to ride because you get great views of the rolling hills, decent singletrack and a great downhill to finish it off. You will get to see the new backwards view helment camera on this trail.

album: sv2008/imperialgulc

July 16th

After 3 days of riding we were either going to have a rest day or do an easy ride.¬† We chose to do Corral Creek since it didn’t look that tough and we could shuttle it. We decided to park one car in a parking lot near the new Sun Valley Gun Club and then drive up to the top of the trail. It really wasn’t the top of the trail, it was just a convenient starting point. We parked at and old corral (probably why the trail is called corral creek) about 2 miles in from the main road. We rode this trail twice and have video of the helmet camera pointed forward and backwards. The first time we rode it we shot past our car and ended up near the gun club. We had to backtrack through the open meadow to get back to our cars.

album: sv2008/corralcreek

Corral Creek Video (click below to play) (right click here to download hi-res version)

July 17th

Today is when we go back to one of our favorite rides in the US, Fisher Creek.  Wildfires burnt down most of the vegetation along this trail which made the trail look totally different than 4 years ago.  Again, we did the one hour smooth climb on the access road. Then a short steep uphill and we were at the top of Fisher Creek. As you can see from the photos, all the trees had been burnt. Instead of green foliage along the sides of the trail, you could see the whole hill and trail below you.

album: http:/sv2008/fishercreek

Sun Valley Compilation Video

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Orange County Adventure Race 2008

Eddy and I decided to enter the 1st ever Orange County Adventure Race since it was only 15 minutes away from Eddy’s house.¬† As usual, we never train or prepare for these things.¬† We figure that we are in such awesome shape that these races are nothing!¬†¬† This race consists of 1 mile of paddling, 5-6 miles of mountain biking and a 3-4 mile run.

So as usual, the night before we are running around trying to find an inflatable boat and some life vests.

The race started with a 1 mile run to three checkpoints.  At each checkpoint we had to pick up some parts that would be used to make our boat paddles.  Once back at the staging area, we put together the paddles with tie wraps and duct tape and pumped up the boat.

The boating part would have been easy if, we could paddle straight and we knew where we were going.

When we hopped into the lake we counted about 40 boats in front of us so we figured we were in the middle of the pack.  When we exited the lake we only counted 15 or so boats behind us.

The next activity was a short obstacle course and a 6′ wall to hop over.¬† Then it was off to the mountain biking section.¬† The biking section was fairly easy it was half on dirt and half on pavement.¬† We really couldn’t catch or pull ahead of any bikers because it was mainly flat.

Lastly the running section came.  We usually call this, the walking section.  I think we lost probably another 10 places here with our very slow jog rate.

Our final result was 2:45 which put us around 29th place out of 40 or so 2 person teams.

 

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Hiking and Camping in Havasupai

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I have always wanted to go see Havasu Falls ever since I saw pictures of it when I first moved to Arizona. Getting to Havasu Falls is not exactly an easy feat. It’s a 5 hour drive from Phoenix just to get to the parking or drop in area. From there its a 10 mile hike down into the canyon to the campground. In addition the permits at the campground are very limited and the campground is frequently booked many many months in advance. So when I saw that Scottsdale Community College had a class trip to Havasu Falls, I immediately signed up.

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April 17th

There were 19 people going on this trip. We had one hour orientation a few weeks prior. Dave, the trip leader told us what to expect and showed us some of the essentials to bring. There was an option of hiring a horse to carry our packs from the parking lot to the campground and back. A few of us took advantage of this. Financially speaking, this class is a bargain. The total cost of the class was $225.00. This included transportation to the trailhead, all permits and park fees, one night at a hotel and more importantly a guide/teacher. There is a campground fee of $17 per night, entrance fee of $35 and an environmental fee of $5. The total cost to stay in Havasu was $83 each. The hotel would have cost around $75. Gas for me to drive the 260 miles twice would be $100. So if I was to make this trip myself, it would have cost me $258!We left on Thursday night in 2 large vans and made the 3 hour drive to Williams, AZ where we stayed overnight at a hotel.

April 18th

The next morning everyone got up early and Geoff realized that he forgot to pack his shoes. We spent some time in Seligman looking for a store that sold shoes. Unfortunately, the only thing he found was some moccassins. Luckily, trip leader Dave brought a pair of gym shoes that fit Geoff. We arrived at the very crowded parking area around 10am. Four of us had hired a horse to carry our bags, I dropped off my duffle amongst the throngs of bags and horses. After taking our class photo we all headed down the trail at our own pace at 10:30am.

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The first part of the hike consisted of a bunch of switchbacks. The trail quickly dropped about 1000 feet in 1.5 miles. The next 6.5 miles was a gradual 500ft descent. We stopped for a quick lunch at the 3.5 miles mark and then headed to Supai, AZ. Supai, AZ is a small town with a population of about 500. It is also the most remote town in the lower 48 states, and the only way to get to it is to hike, ride a mule, or take a helicopter. The hike to Supai was 8 miles. We arrived at Supai around 2:30pm. Because Supai is currently the only town in the United States where mail is still carried out by mules, I wanted to send out a postcard from the town. Suprisingly, it arrive at my home in just 4 days!

Of course, every small town needs a full court basketball court. So by the transitive property, this has to be the most remote full court basketball court in the lower 48 states!  On the right is an actual photo of my bag our horse/mule passed us.

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About 1 mile after hiking through town, you begin to hear the rushing water of the river.  Then you see the river and its unbelievable blue turquoise water. The first glimpse you get of Havasu falls is really breath taking.

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You actually hike over the top of the falls and the down the sides. After staring and snapping a few photos of the falls from all angles. We hiked down to the campground where our horse carried bags were waiting for us at the entrance. The campground was pretty crowded and I have to say that the portable toilets were probably the worse I’ve ever seen. It sucks to be a woman at this campsite. I set up camp, cooked a great Mac & Cheese and SPAM dinner, chatted with everyone for a while and went to sleep.

April 19th

Today we planned to venture to Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. Mooney Falls is a short 1 mile hike and Beaver Falls another 3 after that. Not much to say about the hike, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. You get to Mooney Falls from the top. Here is your first view of it.

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From there you descend down into a few short caverns and rock faces. There are a few chains and a make shift ladder to help you get down.

The next two photos below were taken by Geoff of Geoff Reed Photography.

mooney falls

mooney falls

 After spending some time at Mooney Falls, we continued to hike towards Beaver Falls. (Photo by Geoff Reed)

Along the way we found a nice rope swing.  I had a great cheering section.

This video is my second attempt as I fell flat on my butt on my first try.

We continued to hike to Beaver Falls but the hike took slightly longer than we thought so we only hiked to the top of if.  After reaching the top we turned around and hiked back to camp.  Later on, I went to the bottom of Havasu Falls to take some pictures.

April 20th

The next morning I woke up around 5:30am, cooked breakfast, packed up camp¬†and left for the trail around 7:30am.¬† Along the way, we dropped off our bags for the horse to pick up.¬† Luckily it was a breezy cool day so the hike back up the canyon wasn’t too difficult.

Our two vans left the parking lot around 3:00pm.  After about an hour of driving, our second van was very low on gas.  Since we filled up each van at the same time they should both have had the same amount of gas.  We figured that someone must have siphoned out the gas on the second van.  We had to go into Williams, AZ and buy a gas can to fill up the other van.  After a quick stop at A&W to get some burgers, we headed back to Scottsdale.  It was a great trip.

Here are more photos.¬† Photos marked (GR) were taken by Geoff.¬† To see Geoff’s collection of Havasu photos, please¬†visit his website.

Before the descent (GR)
Shower at Mooney Falls
So blue and green in the desert (GR)
Crossing the blue river (GR)
Under the shower fall (GR)
Our colorful group (GR)
On the way to Beaver Falls (GR)
Mooney Falls (GR)
I found my stick! (GR)
Descent to Mooney
Walking into the falls
Mooney from afar
Mooney from the climb
From the 10 mile hike
Havasu falls
Havasu falls

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Biking the Sunrise Trail in Scottsdale, Arizona

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I found some trails about 5 miles from my house.¬† They have nice elevation changes so they should give me a decent workout.¬† I haven’t been on the bike since my Park City trip in early August so I need to get back in shape.

I parked at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead to get to the Sunrise trail from the west.¬† Here is a link to a map of the trail. I brought my Garmin to map the¬†trail.¬† I wanted to get to the peak which is a 1,100 foot gain and about 2.5 miles.¬† As you can see from the Google Earth map I didn’t make it.¬† The finger points to the peak.

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I was so close, only about 1/2 mile.¬† But it was 92 degrees outside and I didn’t want to push it.
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This picture below shows the switchbacks leading up to the crest that I stopped at.  It was 1.8 miles from the trailhead to this point.  It took me 47 minutes and many many rests to make it there.
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This picture is looking back down at my turnaround point.  I was ready for a nice long downhill.
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Hiking in Zion National Park 2007 ‚Äď Angel‚Äôs Landing

Angel’s Landing is the polar opposite of The Narrows.¬† This is a strenuous hike that has an elevation gain of about 1400 ft.¬† To get to this trail, you take the Zion shuttle to The Grotto.¬† From there you cross the shuttle road and began your long hike to Angel’s Landing.¬† Here is a good topo and elevation map of the hike.

The first portion of the hike is paved.¬† The hike continues along a decent grade which can get pretty steep at times.¬† Overall, it’s basically walking on an uphill ramp for an hour.¬† The next portion is called Walter’s Wiggles.¬† This is a section of short and steep switchbacks.¬† This is a picture looking down from the top of it.

Once you get to the top of the wiggles, you’ve come to Scout’s Lookout.¬† From here you can see the first set of chains and the beginning of Angel’s Landing.

Most people can climb the first set of chains with no hesitation.¬† It’s the second set that has a steep drop-off to the right.¬† Many people stop here and think about if they really want to do the rest of the hike.

 

Once you get past those chains you will see the entire spine of Angel’s Landing.¬† Believe me, it looks very high and far away.¬† This is another point where many hikers stop and think.¬† A decent percentage go no further than this point.

A close up look at hikers on the spine.

Then once you get to the top you are rewarded with a spectacular view!

More pictures below…

Putting down the cell phone

Scouts Lookout

View at the top

Friendly chipmunk

Right before Walter’s Wiggles

Grotto trailhead

Angel’s Landing from ground level

Angel’s chains

Angel’s spine

It’s a steep drop

Traffic jam

The final chain

It’s a steep drop

Climbing the spine

Climbing the chains

Another chain picture

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Hiking in Zion National Park 2007 ‚Äď The Narrows

Ever since I saw the¬†“Secret’s of Zion and Bryce” on Travel Channel earlier in the year I have been wanting to hike the Narrows and Angel’s Landing.¬† My friend Nui was going to be in Salt Lake City for work and I made a trip up there to see my townhomes.¬† So we also planned to visit Zion for a few days.

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It was a 4.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City to Zion National Park.  We had reservations at the Pioneer Lodge which is located just a mere 1/2 miles from the entrance of the park.  The lodge is in a great location if you are visiting Zion and want to stay outside the park.  Staying at the Zion Lodge would have been ideal, but the had no rooms available.

In the morning we ate breakfast at the Pioneer Lodge restaurant and then caught the free Springdale shuttle bus which took us to the entrance.  From there, we paid the park entrance fee and caught the Zion shuttle which brings you deep into the park.

The Narrows

The Narrows is hike is a like none that I’ve ever been on.¬† You hike up the Virgin river in a deep canyon.¬† This hike is about 75% in water.¬† The beginning of the hike is an easy paved 1 mile trail called the Riverside Walk.¬† When you get to the end of the trail, the fun begins.¬† I highly recommend getting hiking poles and some shoes made for water.¬† If you get a nice pair of hiking poles you can travel up the canyon alot faster, which will allow you to go further in.¬† Zion adventure company¬†also rents equipment and we saw many people with their shoes and sticks.¬† If you don’t have a stick, look around, you should be able to find some walking sticks laying around at the first water crossing.

The park ranger told us that most people travel about 1 mile an hour on this hike.  It is slow going because you are stepping on wet rocks and are going against a pretty decent current.  We hiked about 2 miles in, ate lunch and then turned around and hiked back.

We did not get to Orderville Canyon, which was our goal.¬† In retrospect, we had plenty of time and could have easily made it there.¬† However, people coming back kept telling us it was still another hour or two’s hike out.¬† We were very close to reaching it.¬† Oh well, this leaves us a goal for the next time we do it.

Now, time for some pictures!

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zion narrows hike

Hiking in the narrows

Hiking in the narrows

Hiking in the narrows

Hiking in the narrows

Giving the fat squirrel a rock

Inside the Narrows

Resting at the trailhead

Inside the Narrows

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Park City Utah 2007

pcsign.jpgDuring a short weekend trip to Salt Lake City I had time to get in a quick biking trip in Park City.¬† I had rented a compact from Enterprise but all they had was a Chevy Aveo and a Dodge Neon.¬† I didn’t really like any of these cars.¬† They didn’t really have any good cars available.¬† They literally only had about 20 cars there.¬† I ended up getting a Hyundai Sante Fe SUV for $7 more a day (This is important for later).

Park City is located only 30 minutes away from Salt Lake City. It is also considered a great place to mountain bike.  Since I had a day free I decided to rent a bike, get a lift ticket and see how its trails are.

There was an art festival on Main street so many streets was blocked off.¬† They were also charging parking in the free lots today.¬† So I drove around and found an empty parking lot that happen to belong to the Park City Mountain Resort (This is important for later too).¬† Once I got out of the car I quickly realized that I didn’t know where I was so I called Rico to get directions to Main street.¬† It was a¬†1 mile¬†uphill walk to the bike rental store.

I got a half day rental and bought a one use lift ticket for $11.  There is a lift that starts right on main street.  This must be really nice in the winter during ski season because you can be shopping or eating at a restaurant and walk down the street and hop on a lift.

I rented a GT I-Drive 4.0.¬† The first thing I noticed was that it was alot heavier than my old 2002 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+.¬† Since I have been used to renting nicer bikes, this one just felt crappy.¬† Plus it had flat pedals.¬† I wasn’t too comfortable on it going downhill since I’m used to my feet being glued onto the pedals.

I rode up the lift and decided to ride the Mid-mountain Trail.¬† About 1.5 hours into the ride my derailleur broke.¬† It just snapped into two pieces.¬† I didn’t hit a rock or anything.¬† Luckily, I was on a trail that was 90% downhill so I coasted down the closest trail.¬† This is where things went well for me.¬† I happened to be parked at the parking lot where this trail exited.¬† Also, if I had rented the compact car I wouldn’t have been able to fit the bike in the car, so getting the SUV and parking so far away worked out beautifully.

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Broken Derailleur

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I walked into the bike shop with the derailleur in hand.¬† The guy apologized and said that they’ve been having problems with the I-Drives.¬† He gave me a full refund on the rental and I was on my way.¬† With the money refunded I went and got a souvenir shirt and went to see “The Bourne Ultimatium.”¬† It was a good day.

Nice singletrack pictures

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Durango Colorado 2007

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Since we have been to all the other Mecca’s of mountain biking¬†in the U.S. we decided to visit the remaining one¬†on our list.¬† We’ve been to Crested Butte not once, twice, three, four¬†or even¬†five¬†but six times!¬†We went to Sun Valley¬†and Ketchum in 2004.¬† We’ve been to¬†Moab, Utah¬†three¬†times also.¬† Durango, Colorado is¬†often referred¬†as¬†the Mecca of¬†mountain biking and it was only a matter of time until we made a trip to grace its sweet singletrack.

So instead of visiting Crested Butte for a seventh time, we made Durango our destination this year.¬†¬†We all had¬†different departure points.¬† The guys from Chicago started their 22 hour journey¬†at 9pm CST on Friday.¬† I left¬†Scottsdale, AZ¬†at 8am on Sunday morning.¬† Kevin left O’Hare at 12pm, Eddy and Shanda left Orange County, CA at 12pm Saturday.¬† Due to our awesome planning and coordination, we all arrived at our Durango house within 20 minutes of each other.

June 30th

I left Scottsdale at 8:30am with my two dogs.¬† This is the first trip that they’ve come on.¬† The owner of the home was kind enough to allow my dogs to come along.¬† Driving with the dogs required me to stop every few hours.¬† You never know when they have to go.¬† Shiprock, NM probably gets its name because its a barren desert with rock outcroppings that look like sunken ships.¬† This year, I snapped a few pics while my dogs were doing their business.

Feels like the middle of nowhere. Somewhere on the 491 in New Mexico (Used to be Highway 666)

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8 hours and 498 miles later I arrived in Durango at 5:30pm.  Every year, we keep upgrading our lodging.  This is a far cry from our ghetto camping days.  We rented a great home on 35 acres in Durango. Check out the home below!

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July 1st

salebarntrail.jpgThe whole western U.S. was experiencing a heat wave this week.¬† The temperature was in the high 90’s but at least it was dry.¬† For our first ride, we chose to ride Sale Barn and South Rim.¬† This was a short 7.5 mile loop that is just south of town.¬† It was a great starter ride to warm up and get used to the elevation and temperature.¬†¬†We did the South Rim to Big Canyon to Cowboy Loop. ¬†It was pretty much rolling terrain and singletrack.¬† The¬†Sale Barn trail was a nice downhill from the South Rim.¬†¬†

July 2nd

The Hermosa Creek Trail is why we came here.  A 21 mile downhill ride, it was going to be the best ride of the trip.  The beauty of this trail was that we were going to shuttle it.  We were going to drive ourselves to the top of the trail and cruise 20 miles downhill to the bottom where Shanda was going to pick us up and drive us back to the top.  That was until we got near the top and we saw a road closed sign.  We drove past the sign and saw some construction machines on the road and had to turn back.

hermosa-creek-elevation.jpgNow what?¬† Let’s just ride up, let’s do the out and back.¬† So our day of downhilling became a day of climbing.¬† Our goal was to make it to the Salt Creek Bridge, that was about 12 miles in from the bottom.¬† We made it up a difficult¬†9 miles,¬† just another 4 and we would have reached our goal.¬† But then Rex wanted to turn back.¬† So we all did.¬† Turns out, alot of us wanted to turn back… Rex just happened to be the only person to actually say it.¬† We’re glad he did because I don’t think many of us could have made it an additional 4 miles up and a 4 miles down.

 

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Eddy brought his new Garmin Edge 305 on the trip.  This little device is great because it maps everything we do.  It tells us how fast we climb, how much we rest, where we are and exactly how much we’ve climbed.  This little device is what is allowing you to see these great maps and graphs.  Garmin Edge + Google Maps = Awesome trail maps. 

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July 3rd

Semi Rest Day.  Many of us were bonked from the Hermosa Creek ride.  Eddy, Shanda and Mike went to ride the College loop which is located on a plateau around town.  Kevin and I rode the Ridge trail late in the PM.  But this was a very relaxed day or doing nothing, except eating.

July 4th

The trail for today was the Colorado Trail.¬† This is also considered a great trail in the Durango area.¬† We took the standard route from the trail head to Gudy’s Rest to the Colorado Loop counter-clockwise.¬† Below is the GPS Google Earth map of our route and its elevation change.

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This is the view from Gudy’s Rest which was the most scenic spot on our trip.

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This trail had two great downhills.¬† The first one is from Gudy’s Rest down to the trail head and the second is going down the Dry Fork Trail.¬† I’m sure you can see where the downhills were on the elevation map above.

As we were riding on the trail two rider’s passed us going the other way.¬† We are about 90% sure that one of the rider’s was Ned Overend¬†which is only fitting since he’s from Durango.¬† Eddy should have caught him to get his book autographed.

I think we had the most flats ever for one trail.  I believe there were a total of 5 flat tires on this day.  Other than that, it was a very good riding day.

 

July 5th

treasuremtsign.jpgThe last day of riding.  The forecast was 30% chance of rain.  Early in the morning I read about a trail called Treasure Mountain.  It was just 9 miles east on highway 160 and sounded like a real nice trail.  Well turns out I read it wrong and the trail is 9 miles east of Pagosa Springs which is 60 miles east of Durango.  Well, we decided to make the one hour trek east and try out this trail.  We exited highway 160 on County Road 667 and drove a bumpy 7 miles to the trailhead.

The book was right, this was some tight singletrack.¬† It looked like it was 6″ wide on some parts.¬† This is an out and back trail and is 5 miles uphill and 5 miles downhill.¬† I believe that there was a waterfall to see at the top.¬† However at the 2.5 mile point the skys got dark and we could hear rumbling in the distance.¬† A slow drizzle started and we decided to turn back.¬† The 2.5 miles of downhill was very fast.¬† This was a smooth trail with not too many turns.¬† There was a patch of¬†deep rutty horse tracks which we all seemed to just glide over to our amazement.¬† My brakes were squealing and it didn’t help when I went thru puddles.¬† I’m the only one running the old skool V-brakes on my ancient 2002 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+.¬† The drizzle turned into rain and then into¬†a downpour and then into hail.¬† Luckily we got back to the cars before it really came down.¬† I think we set a record for the fastest mounting of 9 bikes onto their racks.

 

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July 6th

Today was our traditional Friday morning breakfast.¬† We went to the¬†Brickhouse Cafe¬†in town and had a huge breakfast.¬† The Chicago crew was leaving town to begin their 22 hour journey back home.¬† The rest of us were staying until Saturday.¬† We booked a whitewater rafting trip on the Lower Animas river at 3pm.¬† This short 2 hour trip was only $25 and a great introduction to whitewater rafting for people who’ve never gone.¬† Unfortunately at around 2pm the skys turned grey and the rain came again.¬† The temperature dropped from 80 down to 55 degrees, so rafting wouldn’t have really been any fun.¬† So, we did the next best thing… we went to see Transformers.¬† What mountain biking trip wouldn’t be complete without a movie!

After the movie we went to East by Southwest, which was the first Sushi restaurant in Durango in 2002.¬† While the food was very good, I can’t understand how a place open since 2002 has such¬†poor service timing.¬† Our waitress told us that they have a hot kitchen (cooked stuff) and a cold kitchen (uncooked) and that they are on their own schedules and therefore the food doesn’t come out at the same time.¬†She told us this right after¬†we ordered, as if to warn us of the service to come.

So here’s the timeline of our food.¬† After we ordered, I got my “hand grenade”, a shrimp scallop rice appetizer in 10 minutes, then came the pot stickers about 5 minutes later, then came the warm foods (chicken teriyaki, tempura) at the 30 minute mark, then came the sashimi at the 45 minute make, finally the rolls at the 1 hour mark!¬†

July 7th

We left the house at 12pm.¬† I had my 8 hour drive home and the others their 6 hour total flights.¬† This trip went by so fast.¬† As usual, it’s a shame we only do this once a year.

Another sign picture

Which way

Wrong way

The ledge

Paul on Colorado Trail

Gudy’s Rest rest

Treasure mountain

JJ at Gudy

The brothers riding

Neo with sock bandages

Resting on the deck

Maggie at sunset

Farewell breakfast group shot

SUV 1

SUV 2

Sale Barn Trail

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