October 2000

Our Utah Vacation.

We left Vancouver on a rainy September evening heading South to Seattle. In my excitement on being on the road I forgot that I was supposed to turn off on the I-90!!! Whoops! This added about an hour onto our drive and got us as far as Ellensburg Wa. We were up early the next morning heading towards Yakima… when I missed that exit too! ack! To make up the lost time I sped through Oregon and was stopped by one of the friendly troopers who graciously warned me about speeding, fortunately he didn’t catch me going 100mph… The stretch between Eastern Oregon and Salt Lake City is BORING when you’ve done this drive three times already.

We had our first ride in Utah in an area called Diamond fork, off Highway 6 East of Provo. Unfortunately the trail was inaccessible since they were building a TUNNEL from the river there into Spanish Fork, it was going to take 4 years!

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Anybody out there who feel the environment is not important… start reading about water…

We had to start from another area that would make us end our ride with a 2000ft climb….(5500ft->7500ft) We also had to start with a 2000ft climb… (7500ft->9500ft)

Fortunately the climbs were divided by an AMAZING descent through aspens

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and scrub oak that were in full fall colours!

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We finished our ride tired and happy and then had to do the BIG drive back to SLC. Fortunately we had Al with us who told us of a ‘short cut’ on a logging road… So we took the back roads back without incident except when we had to pass a Ford 350 pickup on a narrow switchback section of the dirt road, and we stayed out of the way of the hunters who had to provide for their families.

We got back to Gary’s and were hanging out when we heard a knock on the door and it was NOEL! with DaveK and Todd. Gary now had 5 people sleeping in his living room and 9 bikes in his bike room.

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We got up the next day and Noel put his bike together and while testing Todd’s new Disc brakes he managed to endo and put a big Lee wound on his knee which I heard festered for the next two weeks and banned him from using hot tubs…

We then went for a ride in Park city. We rode from 8000-10,000ft and fortunately the lack of oxygen didn’t prevent us from enjoying the Aspens in their brilliant fall colours nor did it stop us from telling Tuna’s that Uphill riders have the right of way over people going downhill… (someone else can tell the story)

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One thing we found is that you have to stop and rest A LOT when climbing at 10,000ft!

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Our Next ride took us to Boulder Mountain on the Aquarius plateau off Highway 12. A must drive for anyone who wants to see geology at its diverse best.

There are a network off trails that start at about 8000ft, where we camped and climb to 10,000-11,000 ft. You end up on the Great Western Trail that starts in Montana and goes all the way to Mexico. Apparently John Stamstead ( the non-human 24hour solo guy and Ididabike guy) has ridden this trail.

We decided to ride up to the Great Western trail then back down… The start of the climb was really fun single track with some amazing views of Capitol Reef and the Henry Mountains.

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We even were threatened by a storm in the distance

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At the top of the trail, after climbing the last 1500ft in 500ft we were dazed by the lack of oxygen and the views

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The descent was very slippery over the loose rocks and slightly wetted dirt. We were again blessed with a real cool descent through the aspens and we even saw deer and elk! and fortunately no hunters!

This picture is taking from Capitol Reef which you can see from the previous pictures, the shadow of the mountain in the distance is Boulder Mountain.

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Thus ends our first few days of riding.