Fruita - Our Utah Vacation

Lee and I were now into our last week of vacation. After driving through the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations in Northern Arizona we saw much of the Anasazi Ancient culture and ruins. Very interesting area that everyone should go to sometime in their life. The Hopi reservation utilizes buildings that were built in around 1000AD, they are an interesting people that have been able to isolate themselves from most of American culture except that they do have Nike shoes…

ANYWAY we drove to Moab to meet up with Moneyman, woodmouse and zilla who were doing the 24 hours of Moab. Since we’d been able to log onto the internet during our vacation I knew that Charlie had bailed and that they were looking for a 4th rider… I mentioned this to Lee who IMMEDIATELY refused even CONSIDERING racing during his vacation!

We got to the race site on THURSDAY NIGHT MONEYMAN, looked around for two red pickup trucks with Montana license plates but could not find them. We found a nice quiet spot way back from the site and had a pretty good view of the scene.

The next morning we looked around some more but figured they weren’t there yet… So we drove the car down to the main area, Lee rode around some more when this young guy with a pony tail came up to me and introduced himself! They were there last night. Mike mentioned that they were going to ask Lee to race, I mentioned that Lee said he was not keen to race, but they could ask anyway. Mike went back to their campsite, I found Lee and told him where they were and by the time I got to their campsite they had convinced Lee to race. Lee must have held out for at least one breath!

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It was fun Hanging out and riding with you guys!

So the next day Lee agreed to race the first two laps. He started out with the lemans start and had a good first lap of 1-1/2 hours. He had one Luna bar between his first and second lap and was feeling pretty good at the start of lap two. But then at about the 10km marker (out of 22…) he was feeling bonky… after begging riders for Gu he finally got some and made his way back to the start area where WM took over. Lee was a mess!!!

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He gorged himself when he got back to the campsite. Mental note, One Luna Bar is not enough for a 44km race lap…

At this point we packed up our stuff and headed to Fruita.

Lee vowed he was not going to ride the next day. We were supposed to ride the Kokopelli trail with Troy et al from Fruita but that was a no go. After talking to Sarah she mentioned that they were going to go for a ride in the Book Cliffs with Kevin (tiggerrider) Greg (Bugaroo) and Mynette. When Lee heard this he decided that a nice spin with this group would be a good thing! But that was before we knew how much Kevin liked to climb… and Greg liked to go fast on rolly polly descents!

Here's Troy heading the charge!

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This is Kevin - the climbing machine!

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Get that thumb out of your @ss greg!

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Mynette on her new Moots softail showing us how its done

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Its not too often that we have the opportunity to ride true singletrack!!!

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and revel in the views!

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Unfortunately since this area has become more popular people have been missing the point about what single track is all about and have been riding off the line. This is much like when, as a kid, you used to colour in colouring books and you could not stay within the lines. This is a sign of incompetence and lack of skill! and you do not get any points for doing this! So for anyone who will be riding in Fruita, or in this area or any area that has single track, challenge yourself and STAY WITHIN THE LINE. Challenging yourself is a good thing and will only make you a better rider. Short cuts only cheat yourself!

The next day we rode with Kevin and Greg on Eagles wing and Andy’s. Kevin is a monster, he actually LIKES climbing. I thought I liked climbing, I don’t dislike climbing but man does he like to climb. But I digress… there are some pretty spank me descents on this trail! Glad we did it but no pictures. Greg has some good ones though!

On our third day in Fruita, day 6 of riding we wanted to take it easy… but after talking with JD about our riding options we decided to ride the Edge loop… There is only ONE big climb, yes only ONE frigging endless climb that went on and on and on. Oh but we can go slow! arg. Good thing JD was on his single speed… Ya and ex-military 6ft7in +220lb guy will take it easy on his single speed…

Here’s JD taking it easy…

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A representative edge loop shot;

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Here I am taking it easy on the edge loop.

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Here Lee is thinking about riding down the waterfall. Why not - Noel did it!!! But he had a dually and he put a rock in at the transition spot. But we all know that just because Noel can ride something doesn’t mean anyone else can… or should…

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After we left Fruita, actually Grand Junction, Thanks again Kevin! Remember the time sharing!!!

We made our way back along the I-70 to SLC. Along the way you are treated with amazing visions of rocks doing things they should not be able to do. This is a picture of the San Rafael Swell, a 200 mile long anticline that creates a barrier that was not breached until the I-70 was built (again, those American roads! ). The Fremont indians lived here in around 1000AD and you can see their pictographs on the walls of Black Dragon Canyon at mile 145 just before the start of the swell.

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Our last ride took us on the Iron Wash Divide Trail. Its South of   the Ranch Exit off the I-70. We did the Red, Orange and Green took us home. From the map we figured it would take about 4 hours, well 6 hours later we were back at the car.

The Red trail was really cool, called so because of the very rich iron content that was quite distinct along this stretch. We didn't take any really good pictures to demonstrate the uniqueness of this area so you'll just have to go there yourself! Here's me riding one of the sections along this trail.

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The orange trail had less rock on it and you could really see the effects of ATV's in this area.This was one of the areas where we got lost since we could not see where the trail continued on the other side...

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After this ride, we crossed the I-70 at the Ranch Exit and made our way up to the Wedge Overlook. If you don't have time to go to the Grand Canyon, CAMP HERE! Its a great place for a morning coffee!

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This concludes yet another journey in the lives of me and lee!