Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Dixie Day 3

The next morning, Scott and I rode down less than 5 miles before he turned off. I rode to Hatch for some of the best breakfast at Galaxy Cafe.

I got a ride from a local rancher, Tom Hatch, that was driving to Kanab for some golf. We chatted about his ranch and ancestors (who settled in Hatch, hence the name) before he dropped me off at Long Junction.

No luck after an hour at Long Junction, but finally I got a ride to the Village, about 12 miles up the road. From the Village, I took some scenic back roads to my car. Even found some singletrack to ride.























An incredible route. The colors were out of this world. The Colorado Plateau truly is one of the best places on Earth.

Another example on the Colorado Plateau that I passed on the way home, the Coyote Buttes.



Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dixie Day 2

We were a bit slow to rise in the morning. Donuts for breakfast before continuing up Pole Canyon.



and on to my favorite trail on the route, Grand View.









Later, we dropped 1000 feet off the plateau only to ride back up. I was questioning Dave's route choice for a few miles.



As soon as I turned this corner, my faith in Dave returned. Why did I ever doubt him?




















...



A thunderstorm caught up with us just before Chimney Rock TH. We hunkered down under an awning at a camper's site. After being tempted by beer and soda (we politely refused), we pressed on only to catch the same storm that had just passed.







Chimney Rock Trail



Thunder Mountain







At the beginning of Thunder Mountain, it was too dark to take pictures. As we neared the end, the light finally opened up. Some amazing lighting really lit up the place for 30 minutes.









Last two pictures by Scott Morris



After Thunder Mountain, we zipped down the highway toward the lodge for dinner and a place to stay. Scott ordered the chicken fried steak (which was delicious), I made the healthy mistake of ordering the chicken balsamic (less calories and so-so). After dinner, I called my girlfriend. She was slowly progressing from food poisoning in Mexico.....time to bail.

Although, Day 3 still had plenty of riding and hitchhiking back to the car.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Dixie Day 1

Scott and I met in Cedar City at 11am, 4 days after the scheduled start of the Dixie. The 311-mile version seemed too far out of reach with my work schedule, thus making the late start an option. Once we decided upon the date (Scott was a bit sick on the start date), we opted for a little bit of each version which would still be ~200 of bikepacking through southern Utah. This allowed both of us to spend some time with our respective family and provide us with some tracks to follow.

We rolled out a little bit before noon on Tuesday, climbing up to the



Virgin River Rim Trail.



As you can see from the pictures, the trail is quite a gem.



Scott debated the best line to descend...



before descending.



A classic view from the VRRT, the pink and white shown here was pretty much the theme for the next day also.



As we neared Long Junction, late afternoon thunderstorms began to appear in the sky around us...just enough motivation to pedal a little faster to out ride the storms.

We rolled into the Chevron at Long Junction just before sunset. After buying some chips, fig newtons and cashews, we began the quick 7-mile stretch of highway to the forest access. The option to eat on private land (aka the road) only to have to continue up the road to sleep was not very appealing. We pressed on toward Pole Canyon.

The cue sheet says the route up to Pole Canyon TH looks like "someone's backyard." It took Scott and I several failed attempts to find it. We post holed through a section of bog before finding the trail. Tired and hungry, we sat down at the first available section. In reality, this would mean sleeping on the trail. It sounded okay with me, but as soon as we started pulling out food we heard the sound of bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....mosquitos. No good.

We packed up and began hiking up the steep trail. After about 30 minutes of riding and hiking, we found another section of the trail that was flat. We pulled out our freeze dried food and began the nearly effortless pleasure of eating on the trail. We slept right on the trail, with very little room for anything else but the sleeping pad.

I awoke to some tree branches breaking off to my right and later a mosquito began to bother me. It was less than an ideal night of sleep.

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