St. George Day 3: Hiking

Remember when you could sleep like this?

Pioneer Park

After some swimming at the hotel pool Saturday morning, we headed to Pioneer Park (just a little north of St. George Boulevard on top of the bluff). We visit this place almost every time we're in St. George with the kids, because it's fun. I mentioned it in a post last April.

First up is The Crack - a narrow slit in a sizable rock outcrop. It's a tight fit for adults. I'm 6' 1" and 170 lbs and there are 2-3 places I have to exhale to squeeze through. But it's easy for the kids. In fact my 6 year old boy can walk through the whole crack facing forward.

Here's the middle squeezy part.

Kade and Jolene near the end.

Here's what it looks like from up top.

Once out of The Crack we meandered across the rocks to the southeast to see this little arch (that's Kara and her cousin Julia).

Then we wandered around the rocks and I took a few plant photos. Not sure what flower this is, but it's lovely and gives me that "it's Spring" feeling.

Alex mentioned the Blackbrush should be blooming (or very close to blooming). I thought this is Blackbrush, but after looking at Alex's photos I don't think it is. Still a nice splash of green.

Red Cliffs

Next we drove to Leeds to visit the Red Cliffs Recreation Area. We hiked up the creek a few years ago and decided to do it again. We hoped to go higher up the canyon.

Rachel, me and Jamie just past the first obstacle (the muscle pose was Jamie's idea). You can see the steps carved into the rock and a helper rope on the right. It wasn't difficult, but Kade and Kara didn't like it so they stayed back with Jolene.

The older girls and I went up maybe 50 yards and found the next obstacle - a full swim through a flooded channel with rock walls on each side. We scrambled up the rock to the right and got up top. I scouted farther up and determined it might be possible to get back down to the stream past the swim, but I didn't want to leave Jolene and the younger kids too long so we reversed course. But before we downclimbed back into the bottom, Jamie took this photo looking up the canyon.

This is what Kade and Kara did while they waited for us.

We'd had enough of our kids, so we decided to hang 'em.

We hiked out, got in the car and drove home (with a stop in Filmore for burgers and shakes at Larry's Drive In).

All in all a good family trip. It would have been nicer if Thursday and Friday would have been warmer, but it was sunny and warmer than back home.

Monday Jolene and I took advantage of the good weather with a 13 mile out-n-back ride on the BST. I spun out on some loose rocks going around a switchback and fell downhill into some deadwood. But the added adrenaline and anger at my dorkiness fueled me up the rest of the climb from Battle Creek south even though it was loose, especially in the steepest sections.

Tonight I've been working on wheels.

Mike at the UMB shop trued up the two 26" wheels I laced a while ago to the Stans ZTR 355 rims I bought from Bob last year. The front tire on my Prophet went flat (the Stans sealant dried up) so I started with the front wheel. I applied the yellow tape as the rim strip and installed the valve stem. Put the flat tire on the new wheel but the bead wouldn't seat (no surprise). Put in a tube to seat the beads and reform the tire. After an hour I deflated the tube and was happy to see that both beads stayed seated. I broke the bead on one side to get the tube out and reinstalled the valve stem, but I couldn't get it re-seat with the floor pump, but the CO2 got it. I deflated it again and both beads held. I removed the valve core and used a syringe to put Stans sealant into the tire. Replaced the valve core and it pumped right up. This is how tubeless should be! I'm confident these new rims (wheels) will make it much easier to add sealant, which is the only real maintenance for tubeless tires. With my previous wheels the bead always broke when I deflated the tire to add more sealant and I always had to fight to get the beads to re-seat.

Next up was installing the Bontrager rims strips for my Bontrager Rhythm Comp 29er wheels. I got the front wheel all setup, but the brand new Maxis Crossmark tires came close to holding air, but not good enough. Plus I was out of Stans sealant so it didn't make sense to proceed any further. I'll get some more sealant tomorrow and finish the job. I'm looking forward to riding the 29er tubeless - with some weight out of the wheels I expect it to handle and climb even better.


MOCougFan said...


Enjoyed reading and looking at the pics. I'm jealous as usual. I'm not claustrophobic but man that crack looked tiny. I'm afraid I'd get in the middle and freak out.

See you Saturday.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Wow, you guys are having the BEST time! Love it!

Watcher said...

Looks like you guys had a great trip!

The flower is Globe Mallow. Very pretty, does well in disturbed areas- you see it it lots of places in the desert where there's been a fire in the past several years.

The mystery-shrub is Creosote, which confirms you were in the Mojave, and which is a way, way wicked cool shrub. Looks like it is about to bloom, which I sort of expected it already would have. Anyway, you can always confirm creosote by crushing and sniffing the leaves- it'll smell like an old wooden telephone pole.

We did that same family hike in Red Cliffs a couple years ago- that's a cool little canyon.

KanyonKris said...

MOCougFan & Kathleen - thank you for the comments.

Watcher - thank you for identifying the plants.