I didn't have any set plans for Saturday, but it turned out to be a good day.
Friday, with the two oldest girls at youth conference, we took the two youngest to see Aliens vs Monsters at the dollar show - it was fun. After the movie Jolene and I got as far in Saturday planning as doing a little mountain bike ride together. I went to bed with three options:
- Help Jamie P. build his dream trail in Corner Canyon (Draper)
- Help repair a mud bog section of the Deer Creek South Fork trail (American Form Canyon)
- Join the Utah Velo Club group ride up Hobble Creek and back.
As I drove up AF Canyon I passed lots of roadies and admit I envied them knowing how good the ride is. I was also on the lookout for Chad, a frequent commenter on this and other Utah cyclist blogs, who was out visiting from Missouri. I pulled along one rider and asked "are you Chad?" In my defense it's hard to recognize people in cycling garb, what with the helmet and sunglasses and such. And because I don't have the best memory for faces and names. Turns out it was a friend of Chad's who remembered me from RAWROD who informed me Chad was up ahead.
I should have known Chad would be easy to spot - he was wearing his beloved BYU jersey. I pulled along side and said hello. Then I went ahead and took some photos - here's your action shot, Chad:
A ways up the road I saw two cyclists working on a bike. I stopped to help and gave a tube I had in the car to the cyclist who gave his to the other cyclist, and brought out my floor pump. I was glad I could help out. A few years ago a cyclist in a car stopped to help me fix a flat and it inspired me to carry tools and supplies so I could do the same.
I arrived at the trail work location and got busy. It was a bigger project than I expected with some digging, lots of lumber construction, and adding road base. I hauled a 6 foot 4x6 down the trail, which was muddy and slippery from the overnight rain.
I got to use some of the tools the Forrest Service supplied. There were the usual hand tools like Pulaski's and McCloud's, but the highlight was using this gas-powered drill:
(Insert Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor grunt)
Here I am putting that bad boy to use (in orange hard hat, background center):
When I left at 3 PM we had a lot done.
I wrenched my back pulling the drill out of a hole so when I got home I laid down in the backyard to rest it as the kids played - the St. George cousins were over. Lying in the grass in the shade and listened to the kids play, I watched bees busily visiting the clover in the lawn. Then I heard a bird sing and looked up and watched it flitting around in the tree. Then I noticed the moon up in the sky. It was a zen-like moment as I soaked in the beauty of nature and considered the difference in scale from the moon to the bee and wondered at the order and complexity of it all. Do you have these times when you see familiar things anew? I hope so, because it made me feel good.
After the cousins left, Jolene and I went for a quick mountain bike ride up in the foothills. We went up the Water Tank road then down to the Race Course for a lap and half. The grass has grown tall and in a few places you can hardly see the trail. And the oak brush has encroached, making a tunnel in one place. The flowers are still going strong and the splashes of color, especially yellow, were beautiful. The trails were in good shape and we enjoyed pumping up the climbs and blasting down the descents.
We dropped down onto the paved Provo River Parkway trail and as we exited the canyon and crested the little climb up 800 North we saw the sunset. It was breath-taking and remarkable for intensity of color and brightness. I couldn't keep my eyes off it. The shades of pink, orange and yellow were bold and vibrant. It was a dramatic end to a really good day of service, family, wonder and recreation that seemed to come together on its own.