My 3rd RAWROD (Ride Around White Rim One Day), and 4th time around the White Rim.

I'm just going to cover some highlights. If you want more details of the ride, see my 2009, 2008 or first-time (self-supported, not RAWROD) reports.

The brat dinner and conversations around the fire are the perfect prelude (thanks to Kenny and Elden).

The weather was excellent - sunny, refreshing breezes and no significant wind, perfect not-too-hot-not-too-cold temperature, and the recent rain kept the dust down.

Brad M. and I rode up Horsethief and down the road to Shafer talking about this and that.

Pleasant surprise, we hit fee-free week for that national parks so no $5 entrance fee.

dug flew past me on his new full-rigid single-speed as I lallygagged down Shafer on my full suspension bike. Thanks for waking me up, dug.

Visibility was excellent making Canyonlands look even more vast. Photos don't do it justice, ever, but perhaps this picture gives you some sense of the immensity.

I can't not take a picture at Monument Basin. It just grabs you.

I stopped and took this picture because the scene was just crazy looking.

Lunch was at Vertigo Void this year - a location I thought I knew from years past, but I was mistaken. It's a BIG drop. But that's not the vertigo inducer. When you look under you see you're overhung 20-30 feet with the only 6 inches of rock at the lip. You get a creepy feeling as your mind figures out if the rock broke you'd plummet to your death. This is the standard posture for observing the void:

Didn't make it up Murphy Hogback, but I believe if I got in a bit better shape I think I could.

Did I mention this place is big?

Between Murphy and Hardscrabble I felt pretty good. I rode a lot with Eric B., Erik R. and Brandon (I rode down and back to Fruita with them). When someone felt good they took the lead and it worked well to keep us moving along.

I didn't make it up Hardscrabble either, but went a bit further in a few spots. Maybe some year.

I didn't fade too bad in the home stretch, and even made it through all the sand (love the 29" wheels).

Grinding up the Horsethief switchbacks it was helpful to know where the hard sections were, but they still hurt and several parts of my bad were yelling quite loudly to stop and rest. But I didn't want the shame of not making so I persevered and reached the top.

A burger at Rays and a nice drive back with Mark. Back home I showered and fell asleep in mid-sentence.

Spring Riding Stampede

I've been riding every chance I get, blog posts are taking a backseat.

Wednesday was foothills with Jolene.

Thursday Corner Canyon solo after work.

Saturday a 3 hour foothills tour with Keith.

Tonight was more Draper trails.

Mixed it up by starting at the pool. Up Oak Hollow, east on the BST. (Looked at the sign on the locked gate at Clarks - someone cut the chains on the upper and lower gates, the sign snidely thanked them). Down Silica Pit, up Stairs, up South Ghost Falls, up Canyon Hollow (one muddy section). Jamies is still muddy, so down Brocks (all dry), down North Ghost Falls. Time running out so took Mike Weir Blvd then back on BST and Oak Hollow.

Saw some familiar faces - Joel, Jim, Tasha. Pretty sure Mr. Pogue flew past me as I cranked up South Ghost.

The sunshine, warmth, trails drying out - Spring is a sweet time to bike.

Little Wildhorse Canyon - Spring break, Day 2.5

After playing at Goblin valley and eating lunch, we drove the few miles to Little Wildhorse Canyon - a scenic, fun, and easy (walking) slot canyon hike. We hiked it years ago with the kids, now it was time for Kara and Kade to have the experience.

After walking a ways up an open wash the canyon begins to narrow and eventually "slot up". There were a few short sections of shallow water (a first, it's always been dry before).

Around one bend we found 3 large chunks of ... snow! Pretty weird to find snow in this parched landscape, but there it was. I assume it had built up in the bottom of the canyon over the Winter and these were the last remnants.

We negotiated the water spots and made it to where the canyon opens up. The deep grotto with rock walls made a great echo chamber, which we tested extensively. Then we turned around and went back. (The other option was to continue up-canyon and cross over and descend Bells Canyon immediately to the south, but that adds a lot more miles.)

Skirting the water, or is it chocolate milk?

Hoping the placed rocks to stay dry.

The rock features are lovely and varied.

We'd hiked quite a bit this trip and the kids were dragging on the way down the canyon, but they kept moving and didn't complain much.

Kade scrapped his knee (again) so I carried him on my shoulders for close to a mile until the magical bandaids, with their healing / anesthetic powers, reached full potency.

Back at the van we headed for home. After Brad's incident I was extra alert driving Spanish Fork Canyon in the dark. I usually let one or more cars get in front of me - let them be the deer plows (is this wrong?).

This was a great trip. We saw lots of fantastic sights, had plenty of play - lots of smiles and laughs.

Goblin Valley - Spring Break, Day 2.0

Kids love Goblin Valley. It's a natural playground. When we walked to the overlook Kade said, "Can we go down there?" I was happy to tell him, "Yes we can!"

Jogging down the hill we got right into the hoodoos and just started playing around. Threading between rocks, hiding, climbing and running to yet another alien-looking geological oddity.

We eventually made our way east over to the red and white cliffs. As the canyon (of sorts) narrowed we went north and found a route up to the white layer. There was a even a cave in there.

Then we went south a ways skirting the orange cliffs and exploring and playing as we went. We came back for lunch 2-3 hours later.

In the visitors center is a map showing two more valleys south of the one shown bellow. Yeah, there's a lot to explore.

Kade and Kara playing on the rocks.

One bizarre rock formation after another.

It was Rachel's 16th birthday - I think she had fun.

Yeah, I'm into parkour.

After climbing up, this is the view to the east.

What planet is this again?

With spring break there were a lot of people there, but it's a big place and we had plenty of fun.

Next up, Little Wildhorse Canyon.

News Flash: Sticker Stunner

What made me stop in my tracks and stare in disbelief today?

This sticker was on the side of a truck (no surprise).

So many Freudian implications here.

Reminds me of the Seinfeld (another no surprise) where George combines sex, food and TV.

With creepy results.

Now back to the regularly scheduled vacation programming...

Arches - Spring Break, Day 1

Spring break for the kids last week (except for college student Jamie). Jolene came up with a good plan for a 2-day vacation and it worked out very well: Arches on Thursday, overnight in a hotel at Green River, Friday Goblin Valley and Little Wildhorse Canyon.

The weather was perfect - bright sunshine, blue skies scattered with white clouds, and cool temperatures.

Arches was fantastic.

First the hike to Delicate Arch. Yes, the arch is famous, it's on license plates, but it's still amazing.

The ledge part of the trail just before the arch has some exposure.

Kade took this photo of a lizard.

The petroglyphs not far from the trail head were worth the small detour.

Next we visited the Windows area.

Double Arch is impressive, in duplicity and scale.

I liked this view on the back side of the Windows with the snowy LaSals in the background.

The family shot with South Window in the background. (We missed Jamie.)

We went into Moab for dinner then drove to Green River to stay the night. After settling in we played in the pool for a while then to bed. The next day would be Goblin Valley and Little Wildhorse Canyon (coming in the next post).

New Bike: Gary Fisher HiFi Pro



Technically it's not a new bike, but it's new to me.

I bought a used medium HiFi then transferred the parts over to the large frame I bought on eBay.

I've had the bike out for 4 rides now and I like the way it handles, climbs, descends - everything.

I've never had bar ends before so I'm trying them out. It's nice to have a different hand position available, and it's very natural for climbing, but they crowd my hands and I've almost hooked a tree or two. I think I'll remove them soon.

The astute observer will notice the carbon seat post. I'm not a fan of carbon on mountain bikes, especially the seat post. I'll get a metal one soon. Anyone got one for sale or trade?

The handle bars are also carbon and I'll replace those with an aluminum riser bar. I feel too far forward and low with the flat bars.

The cranks are also carbon, but I don't think they're much of a risk, unless your last name is Holley.

I've got the shifters and brake levers dialed in. I'm still making adjustments to the seat height / position and the suspension tuning.

The rims aren't tubeless ready so I'll either do the rim tape conversion or get some different rims / wheels.

I'll be selling off the medium frame and my Prophet soon. Hard to let the Prophet go, it's carried me over many miles of trail and it rides so plush and nimble.