Round Valley XC Ski

Steve and I went to Round Valley (near Park City) to cross country ski Saturday.

The sky was clear and sunny when we left, but it was windy, overcast and snowed off and on while we skied.

It's been a bad year for snow but there was just enough to cover the ground at Round Valley. The groomed trails were very firm.

There are 25k of groomed trails and you can link loops to get whatever you distance want. The grades are generally mild and perfect for XC skiing, especially skate skiing (we saw skate skiers the most).

We started at Quinns trailhead near the Ability Center. Then went out on Hat Trick, Matts Flat, Cammys, then down Two Pines. The wind was so strong we had to push to get down Two Pines.

We made a loop up Sled Dog, across Rademan Ridge and down Quarry Road. Then down Silver Summit Connector, with the wind at our back we zipped along.

We took Silver Quinn Express back to the Ability Center. Kind of weird to be skiing next to a freeway. The trail was actually pretty fun with ups and downs to keep things interesting.

We finished with Hat Trick and Fastpitch to bring us back to the trailhead.

There were a few guys out on mountain bikes. The snow was so hard packed they didn't sink it. I kinda wished I had my bike, it looked fun.

I had a good time skiing Round Valley. I'd like to go again when there is more and softer snow. Or if it stays hard packed I want to ride it on my bike.

Family XC Ski

Monday (President's Day) we rented cross country skis for the girls and skied Little Mill up American Fork Canyon.

Here's me and my boy. With those camo pants I think he'll be 10th Mountain Division.

Here's the whole gang, except Jolene taking the photo.

We wrapped Jolene's bad leg in packing foam and added cutouts where the metal rods are. It worked well enough she could ski, but it still hurt.

Kade and I going down a little slope.

The girls doing a Rockettes maneuver, except Kara is falling down. Love the expression caught on her face.

Second time's the charm.

Loitering kids.

And finally, a giant powdered donut.

It was nice to get out for some Winter fun.

I tried a mountain bike ride on Saturday. The foothills looked dry. They were not. When I retreated from the mud I found more mud. Once I got to pavement I just went home and hosed off my bike. This time of year it's a roll of the dice.

San Diego - Days 2, 3, 4

Monday morning DJ and I set out to ride west to Point Loma then south on the peninsula to Cabrillo Point. The riding was pretty good. Most of the time there was a wide shoulder, and sometimes a bike lane.

We had a little climb up to Point Loma then stopped for water.

It was a nice ride to Cabrillo. We took the road down to the sea shore. Nice views.

It felt good to get the pulse up on the climb back out.

We took the same route back and arrived with just enough time to shower and get to the conference.

Tuesday we rode northwest to Mission Beach. There were a few bridges to cross over Mission Bay. We rode north along the beach walkway until we arrived at Crystal Pier, which has some small bungalows out on it. The view was nice from the pier.

Being Valentine's Day I made a heart in the sand to send to my wife. (Who plans a conference on Valentine's Day? Lame.)

Then we rode south along the Pacific Beach walkway. Very scenic. And loved the salty smell of the sea air and the sounds of the surf.

At Mission Beach we headed back. On the way back we took a slightly different route through Point Loma which took us along the shore. The cliffs made a good view.

On the last day we went north again but this time hit the east side of Mission Bay. It was a good route. The park along the bay was pleasant.

We went north into La Jolla. Some nice homes there, must be worth millions. Had some more nice views of the ocean.

We made our way back to Pacific Beach and took the walkway again but kept going all the way down Mission Beach. Very nice, leisurely ride. Then back the usual route to the hotels.

Riding in San Diego in the 50s was a nice break from the 30s back in Utah. Although all the locals had jackets and looked at me a bit strangely since I had bare legs and only arm warmers.

Having a bike allowed me to see way more of San Diego, and I enjoyed every ride. I don't think I would have ever made it to a beach without a bike. Well worth $100 for the 4 days. And San Diego is pretty bike-friendly with wide streets and lots of bike lanes and paths.

San Diego - Day 1

I was in San Diego this week for a convention that started on Monday. I flew out early Sunday, picked up a rental road bike, went back to the hotel to change then set out for a ride around San Diego Bay.

I pedaled up to Broadway and just made the 11 am ferry over to Coronado, which is almost an island. Lots of bikes on the ferry. A cruiser bike group was out for a ride and had some tricked-out bikes.

The ferry went past the aircraft carrier Midway which has been turned into a museum. That thing is big.

Arriving at Coronado I took a bike path along the shore. It passed by a park that had this cool cycling sculpture (the wheels turn in the wind).

Over on the ocean side I stopped by the Hotel del Coronado. It's a historic site and very classy.

I walked my bike around the back past the pool and out to the beach. I parked the bike and took off my shoes and socks to walk down the beach. The sand was warm and soft.

This guy made this sand castle. I talked with him a bit, turns out his daughter lives in Park City.

Ahh, the ocean. This is what I came to see. I waded in mid-shin, the water was cold.

After wandering around and filling my water bottle I headed south down the Silver Strand. There's a bike path the whole way. I stopped at the Silver Strand State Beach and spent almost an hour there. I ran down down the beach - tried to avoid the seaweed at first, then discovered that the bulbs pop like bubble wrap when stepped on. Then I laid back, closed my eyes and soaked up the sun, listened to the surf and breathed the salt air. Serenity now.

I continued south down the Silver Strand then east along the south end of the bay. Miles of riding with no stops - just getting into a cadence and stay there.

About half way up the east side of the bay I peeled off onto a bike path going along highway 54. It ended at a mall and I rode around looking for a place. I chose a Sante Fe Turkey burger at Carl's Jr., it was really good.

Went back to the bay and headed north through an industrial area, not scenic and the roads were rough. I didn't see a pothole and got a pinch flat. The rental had a a repair kit so I fixed it and was on my way.

Close to 30 miles by the time I got back to the hotel. Took a shower and met some former coworkers for dinner downtown.

Yeah, that was a good day.

The next three days I did morning rides with my friend DJ. I'll cover those rides next.

Off Piste

Saturday I slept in and missed the early ski, and I waffled on the Velo Club 45 mile ride until it was too late, so I went for a solo ski up the Alpine Loop from the Provo Canyon side.

Before I left the house, I used Google Earth to reminded myself where the 055 Lame Horse Trail (some call it Jurassic Park), in case I felt like doing a little off piste exploring.

I went up the snow-packed road a little over a mile then ventured off looking for 055. I found it quickly. It was only 20 yards from the road and it was a fairly established skin track.

After a while the skin track ended and I made my own tracks.

Only a few times was the way unclear. Usually a shallow trough was detectable in the snow.

It was a nice day, sunny and not too cold. And the trees were actually quite lovely.

Stopped at the Alpine Loop summit to eat and take in the view.

I went up a little higher to scout out a route over to the drainage I had skied last year. I followed some tracks initially then went off on my own. Coming around a point I could see I'd need to go over another ridge, but I didn't have time or energy for it so I headed down.

At first the hillside was open and I traversed back and forth easily. (I can't telemark turn, especially on XC skis.) Then it got brushier and steeper. The going was not easy. But I eventually made it back to the trail.

I stuck with the trail for a while but it was steep enough that descending it was hairy so I bailed onto the road (another bushwhack).

Now I was pooped and my back and shoulders were tired from all the poling. I was glad it was a fairly mellow glide back to the car. And I had this to look at:

It was fun to get out for a little ski adventure. I liked the trail and will go up it again. For the descent, I'll stick to the road. If this winter lasts I'll make another attempt to get to the drainage that was fun to descend.Link

Oh, and tonight I hit Brighton for some night skiing after work. The snow is hard and just short of icy. Some loose stuff on top. I met Mark and his son Alder for a few runs. I had fun. Well worth $17.

Wrong Mirrors

Ever since I started driving I've had my car mirrors wrong. I would adjust the side mirrors so I could see the side of the car. But according to this, that's wrong. The mirrors should show you the blind spots. Makes sense.

So I made this change a month ago because my Pontiac Vibe has big blind spots and I've almost sideswiped other cars a few times. The blind spots are clearly visible now, so that's good. But without being able to see the side of the car in the mirror it's hard to judge distance. In total I think it's a good change. If you drive a vehicle with bad spots, give it a try.