Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moab, cause everybodies doin it Memorial day weekend!

Never traveled to the bustling area of Moab over Memorial day weekend and I probably won't do it again either. The friends were great (they saved us a spot) the weather was awesome (sun, clouds, a little rain) and the trails (Gemini Bridges, Gold Bar Rim, Poison Spider) were grippy and uncrowded, but the crowds..............................WOW......................and traffic........................ (I'll show you later).
It wouldn't be Moab without a shelf road to somewhere beautiful. This was our morning commute to the Gemini Bridges, Gold Bar Rim loop and it never disappoints. We are headed up to the cliff line, upper right hand corner just below the clouds.
 If you look just above my wifes head you can see the ridgeline where we started in the previous photo.
Yes, that's a pretty big drop over the edge and you can see all the way to Green River 30 miles north.
It is hard to get the feeling with just one view so here is a look back from a pretty safe spot.
 This is looking towards the Colorado river, the La Sal mountains (fresh snow) and the edge of Moab.
That is a fracture in the rock and the yellow paint spots mark the Gold Bar rim to Portal trail mountain bike segment.

This new play area was off the Poison Spider named "where eagles dare", all slick rock.
Another one I would not want to pedal.
My wife working on her 1/4 pipe skills.
Found this ole-brown swimmin hole at the end of Poison Spider.
Same hole-different angle: It wouldn't be complete if I was'nt in one photo.
Thanks to our new dirtbike friend Lou for getting the camp spot mid-week so we could all spread our dirt bikes over the desert floor. Yes, I see at least 13 tents here.
That's my wife wrenching on her rear tire (foam insert) only to end up stuffing an old t-shirt in the space to fill the void. It's a tech-thing.
Monday was our easier ride/travel day so we opted for the Sovereign trails and once again.......uncrowded.
The traffic from the pass at Soldier summit really hit us 8 miles from the mouth of Spanish fork where this photo was taken at an average speed of 3 MPH. 
We couldn't bear the violation of our carbon footprint so we made a rest area on a side road.
Then suddenly we decided to explore the rest of the road to Diamond campground, up and over Hobble creek into Springville.
This is the Red Ledges day use area, a highly recommended stop and how about the Snoopy cloud! We also found a new way back to Salt Lake, should we ever need to avoid another Holiday weekend traffic jam.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Southern swell goblin roundup ride.

While the moisture has been wonderful for the state the recreational choices are constantly being detoured to the drier portions of the state. Most recently noted the San Rafael swell area below I-70 and above Goblin valley was looking prime for some cool desert riding. If you ever get the chance to check this area out it is a landscape shooters dream as well as a desert canyon hiker or dirt bikers wonderland of visual diversity. We hadn't been here in a couple years but the weather was looking perfect, puffy clouds, cool temperatures and some possible light rain with dramatic clouds.

For a shorter arrival day ride we chose the Waterfall trail loaded with washes, scenics, tech and some fast singletrack.
This place has recently expanded the "free" camping zones throughout a few of the washes but we opted for the big flat firepit dirt parking area with pretty decent views of the Henry mountains.

We opted for Red on this trip instead of hauling the moto-trailer and Green just to get a little extra mileage out of Amy's trusty 93 pickem up.
This is one of the many cool washes you can camp in or travel through to get to the singletrack.
Sandy bottom, one car width goodness.
 We use Temple Mountain as our reference guide wherever we go in this range because it is always visible from most trails.
I love my 2 wheeled push-m-pedals bike, but this isn't the place for that motorless toy. The red trail is one step down from 5 MOH (miles of hell) but plenty of challenge for most riders that seek desert-tech riding.
GPS is nice but the fresh red paint from the Sage riders is very helpful for keeping the flow in an area where many people try alternate routes of escape when bailing a tough section.
Scenic-yeah, techy-yeah, Fun-yeah!
And there's our Temple Mountain marker again.
Best riding partner evah.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Desert stoke and season shakedown ride.

In a seasonal lifestyle there are endless firsts, the first cast, first ride, first skin, first wave, first powder day, first big drop..... you get it! With all of our complex toys it comes down to how they were put away "last season". Fortunately with a little extra time this Winter we were able to prep the dirt bikes for their first ride and what better testing grounds then the desert of mid-west Utah near the San Rafael Swell known as Chimney Rock.

With a quick over nighter and only one good long day of riding, we lucked out on some great weather with my favorite lighting scenario, dark storm clouds off in the not so distance. With just a light dampening of the desert floor camping was going to be prime.
There was a micro-tornado on the drive in and then an awesome full rainbow just before we got to camp, and then the wind subsided and the moon came out.
A big Thank you to Cousin Kate for the Big Agnes tent loaner and BA for the Pine Island 4 shelter design.
Not a bad spot to wake up in for the seasons first "shakedown ride".
We actually got to play tour guide with 2 new riders and 2 vets from Salt Lake and I almost forgot to shoot a few images until we came to this gem of a scene.
All we needed was to get back to camp, load the bikes and get off the clay before this monster hit us.
Thanks to my amazing riding partner and wife for the smooth throttling and great patience for making a few fun images.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Anniversary in Sayulita

Sayulita has been on my mind ever since our last visit 6 years ago for our honeymoon. At that time SUP wasn't even on the acronym map and street tacos were only at a couple locations. Long time away from the surf and simple pleasures of this rapidly growing little hot spot of Nayarit Mexico. This once sleeper village all grown up!
 It was a blessing to see this much green in March where everything is usually dried up and dusty from the Winter season.
We opted for a little extra culture this trip and stopped in at the local market in La Cruz for some amazing food and local artist vendors.

For most visitors it's about the beach, but without the surf utensils it's just another sandy swimming spot. standupsayulita.com is the place for SUP in Sayulita and has the best gear for both rental and retail in the area. They also support numerous pros and help promote the sport to every age group.
We quickly learned that sunset sessions were the least crowded and most consistent for waves. And if you want to paddle with some local pros like shelbytaylorsup.com and Javier with his son evenings are best.
One of the quiter sections of beach just minutes from the main attraction has a steeper entry into the ocean, but less crowds.
This rocky beach plays host to some decent sunrise material and is a 3 minute walk from playa centro.
But my all time favorite is over by playa-escondida.com where I have done a bit of work with over the years. Muy fantastico!
For many, the attraction in Sayulita is the food. Just in the last 6 years the place has exploded with great and very affordable, creative and fresh options from juices, tacos (galore) and local fish, vegetables and meats. Sayulita turns on at night.
Another surprise for us was the mountain bike options here. The guys at wildmex.com have brand new marinbikes.com front suspension hardtail 27.5 with dropper seat posts, helmets and guided tours. This was our guide Javier "dropping in". He races the Enduro circuits in Colorado in the summer time and is looking for some sponsors.
Our ride was a drop off shuttle that began down there to the left in the town of Higuera Blanca and brought us up to the summit of Monkey mountain with this pano of the whole gulf of Nuevo Vallarta. The decent out of here was all single track with natural and farmed structures all the way to the next beach. The finish was on smooth two track in shaded jungle back to Sayulita for a 3 hour tour.
We did not have mtb clothes or shoes but my wife sure rocked the buyc2.com tights like nobodies business.
Our accommodations were at Casa dulce suenos with an abundance of gatos that were all feral just last year. Our gracious owners took the liberty of getting the stray cats fixed and keep them fed so they are now all residents of the property. Thanks to the responsible people who now offer these services in Sayulita.
As mentioned earlier sunset was the time for the best waves and least crowds and the main time that the locals play on the water. For the locals SUP was the majority water craft by far and in just a few years, they have it dialed.
This evening proved to be the pinnacle of sunset sessions all week and the light show lasted forever.
Another local pro finishing his 2 hour distance training perfectly.
The water was spectacular.
You almost couldn't see this with the naked eye, but my sensor could. With a 6400 iso setting and a hand held 1/2 second exposure it really came alive.