Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Uintas mtn biking

there is a series of trails in the Uintas that few people know about, and they are absolutely spectacular.  i was first introduced to these trail about four years ago by an ex-boyfriend who was a rippin' mountain biker and i have to tell you when i was there, i probably only took in about half of the beauty that surrounded me because i was just trying to keep up with him.  i do recall a "hike-a-bike" section across some craggy rocks, and riding back to the car in a hail and lightning storm.  needless to say, the ride made quite an impression on me.  and i'm always up for an epic adventure.

my friend Suzy (who is also a rippin' mountain biker) has been trying to get me to go biking with her this summer.  but as this summer is unofficially named "the summer of running" because i am training for the Wasatch 100, i haven't been out on my bike too much.  but last Saturday, i agreed to go on a mountain bike tour with her.  the place we decided to go:  the [name withheld to protect privacy] in the Uintas.   you won't find any maps of this place, you just have to take my word on it that it exists.  information on this little known gem of a ride is handed down from a lucky few to a very lucky few.  this past weekend, several factors came together to give me the impetus to ride these trails once again. 

first off, the Outdoor Retailers convention was wrapping up this past weekend, and so i knew that the trails on the Wasatch Front would had the potential to be quite crowded.  in fact, i was warned that the Deer Valley section of the mid-mountain trail would host a bike-demo day.  so that was out.

second, the last race in the Intermountain Cup mountain bike series was at the Canyons Resort on Saturday.  so that end of the mid-mountain was out.

third, it was an odd-day in Millcreek, so the Crest Trail was out per Watershed Regulations.  and the first half of the Crest trail to Mill D is just too short of a ride, with too many people on it.

fourth, the trails on the west slope of the foothills are just too hot and dusty this time of year.

so i asked Suzy if she was game for an adventure and she agreed.

well, my 90% accurate photographic memory was just that--90% accurate.  although much of the trail looked familiar to me, i was having trouble lining up all of those photographs in my memory bank to make accurate decisions on where we should turn at trail junctions (of which there are many).  but i must tell you, after i got over the feeling of "being lost", i realized just how beautiful of a place we were in.  Suzy and i joked constantly about the fact that this was just "horrible" and how it "sucked", when in fact, it was some of the most buffed out, beautiful singletrack we had been on in a long time.  (and to make it even better, we were the only ones there!  we saw a total of, i think, 9 hikers in 5 hours.)  as we crested the hike-a-bike crags section, the lightning and thunder were starting to roll our way, the wind was picking up, and it started to rain.  the clouds held off just long enough for us to look over our right shoulders to see the high peaks of the Uintas, and then over our left shoulders to see Timpanogos through a gap in the peaks.  amazing.

Suzy anticipates Pringles heading into the homestretch.
we made the round trip in about 5 hours, with stops to chat, eat snacks, enjoy the scenery, and take shelter from the storm at the education center before heading back to the car (thankfully, it never did hail on us).  i had stashed some Pringles and a coke in the car, and when i told Suzy about them (we were starting to lose energy at about 4 hours into the ride), she brightened up and said, "Let's go get 'em!"  it was an amazing day shared with a great friend.  i think i will be able to find my way around the loop even better next time.

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