Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

Little Creek Mesa – Day 3

May 10th, 2017 by MTBBill

I woke up to the sounds of Coyotes yipping it up with all of their friends in the wee hours of the morning.   One of the coyotes sounded like he was right outside of tent.  I could hear the other end of the conversation way off in the distance, so evidently the fellow near me had to put a little extra spank on his call to get there.   It was still dark out and after Mr. Coyote moved on, I got another hour or two of shuteye before getting up for good.   Here was the view of Casa Del Bill for the weekend.

 After seeing a few “new-to-us” forks in the trail and cairn stacks yesterday we decided that we would ride a second day here instead of hitting up a different location.   It certainly made the logistics easier by not having to break camp and pack up before heading out for a ride.    Cook up some breakfast and hit some trails straight out of camp was the plan.

Little Creek Mesa once again did not disappoint. We found our way over to the stuff we had seen the day before and we were soon on some nice stuff not on our map.

I later did find the trails on some other maps where it was listed as something along the lines of “The Alternate Loop”.   It is a fantastic alternate.

I like the way the photo above came out as I think it captures one of cool aspects of riding on the huge sections of rock on the mesa.   You are routinely scanning for the route, looking and chasing rock and looking for lines across and through the fields of slick rock.   It is a form mental engagement with the trail that is hard to come by on different forms of topology.

While scoping along our route, we came across sizable rock overhang that required an assessment of its chilling out worthiness.   Oh its most worthy!  This area we were was marked with cairns but was to later not be found on any of the maps/resources I have.

Talk about a tough way to make a living.   This small pine tree is literally between a rock and a hard place.   You see this often out on the mesa and it pretty to cool to see how life is going to find a way.

One of the section of the mesa we were on was quite fun and required quite a bit of route finding as we went along.   The picture above is looking back at the direction we came from.   We realized we would have more ups than downs on the way back.

This was the view off the edge of the mesa we had ridden down to.   The view did not suck.   From here we would trace our way back to camp and start getting packed up for the return trip home.   I pulled back into the garage at home at roughly 10pm.   This was a pretty easy there and back kind of weekend with some quality trail time from sure.   I tend to forget just how accessible this area from San Diego.    I need to make more trips here.

Little Creek Mesa – Utah Day 2

May 5th, 2017 by MTBBill

Day two of the quick Utah weekender started off by waking up on Little Creek Mesa.   Both Bill and I are Scotch and Bourbon fans so we both brought some offering from our collections to share around the campfire.    I was clearly too enthusiastic with the barrel aged goodness that night and I found myself having a rough go of getting started in the morning.    Luckily it was a short commute to the trailhead 🙂

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I love this mesa, the slick rock, the vistas, single track, it just sooooo good.

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One of the first spots along the main loop that comes out onto the western rim of the mesa.

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Gooseberry Mesa out across the valley.

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Good stuff and good views along the main loop.   There are a few spots where you don’t want to wildly blow a turn.

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At the junction of the north loops and the main loops, a flash gathering of the Yeti tribe happened.   The two Santa Cruz riders in the group took the pictures.

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Cruising along out near the North Point.

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I dig how this rock formation looks like some kind of ape skull with the way the light is on it.

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More slick rock awesomeness.   While on our way back to camp we saw a few lines of cairns heading off in directions we had not been before.   We decided then and there we would come back and check that out tomorrow vice dealing with additional logistics of going someplace else and bringing down camp.

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After the main ride for the day, we did some poking around at other spots on the mesa.   We came across this “Waterglyph”.   According to my readings, these were made by the Anasazi inhabitants in the timeframe of 900-1200AD.    While most like they have nothing to do with water, there are some interesting theories on their use.  Solstice markers, prayer shrines and bird of prey snares were just some of the more intriguing theories.  There seems to be plenty of debate among the theories.   You can find some the resources used at Waterglyphs.org and Dixie Rock Art.  I think next time I head out here I’m going chase down an archeology/rock art enthusiast with a MTB problem or a Mountainbiker with a archeology/rock art problem to show us around.

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Once back at camp, we were devising plans for the following day, eating huge tasty camp burgers and enjoying tasty spirits.

Quick Weekender – Guacamole

April 29th, 2017 by MTBBill

Last weekend, Bill O’Neil and I got in a quick weekender in St George, Utah.  This is not our first rodeo for a roadtrip so most of the planning came down to the “You bring the usual, I’ll bring the usual.  Meet at the usual spot.   What time?”   So with all that intricate planning done we were headed north on Friday morning.

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We made really good time and were rolling through, Huricane, La Verkin and into Virgin by early afternoon.    The destination for the afternoon ride was Guacamole Mesa.  We had ridden here a couple of years ago and were itching to get back out here.   Above is the view from where we parked on the mesa.

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It was a fabulous day out in the low-mid 70s.   In the valley below is Dalton Wash Road that we came in on.

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View that don’t suck.    I love the nice combinations of singtletrack dirt trails, up/downs, slick rock, mesa views it just a great buffet of the stuff I love about this area.

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Near the south end of the mesa on the Holy Guacamole trail.  The trail names are all pretty cool and themed;  Margarita, Lime, Salt-On-The-Rim and of course Guacamole.

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More mesa goodness.

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A great time of the year to be out here.  Lots of the flora has thier springtime happy face on.

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Zion National Park is the backdrop to the north and east.

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There are some cool rock formations to ride through around and over.    The trail can be technical enough that the views can be thier own hazard.  Sometimes its best just to stop and take a look around.

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Riding on the slickrock (equestrians came up with that term – it really should be called griprock) is always fun and I enought the route finding aspet of following the trail.    Finding and chasing cairns is demension of riding out there that I find quite in enjoyable.

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Of course when you have a whole field of this stuff sometimes freeforming on the rocks are a ton of fun as well.    (There is a waldo in shot above).   After knocking out this ride we head over to Little Creek Mesa where we setup for camp for the next couple of days.  And enjoyed some tasty beverages and camp food.

 

One Helluva Fall!

November 29th, 2016 by MTBBill

What a fall, what a fall!  Well actually has been a crazy last half of the year.    Sometimes work is well, a whole lot of work and this year was particularly so.  I spent way too much traveling this year to places I’m not particularly fond of.

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The work was certainly rewarding and the people I interacted are some of America’s finest, but I’m glad to put this years traveling for work behind.

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The MTB action as been pretty sparse as of late as well.    With limited time back at the homestead I put a priority on quality time with the family.

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Of course I was not off the bike cold-turkey, I was just hitting up some of the local goods for quickies vice big rides.  Sometimes it was more about relaxing out on the trail than the actual riding.  One of my favorite spots out at Daley Ranch is pictured below.

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And of course Lake Calavera is almost in my backyard so there were a few loops done out there as well.

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For those of you who have been paying attention you should have noticed a growing  prominence of pictures of this young lady pictured below over the last handful of years on the site. Nichol and I have known each other for 30 years.  Last year we got engaged and…..

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This month we went and got hitched!   Instead of having wedding and working the logistics of people coming to see us get married, we traveled back to Chicago and got married at the spot where we first met.

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We then went on bit of traveling wedding celebration road show.   We flew down to Virginia where we shared some tasty beverages and grub with friends there.  From there we drove down to North Carolina to celebrate with most of my family that live in that area.

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My oldest son joined us in North Carolina and I was stoked for him to be able to spend some time with my folks.   Will loves to fish so my Dad and his friends hooked us up with some excellent time out on one of the local lakes.

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We ended up with cooler full of fish and memories to last a lifetime.

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While there was no MTBing done back in North Carolina, I did a enjoy taking Will on a stroll through the same woods I tromped around in when I was a kid.  It was every bit as rewarding as a great MTB ride.

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We finished up the road show back in San Diego with a gathering at a Common Theory Public House with some of our local peeps.

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So it has been quite a ride over the last handful of months without a whole lot of riding.   I’m looking forward to the future along with getting the normalcy of two-wheeled excitement back into the rotation.   Live On…..Ride On!

Lower Rock Creek Video

October 10th, 2016 by MTBBill

I finally managed to get a video pushed out of some of the riding I did in August up at Mammoth Lakes.  Here is Lower Rock Creek.  Your video quality may vary based on device but don’t forget to try and bump it up in the YouTube quality settings.   It will go up to 1080p 60fps.

Playtime at Mammoth

September 8th, 2016 by MTBBill

A couple of weekends I ago I spent some time with friends doing some chair lift assisted mountain biking.   I did not a take many pictures as I was playing with a new video setup.   Here are a few.

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Here is a Megan cruising on by.

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James and Dale zipping down Brake Through

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Dale cruising by

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Michael pointed in the right direction.

 

Lower Rock Creek Trail – Fire Damage

August 29th, 2016 by MTBBill

Last week on my way up to Mammoth Mountain for some chairlift-assisted mountain biking I met up with Dave and Michael for a run down the Lower Rock Creek trail on my way into town.    We met up at the lower trailhead and then made our way to the top for some great riding back down the trail.   I had so much fun that I did not take any pictures.   You will have to take a look at last year’s post for some pictures. Michael did snap a few pictures and one of those is below. I was however running a video camera.   A fire came through this area back on August 5th that burned 122 acres.    Now wildfires are pretty common but the cause of this one was interesting.  The USFS has determined that fire was caused by a mountain bike pedal strike against a rock.  I’m not one to argue on this one, plenty of pedals have steel bits that can create a spark if struck against the right stuff in the right way.    Whatever your thoughts here is a clip of us rolling through the burn area.

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Update:

Here are a few links to articles and forum post on this fire.

Cyclist incensed after being blamed for a forest fire.

MTBR’s NORCAL forum thread.   (Be prepared some comedy in the responses here)

SFist Article (Read the comments)

 

The long way to Flagstaff

July 17th, 2016 by MTBBill

My work projects in Bahrain finally  got to a point to where I could come home for a few weeks.  Combined our schedules have been kinda nuts lately which included Nichol needing to move a vehicle across the country.   I was able to swing my schedules around to allow for a few days at home before getting back on a plane to the east coast.  There I would join Nichol for the country drive that started in Norfolk VA.

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Day 1 was spent taking care of business in Norfolk before heading off to my folks place in North Carolina.   Along with a great visit, my Dad cooked up some of the best pulled pork BBQ I have ever had.  On the evening of Day 2 we pulled into Asheville NC.  We spent the evening enjoying some of the tasty microbrew scene along the Asheville Ale Trail that included Burial Beer and Wicked Weed Brewing.    Not that we had much of a plan to ride here but any thoughts of that were pretty much washed away with all of the thunderstorms they were having with more planned for the following day.   Day 3 we made our way to Little Rock Arkansas where we enjoyed some more tasty beers at Lost Forty Brewing before hopping into a hotel for the evening.    The next day we made our way Albuquerque NM for tastings from Ponderosa Brewing.  Yes, why yes we were making exceptional time! Don’t worry we left no contrails.

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The following day we made a rather quick jaunt over to Flagstaff.   We had made arrangements for some rentals bikes from Cosmic Cycles.  I must stay they some really good rentals at a very reasonable rate for what we got.  If we would have been super on our game we could have gotten out for late afternoon ride, but we somehow managed to find ourselves enjoying some tasty grub and beer at Flagstaff Brewing Co while we planned out what the ride was going to be the following day.

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The route we were going to do was a sampling of the Arizona National Scenic Trail.   I had ridden this section of trail back in summer of 2010 and figured this would be a great intro to the countryside of Flagstaff for Nichol.  We parked at the trailhead along Forest Service Road 418 and took the forest service roads back south along the bottom of Hart Prairie before catching trail that took us up near Aspens Corner and the junction with the Arizona Trail.

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Working our way up to Aspens Corner

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The connector trail up to Aspens Corner passes by a nice little pond.  This views did not suck

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Once on the AZT we were treated to a mix of single track goodness through stands of Aspens

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Views from Hart Prairie

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Stands of Pines

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A ferns that were sometimes head high.  The last few miles along this route were just “La La La La La” singletrack awesomeness that required very little pedaling and very little breaking as you swooped through pines, aspens, ferns, wildflowers etc…. all the way back to the trailhead.

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We enjoyed some tasty Asheville goodness we brought with us for a post-ride refreshment at the trailhead.

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And what a great place to enjoy a tasty post-ride beer.  This was our view next to the truck.    By the end of the day we would make our way to Las Vegas where we delivered and the truck and other move related goods.   The following day made our way back home.

All Work and No Play

June 10th, 2016 by MTBBill

Makes Bill a Dull Boy!

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Since the fall of last year, I have been spending way too much time working in the island country of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.  I certainly can’t complain about the accommodations.

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It has been virtually one project right after the other and I am looking forward to getting it all of done.

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The work is certainly rewarding but I am ready to get back home to be with family and friends and back on some dirt.

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Not this kind of dirt.

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This kind of dirt!

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So with all of this time I have had over here to pour through all of the MTB resources over here,  I have boiled down things into my number one tip for planning a mountain biking trip to Bahrain…..

DON’T! This place sucks for mountain biking!

I’m sure you could make some kind of lemonade with the bitter lemons of this place.   Maybe with a Fatbike and riding at night when its only like 95 but really try Death Valley in summer first.

 

Crested Butte’s Doctor Park Trail

January 3rd, 2016 by MTBBill

Okay finally finished up the rest of the Colorado Trip pages with the inclusion of the

Doctor Park Trail and the “Table of Contents” for the trip.

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