Navajo Lake & VRRT

The Navajo Lake Loop is an extremely picturesque trail around the lake that has a wonderful mix of aspens, pines, open meadows as well as a bit of old lava flows. I did about 3/4ths of the loop on before heading out on the Navajo Peak section of the Virgin River Rim Trail. Here is my Trailforks Ridelog for that day. Please note this loop includes an out and back to Cascade Falls as well as a longer firer road loop back to where I was camped. I did not include the Cascade Falls trail stuff in this video as it really did not “fit”. One thing is for certain, this was a very pretty outing out of the bike.

Blowhard Trail Video

Here is some footage from the Blowhard trail near Brian Head Utah. This rounds out the big three shuttle run out of Brian Head resort area in Utah. The Blowhard Trail starts at 10,660 feet just south of Cedar Breaks National Monument and drops 3,700 feet over the course 7.7 miles and ends on Hwy 14 near Cedar City. The upper portion is the steepest and most technical with grades upwards of 22% in spots. It is much steeper than it looks in the video. Things mellow a bit in the middle section and below with even some short bits of climbing. Those short sections aside, throughout this trails is speed is easily gained and much more difficult to restrain. This is a fantastic trail and this will not be my time riding this trail.

Poison Spider and The Portal

One more video knocked off the remaster to-do list. The Portal Trail in Moab will most likely reset your scale for exposure and how the risk vs reward variables are computed in your head. The steeper than it looks moniker certainly applies here. I did some software stabilization but it still in the old-school shaky cam category. Here are some more thoughts on this trail as well as some pictures from that day. You can find stuff from the entire 2008 road trip here.

The second song used this video, Mad Life, by Dishwalla had some special meaning for me from that day. This video was shot in May of 2008 and back in the March, I had an OTB crash on the Goat Camp Trail that left me with about 40 stitches in my lip and mouth that really did a number on my mental game for riding technical trails. During the first three days of this trip I was starting to get the mojo back and the during the descent of the Portal trail the “I’m Back” switch was flipped on as that song started playing in my head. These lyrics in particular.

See the pain and beauty all around

See it try so hard to take me down

Hold me up into the sun and watch me burn and watch me heal

“The Mad Life” Dishwalla

Virgin River Rim Video

The Virgin River Rim Trail is a 32 mile long trail along the edge of the plateau above the Virgin River watershed. This video is from the eastern 10 miles of the trail between Strawberry Point and the Cascade Falls Trailhead. This is also known as the Pink Cliffs section.

Killer Views along a particularly tough section of trail

This is a amazingly beautiful section of trail that was tough in many spots. It is definitely an XC trail but the the elevation, undulating grade mostly in the 9,000 feet range and trail thread all conspire to tax lungs and legs.

For me it is worth the price of admission for the experience, but if your value of “reward” is mostly based on fun, you may come to a different conclusion.

Erosion is always happening

My Ridelog from this day on Trailforks Note that the last 3.1 miles on this route are not the trail but a couple of dirt roads that we used to get back to our campsite. The trails is the first 10 miles.

Thunder Mountain Video

Thunder Mountain is considered a marquee/classic/bucket list type trail in many publications. I have to say it lives up to hype. This video is from Day 15 of the Summer MTB vacation which was our second crack at this trail. We got rained out for this ride on Day 13. We managed to catch a good weather window and for the most part we were rewarded some near hero dirt. But be warned, even if you “shuttle” it you will be spending plenty of time cranking the pedals. It is well worth every bit of grunting you have to do.

Rainbow Rim Video

Getting out to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to ride the Rainbow Rim trail is not an easy feat. For just about everyone it will be a camping trip. This is from my August MTB vacation were we camped on Locust Point for a handful of days and enjoyed the views and the riding on this trails as well a bit of the Arizona Trail. The video really does not do the experience justice. You need to get there to enjoy it for yourself.

I had to put the videos on hold while I went down the rabbit hole of squaring away data storage and backup system. I came back from the August trip with just about a terabyte of video and photos which put my overall storage at near capacity. I now have a more robust system that should scale a lot better in the future.

Fort Valley Video

For Day 5 of the August MTB Vacation I cut my wife some slack and we did a shuttle up to the top of Schultz pass. We then did the half of the loop I climbed on day 2 as a descent (Previous video). We did a snippet of Secret to the AZT. Then Lower Moto to Chimney and the the lower bit of Schultz Creek. She was most appreciative of not throwing a beat down on her out of the gate. Pretty much all green trail goodness.

Mostly Downhill Cruisin!

Roadtrip Finisher – Utah

Technically this is the Sydney Peaks trail but it part of the Bunker Creek route

Day 18 Bunker Creek. Coming off of Brianhead Peak this was a doozie. Starting just at 11,000 feet, you had long views, Alpine meadows, Aspens, Pines. Much of this area burned in 2017 and the trails have been rebuilt, improved and extended.

Virgin River Rim Trail – Navajo Peak Section

Day 19 VRRT – Navajo Peak. I started out with plans to do the Navajo Lake Loop, but half way around I chose to peel off and get my climb on. There was plenty of work to be done but much like the Strawberry Point segment the views were worth the effort.

Ridgeline on the upper end of the Blowhard Mountain Trail

On Day 20 I finished off the “Big 3” at Brianhead with the Blowhard Mountain Trail. I rode with a group of guys from the Giant Bicycle shop in Las Vegas. A great group of guys. The trail was every bit as technical as it was billed to be. Such good stuff.

Indian Rock Art at Paragon Gap

My body decreed that today would be a rest day so for Day 21 I tooled around the countryside a bit which included a stop at Paragon Gap to check out the Indian Rock Art.

Excellent view on the Excellent Trails of Iron Hills

For Day 22, I ventured off the mountians to check out the Iron Hills trail system in Cedar City. This is an exceptional designed and built trail system which was a hoot. I did 14 miles and change with 1,700 feet of climbing. After spending much of my time over the last two weeks around 9,000 feet the thick oxygen rich air down at 6,000 feet was a real joy!

Navajo Lake

After camp near Navajo Lake since being in Utah, for Day 23 I felt the need to knock of Navajo Lake Loop proper since I had only done part of it.

I’m pretty tired…..Think I’ll go home now.

Day 24 Time to head home. Ahh hell, time to go do some of that adult stuff. It has been a fabulous trip. I have gotten everything thing I needed and wanted out of this trip. I’m no sure what that need and want is exactly yet, but I found it out here. For now I’m looking forward to seeing both wife and dogs.

I have amassed nearly a terabyte of footage and photos to do stuff with that will take months to get through. I have melon full killer memories of this trip that I’m bringing back as well. I’ll share when I can.

For now, the RV’s shitter tank is not going to dump itself!

Roadtrip Part 3 – Utah

The big August MTB vacation continues! Part 3 of the roadtrip covers Bill O’Neil and I in Utah.

Day 13 Plan A – Thunder Mountain

Day 13 – We started the day heading out to Thunder Mountain. The weather in the area turned for the worst. With too much thunder on Thunder Mountain we had had to come up with a Plan B.

Day 13 Plan B – Virgin River Rim Trail at Strawberry Point

Plan B was the Virgin River Rim Trail starting from Strawberry Point. This was an amazingly beautiful and challenging trail. The combination of terrain, grade and elevation all worked together to make for some spicey climbing. Oh the downhills were good! That night severe weather swept through the region and we good numerous flash flood warnings/alerts throughout the night.

Day 14 – Rainout Day. While the sun came out, the local 411 was to stay off the trails for the day.
Day 15 – Thunder Mountain Take 2

After the rain out day, for Day 15 we took another crack at Thunder Mountain. We managed to catch a good weather window and for the most part we were rewarded some near hero dirt. We only had a couple of squishy spots that were created by some irresponsible equestrians who went out on the trail way too soon.

Day 16 – Dark Hollow

For Day 16, we did the Dark Hollow, Second Left-Hand Canyon Shuttle. With nearly 5,000 feet of descent this was one impressive route with a some amazing trail itself and phenomenal scenery.

Bill O’Neil had to go back to adulting so Dark Hollow was our last ride together for this trip. I still have some time left before I have to reenage the realm of adulting.

Solo adventures to be continued….

Roadtrip Part 2 – North Rim

The August Roadtrip continues on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. My longtime buddy Bill O’Neil joined us on the segment of the trip arriving a couple of hours after we setup camp.

Day 8 – The Morning Cup of Joe. The Rainbow Rim Trail three feet behind me.

Day 8 – We rode the Rainbow Rim Trail from Locust Point to Parisswapitts Point as an Out-And-Back. On our way back, at the best downhill section I had a pretty castistrophic tire slash. Somehow I got 1.5″ slash in side of the tire. I was able to boot the tire with duct tape, but it did not last. I ended up bailing and letting Bill drive back and pick me up near Fence Point.

Day 9 – Day trip to OTE Hurricane Utah

Day 9 was an side trip to Hurricane Utah to get a new tire. Hats off to Quentin an the fellows at Over The Edge Hurricane for getting me taken care of and back rolling. I also bought a spare tire so should such a thing happen again I won’t have to make another unscheduled day trip.

Day 10 – Rainbow Rim Locust to Timp OAB. Thunderstorms were the start of the show!

Day 10 – The Rainbow Rim Trail from Locust Point to Timp Point and back. Nichol had to roll out and go back to adulting so Bill and I were left to our methods of mayhem.

Day 11 – Another segment of the AZT in the books

Day 11 – The Arizona Trail. Telephone Hill to Highway 89A. Boy did we thread the needle with a weather window. We got sprinkled on a little on the ride, but not one minute after we got in the truck at the far end did the skies shutdown and pounding began. On our way back to camp we thought there was snow on the ground but it was piled up hail. Crazy!

Day 12 – Basecamp near Navajo Lake established. Elevation 9,150 feet

Day 12 – Moved to Navajo Lake. The forest service roads getting off the north rim held up well from the storms. While not terribly far of a drive, between some admin tasks like tear down, dumping tanks, getting more fresh water and setting up and the new location it took up the bulk of the day. A good rest day.

The Utah Adventure starts!