Friday, May 3, 2013

A Snowy Porcupine

I was adamant that Jackie should ride Porcupine Rim before leaving us as I had just as much fun, if not more, on it as we had had on Amasa Back & Captain Ahab the previous day.  This of course was more than convenient as I was extra keen to ride it again.  Alex was of course keen as well, which was also convenient as Megan was probably the most exhausted of all of us as Finn had suddenly developed night terrors (as opposed to the normal restlessness & noise-making in the  middle of the night) and kept all of us awake for quite some time absolutely inconsolable.  It was a beautifully clear morning, therefore freezing at camp; as we drove up to the trailhead the temperature dropped further to -4ÂșC and I was starting to regret the decision to wear shorts.

Considering the cold, we spent quite a bit of time horsing around at the car organising ourselves and then pretending to stab people with icicles for the camera - I await those photos, Jackie.  I knew there was a good two kilometre climb to start with, so that may have been part of it; at least that got us warmed up as Megan carried on to the sealed La Sal Mountain Loop Rd and the easier drive (when you're half asleep especially). 

On the climb, it wasn't particularly snowy (but definitely much more so than the week before); but as we got into UPS & LPS it got snowier & icier.  It was good fun breaking through all the icy puddles that had appeared in the intervening time, but the riding was a little slower - it was also a little difficult to see the trail through the snow when moving.  I was pleased that I got to see the trail and surrounds dusted with snow, it made the ride interesting - even if I didn't ride any of the downhill sections as fast as I had the previous week.  There's little point describing the ride for the third time, so here's a few snowy pictures & some others.

Snow cactus.

I ended up riding just as many of the larger drops as I had the week before and decided I wanted some photos - so made Alex take some as I sessioned this two-foot drop.  Of course, the first time I rode it as part of the trail was the best - alas, no camera waiting; it took a bit of trial & error to get a decent photo & find the best approach.
A good one of my bike & my puny legs - or so I've been told repeatedly.
Almost got all of me.
Not a great landing, but at least I'm completely in the air & the shot.
I rattled through the last piece of singletrack, but the lack of sleep started to wear a bit thin; it was with some surprise I hurtled around a corner near the bottom of the trail & found the source of the lack of sleep running towards me.  Megan & Finn had made their way up the trail from the parking lot to meet us; but I had trail to finish, so I took off back to the car.

Every time we drove up to Sand Flats to get back to camp we passed Milt's Stop 'n Eat - a diner that has been sitting on what was once Main St since 1954.  It looked like a classic American diner, so after a chilly start & a good ride it was most definitely lunch time & a good opportunity to try out the advertised milkshakes.  That's a double (I should have got the single) chilli burger below & it was fantastic, even if it doesn't look the sharpest; the butterscotch shake was also well worth it.  I can't think why I struggled to finish a large bowl of four-cheese pasta that night - maybe it was because I went on only one ride that day.

Sometime earlier in the week in a rare moment in Moab of committing to anything other than riding (in fact committing to not riding!) I had agreed that I'd watch Finn while Alex & Megan went for, what I imagine is, a very rare ride together without towing an increasingly heavy toddler.  It was time to collect for all the organising, driving, gear supply and general awesomeness that Megan & Alex have shown me - which also worked well as I was rather tired and had a very full stomach.  Jackie was having none of this child-minding business, so packed up her tent & left for more rock-climbing while Alex & Megan hit Slickrock.

Finn passed the time watching a Thomas the Tank Engine film, again, until the tablet gave up the ghost due to abuse at the hands of a two-year old while I wrote postcards.  Then we climbed rocks a lot, played in the sand & I generally contemplated the fast-approaching end of an excellent holiday, life and how I live on the completely wrong continent to regularly get a suitable mountain-biking-in-big-open-spaces fix.
Toddler throwing sand & being told off while I try not to crack up just out of shot.

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