Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

08 April 2008

goosebeery mesa or bust

Spring Break 2008 has come to a close with the kids returning to school today. There were several possible plans for the time, and it came down to driving out to Utah to meet old friends, and riding a sort of Condor lite tour. Welcome to the 1st installment-Gooseberry Mesa.Gooseberry has been the latest hotspot (that I know) for mountain biking for several years now, and seems to be gaining in popularity. It's a fun place to ride, and has great views. I do not feel it is "so great" on it's own merits as far as riding goes (people who know tell me there's better riding off the mesa proper, but that I cannot speak to- not having done it). It's a lot (a LOT) of upper body work, as you're constantly picking the front end up and placing it on ledges or steep slickrock pitches, and there's mucho rolling up and down.The trails are sneaky; they switch it up directionally and vertically quite a bit. It's fun. But not as worthwhile a destination as Moab or Fruita. The riding reminded me of both, in different spots- particularly some of the rim stuff seemed like Horsethief, in Fruita...but it was not as sustained and flowing. It does feel effing remote, though. Which is nice. And there were few other folks, which is also nice.

It was great for camping out in familial groups! My crew arrived first (and on time...) so we set up camp as best we could and set in to wait with some guerilla bocce ball.Then it was time to try out J's fit on the trailerbike.I'd fitted him before we left to make sure it was feasible, and with a little fine tuning and some last minute instruction, he was ready to go.That guy is a trooper.
Riding with him meant I had to take it easy on the drops and speed. His post was slammed and it was just low enough for him to pedal, but not stand off the seat to absorb impacts. That meant he was bounced and in danger of getting bucked off if I got crazy. The trails at Gooseberry were his intro to this latest stage in his riding life, and he's so willing it brings tears to my eyes. Whenever we'd stop for any length of time he chimed in "Ohhhhhh! Are we gonna ride bike now?" Yes.

Hevi K___ and A__ arrived from SLC with 10 year old L____ that afternoon. I'd neglected to put out the hula hoop trail marker as promised to guide them to camp, but it was all hailfellowwellmet, and the 2 families went out on a sunset cruise.

S____,K____,A____, and S_____ were so far off the back they hadn't left Moab yet by the time we'd arrived, and ended up slinking in around 11pm. By which time we'd flagged down one unsuspecting motorist (by whirling glo-sticks) who asked if we were allright, and then wanted to know if we were locals. I guess that's how they do in Hurricane, Utah.

And the next morning, while drinking coffee and whiskey, I got a glimpse-from the corner of my eye- of this:
All the kids were over at K&S's camp when S____ was preparing this visual feast. In reply to their queries as to the reason for this (setting aside the concerns about sound judgement with regard to parenting or proper hygiene), he told them he forgot his shorts.

So there's that. The tone had been set, and all weekend was spent living up to it. There was Dad riding...
The slickrock here had a crumbly aggregate texture unlike other places I've been.

And there was Mom riding. There was mixed group riding.
And there was: hula hooping,
a broken (and fixed trailside) chain,
beer and whiskey,
tentless nights beneath the stars,
underwear(and pants) airing out on bushes,
coffee and camp cooking,
K____washed my kid's feet,
a rubber chicken,
stories and jokes were told and laughs were laughed.

Good Times.

On Monday, we all lingered over breakfast and then got it together en masse to ride out to the North Rim to have Brown Lunch together before parting. 4 kids on their bikes,5 parents on theirs, J on the trailerbike, and S_____(who is 1 1/2) rode in a babypack on S____'s back.

It was so fun, we'll do it again next year. There's talk of switching the venue year to year- favoring someplace snowless, so's we can ride. Here's hoping y'all are having good adventures on and off your bikes.

We traded books on tape with the SLC crew, giving Michael Chabon's "Gentlemen of the Road" for Jack Keruoac's "On the road." Inneresting swap. That Dean Moriarty is an ashhole, if you ask me, though.

No comments: