Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

29 July 2012

360* nutjob

There is no Gravity in space.

I awoke sometime in the wee wee hours and knew that I should get up and get at it. I lacked discipline, so I decided to sleep longer. This happened 2 times. Finally, in the much less wee hours, I rallied and began preparations to continue riding.

 By the time I'd had coffee and breakfast (I've found that instant oatmeal with maple and brown sugar mixed with nuts and cranberries is a solid morning meal for me- the Quik and EZ, which is what all the kids want) the sky was light and the sun was peeping over the horizon as I headed deeper into Rabbit Valley.

Sport Legs work very well for those of us who are prone to the cramping. I'd taken several the night before and some with breakfast as well. The blues were at bay, and I figured I'd push on at least to Dewey Bridge. From that point I could ride the River Road into Moab or hitch if required.

Tired and broken as I was, I figured I'd take it easy to Westwater and have a swim and a shady nap there. The plan was to take all the easiest routes. I was having a fine old time cruising and ignoring the Western Rim trailhead. Yep, flying along on a sweet doubletrack downhill...


Nice, cool downhill.

Huh. That singletrack down there along the rim sure looks fun. No. Stay on the Quik and EZ. You've already dropped a bunch and you'd have to climb to get back up to that trailhead anyhow. That singletrack looks really, really  fun. No. Now you've dropped even more, stay-

F it. I turned around and climbed back up to that trailhead where the getting was good. And the getting was Good. That Western Rim was the high point. The singletrack is single, right next to the edge, and smooooth music. Well worth the "effort". I rallied.

When I reached the intersection with Kokpelli, I rolled right across in a frenzy of following the fun. It's an ATV track there, and that was a mistake. Those motorheads love to throttle up and down fins with no regard to flow. The trail worsened quickly. After getting further out than I wanted to suffer back, I decided I was back in the pickle and would take the easiest easy I could find. This led me to look at the map with lazy eyes that only saw what they wanted to see- a coastable reroute. So I made my next mistake by continuing in a descending ramble towards the Colorado. Down the Bitter Creek drainage until I was far enough down I figured I'd see it through in the hopes that I could hunt and peck a connector along the RR tracks.

It worked.

At a little after 11am I popped out across the tracks from the Westwater put-in. Yay!

The ranger, Alan- an unlikely cycling fan at 6'3"/258lbs, appeared right away from the HQ saying"It's too hot to be touring the Kokpelli! You look like you could use a cold beer." Allllllright. I swam, lunched, and napped in the shade of the Cottonwood trees.

When the rafting group of at-risk teens began loudly shushing each other right next to the picnic table upon which I dozed, nap time was over. It was still hottt, but it was time to leave.

That is a picture of a Fucko Racing Products sticker stuck over a Land Rover Lifestyle Magazine decal. I imagined, as I slowly rolled along the sandy doubletrack beside the RR tracks, what a Land Rover Lifestyle is. I imagine promenading into town at the end of a long day spent riding the brakes to get pedicures and sneer at the locals while eating out. I had a lot of time to imagine.

I came upon several antelope (Antilocapra americana) during this ride. They look like beetles to me, due to the weird facial markings. When I was a boy, swimming at Deep Eddy, we used to find the longhorned cottonwood borer. With it's bizarre black slashes on the face, the antelope looks a lot like the beetles of my youth.

 That is a picture of being sick of riding a bike along a sandy doubletrack beside the RR tracks. Notice how the bike is thrown down with abandon. Actually, this section was packed down pretty well from the showers in the week prior, though still sandy enough to wear away at my thin veneer of cool.

 That is a picture of storm clouds gathering about the La Sals, toward which I was heading.

So. The cramps came back. My thumbs began to convulsively pinch the hoods. My fancy black shoes got so hot in the sun that my feet got hotspots where the pinky toes touched them?!? Etc. I knew I would be done one way or the other at Cisco Landing.

I reached Cisco Landing around 4pm. Took a refreshing swim- well, except that my feet would cramp if I kicked too hard. I lounged around in the shitter as the rain came driving in, pushed by fierce winds. That was rotten. Really rotten. After the rain dwindled, I was afforded the luxury of lounging in the porte cochere. There was an opening under the wall through which I had my legs stuck when my toes cramped. I reflexively pulled my leg up, which knocked my shin on the wall, which started my anterior tibialis to cramp, which caused me to reflexively pull my leg up, which caused my hip flexors to cramp...I'm my own 3 Stooges.

One wonderful thing: when I am so worked over, I am at peace. Just stretching out on the solid Earth and not pedaling was fucking delight. I wanted for nothing. It is a profound sensation, the lack of desire. I didn't want entertainment. I didn't want food or water. I didn't even want to shift position. Totally satisfied just lying there. The Amtrak employee with the talk had told me about some guy who'd had his gear stolen the night before a big back country excursion. He'd asked his father to wire him some $ to get replacement stuff, but the nearest he could receive the $ was a ways away and he decided to hike through he Arizona desert with nothing to get there. 3 weeks later he was rescued, floating in his underwear and weighing 100lbs. He was completely lucid, and wanted to stay there and "talk" for 15 minutes before leaving. The crew gave him 8 minutes. I can see relishing the place he'd reached and being reluctant to return to the world. How far out must he have been? Beyond want I'm sure.

As dark fell, I heard the honking, slaloming arrival of my own rescue. 5 hours of  glorious loafing ended with the arrival of Mysterious BS, the man of the hour.  The inglorious end of my Kokpelli: beers, laughter, and a ride into Moab.

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