In the blink of an eye

Last week we went for a trip to the hills.  Big surprise, eh?

Yet another new mountain range.  Flowers everywhere.  The Crested Butte of Utah was our destination.

Where is this anyway???

Nope, that's not Mt. Crested Butte and no, this isn't Scotland.

From 11,450' you can see the Sevier valley below at about 6k'.

Towards the end of the first day we were both a bit tired.  I wanted a nap.  Then...we found a trail.  No more sleepy!

It rained.  It got dark.  An epic was looming.

But alas, we made it back in time to set up camp in the twilight.

The next day was big, even by our standards.  We spent the first half of the day getting sort of lost looking for non-existant trails, bushwacking, following game trails, heading back above 11k'.  Simply brilliant riding all in all.

More critters call this place home than anywhere I've been.

The top of the elusive trail 219.

"We came from up there!"

After a couple hours of bushwacking this post appeared.  A marker on a long forgotten trail.

As Rocco says, "why must we always return to the scatalogical?" 

Honest, this is Utah, not Colorado.  This looks so much like the Ark valley above Salida it's sorta mind blowing.

We descended from the next high spot.  At elevation 8k we had a choice to make:  take a trail of unknown quality back up to 11,450' (in 4 miles), or descend to 6k and climb back up to 11,450' on forest roads of unknown quality.  It was about 4:30 PM.  Either way, it was race time.

Since the trails here had been handing us our ass, we opted for the forest road option.  5k+ climb, coming up at the end of the day!  One of my favorite times on a bike this year hands down.

It took awhile but went by in a blur.  Here's LW riding like the wind to the edge of the world before sunset.

The next day was a big trail exploration day.  We found absolutely wonderful trails with huge views.

In loamy areas the trails were great.  In meadows, nearly non-existant.  Routefinding & GPS use in action.

Eventually the trails dropped from near timberline to 8k...and went nowhere.  Time to backtrack.

Cruising back to camp easily was the call as the next day we were going to really leave some tracks all over these hills.  Big plans.

Then, I came around a corner and there was Lynda all tangled up in her bike on the ground, bleeding, unconcious, right in front of a stopped car.  Once I could breathe again the old lessons of wilderness first responder courses came flooding back and I got into action.  Touch and go for a while there.

It boggles my mind how fast things can change.  In the blink of an eye it can be game over. 

What's it mean?  Plan for tomorrow but live for today.

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Late edit:  I didn't mean to be secretive about the location...just having fun.  Tushar mountains between Beaver and Marysvale is where we wandered.  3rd highest mtn range in the state.

Here's some graphics for the second day:

There is a bit of vert on that route:

We spent a good bit of time on the Piute ATV trail system. We saw few ATVs generally speaking, and not a soul when we wandered off on singletrack.

It's a bit too far north to include in the Trans Utah route...but the region is RIPE for a self-supported event of it's own. Or just good ol' sploring ;)

11 replies on “In the blink of an eye”

  1. So glad LW and you are okay. I had a similar experience on Sunday, thankfully not with Marni. Nevertheless I do not like being first responder even if I’m always willing to do it. Poor girl was in a state very similar to Lynda and I was sooooo happy she was wearing a helmet. She’s okay now minus about 2 minutes of her life that are a blank spot. Heal up soon Lynda!

    Chris

    P.S. You make that Path jersey look gooood! :p

  2. Glad it all worked out, and that you guys are OK. Seems like some amazing country you discovered. I hope I hope some of it ends up in TU! (not the hours of bushwacking)

    Also, do tell me that garbage bag poncho Lynda is wearing is simply a sight gag. Really? People actually wear those? ;-)

    (- Jill, too lazy to change the posted name)

  3. A good reason why not to ride alone. Great pics! Looked like great riding until the end. Glad Coach is fine! Good responding Dave!

  4. Looks amazing. Lynda, hope you are OK and nothing serious. I’m dying to know where you were, when are going to give it up?

  5. Brad – post updated, area is now disclosed ;)

    Jill – that poncho will possibly be the subject of a future blog post by LW so I ain’t stealing her thunder.

  6. Damn good stuff there! Wow, that looks like a ton of fun. I was over in Monticello last week and picked up the Manit-LaSall map….looks like some good stuff up in that small range as well.

    Scouted part of the TAB yesterday too. Can’t wait to ride that thing. :-)

  7. Ah ha, the Tushars! Home to many an intriguing pack trail, if you believe the topo maps. I’m psyched to finally read about someone verifying said trails on two wheels. All I’ve ever done is daydream as TopoFusion glides through them.

    Glad Lynda is OK.

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