Good times at the White Rim this weekend and if you were there, you know what I'm talking about.
First, how about starting a big day when the temps are below 10F? This is what the back of my truck looks like after driving 3 hours in a snowstorm...lots of snow here at Mineral Bottom road too.
The plan was to ride clockwise. Chris and the Dave's were leaving around 6am, I was leaving whenever I got there. Maybe I'd see them, maybe not...
Here's what I saw when I got to the top of the Shafer trail.
Ranger: "you can't take my picture, that's illegal!"
Me: "so do I have to burn my camera now??"
Let's just say he wasn't seeing the humor I had rolling. He was going for the stoic as Smokey the Bear look. "I get it. We're just props." Learn something new every day - no picture taking of government props. Noted.
Then he turned as away. Shafer trail was closed. It wasn't so bad for me - Chris and the Daves got turned around while partway down. Chris was a bit frustrated, he was in the mood for adventure. There was plenty of that to be had though, simply ride out towards Murphy's hogback and flip it when time was getting thin. That's exacly what I did and wow what a ride. 9 hours and 95 miles later (including 7.2 walking/running due to unridable ice) I called it a day. Here's a sampling of what was there for the taking...
The road below the Mineral Bottom switchbacks.
The close up view. At 10+% grade I found this quite unridable.
The river showing the effects of one of the colder spells in recent history.
Good times on Hardscrabble.
Ride's end, impeccable timing.
The WR in winter is sloooow going. If it isn't so icy that you're on your feet (or ass, as the case may be), it's loose sand/dirt, and mineral bottom road is snowy...so allow lots of extra time if you're planning a winter foray here. But guaranteed, you will get some serious balance work in!