Fire and smoke in the Tushars

Last weekend we did a little trip to the Tushar mountains East of Beaver, UT.  The riding is rugged, the scenery huge.  It feels like Colorado high country.

On a trip last summer we took note of a trailhead for the Skyline Drive national trail.  This trip the trail was the first thing we rode.

It’s all between 10,200 and 11,100′, there’s a good reason it’s called Skyline Drive.Views to valley floors 5-6k’ below on either side in places. 

We had a lazy, slow start to the day, meaning we were treated to spectacular sunsets towards the end of the ride.

The reason for the fiery sunset was actually this plume of smoke rising from Pine Valley Mountain some 65 miles south.  That same evening, under that plume of smoke, Quentin and DJ , owners of Over the Edge in Hurricane, lost their home to that fire.  This fire has been burning since July 25, and since it was in wilderness local authorities chose to let nature takes it’s course.  Locals were assured it was contained, controlled.

Heads will roll, jobs will be lost, and hopefully wrongs will be made right to the extent that ‘s possible.

Of course, we knew none of this and enjoyed the intense display at sunset.  The next day we woke to murky skies, giving the landscape a larger than life feel to it.  There are not trees up high in these mountains, in their place are vast fields of velvet.

In the end, the dry dusty conditions combined with more ATVs than we’d ever encountered has us cutting the last day short, so only 6500′ of climbing today. Unthinkable! But the final climb to 11,465′ on the SS was damn cool. 

The SS stoke is coming back.  The Milk Money is back to it’s true roots of one gear.  Pura vida.

2 replies on “Fire and smoke in the Tushars”

  1. Ha! I actually started to acclimatize up there on segments 22/23. Remember the trail just past Molas? Anyway, it’s easy to fake it for a few hours, and we weren’t loaded either ;)

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