Thursday, September 27, 2007

Summer Adventures in a Winter Wonderland

So i had an appt. with the Dentist yesterday, but lucky for me it wasn't until 3. What's that mean? That's right, time for a ride. Only one thing, i haven't been riding since July. And even then, those were lift-served rides, so they hardly count. What with work, and projects around the house and well my general laziness i just haven't found or made the time very well the latter part of this summer to get out and ride. So yesterday morning after we dropped the kids off at school i had Jen take me up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the trailhead for the Wasatch Crest Trail. And this is the scene that greeted me. Did i mention that the recent rainstorms in the valleys brought snow to the mountains? I foolishly assumed it might be gone from the mountains. Occasionally, it was, but in it's place i found mud! Yay!

So why did i choose to ride when there was a good chance there'd be snow and mud? Well, mainly i forgot, but i also really wanted to get some good fall colors before they were all gone. So let's count 'em up: i'm fat and out of shape, there was snow and mud, and i decided to take my camera with me. And in spite of all this, i hoped to finish in time to still make the dentist. Think i made it?

The ride kicked my butt in a way i didn't really think it could. Sure, i was outta shape, but that outta shape? I guess so. Don't get me wrong, i wasn't collapsed on the side of the trail or anything, but i definitely took more breaks than normal (to take pictures, of course) and went much slower than normal (HELLO granny gear).

Unfortunately, it seems that up high most of colors were already gone. But that doesn't matter, the trail and surrounding mountains are always beautiful. Look at that sweet singletrek!

The picture above is looking south towards Little Cottonwood Canyon. Below is the section commonly referred to as "the Fin," a short rocky section that's all but unrideable, at least by me. The picture is looking north east in the general direction of Park City.

Below is Desolation Lake, looking West towards the Salt Lake Valley. The benefit of the ride is that it's not too often you get to see too much of this with snow. It's fairly difficult to get here in the winter.

I love Aspens. I love the sound they make when the wind blows, the color their leaves turn in the fall, and most importantly: riding sweet singletrek between them! Granted, i wasn't getting much in the way of a variety of colors, but hey, yellow is pretty.

This is headed back into Mill Creek Canyon. Very pretty, but unfortunately the last dry section of the upper trails. The rest of the way to the Dog Lake Trail was either covered in snow, or mud. Sweet mud... in my eyes, ears, nose, but that's okay, by this time i was already covered.

Fortunately, the rest of the canyon was fairly dry, or at least it wasn't covered in snow. There were some puddles and if i hadn't been in a hurry (because i was going so slow) and already pooped, i would have probably enjoyed it.

These pictures don't do justice to how covered in mud i was. Also note my poor camera bag. Oh, and my poor bike. It took almost an hour to clean the dang thing. And by clean i mean not dirty, not actually clean. Oh, and of course, poor dentist. Since i took so long, i didn't have a chance to clean up before heading over to the dentist. Jen wouldn't even let me sit on the seat in the car, i had to sit on my jacket. Speaking of Jen, i thought we'd have to stop on the way to dentist so i could negate the healthy value of my ride with some greasy food from Wendy's, but guess who made me two sandwiches? What a wonderful wife i have!

There ya have it, my little adventure. Lessons learned? I'm out of shape (i kind of already knew that though) and should ride more. Hopefully, i can take advantage of whatever nice weather we still get this summer/fall. Oh, and i have a great wife, but i already knew that too.


princess jen said...

I love you! Thanks for saying so many nice things about me. I'm glad I could give you a ride!

Mythreesons said...

I love the pictures Alan... especially the Aspen ones. I loves Aspen... I wish I had a backyard of them. And I admire you for riding by yourself, even if you are slow and out of shape. Jared would never go by himself, yet he's still skinny as a whistle. And what a good wifey you have! How are you going to clean your camera bag? And come prepared to take pictures of my family in St. George in November... I'm in need of some family pics and some of the boys.

Toshander said...

those are some really pretty pictures. i like the one that looks into little cottonwood. it sounds like you sort of had fun?? :) even if you think you're out of shape, at least you are physically capable of mountain biking...i believe my husband biffed it numerous times, on his face no less. and i'm pretty sure i would break more than one body part if I were to attempt even the easiest trail. so, I think my brother is amazingly tough. I do happen to brag about you quite frequently. You and your biking skills. :)

Super Daysh said...

Oooh, pretty fall pictures! I like them--especially the muddy face pictures...those are quality!

Tricksy915 said...

You need some rain gaurds on your bike, but that would look retarded though huh?