Yes, the trip got better! The next morning we packed up and headed for the Utah trails with a fast crew and a long day of ridding. Keevin was cracking the whip at about 5am to get us going. "your not on vacation people, lets move it"... Ha ha Glad we have a motivator in the group.
We started the day with what was going to be a quick warmup before we rode Gooseberry Mesa. We climbed out of our parking lot spot and were headed for a loop around the Jem trail, hurricane trail, China Wash and some others. The fatigue was starting to set in from the last few days and Monique was pushing to a new level. The day before our biggest riding trip Melissa and her decided to do an epic 4+ hour ride up blackstar, motorway loop with 4500+ feet of climbing. Nice! Those girls are going to be faster than me soon! We pressed on and settled into hours of these trails. EPIC!
Hard to find the adrenaline after a few days like this but we managed. ;-) We also manged to stretch our little warmup loop into about 3 hours and we were feeling like we had been going for days without sleep. I dont know how those expedition adventure racers do it. I had a few "attempts" to keep pace with Jeff and later Mike after starting in the back of the pack. I would work my way up to the front and try to hold on which kept my heart rate over 170bpm for about 40 minutes each time. That is much higher than my HR gets on the bike during an Xterra or Multisport race just to give you an idea. These guys are fast and I was taking notes and trying to keep the oxygen going
We got back to our cars, packed up our bikes, packed in a ton of food into our bellies and we were off to Gooseberry Mesa. We had been watching it while riding on the trials earlier in the day but now we were a few thousand feet higher and it was getting cold. The sun would be setting on us before long but we were far from done. . . Riding there was crazy... Like riding on the moon and I hear a bit like a mini Moab.
We played for a few hours until the sun set and we cut our loop short. I got a flat and it was bound to be an adventure getting back to the cars. I never made the "lookout" spot over the mesa and there is so much more to explore out there. We MUST make a trip back again soon.
There are some more pictures posted over here and some from Laurie over here and Keevins over here.
The next day our butts were spent so Keevin & Heidi headed out for Zion for some canyoneering and Monique, Natilie, Laurie, Keely, Bob and I headed for some local rocks. Our plan was a hike at Red Rock Canyon and it was anything but a hike. We should have known with a group like this! We are on vacation...we can rest when we get home!
We started up a Steeep climb with an amazing view. It was definitely more of a climbing scramble than a hike. Just when things started heading down hill "somebody" started us out with a little jog... Our singletrack turned to a road and Laurie got a burst of energy and took off. The next think I know were are flying down the trails and laughing all the way. Its almost santa time ;-)
Four hours later we were back at the car and my four day smile was in full effect! I already miss those guys and cant wait to get back on the trails, get some food and hang out with them again.