Wednesday, July 30, 2008

While we were in Jackson, we decided to partake of the local culture and try some additional trails. By we, I mean Keith, Dave Dean, Brad, Tim, Scott, Chris, and myself. We all traveled up in Jesse’s team van and stayed at the Hostel X. It was tight quarters, but fun. It also made the van seem especially spacious.
Coziness in the Hostel

After the race we (minus Dave Dean) did an easy spin on the race course. Keith peeled off and the rest of us rode up and down the paved path for some more miles. We also did some riding in just outside of Wilson.

Post-riding the course

Tim, Chris, and I had done Black Canyon in the past and loved it. It starts by climbing Old Pass Road where you then jump on the Ridge Pass Trail. That connects to Black Canyon for a long descent which is ideal after all the aforementioned climbing. At the top of Old Pass Road, we regrouped and watched Alex Grant go by. He was doing the hill climb and doing well. As we made our way through the Ridge Pass Trail, we ran into him again. He was going to go down the way he came up. We invited him and then talked him into descending Black Canyon. It is just a more enjoyable way down the mountain.

Checking out the map at the trail head

We also tried a new trail Phillips Canyon trail. It also starts by ascending Old Pass Road, but about a third of the way up it branches off onto single track. The single track leads to the road up Teton Pass. After safely crossing the road, we took a dirt road to the trail. This time Keith, Dave Dean, and Scott, stayed behind, so we tried to hustle. This was in vain though. We found the trail with only a couple wrong turns. This is not a beginner’s ride. It had me on the edge of my technical abilities. Much more difficult and I would not have had fun. Chris and Tim primarily stayed in front of me as long as we were going down hill. Brad was behind me and I worried about him some. Not because I lacked faith in his abilities, but he was riding a bike with 26” wheels. On that trail, I found it concerning. He did well though and ended up unscathed. Tim went down when his front tire lost pressure quickly. He ended up a bit scathed but not too bad. The single track spit us out onto a dirt road which we assumed would take up back to the Teton Pass road. That is what the map looked like anyway. So we climbed and we climbed, and we hiked, and climbed some more when the road just stopped. Nothing… We are all out of water or just about out of water. The guys are getting nervous. Chris is concerned about food and Brad has water on the brain. Tim…he just wants off his bike. So we descended the road back to where we were before. Just before arriving, we cross a bridge. Brad asks if we think he can drink it. We talk him out of that idea, but he does dip his bandana in it to cool himself off.
We take the single track just below where we started ascending the road and in less than a quarter mile we on a road. We ask some cyclists who were just about to start there ride where we are and how to get back. Four miles on the road and we will be back. As with any road ride, there were some attacks. Chris and I tried to fend off Brad and Tim for a bit. I had to stop because some flew down my shirt and got angry with me. I am still recovering from that. We got some water from a general store. Tim threw in the towel and stayed behind for a pick up. We take off back to the van.
It was quite the adventure and knowing what we know now, it would not be that bad. Although, they are brining in 700+ boy scouts this week to add 5 miles worth of trails some mountain biking specific, so next time could still be a new adventure. This trip also made me realize another thing I love about Utah—not so many bugs. The bugs were terrible in Jackson. The shade had mosquitoes but the sun had horseflies. Take your pick.

Team at the top of Teton Pass

Check out the flowers...beautiful!


ER Dog said...

Just curious; are you recovering from the angry bug physically or mentally?

Sandi said...


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KC said...

Karl, mostly physical--I itch! But the mental anguish is still there too.

Brad Mullen said...

I ordered that bug so Tim and I could catch up to you and Chris ;-) Thanks for the memorable weekend and ramping up my 29er fever.