Last weekend several friends tried to ride the Kokopelli Trail (Fruita, CO to Moab UT). Some 170 or so miles, it makes for a LONG 3 days on a mtn. bike. I decided to come along, not to bike, I’m not that crazy hard-core, but to hike and hang out with the crew.
The theme of the weekend was PRECIPITATION. It misted, it dumped, it hailed, it drizzled, it snowed up high. Windows of opportunity allowed a bit if riding for them and hiking to satisfy my need to move.
Drove to Bitter Creek area just over the CO/UT border to meet the bikers who had been on the trail all day. Kim K. and I carpooled. We listened to “girl music” on her IPOD. She has an impressive collection of 80’s to early 90’s music which I love! Kim M., Cami and their awesome dog Uli caravaned. We hit two wineries in Palisade on the way (I fell in love with a $30 bottle of wine but resisted) and Kim K. led us to the brewery in Palisade. Very cool place.
A roadside attraction in Palisade:
Found the campsite at Bitter Creek, found some of the boys. Awaited the impending precipitation lurking across the valley:
They all made it in and tales of their day were shared. At some point, Andy fell off a cliff, some 8′ high. Miraculously, no vital organs were punctured, no bones were broken.
A post epic pic courtesy of Preston. See Andy in the rubble?
The rain hit our camp and some scurried to hang a tarp for protection.
How many engineers does it take to hang a rain tarp? (I think Cami and I were the only non-engineers in the group.) Preston, Kim K. and Kim M.:
The back of my truck lent a dry resting spot. Matt, Kim K. and Cami:
Sat. AM we woke to, you guessed it, rain. It stopped and a couple ventured out to check the trail. From the report it sounded like a continuous pit of gloppey, gooey mud. Abandoning this section of the trail, we all found a new camp, across from the Fisher Towers, about 40 min from Moab. Some riders went into Moab and rode the Slickrock Trail. I and others went across the road to hike in the Fisher Towers, home of some of the most bizarre rock formations.
The Fisher Towers are sandstone towers caked with a layer of mud. The rock being so soft, it oozes down in curtains and rivulets when it rains. People actually climb this stuff. I tried, once to do so with a friend, a popular little formation called Ancient Art, but were skunked off by a LONG line of people ahead of us.
Ancient art is the corkscrew-shaped formation on the right that looks like a messy soft-serve ice cream cone:
Indian Paintbrush were just opening:
Preston scrambled onto this perch. Patty made it up, preggers belly and all. To hell with the off-kilter center of balance!
Tim crossing the void the hard way:
Tim, by the way, is from Mpls., MN (I’m from MN as well) and to our childish delight we had good fun saying things to each other like, “Don’t cha know?” “Oh! Come on in I made some bars!” “Have some more hotdish!”
Patty cruising up a ladder farther up the trail:
In came the rain that washed the hikers out. Yep…rain that morphed to HAIL . Preston snapped this shot.
See Moses before the nuns in the distance? (The butte on the left.) Castleton tower is the larger, free standing tower to the left of Moses:
Pretty clouds, will you dump more rain or hail on us tonight? We got lucky. Back at the campsite:
The riders returned from their Slickrock trail, doable since not buried in sand and mud.
Sunday AM view into the Fisher Towers:
The quest for the Kokopelli Trail continued. Agie and I shuttled the seven riders up a new find for me, Onion Creek Rd. Twisty, turny, muddy, with several don’t-fall-off-here drops and 18 stream crossings, we popped up over a hill into Fisher Valley, a beautiful hamlet. That’s the thing I’ve noted about travels in UT, there are so many hidden gems ready to be found. Dropped off the boys here.
Bike tire post ride up on the back of a truck:
Lee riding in his left ankle brace. He had a “foreign body” in there from a bad sprain one year ago. Had it cut out yesterday, actually! Anyhoo, he’s been climbing and biking with it when it hurt ME watching him walk! That’s (insert your choice of word here) dedicated!
Gunter borrowed Agie’s synthetic tee, seeing how cold and wet the weather looked. (Insert catcall and whistle):
Off they go! L-R: Gunter, Kim’s Matt, Agie’s Matt, Tim, Lee, Preston, Andy
We drove down, being brave for the muddy conditions. Found the road a little more dry, though. Snapped these of Agie driving out:
Yes, she is on a road:
You know you’re in 4×4 driving country when you see signs like this:
Wonder what this little tower’s name is? Bet someone’s been up it: (Post Note, looked it up on mountainproject.com. I think it’s called the Hindu?)
I hiked with Kim K. and Patty in Negro Bill Canyon, (How’s that for an outdated, old-school name?) It was a pleasant walk, about 4 miles total, up a creek and it’s riparian zone.
Cliff walls loomed above in spots:
A natural amphitheater, WAY up there:
Moi, Kim and Patty:
Was a lovely little hike. I was thankful for the sun.
Kim, Agie and I drove home together. We stopped for a burger at my favorite place on I70, the Charcoalburger. It’s a drive-in burger joint complete with oldies, shakes, the best fries and scrummy burgers (cow, elk or buffalo.) We had no idea the perfect storm was waiting for us up on Vail pass. Instead, we ate our meals in bliss.
Kim and Agie:
Snow and ice added two hours to our drive (I am SO thankful for my 4×4 truck) landing us back home at midnight. That was nothing though. The riders got done late. The pass actually closed for sometime, and it sounds like they did not get home until 3-4 AM. Yeesh! Wonder how they got through work the next day?
Wet weekend but another one of those, “Let it rain! I’m having fun with friends!” kind of outing.