Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Too much time, not enough Blogging

Well you know it's time to update when you get phone call asking whats going on.
I will now tell you of the last months exploits, but first a side note. There will be no photo's for a while, you see it seems that someone wanted some things in my truck more than I did. Some kids, I think, broke into my truck a few nights ago and stole my red North Face jacket, OR gloves and worst of all my camera. The jacket, gloves and camera can all be easily replaced but the memory card in the camera can't. I had over a thousand photo's on it and only about 400 - 500 had been downloaded to my laptop. So unfortunately there will be no new photo's for the foreseeable future or until I get a new camera.
OK now that the side note is over I can get on to what you all want to know. After leaving Zion I made my way over to Brian Head ski resort for some fun and exciting mountain bike action, you know the downhill kind. You take the chair lift up to the top, jump on your bike and banzai down the mountain like an idiot. Sounds fun right? Well it didn't work out quite the way I had envisioned it. I thought I would ride up the lift and be a superstar on the downhill, but instead I was out of control and out of my mind, literally. I rode up the lift for the first of four downhill rides and at the top, which is at 11,000 feet elevation, I didn't feel quite right. I couldn't seem to get on my bike right and had trouble getting going, just trying to peddle was difficult. i finally got going and rode over to where you start the down part, I figured I would ride slower and with more caution than I usually do, because I didn't know the trail and mostly because I was having trouble staying upright. I made it down that first run with out much problem but when you are only going about 4miles an hour you can't screw up too bad. Back down by the chair lift it dawned on me why I felt so odd on my bike, I had not been wearing my camelbak. You know a pack that holds you water and whatever else you would want on a bike ride, tools, spare inner tube etc. I just knew now that I had my pack on all would be right again. Well not so much. I did manage to get down the mountain a little faster and with out crashing but I was just not right. I had tummy issues and just felt really weird. I went for a third try and more of the same, no control all over the trail and definitely not my usual self on the bike. I am usually pretty good on most downhills, always struggle on the climbs but really fast down. This time though I couldn't seem to grasp the concept of going down the mountain with any amount of control or finesse. By this time I was stating to feel really bad, stomach not good, head in the clouds and nothing made sense. I rode the lift back up to try again more determined than ever to conquer the mountain. I got on the bike with confidence and determination, this was my run. As soon as I started down I realised that this was not to be my run, I pretty much white knuckled my way down, completely out of control trying to just stay on the bike. I couldn't even slow the bike down, try as I might to pull the brake levers the bike just wouldn't respond. Too much speed, not enough control, disaster looming ahead as I tried to focus on the turns and jumps only to run right off the trail and flat on the big rock I decided to use as a convenient stopping point. Now I'm sitting there with a flat tire, halfway down the mountain, completely shaken from the near death experience and I figure walking the rest of the way down might be a prudent choice at this juncture. So here I go the rest of the way down dragging my bike with me right past the lift and straight to the truck. I put the bike on the rack and got away from there as fast as I could.
On the ride back to the camp ground I was still feeling terrible headache and all the rest. When I got to the Tin Can I went straight to bed for a couple of hours and when I awoke I was feeling fine. I really think that I had gotten altitude sickness while at that 10-11,000 feet altitude. The gist of this story is my first chair lift downhill was a complete disaster. I will try again but at a much lower altitude. The end.
OK, so after my failed biking adventure I cruised on over to Brice canyon, This is another one of those WOW places that just blows you away. I spent the day hiking the canyon, about eight miles of the many trials, just getting blown away by the rock formations. There are so many spires and hoodoo's, Google Brice Canyon, that will keep your attention for hours on end. Brice is not as big or grand as Zion but offers a tremendous amount of very cool scenery. I do wish I would have taken a horse back tour there, I think that would have been a great way to see the canyon. Brice was fantastic but a full day there was enough for me. I was starting to get a little burned out on the canyon scene but had one more to see before heading to Cameron and Travis's place.
Onward and north to Capital Reef where when I got into the park at 6:00pm there was no room at the inn--- I mean campground. This was a Tues. after Labor Day. Who would have thought that there would be so many people there? Well I turned around and went back to the little town of Torry Utah. I had past this nice little campground on the way to Capital Reef so I hoped there would be a spot for me. As luck would have it there was room at the campground and I got a nice spot with a 10foot tall tree. It had a great view of the road and free wifi. It really was a nice place clean and well kept. While I was filling out the paperwork an older gentleman, 68 I found out later, was asking about firewood for the group fire pit...the only fire pit. He said he was with the biker group and they wanted a campfire. I was thinking, this could be cool a group of motorcyclist hangin by the fire drinking and telling lies, this could be fun. I offered a bundle of firewood that I had in the truck if I could join them and Jim said that if I hurried that I could trade wood for chicken and other food stuff but I would have to bring my own beer. I thought this was a good deal for me as I wouldn't have to cook. So I hurriedly set up the Tin Can and rushed over with my bundle-o-wood. Jim told me to get a plate and get to eating. When I was looking for the plate I asked this very attractive girl where I might find said plates, she immediately asked me if I was part of the biker group, to which i told her of my deal with Jim the whole firewood for food thing. I'm not sure she really believed me but she did let me get a plate and some chicken. After eating as much as I could, two large helpings, I walk over to the fire pit. Now I must tell you that when I initially walked over I didn't see any motorcyce but instead a whole lot of road bikes, the bicycle type, It hen realized it was some sort of bicycle rally. It turns out it was a seven day or something like that ride across Utah, some five hundred plus mile ride. Anyway I sat around the fire talking with everyone and then, miss are you with the group girl shows up, and we get to talking. She turns out to be a very nice person and interesting to boot. She happens to be a professional Racquetball player, I know I didn't know there was such a thing either. She gets to travel all over the place playing a sport she loves, we should all be so lucky. I really enjoyed getting to know her and wish her nothing but good things in the future.
Well the next morning when I finally crawled out of bed I drove back down to Capital Reef. I parked and went to the Mormon settlement which was really cool and looked around a bit bought some homemade pies and decided I had had enough with the parks for a wile.
It was time to move on to the winter planning stage of my trip, plus I was running low on funds and needed some more work. So off to Salt Lake City Utah. Home to Cameron and Travis Treat and there two boys Parker and Harrison. Cameron and I used to be roomies at NCSU we were also in the outing club there. Cameron taught me how to climb an paddle and we spent a lot of time out in the wilderness with the outing club during collage.
So hear I am, the Tin Can parked snugly next to Cam's house, happy as can be. I have all ready been mountain biking four or five times, and yes I can go downhill very well here, and climbing twice. I have even done a little work for Cam and his workmate, enough to get me through.
For those of you who have not been to Utah it is an amazing place, it offers so much for the outdoor enthusiast that it is a little overwhelming. It dose not have an ocean but it has the great Salt Lake.
The good news is that I am now employed by Solitude Ski Resort. I am one of the two Snow Removal/ mechanic peoples. It seem to be a great job so far, great people and very very laid back. That might all change when the snow flies but we will see when that happens. Now that I am almost an official ski bum I expect a few of you to come out to ski with me, so let me know when you can come and we will make it happen.
For now everyone pray for snow and be good. I will try a little harder to keep up to date so you wont have to read so much.
Rick

2 comments:

DukeJudith said...

Sounds like you're having such an interesting time--great to hear it!

I don't remember to check very often. But since you don't update regularly, our schedules seem to work out fine! :-D

Stay warm this winter. What are your plans, come spring?

Cheers,
Judy (from VP)

Rick said...

No real plans as that would take all of the fun out of an unplanned trip.