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Monday, March 14, 2016

How "A-Fellow" Gets His Groove Back

This Mountain Biking Love-post comes to you in Real Time. My hair is still wet from the shower. Gone to the Grey-water tank is the grit, dust, and body stench that came as a result of this morning's glorious four hour tour to, through, and back from Klondike BluffsWhat a kaleidoscope of color and clouds and rocks, my friends. Oh, and I am "solo." My Bobbie App flew the coup to Lovely Ouray in order to find a little "Common Ground" and shed the last vestiges of the dreaded Wally Virus. Fear not, she will be back. At least that's what she said, driving off into the sunrise.

I know, I know. There is a gaping hole in the BCB… big enough to drive your stinking quad-slide Class A Motorhome through. I'll get to it, at least that's the plan. I doubt anyone gives a shit anyway, there's only a bazillion RV blogs to choose from these days. If you find some good ones let me know. Now now, don't get your panties in a wad fellow bloggers. I think it's going to take about three more bike rides to shed this "dark side of the moon" persona. It's a long story.

But today, today, was a good start. There is healing and optimism on the trail, my friends, at least for me there is. It was my second ride in three days to Klondike Bluffs… same route, a "lollipop," if you will, about four hours worth if you hustle. Grab your helmet, mates… Let's kick out the jams (1969 MC5, FYI).

After riding about 20 minutes from camp on Dalton Wells Road, Klondike Bluffs comes into view… miniature figurines and loaves of bread at this distance. This is a land of boulders. When God finished creating the heavens and the earth, I think He must have dumped all the leftover rocks right here. Same with sand.

I started around 7:30 AM, thus it was a tad too cool mess around with photos. One needs to keep pedaling in order to stay warm at that hour in the High Desert.

Forty four minutes later I arrived at the Klondike Bluffs parking area. I'm in luck, only one car. Solitude goes to the early bird… along with the worm.  

The gate is not chained so I ride into it, smack it good with my front tire. It swings open. Screw the friggin' cow-maggots. Someone else can latch it, and I'm off. 

Within a half mile I'm in single track Heaven… the Jurassic Trail, a nice, easy series of whoop-de-dos interspersed with smooth straight stretches where one can put the pedal to the metal. 

The trail is routed through rocks and boulders in places, zig zags that keeps you paying attention instead of gawking at all the pretty scenery. Discretion is the better part of valor when riding alone… especially when on blood thinners. So I decide to actually stop to take photos instead of shooting on the fly like normal. I notice some clouds building and hope they continue. Nothing like puffs of clouds to smarten up your photos.

It's wide open country, lots of red dirt eye candy. Zoom zoom… 

There are several trail choices, all of which will get me to where I want to go: The Dino Trail, a rowdy intermediate that's good for a couple ass-puckers. This time I bail off Jurassic and take the Midline. Lovely. It climbs a ridge and then follows along the edge for spectacular views, like the LaSalles, all snowcapped. It's into the sun so I take a black and white. Somewhere Ansel Adams smiles.

The sky is a deep, dark Utah Blue. Clouds build on; I try to make something from the shapes… a fighter jet??? 

I'm loving how the "Midline" hugs the edge of the ridge. Colorful boulders spill off the escarpment; works of art. 

You can see from the photos: this is a trail anyone can do. So you should, soon.

 I'm warming up; should be good to go by the time I hit the tougher intermediate section on the way back, Dino.

The clouds just won't quit putting on a show, surreal, stunning! I stop and have a look around. There is no one, I am totally alone. It's not lost on me, I take a moment to appreciate the solitude of my "Now." Like a sponge, I soak it in… all of it. 360 freaking degrees of Heaven on earth, and it's mine all mine. Not even an angel… which is concerning.  

The trail curves this way and that, then disappears into the horizon. I'm still heading away from camp, going on two hours. It's fine by me. I hope my body can hold out as long as my spirit, cause I don't want it to end. I don't want to lose what I've found… that feeling, "that lovin' feeling." It seems so long since I've had it, you know? It partially explains the hole in the blog. My soul has felt so cracked and dried out. 
Let it rain, dear Lord, let it rain till my soul runneth over. 

I add some short side-loops, trying to keep it going, stretch the feeling. But it's a little bit like juggling. Yeah, you can keep three balls going all day long. But that fourth ball changes everything. Maybe I should error on the side of caution. There is nobody… nobody. My phone reads one bar. I need to save some energy anyway, I rationalize, especially if I'm riding Dino  back to the parking lot.

I have no photos of Trail Dino. The ride kinda sucked me dry with all it's twists and turns and steep climbs and descents. It reminded me of Guacamole, above Virgin… lots of obstacles and challenges before you're ready for them. Fly around a blind corner: Bang, a series of ledges that drops out from under you… along with your stomach, heart, and imagination at what could be. Tortoise and Hare, Tortoise and Hare… Be the Tortoise, fool. 

I'm proud, and thankful, to say that not once did I crash. I will perfect this loop before leaving. I'm in no hurry, I love it here. My Bobbie App will return come Sunday, and I look forward to showing her around the "Klondike." 


  1. I did that trail back in 2000, just finished scanning all the photos! You are right...not impossible, and I wasn't even as old then as I am now! Mark...really...yours is NOT simple an RV blog. As you say, they are a dime a dozen. Yours is a blog about...whatever...angst, happiness, a great marriage, friends, feelings, frustrations, getting old, staying young, alpine lakes and 14ers and red rock and art and most of all words, words that make me smile and make me happy, even when they are sad words. Sorry about that. Yeah...the black and white. and Yeah...happy to see you are hanging in there. And Bobbie?? will look forward to the updates.

  2. Love your blog but mostly do not comment!!!! Sounds like an awesome ride and I had to go to work today......drats!

  3. I really want to ride there. A LOT. Maybe in the fall.

  4. Love me some Klondike Bluffs! And what a perfect southern Utah day! Be careful out there by yourself big guy, you're running w/o a co-pilot. Regards

  5. I love mountain biking but the thought of 4 hours makes my ass hurt.


  6. It looks a great ride with good hard trails to bomb along on. Yes you have to take care when riding alone especially in remote areas like that, but I expect you have a back up plan. I would miss the cafe stop though.

  7. What an amazing ride, soon the Bobby App will be back and all will be good !

  8. Awesome! Can't wait to see those beautiful rocks in a few weeks!

  9. We road that loop (without the 40 minutes of riding to get to it)! We were happy to ride after a rain so there was no soft sand...but the MUD was extreme in spots!

  10. Got to love that solitude that a ride like that provides!

  11. Looks like one we would enjoy. Thanks

  12. Glad you're back in your element. I figured after the Alabama Hills you started a gravitational pull back toward red rock country. Enjoy you're time alone in your outdoor man cave. It will be short-lived, and that's a good thing.


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