Box Canyon Blog.com

"We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." C. Bukowski

NOTE: Open post and then Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Oh the canvas can do miracles..."


The night after Bobbie traded me for her "hearth" in Lovely Ouray, I nursed a lusty, menopausal male notion to reprise "Alaska," a favorite circumferential loop in Klondike's HillsI knew my body was't yet conditioned for the "marathon-ish" four-plus hours of uphill grinds and "vice-grip" descents, but, assisted by 3 cups of dark roast "liquid courage" the next morning, I figured the best way to get in shape for "Alaska's" nether-lands is to ride Alaska's nether-lands. You'd think there'd be laws regarding Old men and caffeine...especially in Utah.


What I refer to as the "Alaska Loop" is actually a continuum of outermost trails that encircle the "Klondike's" Elysian network of pedaling perfection, including "Klondike," a seldom motored grind up—fly down section of 4X4 road to Salt Valley...a perilous minefield of loose rock. This connects to "Baby Steps Loop" a misnomer, but hey, nobody asked my opinion, and last, but by no means least, "Alaska," which includes "Nome" (or "Homer" if feeling masochistic) to "Dino-Flow" to "Inside Passage" to the Trail Head—which still leaves me 3 rolling dirt-road miles shy of camp. Here, you figure it out... 


Now the Macho, but highly illogical, Male part of my brain begins to whisper, Not to worry, Mark, you can always bail early...take "Mega Steps" down and shortcut "Alaska" out of the loop. Which, I retort, defeats my purpose...to ride "Alaska," the most scenic and exhilarating ridge run ever. It'd be like foreplay with no crescendo
Enough innuendo...just ride and see what happens.

Let's see, got maps, helmet, energy bars, caffeinated Shot Blocks, Gatorade, water, tools-tubes-duct tape-sun screen-cell phone...tourniquet!


"Bad Habit," sittin' pretty on the summit ridge of Klondike's 4x4 grind-up from the valley.


Minefield...

An old Miner's Cabin that I surmise, given three propane refrigerators and the immense radius that pieces the old man's life was scattered, that there was an unfortunate gas leak. Hopefully, he wasn't home at the time... 


Ah, Salt Valley.

Smooth "sailing," carefree...the wind at my back
Sometimes it helps to be alone, unguarded, in order to fully experience certain emotions. No one to judge, read your face, question "what's up?" What can I say, I wear emotions on my sleeve like cufflinks. 

Perhaps it's the immersion in vastness, or the fairytale nature of this landscape, or the feeling of plain old freedom. Regardless, Alaska makes me giddy. I'm staggered by the grandeur, and the luck of my existence. Awareness is a beautiful thing. Revel in it...jump in and wallow around. 

But you know, there are times when the line between laughing and weeping is fine, situations when either response is appropriate. Thus, on a lonely, dusty backroad in the middle of nowhere, Christopher Cross' sweet tenor rises above the wind in my ears:


It's not so far to never-never land, no reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.
Believe me...
Sailing—takes me away to where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free...  

I'm alone and moved; who would know?  I shed a tear of joy.




















The trick here is to KEEP MOVING...

"Canvas worthy" sanity...

Well it's not far back to sanity, at least it's not for me
And if the wind is right I can sail away and find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.
Believe me.
Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free...

20 comments:

  1. The downhill rides must be a blast but the uphill pedaling must be exhausting. Looks like in a few spots you would have to walk the bike? Or is that against the spirit of biking the whole trail? Lot’s of beautiful bike trails, but you need Bobbie with her maps to keep you on the right trail. Nice map layout and photos. Stay safe in our need for adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Push-a-bike is part of the gig. If you don't have to push your bike in a few places you chose the wrong trail :). Actually, there are times and places for "cruising." I get few opportunities to do this kind of riding, and the thrill makes me feel 9 years old again :). The next day, tho, I feel every one of my 67.5 years...all over my body.

      Delete
  2. Good thing "alone" is temporary and when it is, it can be incredibly magical and amazing. And good thing Bobbie isn't gone too long and you have someone to share that "alone" thing with later. And with us. I know that feeling of crying from sheer joy in magical places on the planet. Congrats on another ride, Mark. You are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I struggle to explain the feelings of youth and freedom certain places/activities bring. They are medicinal, and without them I might as well be dead... Thanks, Sue.

      Delete
  3. Just a man and his bike...and pictures of his bike...and rocks...and more pictures of his bike...and even more bike pics...and a handlebar photo (is there a story there?). Gotta love the serenity. Keep that tourniquet handy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is that bike a new toy? Looks purdy :) I just don't get mountain bikes. I bike mostly groomed trails, usually flat, scenic, but when I have to watch the trail too much to avoid crashing, I miss the views. Maybe it's a guy-thing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last time I checked Bobbie wasn't a "guy," and she loves these trails. You just need to "know when hold em/know when to fold em." Pushing or carrying a bike is good exercise, too...and part of the gig. :)

      Delete
  5. You couldn't have wrapped up this seasons Gran Tour of the South West any better than that tour you took us all on today Mark.
    Just glad all went well.
    Stay Thirsty My Friend.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those trails look excellent. I haven't done any real mountain biking since I last saw you, and this has made me want to get out there again. Nice pics of Bad Habit, but seems like Bobbie should be in there.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great ride, just wondering if you have cell phone coverage or GPS signal if something goes wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A barley viable cell signal on top, but then I'm not always up there. I'm thinking I need a "Spot" soon...right after I get a GPS.

      Delete
  8. All I see is ER visits and CT scans.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't ride by your crash site without thinking about you flying off and landing on that rock...on your back...then having to pedal out of there. At least the Hospital ER wasn't busy that day.

      Delete
  9. Such a beautiful area and such a crazy man!! Glad you were around to write about it:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. You just convinced me that we need to explore there again. We shy away from all crowds, and we found crowds there last year. I'm thinking that I didn't get deep enough into the trail system, and I should explore some more! I love great rides that I can do right from camp. I feel sure that you won't tell us where you were camped (ha! I wouldn't either) but we can explore. That looks like such a great ride, and your photos are fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We camp 3 miles from "the trail system." What distance it adds to the ride pays dividends in privacy. I also like that we can hike from camp...20 minutes to the National Park boundary...sandstone slick rock, freakish hoodoos, arches and canyons. Give it another look, just don't expect to have it all to yourselves. Those days are slipping away...

      Delete

If you like a blog post at least have the decency to tip the author with an occasional comment...lest the blog disappears from lack of support.