Emily & Silent Partner
Today was our last day winter Airstreaming in St. George so we did it up in style and rode the Hurricane Cliffs JEM Trail, which is literally on Zion National Park’s doorstep.
The weather was bright and clear, if not a bit cool but it made for exceptional desert riding.
Our trail of choice was the Mellow JEM feature ride. I chose this ride because we wanted something, well… mellow. The climb is only a few percent and the route makes a classic lollipop. Total mileage ~11mi (18km) and 1100′ (335m) of climbing.
This ride stitches together the JEM Trail.
To the Cryptobionic Trail.
To the Dead Ringer Trail.
In truth the outbound leg was OK – nothing wildly technical though I found the initial exposures up against the Virgin River a little gratuitous and unnecessary. As I contemplated my own death it occurred to me this shelf ride is very similar to Porcupine Rim in Moab. Oh, and that’s Zion National Park directly ahead – not half bad eh?
Even the less deathy stuff is still mind boggling. I can’t imagine what this looks like when it’s running.
All these trails were tight green single-track with occasional blue uppers. When I finally “got” this trail though was on the way back.
Oh, that’s cool!
Winter Airstreaming is a little hard – the roads were icy getting out here, the Airstream is covered in road salt which is just awful for this rig, and it’s f’ing cold – around freezing daily. We pounded through propane like nobody’s tomorrow but in exchange we saw something amazing – the desert in winter tableau, staged just for us.
I’d recommend riding here 10 times over. Just bring appropriate winter gear. Need I say more?
Pssst KOA – Pass It On
A quick shout out to the St. George/Hurricane KOA. This place rocks – electrical outlets were in awesome repair, all hose bibs were new, pads were level and clean with round high quality aggregate keeping the dust away. Pavement was even new. The bath house was in excellent repair, clean and warm. Despite the proximity to I-15 we also didn’t particularly pick up on the road noise.
KOAs tend to be expensive, but we splurged for this exact reason – you always know what you’re going to get and these guys know what they’re doing. Nothing beats rolling into a killer campground after 8 hours on the road and feeling all snugly inside that you’re going to get exactly what you paid for. And we did!
What Could Go Wrong
I try to make a point about what can go wrong in RVing. Not that I have a dark demeanor or anything, but I just think it pays to keep everyone’s eyes open to the possibilities when they travel.
This trip we had a few gremlins.
The water pump in the Airstream kept “topping off” even though all faucets were closed. We didn’t have a leak so I suspect it’s something to do with being in storage for so long. After a couple minutes it would eventually chill out. As I finish this post it’s stopped entirely so that will be one for a future service visit. The internets suggests it may be a bum pressure sensor.
Also the Clarion stereo the Airstream shipped with decided to lose its mind and spontaneously cycle through all modes instead of staying on Aux, which we use for DirecTV. That too has mysteriously “fixed” itself. Since I’ve always hated the Clarion stuff anyway this gives me an excuse to replace the sound system with all Bose.
Lastly Dee, our 2500 HD Denali decided to complain about low coolant today. I topped off the antifreeze while fueling up with winterized diesel and checked for leaks (nothing apparent). We may have an appointment at the Chevy dealer soon, time will tell.
And with that my friends, peace out!