Mountain Biking Zion’s Doorstep

Emily & Silent Partner


Evening, Peeps!

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.

You Are Here

The weather was bright and clear, if not a bit cool but it made for exceptional desert riding.

Mellow JEM

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.

Ride Preview

This ride stitches together the JEM Trail.

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To the Cryptobionic Trail.

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To the Dead Ringer Trail.

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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?

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Even the less deathy stuff is still mind boggling. I can’t imagine what this looks like when it’s running.

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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!

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Parting Thoughts

Winter Airstreaming

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!

This Blows, Mountain Biking Hurricane UT

Emily & Silent Partner


Evening, Peeps!

Yesterday I mentioned we’re at a KOA in St. George Utah. Ok, so technically speaking, we’re actually in Hurricane, UT which is next to St. George.

I suspect Hurricane is called Hurricane because this place blows – literally.

Today it was 43°F (6°C) with 20mph (32kph) winds.  ; o

The Ride

I wasn’t sure what the wind would do to the ride, but today’s journey took us on White Reef Trail to Tipple Trail to Red Reef East Trail to Prospector Trail.

This Blows

My silent Partner bailed early on due to the face-freezing wind but not me, no siree bob, I was on a mission!

White Reef Trail

White Reef doesn’t offer much in the way of views, but it does offer a nice easy warm up. All trails were easy blues, nothing technical just a bit of fitness. Courtesy of our GoPro 7 you can see my POV.

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For me there’s no such thing as a bad day mountain biking, even when my face is frozen in place.

Tipple Trail

Next up, Tipple Trail offered a sweeping view of the surrounding terrain. By this point I was warmed up and the intense wind was at my back offering a nice little assist up the climbs.

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If you’ve ever been to Sedona or Moab this area very much has ‘that’ feel. Replete even with unexpected water crossings.

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Red Reef East Trail

Next in line, the Red Reef East trail takes you directly up against the red cliffs of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.

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Prospector Trail

The Red Reef East dumps you out into a campground so I took the road from the campground to Prospector Trail just to see what’s there.

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I found some hard climbs.

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And some sweet single track.

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I only rode Prospector for 45min or so, but it was a great trail with some pretty intense fitness.

A Followup On My Wölvhammer Boa Winter Cycling Boots

You may be wondering, how’d my winter MTB boots review in a previous post hold up in this cold?

Absolutely fantastic. Warm and lush. In short – perfect!

Tomorrow…

Tomorrow’s our last day here. The weather isn’t supposed to blow, at least not so hard, so I hope to bring back some great pics.

Peace out!

 

Winter Airstreaming St. George Utah

Emily & Silent Partner


Evening, Peeps!

Sometimes Airstreaming is just about not being home. The destination doesn’t have to be exotic, though you could do a lot worse than the St. George KOA in Southwest Utah.

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This RV park occupies a strange spit of land between the I-15, Quail Creek State Park:

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And the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area:

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The Escape

We’re here more or less on a whim – had some vacation time and a handy Airstream so we headed out of town the day after Christmas seeking mountain biking and, well … not home.

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Temperatures are hovering well below freezing and a winter storm is passing through but wow is it cool to watch the snow fall on the mountains while you’re mountain biking. Today we rode several trails in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.

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We headed out on White Reef Trail:

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Then back on Leeds Reef Trail:

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My riding companion was’t feeling especially photogenic today.

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But we persevered on the Quail Creek Trail where we enjoyed the sweet smell of fallen leaves before returning to the Airstream home.

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The Portal To The Mountain Biking Dimension

Ok, Peeps. More frozen adventure to come tomorrow! Peace out.

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