Friday, June 12, 2009

Rainbow Rim Trail

Located along the rim of the Grand Canyon and connecting five large "Points" of land which overhang the Canyon and the Arizona Strip is the Rainbow Rim Trail. I have been planning this ride for a long time, usually bikes are not allowed in the National Forest but somebody snuck this in one in and it is awesome.
This map shows the trails relation to Jacob's Lake and the National Park.

The Single Speed at the trail head.

Close up of the trail head sign/map.

The five "Points" are: Parissawampitts, Fence, Locust, North Timp and Timp. Each offers a different view and perspective of Grand Canyon features such as Powell Plateau, Steamboat Mountain, Tapeats Amphitheater and Great Thumb Mesas, as well as the Mt. Trumbull region of The Arizona Strip. In addition to the areas along the rim, the trail passes through a forest of old growth Ponderosa pine and drops into a number of steep-sided canyons filled with groves of aspens and small meadows
. Total length one way is 18 miles, we rode it as an out and back making it 36 miles of single track deliciousness.

I wish I had a camera that could have done justice to the views that are to be had.

As you can see from the map there are mutiple trail heads, you can jump on and off the trail at any of the points on the map making it longer or shorter as needed.

Typical section of trail, smooooth. I don't get a lot of chances to ride in the trees here in So. Utah and this trail gives you all you want.

18 miles in and we had to change a tire before turning around.

Duane and I in a typical biker pose. There is some kind of weird perspective thing going on in this foto and I look like a Hobbit. I think it's because I am standing downhill and leaning on the bike or maybe I am from the Shire.

I would suggest this trail to anyone. I think I should ride this trail no less than twice a year. I am putting this trail in my top 5 rides of all time for length, views, trail quality and all around goodness.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


For the last week and a half I have been working on a remodel/addition to the local Wells Fargo branch. When I say working I mean that I have my bags on and am doing all the demo and framing myself. Things are tough all over.
This morning I was on the roof finishing off the overbuild when I dropped my Swanson speed square, it tumbled down the roof and came to berth out in the parking lot with a large chunk broken off the top corner. I want to tell you why this hurts me in my soul but first the picture of the product.

There is nothing as valuable to a framer as this square, it makes angles and roof pitches a breeze. I bought this square in 1991 for my first day on the job as a framer. I have had this square longer than I have known my wife. It is the only tool that I have been able to keep for so long. Hammers have come and gone, nail bags have worn out and if I had a dollar for every tape measure that I have broken there would be no recession at my house.
The edges on my square are worn down to a soft, comfortable corners from being used as an ice scraper in the winter and a saw dust pusher in the summer. I have figured out mind numbing roof problems with that square. It is scarred and abused and still has the waffle imprint where I was using it as a wedge and pounded it with my hammer.
What a great tool, I am sad to see it go. I looked at the new models at the store, I couldn't bring myself to buy one. Too shiny and sharp, I think that I will first cruise the pawn shops and see if I can find one that has a few miles on it.

Maybe Ebay has a category for vintage speed squares.