Sunday, May 15, 2011

Utah Hill Circumnavigation

Utah Hill is the mountain just west of St. George. I-15 wends it's way to the south through the Virgin River Gorge on it's way to Las Vegas and the Old Hiway 91 bends around the north. On the Western slope the Woodbury Wilderness Study Area was created by the BLM and Angus M Woodbury in 1977 because it contained the oldest population of marked desert tortoises and possibly the oldest marked populations of vertebrates in the United States. 

The infamous JRuss of Sabrosa Cycles fame and I have been kicking around the idea of circumnavigating the Mt in a clockwise direction for 6 or 7 months.  We finally settled on a date and made the customary invitations to all of our riding acquaintances to join us on our foray.  At the appointed hour we found ourselves completely alone, no one else was there to share in the adventure.

The initial climb was interrupted by the crack addled whisperings of a lady who had caught a flat on her 1994 Toyota Fourunner, she had no jack and had spent the night pounding In and Out fries, smoking meth and waiting for help to arrive. In her mind altered state I am not sure that she knew where she was or could direct rescuers to her position.  JR, ever the boyscout offered to help but without a jack you can't change a tire. She was gone by the time we got back.

Reflecting on the ride I would recommend that unless you have a masochistic need to pedal your bike uphill, there are alternative routes to seeing what is on the backside of the beyond.

The Joshua Tree Forest.

Another 360 picture of the terrain. Fullscreen mode is the way to see this.

Cedar Pocket road (Joshua trees) in Arizona

A day earlier I had cached some water where the dirt road meets hiway 91.  The weather was perfect, a little overcast with a couple of sprinkles to keep the temps manageable.

After the water stop JR developed some intestinal difficulties. That has happened to him on back to back rides with me.  I think he may be allergic to my mediocrity, even in a nauseous state he can still put the hurt on you.

JR resting after taking solace in the relative privacy of the wash.

The trucks, parked at Navajo Dr. were a welcome site. Just because I could have gone further does not mean that I wanted to.

1 comment:

Sabrosa Cycles said...

all i can remember about that ride is somehow managing to make it up the steps to my home and then waking up in the fetal position on the kitchen floor after a two hour coma. i think i'm good on the utah hill circ until sometime next year.