Summer travels

We’ve moved around a fair bit this summer. It just feels natural to me. I can’t really remember what it’s like to live in the same place for 12 months at a time. Maybe it was Tucson’s scorching heat that led me to roaming. Cooler places and big mountains call loudly in the summer, and for nearly ten years I was a grad student — and students get the summer off, right? Or maybe it was the addiction to riding bikes and being outdoors that, even when I did maintain a domicile for 12+ months, had me dreaming of Moab and St. George all through the winters.

Yeah, bikes. I blame it all on bikes.

And I’ve loved every minute of it. Spending significant amounts of time in different places gives such a fresh perspective on things. That, and the weather is generally awesome when you go where you want.

I thank my lucky stars at every chance I get that I can make a living in a portable way, doing something I truly enjoy, and that my life is simple enough to fit into a Sports Van.

So it was that we left Winter Park, bound for Salt Lake. Stopping to camp and ride in Fruita. As we were winding down for bed, I suggested the unthinkable — a pre-sunrise start to a ride! It was, of course, a brilliant idea. Sunrise riding is second only to sunset riding, and this was a beautiful morning to be out on the trail.

After stopping for melons in Green River we hit Salt Lake, and everyone finally got to meet Eszter!

We headed out for a nice ride, straightaway. My dad rode out and back with us on the ‘crest, then picked us up lower in the canyon.

It’s not quite Colorado high country, but it is beautiful, and super riding.

On course for the Wasatch 100, I couldn’t help but be a little intimidated and wondering what state my mind and body would be in, were I to make it this far.

My brother on one of several attempts at the “White Spine.” My lungs were used to riding much higher, so for once the 9000′ elevation seemed low.

A classic scene from the shoreline trail, where I learned how to ride and was quickly hooked. I got to show Eszter some of the local goods.

Though she was feeling rather sub-par, so the riding was limited. The riding is steep, too, which doesn’t help when you’re far from 100%.

Down the Rollercoaster! With rare rain clouds in the background.

And the Bobsled! It would have been more fun had Eszter’s front tire held more than 10 PSI. Before long, my rear tire was also flat and we had a good time making fun of ourselves hopping from one “fixit” station to another on campus, trying to get various bad tubes to hold and using the pumps there. We didn’t have a pump, or any functional tubes.

New Wasatch trail for me! I pretty much stick to the classics with my limited time each year in SLC, but it was great to ride something new with a friend of Eszter’s. I can’t recall ever riding anything out of Jeremy Ranch.

Wasatch 100 aftermath. I made friends with mud, perhaps for the first time ever. It didn’t treat my bike too well, though. I was amazed the thing was still pedaling and producing forward motion for quite a while there.

After a few days of recovery, it was time to head to Colorado and start working on getting Eszter better. I need my bestest riding buddy back and feeling strong!

We stopped outside of Vernal to camp and check out some new BLM trails. It was a beautiful evening, but neither of us had anything resembling ‘energy’ and the trails were a little lackluster in the fun department.

It was a great stopover, though. Winter Park was next, for a couple more recovery rides and retrieval of my ‘big’ computer.

And finally, Boulder for the true recovery ride, and so Eszter can demonstrate the opening and closing of gates without unclipping! That, and visit the doc, who sure figured something out for her.

Vapor Trail next called us to Salida, and Boulder went into disaster mode, making the next leg of our summer an easy choice.

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