Adrenal fatigue in Southern Utah

Moab’s wind and rain brought us to Salt Lake. It was a good time to visit with my family — overcast and cold for several days. Very little temptation to go outside and play. We played inside, with nieces and nephews, instead. It was fun.

The skies began to clear over the west, and the Sports Van drove south like it had a mind of its own.

just enough daylight to get a taste of the white rock before a blustery night in the tent

It pulled us to another mountain bike mecca. Another rare expanse of rideable rock. Another classic area that I have neglected too long.

Gooseberry Mesa.

I love that I live in a world where a trail system like Gooseberry has become official and protected, despite its roots as an unofficial / underground.

In the late 90’s we happened to stumble into the creators/explorers/builders at a shop in town, and they were kind enough to show a bunch of college racer dorks around their stash.

We were duly impressed, and at that moment, the Slickrock Trail was suddenly old hat. Yet despite coming to visit St. George many times over the last decade+, I rarely get out to ride it.

Luckily the Sports Van righted that wrong and took us there.

Luckily we had a couple weeks of riding in Moab under our belt, and chunk confidence was approaching levels not seen in years.

Ez, in particular, was killing it out there. I’d be challenged by a section, then turn around to be surprised by her riding it first try. She also climbed a couple sections before I did, or in less tries. My girl can ride tech!

It was a glorious day on the white rock, grunting up steeps, trying not to peer off the cliff edges while riding along them, and basking in the desert sun. We covered nearly all of the trails out there, returning to camp pretty worked over.

Evening was spent reading, computerizing, and sitting by the fire. In the morning, Goose called again. We covered the sections of trails we’d missed and felt the magic of the place again. It was completely empty on a Monday morning.

A certain place, seen visible in the background of this and many of the photos above, also called us.

We had one more day of good weather, so haste was made to the other side of the mesa, through the park entrance station and into Zion!

The goal? Angels Landing.

New to both of us, we’d long heard of it, but never made it happen. The route is along the wall behind Eszter in the photo, luckily protected with lots of steps and chains.

I LOOOOOVE the trees out there and all their crazy roots

Into the white rock layer and the top! A little breathing room here.

Eszter conquered some fear out there, claiming to be a member of ‘Team Vertigo.’ She got very quiet and focused the whole way up, while being more relaxed on the way down.

I was really only scared watching people coming back down at us. The biggest danger, I think, is someone slipping and knocking other people over. Choose your waiting spots carefully.

Floating down ‘Wallys wiggles’ — switchback attack!

Maples and oaks still changing color. This canyon made me miss Tucson, strangely enough.

all fed from water coming out of cracks and weeping from walls

Soon, soon, we’ll make it back ‘home’ to Tucson for the cold and dark months.

We motivated for another hike up to the Emerald Pools despite what we realized was a good case of being completely drained in the adrenal department. Gooseberry and Zions will do that to ya, apparently. I’m really grateful we were able to squeeze these days in. Both need return visits.

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