September 29, 2013

Slickrock'n, Afterdark Arches, & the Enchilada À la carte - Moutain Biking, Moab, Utah

Yup, Im making it official!  If you mountain bike, then do yourself a favor and make a trip to Moab, UT.  Riding slickrock is crazy cool and super unique.  If you decide cranking up sticky rock just isn't for you then go check out the 100's of other great ride in the area.  This was Kristin's and my first trip to Moab.  Awesome! and will be going back.  The Massey's showed us the ropes and took us on several of the area's classics!  All repeaters for sure: Klondike Bluff Area Trails, Slickrock and "The Whole Enchilada"  as called by the locals.

The Whole Enchilada:  Often regarded as the ultimate Moab ride.  A link up involving Burro Pass, Hazard, Kokopelli, Porcupine Singletrack, and Porcupine Rim covering approx 30 miles starting from the La Sal Mountains, with 7000 vertical feet of downhill ended at the Colorado River.

Our version this trip Enchilada À la carte:   Thanks to roughly 4" of snowfall on Thursday night up near Burro Pass in the La Sal mountains.  We opted to start the ride at the Kokopelli / Hazard County trail junction (~8500').  Still an amazing ride and hey we skipped out on 2000' climb:)  all downhill on the À la carte version.  And we still got to experience some snow during the ride:)

Use the MTBProject interactive map below to zoom in and browse some of Moab's trails!

Mighty Colorado River Carves Below SlickRock

Slickrock Training Brigade - Anne, Thomas and Kristin on Baby Steps Loop trail

The White Dash and Rubber Marks Replace the Trail Cairn - Me on Slickrock trail

Slickrock Luge - Thomas on Slickrock trail

Refuel on the Porcupine Rim Overlooking Castle Valley - Kristin and Anne Porcupine Rim trail

The Klondike Bluffs at their Grandest - This overlook is only reached by a bonus hiking only trail off the Klondike Bluff 4x4 trail

The Endless Slickrock Romp - Kristin on Slickrock trail

Sunset viewing from high up in Window Arch - Anne South Window Arch

Mario Brothers take on Slickrock - Me (Luigi) and Thomas (Mario)

Slickrock Roller-coaster - Kristin and Anne

Tight Squeeze - Kristin on LPS trail

Mario's Personal Cheerleaders - Kristin, Thomas, Anne

The switchback method - Anne demonstrates with a successful burst up the steeps

The MnM Gang wrecks havoc on Sand Arch - a few days later the government shuts down and all National Parks close...hmmm curious - Sand Arch way past sunset, Arches National Park - Kristin, Thomas, Anne, and Me behind the camera

September 14, 2013

Playing with Ghost Towns, Campfires and Vail's Two Elks

After spending several days trying to stay afloat during record breaking rainfall along Colorado's front range, we packed up and headed west towards Vail hoping for clear skies and a good romp on the VAIL classic - Two Elks.  We chose to ride it from the rec parking at Vail Pass to Bowman's Shortcut to Two Elks. Totaling roughly 19 miles.

For full description of the this glorious ride explore the interactive map and links to MTBProject below

Team M&M take on Two Elks

Doing some Campfire Magic to Ward the Rain Away - Thomas

Riding Among Aspens - Kristin

Giving the Rain the Middle Finger - Thomas

This Rain isTurning CO into the PNW - Kristin

Town Watering Hole - Red Cliff, CO

Red Cliff,  is a former mining camp situated in the canyon of the upper Eagle River just off U.S. Highway 24 north of Tennessee Pass.  The population was 289 at the 2000 census. The town site is concealed below the highway (which passes over the Red Cliff Truss Bridge).  It was founded in 1879 during the Colorado Silver Boom by miners from Leadville who came over Tennessee Pass scouting for better prospects.

Passing in front of the mighty Gore Range - Kristin

Red Cliff Truss Bridge

Weaving Single track through Outer Mongolia Bowl of Vail Ski Resort - Thomas

Red Cliff Truss Bridge

The Wizard Working His Firebow - Thomas

Abandoned Mining Town - Gilman, CO

Gilman,  founded in 1886 during the Colorado Silver Boom, the town later became a center of lead and zinc mining in Colorado, centered around the now-flooded Eagle Mine. It was abandoned in 1984 by order of the Environmental Protection Agency because of toxic pollutants.  It is currently a ghost town on private property and is strictly off limits to the public.

On February 27, 2008 the Minturn Town Council unanimously approved annexation and development plans for 4,300 acres (17 km2) of Ginn Resorts’ 1,700-unit Battle Mountain residential ski and golf resort; Ginn's Battle Mountain development includes much of the old Gilman townsite.

The townsite is a victim of vandalism, and the town's main street is heavily tagged. There are only a few intact windows left in town, as twenty years of vandalism have left almost every glass object in the town destroyed.
However, many parts of the town are almost as they were when the mine shut down. The main shaft elevators still sit ready for ore cars, permanently locked at the top level. Several cars and trucks still sit in their garages, left behind by their owners.

 Gilman Ghost Playground Girls - Kristin and Anne