Slope Oak

it's the ride that counts

Category: Bikepacking

Silver Island Mountains

Silver Mountains Register

I wanted- no, needed another trip before the snow. Threw together a quick overnighter just outside of Wendover, UT. Between low-end desert casinos and the Bonneville Salt Flats lay the Silver Island mountains, with Floating Island right next door. My plan was to do a figure-eight of the island with a side trip over a causeway seen on Google Maps to camp on Floating Island. Things don’t always look the same at ground level…

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Cathedral Valley with the Doob

In which I take my youngest on his first bikepacking trip- also the first non-solo trip for me. A seasoned backpacker and both youthful and strong, the ride resembles my solo trips as he disappears ahead. I lag behind, alone and happy.

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A Roll in the Uintas

August is not what you’d call a prime desert riding month in Utah. With the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges in my backyard there are ample opportunities for more elevated exploration. Temps in the nineties during the day drop to the forties at night. Moose and mule deer appear along the way, our paths intersecting for a moment, each sizing up the potential threat of the other. In the fullest acknowledgment that the encounter is serendipitous, not sinister, we turn our backs to one another and continue on.

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Cedar Mountains

Visiting an old friend, having ridden through the Cedars as part of the The Wild Horse. Taking the short course route I come upon the junction to Hastings Pass, the road continuing around the mountains the bastion between the dry high desert landscape and black ash.

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White Rim – Solo Overnighter

This is the first outing on my shiny, roll-y, rubber and steel new ride. What better way to christen it than a solo overnighter on the White Rim.

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Rawland Ulv

Desert build, lots of water storage.

Build pictures…

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Arches the Old Way

arches backroad pano

arches by backroad

I found myself with an open weekend and a desire to revisit Arches in the style of Ed Abbey circa Desert Solitaire. No, not barefoot, drunk and dressed like a ranger. Well, maybe two out of three. Anyway, heading in to the Park using the original entrance. Still remote, dirt and a road-less-traveled way to bikepack into a place that saw 1.3 million visitors last year.

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Bikepack – Whistling Dixie

A loop through Dixie National Forest. Day Two, the view from the Thunder Mountain trail. Never been so grateful for a dropper post as I would be about a mile from here.

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Like all good adventures, this was the culmination of a series of compromises. Big plans divided by last minute schedule changes multiplied by lack of fitness worries squared by carrying too much stuff. Kitty Frida chose not to make the trip. She is a quitter. In 48 hours I would be overly jealous of her lifestyle choice.

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Bikepack – The Torrey and Henry Mtns Loop

I have a great idea. I’ll ride a loaded rigid Salsa Vaya from just outside Torrey along Highway 24 to Hanksville, then head up and over Bull Creek Pass in the Henry Mountains. The next day, I’ll ride down the Henry Mountains down to the Notom Bullfrog road and back to Hwy 24 and my car at the Rim Rock Inn. Oh, and I’ll make sure that while I’m hauling my tired ass up Hwy 24 after dark to get back to my car on a fully-loaded bike the Rockwell Relay will be in full swing and teams of lycra-clad endurance cyclists will have to flow around me like a river around a rock.

Oh, and also, with 13,000 feet of climbing this is a good trip to convert from a perfectly-good 2×9 drivetrain to a 1×9 ’cause who needs more gears?

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Bikepack – San Rafael Swell

30 miles out, 30 miles back. 3,000 feet of climbing. 23 pound bike, 15 pounds of gear and food, 15 pounds of water. My first bikepack, solo.

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