Desert build, lots of water storage.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.