Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Friday, October 26, 2012

Arches National Park 10/25/2012

AAAACHHKKK! It is so frustrating. I had nearly completed this post last night when, without warning, it all disappeared into cyber space. It was late and I was too tired to redo it.

Yesterday (Thursday) was our last day of adventure in and around Moab. We drove into Arches Park for a hike up (that's UP) to Delicate Arch. This is the arch that is on posters and other promotional literature about Moab.

The hike begins at the old ranch site of John Wesley Wolfe who settled in this remote area in the late 1800s. He built a one room cabin for his family -- the smaller building in the photo. When his daughter came to live there she convinced her dad to build a bigger cabin with a wooden floor -- the larger cabin in the photo. Does not look like much of an improvement, but at that time it most likely was.

John Wolfe's ranch
The trail up the hillside was nicely marked by cairns along the way.

The next cairn can be seen to the left center in front of the guy in the white shirt
As I have mentioned, there are over 2000 arches in the park. Some are small, some large, and some are multiple.

We passed this one on the way up to Delicate Arch. See that person scrambling for a shot of the scenery through the arch -- that is not one of us.

Here is part of our band of hikers making it to the top

Not a very good picture but this is it
Small arch noted on our way down
A view on the way down
After viewing Delicate Arch with a rest, we hiked down for a drive to see Dune Arch.

Linda at the entry to Dune Arch


Some thought this looked like two birds kissing

This is some of our group
Soon it was lunch time. Funny how after a big breakfast you think you will not need to eat again until at least dinner -- and certainly will not be hungry for lunch. Then lunch time comes, activity and fresh air have heartened you, and you are hungry!

After our picnic lunch we drove to a spot to drop off those who wanted to bike. We were told that it would be a good down hill for a few miles, then a three mile uphill similar (and may just a tad more difficult) to the day before, and another exhilarating downhill to the visitor center at the bottom. Two things stood out for many -- THREE MILE CLIMB, EXHILARATING (meaning steep) DOWNHILL. So not many opted for the ride. I did, and it was fantastic.

Our start point for the ride was from Windows Arches
Snow (or is that salt?) capped La Sal Mountains as backdrop for petrified dunes

Petrified dunes
The video at the visitor center was informative and quite worth watching, and the displays in the center were very interesting. After the visit here I biked to town and our motel with Kirk (one of our leaders).

My one regret of the day is, after feeling that the hill was not very difficult, that I did not bike further with Tim who began his ride from the lunch stop. There were a few more hills on his ride that I (of course) worried about being able to do, but I think that was undo worry and I wish I had gone with him. Of course going "with him" means starting with him as he is a strong and fast rider and is always way ahead.

But I had a great day and am pleased that I have ridden every mile of the tour plus added a few of my own at the end of a couple of days. We had a delightful dinner at the restaurant high on the hill that overlooked the town and the burning uranium waste. This town was started during the uranium "rush" in the fifties, and the restaurant is in what was the home of the founder of the uranium mine here.

Uranium Baron Steen's home cum restaurant on the hill
After breakfast this morning we head our separate ways to home. This will be my final post for this adventure. See you next time.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

La Sal Mountains 10/24/2012

Except for the three mile climb to our lunch stop, this was quite an easy day. We left the canyons and arches for a day to ride in the pinion pine forests of Manti La Sal Mountains east of Moab. Legend has it (legends again) that the La Sal Mountains were named by a Spanish missionary and explorer who saw them during an expedition in the summer of 1776. He thought the mountains couldn't be covered by snow in the summer, so that must be salt, so he named them "Salt Mountains".

This morning we were dropped off at 8000 feet elevation and it was COLD! Surprisingly, everyone had their cold weather gear and donned it all. We feathered our brakes to keep our speed under control as we freewheeled down the 7 miles to the lunch turn off. Seven miles of downhill!! JimAli would be in heaven.

Starting out at 8000 feet

I did stop to take a photo or two

See the road about in the middle of the photo -- we are heading there
Hairpin turn coming up
Down that road

It was, in a word, exhilarating! In more words it was at times scary, at times tiring on the hands, at times gorgeous. After that fantastic no pedaling 2000 feet descent we stopped to shed cold weather wear in preparation for our three mile climb. It was not a steep climb -- but is was climbing every inch of the three miles. Then -- we topped it off with a gravel way to our lunch area!! Loose gravel, soft sand and potholes are not my idea of terrain for cycling. Fortunately it was no more than two tenths of a mile to this lovely picnic spot.

After lunch (and gingerly maneuvering through the gravel/sand/potholes) it was all down hill or flat (more down hill than flat) into town and to our hotel. It was early and I felt a need to add a few more miles. I asked and was granted permission to keep the bike to ride wherever I wanted. I did a repeat of our shakedown ride of a few days ago.

On the close-in ride that I did on my own
This was the earliest finish of a day (even with my extended ride). I did a little walk around town and back to my room to catch up on the blog and -- to relax. At the end of my little walk there were a few raindrops falling on my head, and it is lightly raining right now.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Canyonlands -- Island in the Sky 10/23/2012

It wasn't really the hills (and it was hilly), it was the wind! We had horrific, brutal winds all day! I will talk more about the area and the ride after more introductions of the riders.

George lives near Boston and says he is not retired -- he "works his tail off" in between his many, many trips. He is a self employed structural engineer
Ida retired from nursing in July and lives in Denver. She so very much reminds me of my friend "wrong way" Cheryl

Ross says he has two hobbies -- spoiling Sheila, and aggravating Sheila
Meeting Sheila is kind of like meeting Meryl Streep. She not only looks a lot like her, her delivery is similar. She says she is not sure who spoils whom in this relationship.

Judyth lives near Denver and has been retired for fifty two days from practicing law.
I told everyone about my blog and said if they do not want to have their photo included to please let me know. Sheila said she does not mind having her photo posted, but please make her thin.

Back to Canyonlands. The Green River and the Colorado River divide the Canyonlands into three districts. Yesterday we rode through the NEEDLES district in the southeast part of the park. The MAZE is the most remote section and requires four wheel drive, time and self sufficiency to visit. THE ISLAND IN THE SKY is in the north east section and is where we rode today. We also did a couple of short hikes.

The only negative about this day was that dastardly wind! There was one spot where I got smug about finally getting a tail wind. It lasted for, as Daisy put it, a blink of an eye so she must have missed it, and when I rounded a curve a crosswind hit me so strongly it almost knocked me over. It blew grit and sand into the side of my face and mouth so that I was spitting little gravelly stuff as I entered our rest stop.

Our "rest" stop was for a half mile loop hike to Mesa Arch.

Mesa Arch

A view to the canyon through Mesa Arch
View of canyon from the out side

Different view same canyon
Several riders decided the wind AND hills were too much and got into the van for the next leg that took us to our lunch stop at Grand View Overlook.

View at Lunch stop

Another view at lunch
We did have wind at our corner of the hillside where we had lunch. The views were great but we were all getting pretty tired of wind.

Those who rode in the van for this leg got back on their bikes for the final leg, and a couple of others took their place in the van. The end of our ride was at Upheaval Dome. An amazing hole in the ground caused by salt upheaval and a meteor. There is lots more to the story but I didn't stay to listen to our visiting geologist. I had had it with wind and could not stay in it for one more minute to listen to what was actually a very interesting and informative talk.

Upheaval Dome - photo does not show the dimension nor the color very well
This is from the hike up to that Dome.

Little peek at some of the road we cycled on

Now gotta get ready to meet up for dinner.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Canyonlands 10/22/2012

There is not a lot to write about, but so much to see and experience. Even more spectacular to see it all from the saddle of a bike. I will let the photos do most of the "talking".

Around each bend there appeared another piece of beauty. I was beginning to think I might not get to our planned lunch at the visitor's center before dark if I kept stopping to take photos. The ones I am including here are just a few of the many I took. Hard to choose.




A few of the folks in the group...

Our leaders - Gary, Dan, Kirk
Tim who is back on his beloved bike and still recovering from an accident he had five years ago.
Daisy who has built her own house in New Mexico and does ceramic art
Everyone at the end of today's route
Back to more scenery...


Wooden Shoe Arch

Newspaper Rock


Me at the end of our day
Once I had my picture taken here, many others wanted one too, and since we are all riding similar bikes, they kept mine there for their prop so not to have to wheel out their own.

Sheila and Judyth exchanging places with my bike
And the crow watches our antics

Now I am nicely tired and ready for bed -- need to rest up for another full and fun day tomorrow.