Saturday, July 31, 2010

Capital Reef Classic 2010

It is time for another ride. While married life is so worthy and I enjoy all of the time with the kids, I still need to get out and ride once in a while. Lucky for me Laura has really started to enjoy riding her bike and I see a lot of fun in our future. This morning though I am off with her blessing for a week of riding. I love my wife!

Photo by Laura
Our Hero is up before dawn (hoping to beat the heat) and has the GT loaded for a quick jaunt up to Torrey. I need to be in Page for a meeting by 8am so it will be a pretty quick run up the mountain this morning.

The Dawn finds me already 2/3rds of the way to Flagstaff.

First stop is getting gas in Flagstaff.

My first of several mobile offices. Amazing how with just a laptop, a blackberry, I can work almost anywhere I can pick up a signal. Crazy

I quickly make the rest of the trip up to Torrey where I settle in at Bob's for the next 5 days. This weekend is the Capital Reef Classic Bike Race and I have agreed to be a motor for the event. I love working this bike race.

It is always nice to get to Torrey!

I arrive at the starting line early and find out that I am going to be leading out the Cat 3 Mens group on an 82mile race. The race will also include a ride over Fish Lake. That is a total elevation gain of close to 4000ft for the riders.

This is the group I will be leading this morning. About 20 riders and they are fast. My job is to make sure that traffic is clear of the leaders, provide some time checks for the leaders, and to make sure that they do not cheat.

After about 10 miles of racing two riders make their break and quickly build about a 3min lead over the peleton.

One lone rider then tries to bridge the gap. He manages to get to within 90 seconds of the leaders but the big climb looms ahead

And this climb is brutal

Soon the peleton is splintered over about 5 miles and each rider works to get to the summit.

All the while the leaders have powered to about a 5min lead. These two guys actually pass some of the riders who had started 10 minutes sooner in the pro group. At this point they are riding at around 10,000ft (3000m) elevation. Tough dudes.

We get to the back in 3 hours 44 minutes. That is a pace of about 21mph. Amazing when you factor in the big climb. I can't wait for next years race. This year they had over double the riders of last year and I am sure this race is going to just get bigger over the next few years.

With the race over we head home and get ready to go to the Farmers Market.

Janet is making amazing Ginger Preserves now which are really hard to find in the US. MMMMM

Ed thinks he can get this working if he could only find the right tool in Bob's Garage.

Bob talking about local plants. One of the things that people always think when you are in these small towns in the back country is that you have nothing but hunting rednecks. The only real difference to the stereotype in this region is you insert Mormon Redneck, instead of Beer Drinking Redneck. Nothing could be further from the truth. I meet more diverse, highly educated philosophical wine drinking Rednecks here than anything else.

I end up hanging with Beth at her Wood Burning Pizza Oven Trailer catching up and making pies. This is such a cool thing. The trailer has a real wood burning oven on it and they are making some good money with it. Keep it up Beth. They are worthy pizzas!

We head back to Bob's and do what we do best in Torrey.

Enjoy one of these on the porch.

We are joined by Dave who is one of those Redneck Biologists who works for the Park Service at Capital Reef. You can tell how bored we are here.

We agree to meet for breakfast the next morning and head out to explore an area that Bob hasn't even looked at. Dave agrees to join us so the Tundra will be full for an adventure! Whoo Hoo!!

I really wish Laura and the kids would be here because I have no doubt that they would be not only enjoying themselves, but would be getting a wonderful education as well. Missing them for sure.

Sunday's Adventure
After getting Breakfast we head on down to the park. We are going to pick up Dave, but we also want to get some Apricots. One of the areas of Capital Reef is called Fruita. It has many different Orchards that the 1st settlers planted and the Park Service keeps them going. You can go and harvest the fruit and pay for them using the honor system.

The orchards are nestled along the river under massive Red Cliffs.

Edd finds some fresh Apricots and gets to picking. And for all my friends concerned about his papers, he assures me he is a US Citizen.

These Apricots are DELICIOUS!!! And that tool is the bomb.

After getting a full bag we are off to pick up Dave at his house. He brings along his Ranger Gear which include a radio.

I compliment him on his backyard Rock Garden but think it may be a little over the top

Before we head out into the boonies we have to get one thing that is really critical for our survival....

NO not the SPOT!

Cafe Diablo PIES and Ice Cream!

We meet some of the locals too. They don't seem that interested in the pies.

After heading out we start to hear radio chatter about a wild fire on Boulder Mountain. There are several agencies on and after a few minutes I hear our friend Jamie Austin on the radio. He is the Fire Chief in Torrey.

The area around Torrey has such diverse geography. I never tire of exploring it

All of us soon are lost in our own thoughts but are really enjoying the time spent together with friends.

Even if we didn't have a high ranking park ranger in the Truck with a radio Bob would still never deviate from the proper path. Ed on the other hand.....

We end up at the radio repeater station which is solar powered and allows the rangers and other emergency officials to get better reception down in the canyons in the park

A few cool Pics

Worthy Spider Web

The Yin and Yang of Life in a tree

The Valley below

As we come down the mountain, Janet gets into trouble with Bob. I tried to warn her....but you know how he gets when "Monty" comes out.

Objects are in fact closer than they appear sometimes.

Actually Janet can't sit in trucks long on the best of days and after riding over 50 miles the day before in a bicycle race, she needed to keep from cramping up. So she walked the slower sections of the trail.

We head back to town and the fire is still out there.

Dave starts to scan the mountains for the fire.

While not a huge fire, it is in a area that is remote. It goes out though by nightfall. Bummer because that are really could use a good burn.

A great day!

And we quickly fill these and enjoy another great night in Torrey.

But there are storm clouds on the Horizon and that tail is next to be told.....


Janet said...

I can vouch for Tom, this is all true.

Killer said...

This tale would be worthy if only he could get the name of the park right - it's CapitOl Reef like the buildings not the money. You'd think that after all the times he's been here he would know that by now!

AZKaisr said...

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