Last weekend, my wife, son and I found ourselves hanging out with a great group of fellow mountain cyclist amidst the always hypnotizing red rock of Utah. Jared put the whole thing together and all of us benefited greatly. While my family and I only knew Jared and his oldest son, it made for a great outing with happy people. The food was so good I gained weight.
We broke the 105 mile Canyonlands' White Rim Trail into two days. It was special to watch at a distance while, Alex (my 15 year old), Ethan (Jared's 13 year old son) and Stevie (Lance's 15 year old) cast a dust trail together along the scenery loaded environment. We road the incredible loop clockwise, with day one ending at Murphy's. A star studded sky, laughter and brats helped our amazing day reach a glorious crescendo.
On day 2 we concluded the remainder of the loop, riding from Murphy's through potato bottom, sand and up Mineral Bottom. There were a lot of smiles at the top of Mineral, with a few gasping for new life as the 10 mile road back to the car made the sting bite a little harder.
My Shout outs:
-Stevie, the 15 year old young Jens, who absolutely attacked Mineral Bottom.
-Ethan, the only 13 year old I know to ride clean Murphys and actually laugh when he got on top!
-Alex, for your undaunted spirit entering the unknown and conquering challenges at a young age of 15.
-Marcie, for showing true grit in riding it home as a 41 year old mother of many.
-Jared (not the Samurai), the oil-less virgin, who kept us all laughing
-Bridgette, drove the support vehicle nearly the entire way. When asked if she could drive down Shafer, she responded "I don't know what I am getting into."
-Emily, probably the most flexible of us all and saw it through to the end. I think this was her first time mountain biking in years. But you wouldn't know it if you saw the way she scaled Mineral.
-Nanette, speed demon downhiller, mother of 2.
-Tyler, for a roadie, he took very well to the mountain clad in zinc and dust.
-Lance, the dad of mini Jens with a keen sense for locating Indian granaries
-Jeff, one of the craziest down hillers, on a bike unlikely equipped for the speed he laid down
-Landon, eight year old soccer monster, co-pilot to Bridgette
-Samurai Jared- For everything! Thank you for putting it all together.
Here's a video taken from a 15 year old's perspective of the descent of the Shafer trail (Alex)