'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

20 March 2012

It's Spring! Gooseberry Mesa

The weather is starting to warm and our rainy season is now mostly over. It's time to get the bikes out, knock off the rust and get riding again. Toward that end, last weekend Lu and I went to one of my favorite places; Gooseberry Mesa.

Gooseberry is one of the most beautiful and technical rides anywhere. It's become a destination ride location for mountain bikers from across the country. It's also about half an hour from my front door. Yeah, there are some benefits from living in Southern Utah. Here's a good link for the ride.

We loaded up and headed out on Saturday. The weather was bright, warm and clear. We decided on Windmill Trail. This was Lu's first visit and only my second. The first was with Car Guy a few years ago. Since that time he's become an MTB master who can ride me into the ground. I'm counting on the elevation working to my benefit when he visits again and I bring him back up here.

First up the obligatory touristy picture. Hi Lu! Isn't she cute?

Why is it called the Windmill Trail? I have no idea but this structure is at the trail head.

Six, you get down from there immediately! Have you lost your mind? Er wait...Lu? Kids, can't take them anywhere. You'd think she'd know better than that. And be more mature. And stop teasing me about being a big sissy.

Windmill runs along the west side of the mesa with 1000 foot drop offs and spectacular vistas.

As I said the trail runs right along the rim edge. It's fun but you do have to exercise at least a modicum of caution.

Hey, I said exercise a modicum of caution! Sheesh, she really is making me look like a weenie. 

It's not all rim riding. Most of the trails are either moderate or advanced technical. Fun but dicey at times. I endo'd at least once (that I will admit publicly). That's Lu coming out of the trees and approaching a rough section of singletrack.

Which she cleaned! Steady guys, she's taken.

There are steps and stairs everywhere. Fun going down but going up? Not so much. Luckily we hit at least as many step downs as climbs. The ride is slow but full of great obstacles and fantastic terrain.

It's not all breathtaking views and technical trail. We hit some doubletrack and fire road on the way back. Fast if a bit boring.

The trail ends back at the windmill. I took a few more photos of the works.

I have no idea who Red jacket is. Don't they have a TV show?

The pump has lines that run to a concrete cistern.

Which is old enough that it's collapsed. The mesa is at 5200 feet and is in the middle of nowhere. Everything used to build this site was trucked or otherwise carried in by hand. I have absolutely no idea what the water table is here or to what use they put the water pumped though I suspect it was cattle based. 8 feet wide, 15 long and 5 deep.

Yes, I was actually there and here's the proof. That's me standing on the cliff edge and most definitely NOT being a big wiener.

It was our first MTB ride of the year and a good excuse to scout the trails. The Car Guy and his lovely wife will be visiting soon and bringing me my new bike! When he upgraded I bought his Giant full suspension to replace my rigid frame Gary Fisher. As soon as I get my sweaty paws on it the Fisher will be finding a new home. We had a great time and even stopped for lunch at a small stop&rob/diner just down the road in Apple Valley. The food was so so but the menu was all firearms and famous gun guys related. When they come I'll do another post and get some photos of that menu. It's classic and a sure sign I'm now living in Free America.



Keads said...

Looks like fun, but I would probably kill myself on a mountain bike!

Six said...

If you ever get out this way I promise we'll take you on a slightly less perilous trail my friend!