Caught in the trenches with a mouthful of granola bar
We left early and got down there with plenty of time to take a hike before our first work session, so we drove up to Eagle Point Resort to check out the trails there. After a quick chat with the guys in the MTB shop at the Skyline Lodge (where the Crusher's finish line would be on Saturday), we got our boots on the ground around 10:25 a.m. The trail was lovely, with soft, packed dirt underfoot and easy switchbacks across the intermediate ski trails. We did have to cross a newly-dug trench numerous times; the ski resort is putting in snow-making after last year's disastrous season in which they were only open for six weeks due to lack of natural snow.
Under the Monarch triple
It was cool and pleasant, with a mix of sun and clouds, and we put together a nice, easy hike, doing the whole Monarch Loop trail, plus side jaunts to the Old Shack and out to the Tushar Ridge trail (which deserves further exploration). Hike stats: 5.92 miles; 1,034' of climbing; total time 2:19 with an average trip speed of 2.5 m.p.h. We finished up at 1:00 p.m. and just as we finished changing and cleaning up (and downing our lunch), a big storm rolled in, bringing heavy rain and hail.
The Old Shack
We drove back down the canyon and out of the storm - it was 50s F at the summit and 80s in town, although it began raining in Beaver a little before 3 and continued throughout the afternoon and into the evening - for our volunteer organizational meeting for the race. Our assigned job was to greet the racers as they arrived, getting them to sign their waivers before they could pick up their race packets.
Inside the shack
This went from 3-8 p.m. and went amazingly quickly. There were over 600 riders signed up for the Crusher and most of them checked in that evening. Aside from getting the waivers signed, H and I answered questions (Where can I go for dinner tonight? Where can I park for the race? Where is the start line?) and advised riders to bring rain jackets with them for the race. I also offered up my reading glasses to any who needed them - there were about 100 riders in the Men 50-59 age group - and three took me up on the offer.
On the Tushar Ridge trail
The packet pick-up closed right on time and by 8:15 p.m. we were heading back up the canyon to the ski resort where we had rented a condo. There was heavy equipment out on the road, trying to clear off the sand and gravel that had washed onto the pavement from the storm. When we got up there, it was 53 F and, believe it or not for mid July in Utah, we turned the heat on in the condo for the night.