Saturday, June 1, 2013

wild(life) ride

A sunny but cool Memorial Day Monday meant another day to play, so we loaded the MTBs onto our new bike rack - a Thule platform rack which meant that we didn't have to take my front wheel off and just made things tons easier - and headed off to Round Valley.  It was breezy and cool but the sun was out which made for perfect riding temperatures.  There were a fair number of people there, what with the holiday and all, but not nearly as many as there had been Mother's Day - I guess more folks were out camping or away for the weekend (we heard Moab was mobbed).

We did our by-now regular loop, with H doing some additional riding when I was slow coming up hills.  I felt like I rode much better than our first time out although I still struggle with hills, switchbacks and rocks.  After our ride, we went to Park City Mountain Resort, now open for the summer season, and had a PBR on a secluded patio, watching the folks waiting in line for the chairlift ride, finally feeling like summer has arrived.*

They're in there, honest, four sandhill cranes

What made the MTBing particularly fun this time was the wildlife: as we rode the paved rails-to-trails portion out of town, we saw two huge sandhill cranes and their two fuzzy chicks in a marshy area.  We thought the adult cranes were deer at first since they were so big.  Later, as we were heading down the backside of Rambler (?) through the scrub oak, we had to stop to let a mother moose and her baby cross the trail.  We know that you never approach a mother and baby moose so we stopped a good distance away, keeping our bikes between us and the animals.  The baby was a little nervous but the mother seemed entirely unconcerned, keeping an eye on her little one (that's relatively speaking as the baby was bigger than a pony) and munching on the trees.  Even when a couple of hikers came up from the other side, the moose never got agitated, simply strolling across the trail and into the trees a ways.  We only had our cameras phones so the photos aren't that great; getting to see these animals up close is always a thrill, though.

That dark lump: momma moose

* Of course, the next day we got massive storms, including hail, and temperatures in the 40s ... and that felt a little less like summer.

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