Wednesday, July 10, 2013

a little hiking, a little biking

Having the Fourth of July holiday on a Thursday is just plain silly, so H and I took Friday off too, thus enjoying an extra long holiday long weekend.  We didn't have any particular plans, mind you, and it didn't start to cool down until Friday (by "cool down" I mean "only get to the low 90s") so we didn't do anything crazy either.  But still, four days off in a row was delicious.

On the Fourth itself, H wanted to do a road ride.  While he headed out early, I got my act together and took myself up to Alta for my Catherine's/Supreme loop.  This was the first day that the road up to Albion Basin (to the Catherine's Pass trail head and the campground) was open, and since the wildflowers are really starting to pop, it was super busy up there - I've never seen so many people queued up for the shuttle ride.  I parked at the Albion base lodge and hoofed it up from there, passing a grand total of 29 people by the time I reached Catherine's Pass.  After that, the crowds thinned out until I got back down to the campground again.    The afternoon was spent out of the sun, staying cool.  We had burgers and potato salad as our patriotic Independence Day dinner and gave the poor dog a Benadryl as the sun set and the neighbor folks started setting off their fireworks.  Amazingly, after a bone-dry June, we had massive thunderstorms and rain that night - the cooler, moister air much welcomed down in the valley, but the rush of water wreaking havoc with mud and rock slides on the Little Cottonwood Canyon road.

Friday saw us off to Round Valley for our regular MTB ride.  The rain from the night before had done wonders for the trails, packing down the sandy dust so the sun could bake it hard again.  There were hardly any people out there on the trails with us, although Park City had posted signs asking people to have good trail etiquette since they expected a high traffic weekend.  After our ride, we went to PCMR with our cooler, cleverly bringing our own sandwiches along with our PBRs.  The place was hoppin', with long lines for the chairlift rides and the sno-cones, and lots of people swarming over the hillsides on MTBs.  That night brought more amazing thunderstorms: the lightning show over the mountains was absolutely incredible (or absolutely terrifying, if you're the dog).

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