Monday, August 1, 2016

smoky mountains

To change things up a bit (and because we had planned to do something different on Sunday), we went MTBing at Round Valley on Saturday.  Not knowing exactly what to expect for trail traffic, we got an early start, getting on the bike path in Park City a little before 8 a.m.  The skies were clear except for the haze from area wildfires, particularly the ones in Kamas, Currant Creek and along the Utah/Wyoming border; we could smell the smoke in the air and it actually irritated our eyes and throats.

Up, up and away

The hot air balloons didn't seem to mind the smoke, however, rising above it to float above us.  We counted at least five sailing above us until the wind picked up.

That's as close as the elk let us get
before they took off

We needn't have worried about Saturday morning crowds: there definitely were more people than on Sundays at that time but there certainly weren't hordes like we have found on holiday weekends.  We did have another good wildlife ride too, seeing two mule deer, a young hawk, a desert cottontail and a whole herd of elk.  The elk were especially cool to see.  We've seen them in the higher foothills around Park City but never out in Round Valley.  There were maybe 10-12 of them and for such large animals, they move so quickly and quietly, simply disappearing into the scrub oak before we got too close.

Wascally wabbit

My riding was only meh.  For some reason, my legs were quite tired for the first half of the ride and I seemed to be flailing more than usual.  By the time we got to the Staircase, however, I had snapped out of it and rode up those three long steps better than I ever have.  There was just a bit of a tailwind for the first part of the bike path return trip too, which was an unexpected treat.  Maybe one day we'll get a tailwind for the whole thing - that would be grand!

Into the sagebrush I go

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