Monday, July 24, 2017


Since we had specific plans for hiking on Sunday, we did our MTBing on Saturday instead.  We don't often go to Park City on Saturdays and so don't have a good sense about how crowded things might be.  That, coupled with the fact that it was going to be around 100 F in the valleys later, encouraged us to get an earlier start than usual: leaving the house in time to get on the trails by 8 a.m.  We went back to our former, usual parking lot - in-town, along the bike path - in order to get me on the bike for longer.  Then, with five hot-air balloons silently floating overhead, we started rolling.

The bike path adds another 2.7 miles or so (each way) to our regular ride: downhill for the outbound, and a long slog of an uphill on the return.  At that early hour, there weren't many other people out there with us - a couple of runners and one gentleman who was encouraging a snake, that had curled up on the path to soak in the sun, to move out of the way so it didn't get squished.  The parking lot at Quinn's Trailhead was pretty busy but that was because of a youth baseball tournament; once out on the dirt, the population got pretty sparse.  We saw a couple of desert cottontails and lots of songbirds; I did my best to ignore the ominous circling of buzzards overhead.

Sure doesn't look like it rained yesterday

The earlier morning temperatures were quite pleasant.  We got hot and sweaty on the uphills (it has been a little humid lately, being monsoon season and all) but the flats and downhills were lovely.  A big storm had moved through on Friday - the lightning for our morning commute in SLC had been impressive - and apparently Park City had gotten a fair amount of rain in a very short time as the system came through.  Several places on the jeep roads were washed out; the hardpack singletrack had a lot of loose rock on it; and there were one or two damp spots.  The trails were in good shape otherwise, proof that it's been so hot as to dry things up quickly.

I am still squirrelly with loose rock (and sand, I hate sand) but I had a better day.  My legs weren't tired, for one, so I climbed pretty well, except for one spin-out on the Sweet Sixteen where I had to put my foot down.  We didn't encounter anybody on either the uphill OR the downhill of Rambler - and neither of us can remember a time when that happened.  And I forwent the paved path for the stretch back to Quinn's Trailhead, staying on the dirt and climbing the Staircase really well.  After that, there was nothing but the long bike path return to the truck and since there wasn't a headwind for once, I was able to cruise that quickly.  I even passed some people!

The best part was that since I didn't overdo it, we went up to Snowbird that evening to see Eilen Jewell for the Snowbird Cool Air Concert Series.  (H, who did a road ride in the heat after we got home, may have taken a short nap beforehand.)

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