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  1. #1
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    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR

    It's been a while since I've been on a good MTB road trip, and with the recent move of our renters in Colorado coupled with a brief gap in a crazy summer schedule of work, I took the opportunity to get out into the desert. With a friend to ride with, as well as to help move furniture and "assemble" IKEA's line of mediocre furniture, we left with a u-haul trailer in tow for Durango and the spaces in between. 30 minutes from home, it was clear that the trailer would be a serious nuisance if not downright dangerous. With a new plan, we drove straight through to Cortez and dropped the sketchy beast in a gated lot for the better part of week. Less then a mile from the lot was one of my favorite trails anywhere, and thus did the real trip begin.
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-36ma.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-cui7.jpg

    My buddy, not in riding shape and unadjusted to the altitude, made it a short, yet fun, ride
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-7amx.jpg

    A few hours of driving back west brought us to one of my favorite hidden camp spots, surrounded by booming thunderstorms of the wettest monsoon I've seen in awhile. We'd see a lot of them over the next week and a half.
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-qmvd.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-v609.jpg

    There are four states visible in this shot...
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-9x9o.jpg

    And woke up to this at sunrise
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-0vns.jpg

    We kept driving west the next day dodging rain or trying to find shade from 100 degree sunshine. We eventually ended up at the day's destination just in time for rain, in the last place you that want it to be raining
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-daxw.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-wqgo.jpg

    We knew the rain was short-lived and that it was dry upstream, so we dropped in just as the sun came out
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-q5lp.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-8fs3.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-cxyh.jpg

    After camping near the bottom of Red Canyon that night, we started riding Thunder Mountain early to beat the inevitable thunderstorms
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-ccot.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-tdd6.jpg

    The storms built and we raced the approaching rain and lightning
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-x43m.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-gbpc.jpg

    A rare shot of yours truly
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-ndvu.jpg

    After just beating the rain back to the car, a few hours of driving brought us to Moab. In 25 years of camping and riding in Moab, I've had maybe 2 or 3 non-eventuful nights of sleep and this time met my expectations with an exceptionally windy night of camping, followed by perfect conditions for an early morning ride on Slickrock before the heat built

    The Dutchman:
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-bez4.jpg

    And me:
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-mafv.jpg

    After a good lunch and some resupply, it was on the road southbound, with a stop at a future campsite
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-s3t.jpg

    And then to this night's campsite, surrounded by the usual monsoon storms
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-s6wj.jpg

    Which we were required to re-sight as the lightning moved closer, but gave us an amazing light show before we climbed into the tents. The morning was equally spectacular
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-2d4e.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-5rk0.jpg

    We took a day off of riding and instead had the displeasure of picking up the beast of a trailer and driving the last 45 minutes to Durango. We got a workout emptying the trailer and hauling furniture into my place; not so fun...

    My wife arrived the next day and we got out for a spin around town.
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-w262.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-kj3t.jpg

    The Dutchman gets a taste of Durango single track
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-8tgz.jpg

    To be continued...

  2. #2
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    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR continued

    The next day, the Dutchman headed home, but not before we all got out and to ride more of Phil's World
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-6dow.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-b5he.jpg

    My wife and I took a day off from riding for some high altitude hiking instead
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-2ncf.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-anpx.jpg

    I love that particular peak in the background, one of my go-to spring skiing peaks when I still lived there
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-dxyi.jpg

    Some of my favorite country...
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-v9y0.jpg

    It wasn't all play. We spent hours a day working on the house and my wife worked remotely every weekday, but we still made time to get out to ride between storms
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-nzlf.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-v5ql.jpg
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-gm80.jpg

    We also made some time to get out to the local brewhouses and/or lunch
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-9vus.jpg

    My wife's schedule didn't allow the time for her to drive home with me, so before heading to the airport, we made it out for one nice spin from our front door
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-sbyy.jpg

    The next day, I headed back west, and back into looming monsoon storminess
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-ewqf.jpg

    I was determined to finally ride the Goulds/JEM/Rim loop above Hurricane as I'd been skunked countless times by heat, rain, wind, or companions that couldn't handle the conditions. My plan to camp on Gooseberry was stymied by intense thunderstorms and rain so I managed to snag one of the last rooms in town. Waking up at sunrise, I figured that I'd see if conditions were ridable, and they were
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-mdpl.jpg

    And even my first flat in 2 years or so was fine with a view like this and hero dirt all to myself
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-9pnj.jpg

    And after an epic -and much longer than anticipated- ride, I was facing west on the road home again
    Running from the Monsoon: a desert riding TR-4a8f.jpg

    don't let another year go by without at least a week on the road!
    Last edited by huntermos; 07-29-2013 at 01:30 AM.

  3. #3
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    OK, I'll say it for everyone - You suck Lucky bastid, you get to call this home now, so lucky, enjoy. BTW great pics and write up
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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    My Phantom pics

  4. #4
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    Fantastic report!!

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