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Thread: My Kokopelli

  1. #1
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    My Kokopelli

    The Kokopelli Trail is a 142 mile route through Utah and Colorado. We got a fantastic view of it in this awesome thread.

    Here's a map.

    There's been a tradition of racing the whole trail in one push, unsupported, in a day. Last year the "organization" race afoul of the BLM, and the tradition (in it's more robust form), died off.

    Last year I finished, on my rigid singlespeed, in a heinously protracted 21+ hour slog. I had unfinished business to transact this past weekend.



    Food for such an ordeal is crucial. Not pictured was the Whopper I carried and ate for breakfast.

    I headed out at midnight, climbing up past Slickrock into the mountains. The initial climb, up to the La Sal loop road, is somewhere around 4000' of gain. It took a while, but that was expected. I hid in the bushes and put on all my clothes for the screaming descent down 2k on the paved road. This is one of several section where having a good light (I carried a Princeton Tec Corona on the bars and a Switchback 3 on my helmet) is crucial. At the bottom of the descent you turn right, and immediately head back up, in essence gaining all the elevation you just lost, and then some. I stopped to peel back off the layers.

    Crossing North Beaver Mesa in the hours before dawn is a special experience. I unplugged the tunes to enjoy the stillness. Descending the rough road off NB was much more enjoyable than climbing it last year, and I once again blessed my bomber light setup. I also passed this point a bit before sunrise.



    Last year, in the late morning, it looked like this:



    That's me dead center, with my shoes off. Not conducive to focused riding. This year, I cruised on.



    It was a gorgeous morning.

    The last climb up to the top of Rose Garden Hill and beyond is significantly shorter than the previous two, but is chunky, sandy, and technical, and thus slower. It was also light, and more interesting, and things flowed well and quickly to the top.



    Two things to be psyched about: gorgeous morning light, and being able to descend Entrada Bluffs road! As one can tell, the road surface here is quite evil: irregularly compacted sand with knuckle-to-fist cobbles. The ripping descent was a joyous contrast to the slow, singlespeed slog.

    I stopped in Cottonwood Canyon, to gather good water and eat my cheeseburger. Bizarrely, their were some other guys out there, too.



    I rolled on, crossing the Colorado at 0800 exactly. Now for the hard part.

  2. #2
    Teen Wolf
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    how was the water? i'd be hesitant, but i guess if you know what you are doing.

  3. #3
    Rolling
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    All those amphetamine pills and that bag of cocaine did the trick I'm sure.

    ....I'm impressed. I'm shooting to do the white rim in a day and for me that is a big deal.

    Very cool....and thanks for the hit and motivation.

  4. #4
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    Continued...

    The Yellowjacket section is a bit pointlessly circuitous, but provides some fun riding and a nice variety.



    And killer, killer views back.

    This was the endurance phase of the day's ride. Things up a certain point are always just fun and games. On the Kokopelli, suffering begins with accumulated mileage and the heat of the day. Nothing to do but push the pedals forward.



    I couldn't get rid of those two!

    In truth they were good company, providing entertainment and motivation during moments of weakness. Some sections of the trail, notably Cisco to Westwater, got a bit old.



    We stopped under the railroad bridge to fuel up for the push on around noon, and I checked my water supply. Around three liters, perhaps a bit more. Enough to get to Salt Creek? I thought so.

    I was of course, wrong. The heat became more intense, Bitter Creek and Rabbit Valley took longer than I recalled, and I drank and drank. And died a bit, and generally fell off the back. I did eat that can of pineapple (brilliant idea that it was!) when they stopped and waited for me near the RV TH's, but I still had around 10 oz. to make it up and down to Salt. I slowed down, quite a lot. Stupid is as, well, you know. Geoff was in the same boat. Fred was not, and even drank a second Diet Coke as G and I filled and iodined creek water.

    He then dropped us, wiser planning and better technical skills making all the difference.



    G and I stopped under a likely tree near the end of Troy Built, to drink up, eat a bit, and generally prepare for the finale. A Payday will work wonders in such circumstances.

    The hike up to Lion's sucked. As expected.

    The fun singletrack after revived, also as expected. By the rim hugging sections of Mary's I was pushing it along very well, catching air when I could, because I could.

    I thanked god for Stans when I over (or under, really) shot a ledge on the final Mary's descent and badly cased the landing. Fixing a rear pinch flat a mile from the end would have really been no fun at all. Reaching the gravel I locked my fork and shock, put it in a big gear, and stomped the last climb, coasting down to a the parking lot, the finish, and cold soda and beer. Even some pizza. And later, ice cream.

    And sleep.

    Life is good. 17:48. I can live with that.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr45h
    how was the water? i'd be hesitant, but i guess if you know what you are doing.
    Cottonwood Canyon has lovely water. I treated it nonetheless. The Salt Creek water tasted a bit off, but that was more my condition than the water itself.

  6. #6
    I don't huck.
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    Ah, most excellent. Inspiring. I would like to do that as a multi-day trip. Any input as to the best time of year? Spring I suppose.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    Ah, most excellent. Inspiring. I would like to do that as a multi-day trip. Any input as to the best time of year? Spring I suppose.

    I'd actually say late-October would be ideal. Less heat in the east, just make sure you go early enough to avoid snow in the higher parts.

    Threading that compromise is part of it's brutal brilliance.

  8. #8
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    Outstanding effort and reconnaissance report! I wish I could have been there… Did you happen to plug your undertaking into Topofusion? Is this the first time you have done it Moab to Loma? I thought the opposite direction was the norm… not that you are known for that sort of thing!

    See you on the Kaibab!

  9. #9
    igoslo
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    Cool. You going to pioneer the Montana(or maybe SE BC) version?

  10. #10
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    I did eat that can of pineapple (brilliant idea that it was!)
    This may be the revelation of the year for me!! How do you think those canned pineapples freeze and thaw? My new (stolen) secret, I think.

    See you sooner,

    FW

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    Life is good. 17:48. I can live with that.
    At 17:48 (nice ride bty!!) I was just leaving the shade of a tree at mile 92 and dropping down the trail to Westwater
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    me have blog

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    This may be the revelation of the year for me!! How do you think those canned pineapples freeze and thaw? My new (stolen) secret, I think.

    I thought about that. I'm worried the rings would turn into mush upon thawing, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Now that spring-summer is (suddenly) in full swing down here, I may well find out soon.

    Blair, first time in this direction. And I left the GPS at home. The Koko is amazingly well marked.

    Sean, I imagine the wheels will be turnin'. School permitting, of course.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    I was of course, wrong. The heat became more intense, Bitter Creek and Rabbit Valley took longer than I recalled, and I drank and drank. And died a bit.........

    The hike up to Lion's sucked. As expected.

    The fun singletrack after revived, also as expected. By the rim hugging sections of Mary's I was pushing it along very well, catching air when I could, because I could.

    ........Reaching the gravel I locked my fork and shock, put it in a big gear, and stomped the last climb, coasting down to a the parking lot, the finish, and cold soda and beer. Even some pizza. And later, ice cream.

    And sleep.

    Life is good. 17:48. I can live with that.
    Gawd, I missed riding with you knuckleheads this year

    The hike out of Salt Creek to Mary's nearly killed me two years ago. I was hanging over/onto the handlebar, shuffling, very slowly, stopping every few shuffling steps, thinking sort of, deliriously that it was the biggest damn hill ever. I suffered on that climb like I've never suffered before.

    Questions:

    Did you dunk yourself in the Salt as promised?

    Western/Mack/Moore? (**edit** never mind, jj pointed me to the answer)

    Which direction is tougher, do you think?

    Awesome Ion, simply awesome

    Ed
    Last edited by edemtbs; 05-20-2008 at 04:08 AM.

  14. #14
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    Congrats. Nice way to do it again.

    Do you have a direction preference?
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    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  15. #15
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    Ok. so I'm all for some pain and suffering and long death march-type rides, but that's just nuts.

    Way to go!!! Thanks for the report.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  16. #16
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    I was all over that creek! I even took a bottle of creek water to squirt on the back of my head. Of course, it got disappointingly hot disconcertingly fast.

    As for direction? They're both f***ing hard. I really think that in the end they're pretty much even.*

    *For us mortals. For those fit enough to go really fast and be through RV before it gets really hot, W-E may well be easier.

  17. #17
    Time to go farther
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    West to east is definitely easier riding, but if you can't get to salt creek for "air conditioning" before it gets hot, going through the flat stuff in the heat of the day is hard and you don't have little oasis's as goals.
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  18. #18
    jeny jo
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    Wink

    WELLLLLL DONE!!!!!!

    congratulations!

    way to stomp it.

    i'm SO glad you had FUN!

    ;-)

    hugs!

    jj

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pivvay
    West to east is definitely easier riding, but if you can't get to salt creek for "air conditioning" before it gets hot, going through the flat stuff in the heat of the day is hard and you don't have little oasis's as goals.
    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    They're both f***ing hard...
    Agreed, that's kinda my thought as well.

    But man you gotta hit that RV ==> Mary's section before the sun blazes in the afternoon otherwise, you get slammed!

    Congrats Pivvay!

    Ed

  20. #20
    Time to go farther
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    Thanks. More to come. Last night was spent eating beer brats and veggies followed by cookies and ice cream and watching trashy TV in bed. Maybe tonight I will be more productive. Maybe. Although I did help Marni wash the car and cut the (front) lawn yesterday so we aren't branded bad neighbors.
    On-One Lurcher SS
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  21. #21
    What day are we riding?
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    Way to go.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pivvay
    Thanks. More to come. Last night was spent eating beer brats and veggies followed by cookies and ice cream and watching trashy TV in bed.


    I cleaned my bike and ate lots of ice-pops. (It's HOT down here. )

  23. #23
    Time to go farther
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    Another report

    Alright my writeup is done. Not much in the way of pictures but ya'll can read.

    Like money in the bank
    On-One Lurcher SS
    Speedway Cycles Fatback Ti SS
    1984 Trek 560
    http://slipangles.blogspot.com/ - It's supposed to be fun

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