Hi everybody, thanks for joining me again. I do appreciate it. Seriously. 🙂
So, it’s that time of year again…ya know…time for the annual Daniel, Dave and Ron Adventure Trip! This is a trip we’ve done every year, around the same time of year, for the last three years. It’s a trip where we camp and ride bikes in kick ass places for three to four days. The first one we did was up on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe in California/Nevada. I wrote a story about it here. Remember? Man, that trip was crazy!
Then the second trip was just last year, where we took a trip up to the Sequoias to ride among the giant Redwoods….that trip was not as crazy, but still so super amazing! I needed to write a story about that trip and the experience, but apparently I got too damn lazy and didn’t. Sue me. Just kidding, I will make up for it right now….
Here’s a recap of last year’s trip…we’ve (I’ve) deemed it the Stapled Knee/Big Tree Trip:
This time around, we added a new element to our annual adventure…we decided we would do some 4 Wheelin’ on the way up. So, Dave and I took my old Jeep on this trip, (because of the aforementioned 4×4 element).
We met Daniel at Indian Wells Brewery, had a great rasberry IPA and found a quickie 4×4 worthy trail to do very close to where we were drinking said IPA. It was a pretty easy trail and was only about 5 to 7 miles into the desert. The trail led to an old mining establishment/squatter village. That was pretty cool. Then, from there, we drove up to the Quaking Aspen campground through the Kern Valley, along portions of the Kern River, passing through Kernville and in to the Sequoias. We set camp the first evening, ate dinner and went to sleep.
Woke up, made breakfast and rode to the summit of this awesome “out-and-back” trail.
I fell and split my knee open on the way back down. After riding slowly back to camp, sitting down and assessing the knee situation, we (Dave) decided that the knee was pretty bad, and that it should probably be closed up by something other than caked dirt. Now, Dave’s no doctor, but we all agreed with him even though the dirt was doing a pretty stellar job. So, we all got in the Jeep and I drove in to Porterville to get the knee stapled up. Done.
A goddamn, podunk, shotty staple job…but done, I guess. I feel like I coulda done a better job with the Swingline on my desk at home.
We got back to camp after midnight, hurried to get to bed so we could get up and ride another trail in the morning. The second trail we rode was awesome, as we ended up among the largest trees I have ever seen. Breathtaking.
Ya know, they say that some of these trees are over 3000 years old making them the oldest living things on the planet. Pretty badass. This second ride was sans injuries, so we had a nice ride back to camp, made dinner and went to bed. When we woke up, we made breakfast, broke camp and started the trip back to our homes. We decided to stop by and hike The Trail of 100 Giants….which was extremely humbling. Whether it’s the vast desserts, our giant oceans, super deep canyons or enormous trees in boundless forests…Mother Nature can be so incredibly huge….it’ a refreshing reminder of how small you really are.
Anywho, that’s pretty much it. After the hike, we got back in the trucks and started the drive home.
We ended up stopping for lunch and then parted ways. Until next year.
So that was that. It was a great trip. And other than the split knee, it was pretty uneventful….not nearly the unpredictable, shit-show of an adventure the Tahoe trip was. But that’s OK.
So, let’s move on to this years trip….St. George Utah!
This year, the planning went quickly. We decided early on to go out of state and have the adventure in Utah. And when I say “we” I really mean Daniel and Dave. I didn’t have a lot to do with the planning…those two took the ball and ran with it, doing a stellar job of getting it done and out of the way. So, Utah was the destination with camping and riding our bikes being the main goal….again with the new added element of doing some four wheeling as well.
Daniel found a great campground that had showers so we could wash up after the riding we were going to do. This, (the campground showers) has also been added to the trip criteria from this point on. Mostly because the three of us found that showers were sorely missed on the Stapled Knee/Big Tree Trip…not the Tahoe Trip though, no…we were doused with water from the sky, off and on for three days straight on that trip….so, we didn’t need a goddamn shower. Bathing with baby wipes was not nearly sufficient after a long ride. Look, I’m not trying to be a diva here…I’m just saying…nobody likes going to bed dirty…wait, you know what I mean.
So, that was it, right? We were set to camp and ride in Southern Utah…St. George to be exact. Cool. Done. Thanks for reading…we’ll see ya next time.
The planning, like I said, was done early this time around. the dates were August 29th through the 2nd. The campground was booked and arrangements were made. Daniel was coming down from Washington to Las Vegas, where Dave and I would meet him, stay in Vegas the night of the 29th, and drive to Utah on the 30th.
All was good.
All WAS good…until somebody checked the weather on the weekend we were going to be there.
Look, we knew it would be hot. But, our thought process was this: the rides we were going to do, especially Sunday’s ride were at some decent elevation at around 5000’…the first ride being at 3000′ or thereabouts. So, we figured we’d be OK…sure, it would be hot but not crazy. Right?
Well, it WAS crazy. As we got closer to the date to leave, the weather forecast was obviously becoming a little more accurate. The forecast for all four days we were going to be there was raging between highs of 104 and 110 degrees fahrenheit, with the lows only going down to the low to mid 80’s. Then we took a closer look at the campsite….no real relief from the sun…pretty exposed offering very little shade (if any) to hide under while camping there. As you may have guessed, with no way to effectively bring your body’s core temp down and recover after exerting yourself…that’s a recipe for heat exhaustion at the least…with severe dehydration, and heat stroke at the worst. Uh, yeah…no thank you…or http://www.nope.com as my cousin Kayla likes to say. 🙂
Someone needed to call an audible….I think that’s a football term…you know, like when you make a last minute change in the plan. I dunno. Well, regardless, that’s what needed to be done….an audible.
So, after a few group texts back and forth, and to the disappointment of the three of us, we canceled the campground reservations. We were pretty sad.
Everything turned out, we rented a VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) for the time we were in Utah. That meant a two bedroom condo, air conditioning, full kitchen (obvi), real beds and a pool. So, you know, proper recovery after riding bikes in the 102+ degree weather was in store. We were going to be OK…just fine….whew.
That was freakin’ close.
Because of the heat issue, Dave and I opted to take his truck and leave the non-air conditioned environment of my Jeep at home. That meant that the 4×4 aspect of the trip would be done in Daniel’s Tacoma….no biggie! Daniel’s tacoma is well outfitted and super badass!
OK, so…back to what I was saying…after we loaded Dave’s truck, Dave and I left for Vegas around 10:00 Thursday morning.
It was an effortless trip, we got to Vegas in about 4 hours, met Daniel…settled in to the little room and had dinner at a pretty good buffet. Farted around a little (literally in Daniel’s case), got back to the room and hit the hay for an early departure. Early to bed, early to shred. 🙂
Friday morning we got up early and made our way to St. George Utah. Well, first we stopped for some joe at a Starbucks….let’s not get crazy.
The drive through the desert took us through Nevada, Arizona and then in to Utah. I love everything to do with the desert…so no surprize, that the views from the passenger side window were stunning.
Much to our disappointment Google Maps took us on a detour right before going through the Virgin River Gorge. That’s OK, we’ll take the Gorge on the way home.
We took our time driving. We rolled into the condo complex that we were staying in around 3pm. We got out of the trucks and realized how smart we were for staying here, in a condo. It was about 104 degrees out. We figured out the code, opened the door and walked in to our unit, “home for the next four days”….ahhhh…we were bombarded with a copious amount of artificially cooled air….it was glorious. Again, we started congratulating ourselves on the shear genius of our decision to stay here. Goddamn it we’re smart. I mean I’m mostly positive that no one on this giant rock has ever thought of this. You know, to stay indoors when it’s hot outside….we are the first, I’m sure of it. So, yeah, you betcha….geniuses.
So we go out to a pizza joint for dinner that night, it’s close, has good reviews and was another great idea…they just keep coming…that great ideas, I mean. After dinner we hit the grocery store to grab food for the duration of our stay. I offer to pay for all of the groceries for the entire trip just to ensure I get the above room to myself, uncontended. Seriously, after the shite bed I slept on while we were in Vegas, I didn’t want to take any chances. Plus the other room had bunk beds with a full bed on the bottom and a twin on top. Look, I snore…plus I enjoy my solitude sometimes…so that bunk-bed arrangement didn’t seem super conducive for me. If it came right down to it, sure…I could do the bunk beds…no biggie in the grand scheme of things. But, I offered the “I buy the groceries for the master bedroom deal” and both Daniel and Dave agreed. $135 later though….I was like: “whoa”. It’s fine. Really. Dave and Daniel weren’t ever really fighting me on putting my stuff in that room when we got there….I am sure they would’ve just let me have it. Hell, Daniel ended up sleeping on a queen size inflatable mattress in the living room anywho! It’s OK, we got a lot of food and snacks and stuffs. Was it another smart idea? Well, not exactly…but I made my bed, so I had to lay in it….literally and figuratively….and it WAS pretty goddamn comfy!
With a belly full of pizza, ice cream and stuff, the three of us headed off for a good night’s sleep. We get up early for coffee and a light breakfast. Then Daniel realizes that we can ride to the first trail straight from the condo! Awesome! Off we go.
At around 8:30 AM, about 30 minutes into the ride, the outside temperature was already in the low 90’s. It was going to be a hot ride. The ride was really stunning in all it’s desert beauty. As you’ve probably guessed, I really do love the desert. It’s so vast and powerful in it’s desolation. Just plain awesome!
After the first day of riding, which we cut a little short due to the temperature being around 106 degrees fahrenheit. Daniel and Dave seemed fine and Daniel suggested doing a little bit more riding. He wanted to hit a little bit of the Zen Trail…which we were close to. I was hitting a bit of a wall and told them they could go get it done and I will slowly head back to the condo….that pool sounded real good right about then. They ended up opting out of continuing and headed back to the condo with me, which was very cool of them. Dave and Daniel are two of my most favorite riding pals. Thy are amazing friends and wonderful to ride bikes with. Two of my favorite people, and two of my best friends period. Just stellar humans.
We got back to the condo, promptly hung up our smelly clothes and headed to the pool. Man, it was as good as we’d hoped it would be. That was awesome…so glad we did the trip this way instead of camping this time!
While we were at the pool, we decided that…since we ended the ride a little early, let’s take a day trip to Zion Canyon. So, we got cleaned up (the hot shower was a gift from the Flying Spaghetti Monster) and headed out to see Zion. The road to the park was packed. Parking was full. And the only way to get into the canyon was a free 45 minute (one way) ride, in 104 degree weather, in a crowded non-air conditioned shuttle. Uhhh, no. No thank you. We decided to stay there and find a place to eat lunch and then head back to the condo.
Once we got back to the condo, we commenced in doing some serious, pro-level snacking, lounging around, watching a bit of TV, chatting and just flat out relaxing. After awhile of that, we started to get hungry for something non-snacky and more along the lines of real food. Dave started the barbeque on the back porch to start cooking the chicken, corn on the cob and green beans. Man, we had it made….in case you were wondering why Dave was cooking…it’s because Dave is a good cook!
Here’s a shot of Dave’s homemade, from scratch salsa…I couldn’t stop eating it…all weekend, morning and night. Mmmm….the picture….it was SO good!
After dinner we hung out, had some ice cream and watched TV for a few hours. Then headed off to bed. We wanted to get up and out on the ride early as we had about a 45 minute drive to get to the trailhead of the renowned Gooseberry Mesa. We were all pretty excited.
We woke, had a quick breakfast, made some coffee, shat and got on the way. It was a beautiful drive out to Gooseberry. We parked and headed out immediately. The weather wasn’t super hot at this point of the day…around 9am…but we were at around 5000′ so we were anticipating a milder day as far as heat goes. It was beautiful up there on the Mesa. The weather was absolutely perfect. Don’t get me wrong it was warm…like between 97 and 102 degrees…but again, Like I mentioned before, it was dry with a slight breeze all day. Mix that breeze with the little bit of sweat we had going on and it was like nature’s perfect air conditioning.
The scenery was breathtaking, the company was as stellar as always, the trail side snacks were delicious and the bikes we were riding were top notch and up to the tasks thrown at them….bikes are like good friends, just there silently helping you be the best “you” you can be….ah, the bicycle, am I right!?
There wasn’t anything really super eventful that happened on the ride, other than the stunning location, so I thought I would just flood you with some pictures. Enjoy these.
We got back to the truck and revelled on the ride together on the drive home. That was seriously some of the best, most beautiful riding I have ever done. I can’t even describe it, and the pictures don’t do it justice….and I am sorry for that. You’ll just have to ride it yourselves…you won’t be sorry.
That was it, that was the awesome Daniel, Dave and Ron Adventure Trip! I hope you enjoyed reading about it.
Where will we go next year, I don’t know. But I will bet it will be a great, memory building, amazing trip. It will be filled with good times, bikes and great friends…because that’s what it is about.
Go ride your bike.
See ya next time.