Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dune Riders.

November 2017
I had been hearing about riding the Winnemucca dunes for a couple of years. We finally made a trip out to do it. Chuck Austin, proprietor of Bikes and More in Winnemucca and a couple of his riding buddies gave us the deluxe tour. Unfortunately, somehow on the good road out to the dunes my truck rear tire suffered an unrepairable tear. Go figure. It didn't take long to put on the spare and afterwards Joannie and I headed out to the dunes and met up with Chuck and his crew.  Chuck has a lot of experience on the dunes and our newbie-ness was apparent. They were all very patient with us though and I really think everyone had a good time out there. No need to go into a lot of detail. Dune riding is awesome! Fat is Fun.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Type 1 fun. Labyrinth Canyon Bikerafting.

No, its not the Green River but who can resist a shot of the Fisher Towers??

You should click this link if you don't know the fun scale. It'll make more sense.

Don't be lazy. Watch the whole thing. Or none at all. I'll forgive you if you can't wade through my prose below the video.

October 2017
Fall. Desert. River. Bikes. Boats. Yes.
It's on. Joannie's inaugural Green River Bikerafting trip. Joannie, Doug and team mascot Tiger BB. The packing was not ultralight.

Day 1. We had been on a mud hold for several days waiting out storms and for backcountry roads to dry out. It was now GO time. ALL morning was spent weaning through gear and packing bikes. Finally we got on the road. The plan was to get to the drop into Spring Canyon and the access to the river. Good plan, all type 1. Stopping for a moment on the shoulder of hwy 313 the plan was nearly derailed and someone would have been hospitalized, either by the collision or the ensuing fist fight as Mad Dog Roadie goes by us at just sub-light speed and nearly clips us. In all we rode about 19 miles to a camp near the head of Spring Canyon. Joannie's feeling so good she's dancing at every break! We set up camp as a paraglider buzzed by overhead waving.

Day 2. I picked several spots to put in to the river via Google Earth but with changes to the river sand bars and varying water levels it was still a bit of a crapshoot. After loading our bikes we got back on the road and soon were dropping into the canyon. Inattention would be punished by a several hundred foot plunge should you make that one crucial error. We followed the 4x4 route down through the cliffs and all too soon we were down into the beautiful canyon bottoms. Varying surfaces of sand, mud and water kept us focused on our riding as we rode the track along the river heading upstream. All in all, it was a pleasant and astoundingly beautiful ride with several historical attributes from the 50's uranium boom days. Not the least of which was the old track we were now happily riding. We located our first potential put in and to my mild surprise it was pretty ideal. Easy access to a wide firm sand bar. We were about a half mile upstream from where I wanted to camp at the Bowknot Bend of the Green. Perfect for crossing the river. Another long transition to rafting mode ensued and we were off. Crossing the river and floating just a short distance, we hauled out and found an awesome campsite on a bench above the river. Joannie's stricken look as we just crossed the river and floated about 15 minutes was priceless!
Joannie: What! All that packing and that's it?! Really?!
Doug: Well how many times did I say we were just crossing over to Bowknot Bend? I want to hike up to the ridge top...
There actually is a story here but Joannie has to tell that person.
The wind was now picking up so we secured everything and headed just upriver to the trail leading up to Bowknot Ridge. At the top the wind was just blasting! So totally worth the short hike up though. From the ridge top you can see both the upstream and downstream side of the river as it snakes its 7 mile path only to double up on itself. View of the Bowknot from space. Coming down we set up camp and after fixing my flat, settled in for the night.

Day 3. A long day of floating, sight seeing, bird watching, meeting other rafters, mellowness. The Green River Towers. Hugely Type 1. Our planned camp at Horseshoe Canyon was occupied so we continued on down the river a couple of miles until we found another great bench above the river to camp. On a side note, I recommend always trying to camp on the bank if possible vs sandbar as you will always wake up with everything very wet from condensation on a sandbar. Trust me on this one, past experience.

Day 4. Agenda. A short float down to Mineral Bottom takeout, transition to bikepacking and the climb out of the canyon to Island In The Sky. As before, the climb out of the canyon was far easier than anticipated and in no time we're up on the plateau. No nasty headwinds today as it was in April 2016, day 5! Back at the camper, mission completed we relaxed with adult beverages and enjoyed reliving yet another fabulous desert adventure.