Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grand Canyon Adventure

Me on the Rainbow Rim Trail.

Kevin enjoying the day.

I have a tattoo that looks a lot like this little guy.

Kevin and I, Marble Canyon in the background.

Some of the group.

Riding through one of the fields on the Arizona Trail.

Water Crossing on the Arizona Trail!

Kevin and I just returned from a wonderful mountain biking trip along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We biked the Arizona Trail in the Kaibob National Forest during the first two days. The weather was pretty cold with temperatures below freezing at night. The trail was strenuous enough to keep us warm while we biked, though. There were patches of snow to navigate around, blow downs to lift our bikes over, melt water to ride through, and plenty of uphills over rolling rocks that reminded us that 10,000 feet of altitude is a lot higher than the 200 feet we live at. This trail took us through Ponderosa Pines and over green fields. Our second day of riding was quite windy and we had dark skies and snow during our lunch break. I'm not ashamed to tell you that I bailed out and took the sag wagon back to camp after lunch. A few hardy souls returned on the trails, but I was definitely not alone in the van!

We started day three in the National Park, where mountain biking isn't allowed. We hiked and visited the Grand Canyon Lodge in the morning. We enjoyed beautiful warm sunshine and breath taking views. The weather was a welcome change from what we had experienced the first few days! The afternoon found us back in the national forest where we biked down a screaming fast 9 mile downhill dirt road to our campsite. That was a lot of fun!

The next few days were spent on the beautiful single track of the Rainbow Rim Trail. This was by far the best riding of the trip. The trail was true winding single track along the rim. There were wonderful views and fun riding throughout. It was exciting to ride close to the edge at times on this trail.

Besides the great riding and the awesome views, we enjoyed good company, great food, and relaxing evenings at camp. We were thrilled to see a California Condor riding the air currents at camp one afternoon. I also saw several deer on the trail and the elusive Kaibob Squirrel. I only ran once during the entire week, but I got plenty of exercise! This week I will get back to my training for Virgel Crest... I promise!

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