05 October 2008

Little Creek

I met up with Russel, Steve and John, members of the Color Country NMBP, at Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane. We were soon moving down the road to Little Creek. After approximately 15 miles on a paved road, we turned onto a dirt road which lead us gradually upward onto the Little Creek mesa.

This was my first introduction to slickrock and I must say I enjoyed it. We were riding for about four hours over expansive oceans of super grippy rock and sweet singletrack patches of gritty soil weaving through small trees that unlike similar sized trees in San Diego don't bend. In fact, I managed at one point to run into what i thought was a 30cm high shrub that stopped me dead in my tracks. Fortunately, I was able to unclip fast enough to save my body from a hard landing.

Steve, originally from Ramona and then Julian, lead the pack for most of the ride. He was clearly a good rider with a lot of skill and practice in this terrain.
John was usually second and was most often in the gaze of my helmet cam. I shot video of the whole ride and have started to edit it. I'm going to make another music video out of it.
And generally bringing up the rear (and thankfully sweeping me back onto the trail the few times I lost it in the scrabble of rocks.

We rode out to the "North Point", snaking our way along the rim of the mesa, with incredible views, although it was generally recommended to keep eyes focused on the trail and not look out over the cliff. One medium sized error would be all it would have taken at some points to have found flight.
We stopped at a few spots along the rim to gnosh and talk. The conversation was pleasant and it was clear that this group of guys was not of the political and social pursuasion one is told to expect in Southern Utah.

From one of the places we stopped, it was possible to see Gooseberry Mesa in the distance. I'm told that Gooseberry Mesa is much more technical than the ride at Little Creek.
There wasn't a whole lot that was too technical, but it was still necessary to be on for the whole time. We rode waves of stone that had gaps and drops and steps. There were creek beds, and waterfalls and a whole host of great riding.
When the ride was finished, Russel passed around beers and gatoraide. I must say, a cold beer after a ride was very pleasant. I was slow packing up, but I didn't want to hold up the other guys who still needed to drive to Ceder City. So I bid them fair well, and continued packing and changing.
The drive back to the paved road seemed too take much longer than the drive in, maybe because I was able to focus on the scenery rather than the bumpy road.
I took several pictures that I want to stich together into a panarama, but I uninstalled the application a few weeks ago and I forgot to bring the disc with me.