Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dry Lakes Road

But first - a new bicycle. I have had a Trek 730 crossover bike for almost 30 years and it has done me excellent service despite almost total neglect. Lately however I have been riding on a lot of terrain that it isn't suited for, sand mostly, particularly as it currently has narrow street tyres on it. In addition I ran over it with my truck a few months ago and a number of items are now 'altered' from their original shape and functionality... Janet and I went down to the bike shop in Cedar City and looked at a couple of full suspension bikes, naturally I liked the considerably more expensive one more. It's a Specialized, I'm not into bicycles enough to even know or care what model it is but it has full suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and 29" wheels, it cost more than my first car. The new bike was not tested on this day however.

After the bike buying adventure we decided to head up the mountains above Cedar City, I had been over a dirt road which at the far end is called Dry Lakes Road a couple of times before and thought the trees would be in full change, and they were! We started just outside Summit and headed up the hill.

As we reached the first summit we had great views out towards the west.

Janet found her usual high spot much to Biff's admiration.

Views to the north were equally magnificent, the highest grey area with the 'fringe' 
just left of centre is Brian Head.

We continued on a few miles to the boundary of Dixie National Forest, the road passing through fantastic colourful groves of aspen.

Once we were in the National Forest it wasn't long before we started to glimpse views across the valley to Cedar Breaks

We walked down the High Mountain Trail, there actually is a mountain called High Mountain!

Inside the trees the light was incredible.

Small meadows gave us views of the opposite cliffs at Cedar Breaks

Eventually a promontory revealed the full splendour of both the trees and the cliffs with Brian Head right in the centre of the picture.

A little further down the trail we came across a small lake.

Biff and Frikka like lakes!

Biff swam round and round enjoying the water while Frikka fetched logs.

Sometimes Biff gets ahead of himself with the shake...

The lake was our turnaround point and we were forced to backtrack through the trees.

I took a lot more photographs of course including some arty ones and some that will appear on my photography web site.

The drive finished up by taking 143 across Cedar Breaks and down into Cedar City but it wasn't as spectacular as the Dry Lakes road (FR 265).

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Another Day, Another Ride

A glorious sunshiny day today with a high of only around 70 so the dogs and I went for an early afternoon ride up the Great Western Trail from the end of Sand Creek Road. I'm posting pictures each day on Facebook of me with the bike as part of a contest that Southern Utah University has entered. People associated with the U record their outdoor exercise and whichever university gets the most recorded sessions by mid October gets a grant for outdoor equipment, SUU is currently in the lead. If nothing else it's an excuse for a daily selfie, so here it is

At the Torrey Overlook

Frikka was willing to sit and pose but Biff stayed in the shade.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Back Country Tour

The weather forecast didn't look that great for my third tour day in a row, dry and cloudy in the morning with thunderstorms starting at noon. But that didn't mean that the dogs didn't need to be walked so out we went just before sunrise in the chilly 40 degree temperatures

The lower areas of the desert were still too wet to consider driving out there so I decided to head up high again and see if we could get to Cathedral Valley from the top before the storms hit. It worked! The Elkhorn road was fine the roads down to Cathedral Valley only slippery in a couple of places. The clouds did look rather ominous as we descended towards the South Desert, the Henry Mountains were nowhere to be seen all day

We took a look at the South Desert then went out to the Cathedral Valley Overlook where we discovered a couple of the guests were ready to get into the holiday spirit a little early

Kevin and Amanda had brought their Christmas card props along

Naturally we all had to try them on for size, Eve and Andrew from London were good sports.

And I'm just a natural showoff!

The forecast storms didn't show up until we were back over the hill and headed up to see the leaves at Fish Lake, we got some 'polystyrene' snow up there as we drove past the lake and then as we got back to Torrey the heavens opened and there was a huge downpour. We decided to continue on and see if there were any waterfalls in the park, as it turned out the storm was very localized and Fruita was bathed in sunshine.

The Castle was very nicely lit.

Another great tour in the books, nobody was left behind and everybody got along well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Last Day Of Summer?

I'm not a fan of hot weather, which I define as anything around 80 or above. We have had a very warm September and today is supposed to be the last 80 degree day of that spell, which probably means for the year too. Hurrah! The dogs still had to go for a walk, or a bike ride in this case.

Biff tried to photobomb the shot but only partially achieved his goal.