Our annual trip to Virgin UT gets better every year.
Freddie pulled up around 4am and we headed out giddy to get some rides in that same day. Freddie is a local rider and soon to be newest John Henry owner on the mountain. We arrived in Yucca Valley eager to visit the Water Canyon coffee shop… sadly they’d gone out of business. The Jelly Donut fit the bill.
The drive out on route 66 set the road trip tone nicely.
We made it to Virgin and stayed with Monte & Bonnie. We’d met them last year and have since built Bonnie an Aria. Freddie & I headed out for a ride on Gould’s Loop and JEM trail. It was the first time on these trails for either of us… suffice it to say we enjoyed the trails so much we didn’t even stop for a pic.
We got back to the house just in time to hit the pool before the evening chill… and a yummy feast put together by our gracious hosts. Dave Nice came out from town, as did Jack, Shannon & family, and Bonnie’s friend Leslie, newly of Trek doing Women’s Outreach.
The next day we loaded up early with Monte to hit Gooseberry Mesa, a favorite of mine. Unfortunately, Dave Nice had to watch the shop that day and wasn’t able to ride.
Meanwhile, Mary and Shannon took off for a bike ride in Zion National Park.
At some point we met up and made friends with Matt, a trailbuilder from NorCal recently displaced to Grand Junction. Good dude, good rider. He ended up joining us for the rest of the ride, and at Over The Edge for Afterbike later that night.
If you ask me, it isn’t a Gooseberry ride if you didn’t make a new friend…
Monte says it differently: “It’s not a Gooseberry ride if you don’t lose some blood.”
We rode pretty much every trail on the mesa. Predictably, I got a sunburn.
We joined up with the cats at OTE for an evening of chillin’ & grillin’
Dave worked the grill… and his famous chili (not as hot this year)
Freddie owned the ping pong table
Mary hits singletrack.
Freddie and the ladies headed out for a run on JEM trail Sunday morning. Mary hasn’t seen much singletrack since Alexander was born and it was great to see her return from the ride wearing a full on permagrin.
Somehow, magically, negotiations were made & time volunteered such that Mary and I were able to get a mountain bike ride together…. it’s been almost a year since we’ve ridden trail together!
We gave Alex a pep talk and he was ready to spend a couple hours with Bonnie & Leslie. He was in great hands. (thanks again!)
The highlight of my trip in some ways…
Mary has since adopted the Symphony prototype #001 full time. It’s her bike now.
I really like this trail. A combination of slickrock & Juniper singletrack, with killer views of Zion in the background. Having a guide helps, I’m sure.
We returned to feast upon our garden’s largest watermelon… about six inches in diameter. 🙂 Nonetheless, it was tasty and Alex loved it.
The Sabrosa family & the trip home
We stopped in for a quick visit at Casa de Sabrosa.
It’s always good to visit with Jon, Delina, and Noel… she must know I’m a sucker for mermaids; she pulled out her Little Mermaid kit special for the occasion.
And they made Alexander a very, very cool hat. Check this out!
We hit the road late, got in late, and Monday came way too early. Still, I don’t think I would have done it any other way.