Saturday, September 27, 2008

Kokopelli Trail: Day 3 - Dewey Bridge to Bitter Creek

Day three and we rise early. Our butts are aching and who knows what the day will bring. We eat breakfast, mount up and cross Dewey Bridge to take an immediate left. It doesn't take much riding to find that Larry's flat is getting so bad we have to stop and fix it (photo 1). As we cross into a wide valley the trail moves away from ridge, causing me some worry that we missed a turn (photo 2). I decide to keep going after consulting the map and it turns out we are fine. A couple of miles in you can spot some cool arches along the cliffs.

Once the Kokopelli trail turns toward ridge, the ride gets fun. After a gentle ascent to gain the ridge there is fun biking as the trail follows the ridge top. There are big bare sections of slickrock here (photo 3&4). We don't see any other bikers, but we meet up with motorcycles, ATVs, and Jeeps. At one point we experienced a surreal site as we pass a Suzuki Samari with a couple that remind us of mom and dad. After crossing a long flat we stop beneath a large boulder for a snack. Two miles from highway we crossed a fence with lots of petrified wood around. Or was it bone? Once you reach the fence and the saddle point of the ridge you are rewarded with a fun descent back to highway 128.

The trail follows the highway for a ways, then follows a dirt road out across desert. This is a long and boring ride to reach the river. Once you approach the river you are treated to an exciting descent to the river that is more fun than intense (photo 5&6). Here Larry and I took our first dip of day. From here the Kokopelli snakes a nice single track along river.

The nice single track ends too soon and then you face a long ascent leading away from the water. Here the desert scenery looks a lot like the moon. We follow the trail as it winds back down to the river and we take another dip at the Cisco landing. Here Larry decides he likes the river.

The next section of the Kokopelli includes a long and straight section as you make mileage through the desert (photo 7). Though there's no technical riding here, it is nicer than I thought it would be due to cliffs in the distance that separates you from I-70 and adds to the aesthetic. I broke the buddy rule here getting about six miles ahead of Larry. I was just cruising. Finally we reach the road to west water after a descent by ranch land.

The Kokopelli is paved again as you ride up asphalt on the West Water Road. Far up the road you return to dirt at a well marked diversion point. The 4WD road backtracks a ways making you feel like you wasted some time and energy, then winds through the pinions toward the Bitter Creek overlook (photo 8). By now the day was getting very late and Larry was getting to end of his rope. We both hadn't expected this part of the trail to be so long and we weren't certain where Steve had parked his RV. Larry called in the rescue squad.

Kari De and kids come up in my pickup and brought us pasta and beer. We found Steve's RV right at the overlook at the end of the road. Larry and Kari both were surprised he would drive it up this rough road. The next morning we discovered the outhouse that was blown apart by the wind that Steve and Ross were joking about. In the daylight we found that it was quite a nice camp spot with an awesome view.

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