Friday, September 26, 2008

Kokopelli Trail - Day 2: Bull Draw to Dewey

All the hard work gaining altitude on day one is rewarded on day 2. The dirt road that descends Thompson Canyon is a fun and easy downhill (photo 1) to the Hideout Canyon overlook. The views from the ridge are expansive and humbling (photo 2). We met our first group of Kokopelli travelers coming up road opposite our direction. They weren't too friendly, but we would find out why as we cruised down all the terrain they had to crank up.

The descent to Onion Creek is a bit more technical, but still not hard (photo 3). We took another dip in the creek at the Hideout Canyon campsite, but it was not as cool or full. The trail from here makes an ascent to a gap over to Fisher Valley. The road then zigs here and heads back North. After a mile you reach the first truly awesome biking challenge. The descent here is a black diamond descent that is quite fun with many obstacles that hold your attention (photo 4). The ascent on the other side required a hike-a-bike when going our direction.
At the top we met up with a FJ Cruiser rally. About 20 FJ Cruisers were about to descend the difficult section we hiked up. They gave us some water and we started the only extended uphill on this section (photo 5). At the top we met the second set of Koko travelers. We didn't converse with them too much. They were from Germany and didn't speak much English, plus they looked very tired. After seeing the very long gravel road they had to come up, we understood their consternation.

I'm glad we were descending instead. The gentle slope of the road made for a gread downhill cruise if not for the gravel. The front forks on my bike are about worn out and the rattling was notable on this washboard gravel of a road.

The Kokopelli Trail takes a left onto an ancient jeep trail just past Blue Chief Mesa. Here the biking gets technical again. Larry went first and made a nice descent hopping rocks and ratcheting his pedals. I followed with pride usurping fear, but crashed and bent my chain of all things. I was happy I had my chain tool, although I used it in an unconventional way to get my chain straight enough to continue. (photo 6)

Once you rejoin the main road the ride gets easy and fun (photo 7). We reached Dewey Bridge and our camp just as the sun was setting. I took a dip in the Colorado River. Larry lost his cookies: I guess downing an entire can of apple juice wasn't a good idea in hindsite. Steve and Ross came by with a cold Coors and we shared a joke or two over the campfire. Half way home and enjoying life!

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