After the crazy thunder mountain experience having taken a bit longer than expected, we decided to dine at a restaurant rather than worry about cooking back at camp. After that was done, and we were headed back toward the mesa, we realized there was a large storm rolling in. And indeed, we drove through it on the way to the mesa. It had continued to grow, and while the mesa was at that time dry, the 30-40 mph winds were making our tents flat, filling them with red sand, and driving them toward the ledge of the mesa. Between that and the storm, we decided to break camp and catch a hotel in town. We broke camp in record time, I suspect 10 minutes, and packed up the car as the first drops of rain fell.
Safely tucked away in a hotel, it was a great relief to get a hot shower and a good nights rest.
In the morning, I must admit I wasn’t overly eager to get back on my bike. We were headed out to do J.E.M. trail, and I volunteered to SAG. Mr. Ink was worried I’d regret the decision, so I told him that I’d meet them where the trail crosses the road next, and he could tell me if it was something that just could not be missed. Apparently it was, so we headed back up the hill, I got on my bike, let one of the other guys SAG, and I had an absolutely lovely ride on the trail. It was MY kind of riding. The kind where it is like comfort food, like eating mashed potatoes. I could have ridden that trail all day and was, indeed, sad not to get more time with it.
You can’t really see them, but the guys are riding out on the high point here:
Then, I headed out, and snapped this shot before a few switch backs I had to walk. I had to walk them, but they weren’t scary like the previous day’s switchbacks.
Partway down the trail I saw this trail marker. It’s lovely, but it also struck me as funny, as it seemed more appropriate for yesterday’s trail.
We then headed back up to the mesa since there were some trails we hadn’t played around on up there. I had high hopes for them, but between the 3 solid days of riding and the winds over the top of the mesa, I just wasn’t feeling it. Eventually I headed back to the car to wait it out.
We soon handed in our bikes. The guy at the bike shop asked how it went. I told him “I think Thunder Mountain left me psychologically scarred.” His retort? “So you had a great ride then!”