Winters in Minnesota can be long and cold; the best way outside of riding fat bikes to weather them is to get out of town and ride bikes somewhere warm. This year that somewhere warm was Utah and we invited some friends from California. No real plan was in place, just see you in St. George around February 2nd, kay, see ya there. Well first we had to get there. Across the badlands. Somehow 1200 miles turned into something like 1400 miles, a snow storm, the kind that puts the plows in the ditch, had us staying overnight with some FOCO friends the likes of Sean and Corbin at Oddity and Black Sheep.
We had a bit too much fun that night, but still made a pretty early start as no we needed to send the Rockies. Crossing through such destinations as Fruita and Moab with nary a glance or coffee stop, we were determined to get to our destination before dusk.
John and Kyle had set up camp the day prior on what promised to be a stellar location. They actually weren’t sure we’d be able to find them, or get the truck up there so once we were within visual range Kyle defended upon us in true KyleBKelley fashion, on a bicycle, far from sober. That evening we shared some delicious black bass tacos, a fire, and the giggles.
The next three days of riding were amazing, every corner was a view of red rocks, cactus, blue skies, and jagged rocks. Camping felt out of place with out any trees, but we made due with blankets of stars above and Zion’s luminous appearance off in the distance.
This being the first week with my new camera and not having a solid case for it I was pretty sheepish to bring it along on the bike, hence no real riding shots in this post. I was switching between my Oddity 27+ hardtail and a Salsa Redpoint, while Parker was ripping a Transition Scout. Full squish was really the way to go for my weary midwest bones.
After another great day of riding and another bouldering incident in which the rock face decided to break away from its whole and land on top of me I decided to take the next day to wander around Zoin and Angel’s Landing on my own, it was a bit misty, but the views did not disappoint and the park was completely dead aside from some deer and turkeys.
I highly recommend checking out the Hurricane and St. George areas for winter escape and riding, not sure my midwestern blood could take the heat in the summer, but 65 and sunny in February is exactly what I was looking for. I left Parker with the Cali crew to be dropped off in LA for a quick flight home.
The open road and a quick stop to the San Juan River in New Mexico for a little fly fishing was in my future. And for the record I do not recommend solo all day drives through Kansas.