Hot Dogs and Warm Benches...

The morning was casual.  We woke up around 7ish and enjoyed coffee with our usual breakfast for ride days.  We were casual about the morning due to possible rain in the area.  Luckily the weather never turned for the worse and the sun remained.

We loaded our gear and drove an exhausting ten minutes to the Kokopelli trail head.  The trail head is located in the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area.

Kokopelli 
Upon arrival we were to meet our two local guides.

Our guides sitting down on the job
For some reason our guides decided they would rather just sit down and hang out.  Sandy and I got our money back from the two jokers and said we will be fine alone.

We planned on riding Mary's Loop and Horsethief.  We could add on other sections depending on how we felt.

The route took us out of the parking area, up a dirt road and over a ridge.  Mary's Loop broke to our right as we headed down the backside of the ridge.

Mary's had a little climb in the beginning, but leveled out to nice flowing double-track with insane views.

Bikes leaning on rocks instead of trees since there are really no trees
On Mary's overlooking Colorado River
Mary's Loop eventually brought us to the cut-off for Horsethief.  Horsethief was a great trail, but the bench drop-in was insane.  We mere mortals do not ride everything...

Sandy working her way down the bench
The bench was steep and warm.  Like oven warm.  It gave you the amazing feeling of climbing a step-ladder strategically placed in someone's hot summer attic while wearing a fur coat and sipping hot chocolate.  Oh, and carrying your bike at the same time.

Bike leaning on another rock at bottom of warm bench
After descending the bench, we cruised around Horsethief loop.  It was fun.  Nice flow sections of trail mixed with some slickrock.  The trail snaked towards the river and in-and-out of slot canyons.  Really cool.

Yes, you guessed it.  We had to climb back up the warm bench to re-connect with Mary's Loop.  Must admit it was a little easier climbing up.

We continued on Mary's Loop and worked our way back to the trailhead.

At this point we were toast.  It was getting too hot and clouds were building in the distance.

Our two guides were still sitting down when we arrived back to the car.  Evidently it was too hot for those two dogs as well.

What a great day riding with Sandy!  The pics do no justice.  Incredible!



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One Response to Hot Dogs and Warm Benches...

Ginger Holloway said...

Mark and Sandy! Looks like you are having so much fun! Keep the posts coming. I am enjoying following them!

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