A few months ago Lynda and I hatched a crack-pot plan: PlayDate on the KOKO! I was in need of a little 're-do' action to try and get this beauty done, and she was likely in need of a nice spinn around the block. This last Sunday, our spirits converged, and we set out for a lovely, beautiful, soulful day out on the KoKo.
Quick note: I did not bring my camera. Again. (It's broken really, so why bother, right)? So Lynda took most of the pictures, except for when I had a mind enough to ask her for it. And, we took pix until about ... Mcgraw, sort of. Then we stopped taking pix, so that is all I've got.
Lynda, Dave, Ed and I all met in Moab Saturday afternoon. With a little futzing and packing, we were ready in no time flat. I think Lynda caught a couple/few hours sleep before hand. I, on the other hand, was wide-eyed and couldn't fall to sleep to save my life. Energy is good, right?
Lynda and I suited up, and we were ready to roll by 2 am, sharp.
Ed snapped a few pix of us riding around in circles (for his entertainment) ... and we were OFF!!!
We rode casually up sandflats and chit-chatted the piddle-pedal time away ;-) We hit the singletrack that led to the top of the loop road and I was totally out of my skull giddy at getting closer to the true 'launch point' of this route (which to me feels like Beaver Mesa). We took our time, and we slowly glided up, up and up. It was dark and the moon made a magical appearance late into the climb. Lynda found a chain tool in the dirt, and we picked it up, in case it was an omen;-)
We quickly bombed the loop road, and started climbing again, making our way up to the high-point. Along the way, I could hear the stream running, and what else did I sense? The birds were slowly coming to life, singing their little hearts out as we snuck by in the deep hours. The black edge of the la sals silhouette had a faint light rim outlining -- the sun was rising, and we were feeding off of it.
We kept a steady pedal and a quiet conversation (well, quiet for me anyway) as the sun made it's quiet way to the horizon.
And then, as we hit the absolute summit, giggling, the sunlight forced it's way over the horizon and we were bathed in the most beautiful light...
Lynda wears the sunshine on her shoulders (but you all knew that already, didn't ya).
And Jeny has a hard time containing her excitement (but you all knew that already, too).
We rolled along in the sunrise, and I was screaming with energy (sorry, Lynda;-)).
And Lynda was smooooving along in the brilliant morning air with the biggest smile EVER.
We bombed down the short, fast pitch. We passed one car coming the other way, and started to dive fast into the next corner, when Lynda said: "watch it" ... and another car crept around the corner with 10 dogs all peering out of it and standing on top of it ... she didn't even see it or hear it... she just KNEW it was going to be there.
And how did she know? Because she is IN TUUUNNNEEE with the KOKO...
And we danced our little in-tune souls right up onto beaver mesa. And life was Grand. And I was exploding with love and light and happiness. I was in my happy place with a happy angel and we were in heaven. I REALLY like this spot ;-) It's one of my favorite places to be... EVER.
We played our way on down the other side of the mesa, and HAD to stop for the mind-blowing earth-scape blooming in morning glory!
Here she is, the angel, with her wings:
And Jeny, hardly containing all that energy... I could have jumped off that rock and soared ... forever...
We rolled and rolled down all the rocky bliss. I was certainly glad to be going down this hill this time, as opposed to up it. I'm not sure what I was thinking last time. DUH. Much, much more fun in this direction!
And we meandered around in the desert. Giggling. Spinning. Soaring.
And then we got our selves up RoseGarden. We found a tupperware feast on the way up the hill. We chose NOT to pick this stuff up. Someone was going to want it;-)
And then I followed behind the angel for a long time getting up the hill after RoseGarden. Why did that one have to hurt so much? It shouldn't have ;) that is some FUN STUFF out there.
Yes, my name is Jeny, and I walked RoseGarden!
We filtered at a spot before Dewey bridge. I sat down to filter water and eat food, and I had the distinct sense that it might be a smart move for me to REALLY sit there for a while. This was roughly the 1/2-way point, and we had been out for a nice long ride thus far. I was trying to prepare my head and body for ... "another ride," basically ... because we had another 75+/- miles to go.
So Ii called a "rest stop". I laid back into the sand and grass ... and promptly passed out cold ... twice! ;-)
I awoke as if I had had a solid nights sleep! So we packed up the ponies and headed off.... only to see Dave barreling down on us, asking us if either of us were carrying extra.... SOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! He offered to pay $100 for a pair of socks. Lynda, of course, gave him ONE and said he owed her $50 bucks... and then we took off.
Little did I know that Ed was waiting a bit closer to Dewey! So I got to see my honey (and get a kiss) before I started a section I was a bit afraid of!
Pic credit Ed:
DH got his one new sock on and danced off to follow us up Yellow Jacket. See how happy he looks with his extra sock?
And, with the nap, the DH, the Angel, and a kiss: I WAS STOKED to be going up YJ with ENERGY and positive thoughts!!!! Wwwwrrrraaaaaawwwwrrrrrrr.....
I was trying to play CUTIE to try and enliven all the spirits in the YJ canyon. I'm not sure it worked ;-)
ANNNDD ... then we stopped taking pix!
We rallied up YJ MUCH faster than I had expected, and getting down and thru the other side of it was delightfully playful!! SO much so that I blew a tire near the end. DOH!
So DH and LW took off and waited at 128. I threw a cursing fit at the Jones + Arch rim combo -- but I got it DONE and done right;-)
DH and Lynda don't know it yet, but I was REALLY proud of myself for getting that tire re-done. It certainly took a while (had to give them time to kiss), but that is ok. I got it done.
And we were off thru Mcgraw.... and the flowers were going off!!! And, surprisingly, I felt like going off, too! The singletrack light my fire a bit and I just wanted to rail and push and play! I'm pretty sure we were all giggling, madly.
Such a lovely, lovely wide-expanse of flowers in the spot I absolutely least expected it.
And then we hit what i consider MARS.
And we all started to really sink into our own music and our own pace...
And we rolled with a tailwind for a LOOONNNNGGG TIMMMMEEEE (thank GOD for all that tail wind).
In my mind, I was thinking that it was like there were 3 separate movies playing one screen, all layered together: Lynda's movie, my movie, and Dave's movie. Same landscape, different films. And yet, we stayed together as a pack, blowing our way towards West Water, totally in sync.
I'm a lucky girl to get to be out in the middle of nowhere with these two crack heads. That thought did not escape me for even a second. Not once.
We rolled into West Water to refill with water. I ate. I drank. I lied down. I almost fell to sleep. DH drank a red-bull, then passed out cold for a few minutes.
I ate some more. I drank some more. And I was feeling really dark in my head. I started doing some finish-time math... and promptly dismissed my pathetic math skills and conclusions.... until DH chirped in and gave his finish time assessment.
DOH. Confirmation can suck sometimes ;-)
I didn't want to be out that late, that long. Fear crept into my belly -- which was already having a horrible time trying to process everything I had just stuffed into it -- and I was filled with a deep sense of panic.
We left the watering hole and jumped back onto the route. My legs felt oddly good, and that felt like a wild success for me: to be mostly physically AOK after 16 hours out. That is really big for me. However, the belly was not processing the food. And the big one: the head and emotions were unraveling, rapidly. I had myself a solid, solo cry while I was riding in the wide-expanse of the middle of the two crack-heads. That felt really good. HA!
We jumped onto the dirt to head up the hill that would eventually drop us into Rabbit Valley... a place I've been riding a LOT already this season. And I was filled with a bit of dread.
Lynda and I stopped and chatted.... It was time to stop. And it was a good spot to stop. So we sent DH up the hill with the cell in search of service so we could call our Rescue Angel, Ed.
In 30 minutes we were all piled in the car and blasting back to Moab for the Best Pizza Ever (Paradox Pizza in Moab).
The ride ended with the following stats:
We did not make it to Fruita
105 miles (of 142)
16 hours out
and get this last one: 4 HOURS of down time!! DOHHHHHH!!!!!! Oops. Sorry about that DH and LW ;-)
It was a FANTASTIC PLAY DATE! I'm pretty certain that we all had lovely, deep and beautiful adventures. I know that I came away from the day feeling clear and grounded and healthy ... and blissed out of my skull ;-)
I do have a lot more to say about the ride and the day -- but it will have to wait for now ;-)
And, since I do have a new pony, I can't leave her out of the story, right?
She carries well distributed weight VERY well ... something she's not used to doing very often:
For ALL of the pictures go here. And yes, Lynda gets all of the photo credit!!!!
THANK YOU, LW and DH -- for all your time, energy, playfullness ... and your MtbSpirits. I love you both so very, very much!
Glad you were having such a wonderful time out there! I really like YJC and never quite understand why the guide says to skip it. :)
Love it, love it, love it!
You are fierce!
A most splendiferous day we had :-) Lots of magic views and moments. Looking at the pics makes me smile inside and out all over again.
Oh man, thanks for taking us along for the ride! Fantastic story.
Can't believe you blew a Jones XR off an Arch! I've only done it once, and what I did would have taken any tire off the rim.
Great write up! Still need to do this ride myself!
so exciting and inciteful. let's see when you schedule the re-match. I'd love for Em and I to join ya...
A great adventure well prepared for, well done and a wonderful perspective on it all.
Excellent job and fun, fun, fun write up!!
I'm so lucky :-)
Wwwwrrrraaaaaawwwwrrrrrrr..... indeed. :)
Absolutely love it. Looking forward to toasting to you and this most awesome adventure in person!
It's like I was there but didn't have to ride all that way.
The pizza sounds good.
New pony looks fantastic but needs handlebar tassels.
You tried to do math after being on the bike for 16 hours? Ha, ha, I'd like to have been there for that.
WOW! Thanks for checkin' in all you awesomes!! thank you thank you thank you!!!!
Chris: I never understood why the book says to skip it either.
pablo: yeah -- funny sh** eh? i can hardly do "math" in the best of circumstances.
A crap. Now your getting me all jumpy to get back down there. And *just* when I thought the KT and I were broke up for good...
oh, adam... you can't break up with the koko. the koko will be with you FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
but you knew that already ;-)
ENJOY yourself when you do find yourself out there!!
Nice Jeny and Lynda...sounds like a fabulous time. Isn't the Kokopelli majestic? One of my favorite places, I crave it.
X-cellent Adventure JJ! And knowing when to throw in the towel - Priceless.
sorry you had the tire issue...bad tire.
Oh Jenny Jo you are such a wordsmithy.
A great account of a spirited adventure.
Sooooo...whatcha think? More rest before the start?....less pace in the beginning? ...adjust the trip nutrition plan?....different wheel/tire combo?...a little bit of suspension(don't want to hurt the tiny dancer!) to quiet the rattle on those damn gravel roads?.......Red Bull?!
Ah yaya yaya!
Remember' It's the Jenny Journey not the destination.
I got a good feeling you will make it NEXT TIME.
Anon: the major thing that needed adjusting was my ability to CHOOSE TO NOT QUIT in the face of a bit of emotional panic. Legs felt good. I'm guessing the belly would have been fine if I gave it another half hour. All things considered I was just fine. But something happens when I get dark and panicky, and suddenly I lose interest and stop caring. Lesson for me is to learn to endure and work thru the mind low funk.
Next time might have to be sooner rather than later. ... maybe.
Food was good. Bike was brilliant. Start time perfect. And I learned so much being out there win Lynda.
I really have no excuse...ha!
In fact... I was perfect rested and ready, we took the perfect start pace, tires were totally right on, no need for suspension. Both Dave and I had red bulls at west water, and we both managed a nap shortly thereafter;)
10-4 on the plan,prep and execution Jeny Jo. Heck....WTF do I know? My mental movie starts to look grim at only 25 miles in the broad daylight!
I'm over here on the other side of cyberspace pullin' for you on every adventure.
We should all have that brillant light that shines from inside of you inside of us as we head down that final technical descent into the valley of our life.
ANON!! THANK YOU! for checkin' in and for the 'rootin' for the adventures. Every little bit helps....
You are too kind...
Get out and play!!
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