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Anasazi Trail and Petroglyphs

Today Mike and I were planing on riding Barrel Roll Trail but Swiss Days in Santa Clara  messed that plan up, so we hit Anasazi Trail instead. The temperature is perfect  for mountain biking right now.  not to hot, not to cold.  It was an uneventful day just a nice leisurely ride

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Pine Creek Canyon

Out of the two total canyons that I’ve done in my life, Pine creek is the best. Pine creek Canyon starts under the bridge just as you exit the Zion's Mount Carmel Tunnel on the east side of Zion. The first rappel is probably just as nerve reeking as the last rappel.

[singlepic id=281 w=500 h= float=center]Photo by Jacob Daugherty

For the first rappel you have to inch you way on a ledge of a 20ft drop just to hook into the rope. Once I rappelled down the 20ft section I had to wade through a pool and then in between a crack that lead to another 15 foot rappel

[singlepic id=282 w=500 h= float=center]Photo by Jacob Daugherty

It's really hard to put into words how awesome this canyon is so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

[singlepic id=260 w=500 h= float=center] Photo by Dean Paul

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The second to last rap was about 70 ft I guess. Things look higher they are from the top so I was having a battle from within once I got on the rope things panned out and I made it to the bottom safely

[singlepic id=287 w=500 h= float=center]Photo by Jacob Daugherty

[singlepic id=289 w=500 h= float=center] Photo by Jacob Daugherty

On the last rappel I was still fighting my battle from within and I was starting to lose. One thing I learned from mountain biking is "just do it, the more time you think about it the worse it is" when you near the last rappel you have to inch your way to the cliff hook into the rope put your feet over the edge and swing out to the wall. After that there is only one way out and that is down.

Me on the last rappel

[singlepic id=269 w=500 h= float=center] Photo by Dean Paul

[singlepic id=270 w=500 h= float=center] Photo by Dean Paul

After about 5ft I was free hanging and that is where I had a problem with my heavy pack, well the pack was only heavy because I had my neoprene in it. I ended up doing most of the rappel laying down and looking straight up which was a unique view.

Shot of my hero Bo Beck.

[singlepic id=271 w=500 h= float=center] Photo by Dean Paul

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Keyhole Canyon

I did my first canyon today with a group of friends from there were ten of us that went through Keyhole. we staged two vehicles at the exit of keyhole and hiked a few hundred feet up the road.

[singlepic id=278 w=500 h= float=center]photo by Jacob Daugherty

after a small hike we started to climb the slick rock to the top of Keyhole Canyon. there is a real sketchy down climb just before you get to the canyon that kept me on my toes.

[singlepic id=279 w=500 h= float=center]photo by Jacob Daugherty

when we got to the bottom of the down climb we suited up for the start of The fun stuff.

[singlepic id=280 w=500 h= float=center]photo by Jacob Daugherty

The start of the canyon was awesome had a dozen or so down climbs that required a little bit of thinking... most were 6 to 10 feet and sometimes it was hard to tell because the water may only be 5 feet down but there is no way of knowing how deep it is until someone climbs down.

[singlepic id=255 w=500 h= float=center]photo byDean paul

The canyon was a little cold but still enjoyable the two rappels were super easy and the canyon was gorgeous.

[singlepic id=275 w=500 h= float=center]photo by Jacob Daugherty

this is an awesome butterfly that let all 10 people pass by in a small slot within a foot of touching it. the cool thing to note is the back of the wings look like char cloth that has been lit on the ends with a small orange glow.

[singlepic id=277 w=500 h= float=center] photo by Jacob Daugherty

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First time rappelling

I went rappelling for the first time today. Bo Beck a friend of mine from and manager of The Desert Rat took me out on the rocks near Chuckawall in Paradise Canyon. I don't know if Bo noticed or not but I was trying to delay my first rappel. On my first repel I felt somewhat safe but untrusting of the equipment. As I stepped off I felt the support of the harness and didn't worry so much and just coasted on down. My only problem is my hobbit legs they naturally stick together so Bo kept reminding me to spread my legs thankfully (try to say that in an ungay way).

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I made it to the bottom and was ready to go again. When I got back to the top Bo made me take off my safety brake rope and my ATC. I had a dumbfounded look on my face fallowed by a little kid voice "But... but.. why? I like it the way it is." I said. Don't fix something that’s not broke right? But I did what I was told.

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I soon realized that I wouldn't be just rappelling I’d be crossing off stuff on the "what could go wrong and what to do checklist" lol. Bo showed me how to set up a Munter Hitch Belay. And I used that for the rest of the rappels until I used my ATC again with a double rope rappel.

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The first spot was only 20ft if that and had a small slope to it. I did about 3 or 4raps on that and then we moved to one that was a little higher only 5-10ft higher but was more straight down and had a few parts where it curved inward.

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On my last rap Bo thought it would be funny to tie a not in the rope halfway down. As for me I didn't know he did this while I was busy climbing back up. I started my rappel and almost got to the point of no return when I saw the knot I went running back up. I kept trying to argue with Bo, but how am I to argue with Pops (Bo's new nick name) he's a SAR rock star. I soon figured out again that he had a point to make. I just wish he would tell me what it was before I start hanging by a rope. lol I got to the knot and I got stuck in an awkward position like I knew I would and Bo lowered me with the Munter Hitch on top.

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Yes I learned a lot, especially where not to put my left hand/arm, and to keep my hobbit legs wide. Anyways we did 5 or 6 rappels. I don't really remember how many, it was all mixed into a fun, scary, and crazy blur.

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Yes I wore my helmet... I’ve been in enough crashes to realize that they do work. I told my friend Statton (who was there to watch me cry) to forget about pics and hold onto the rope. In case I did something stupid like for example take my right hand off the rope.  lol.

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Panguitch Lake Campout

This past week I went to our annual family campout at Panguitch Lake, Ut. We left Wednesday morning and set up camp and waited for everyone else. On Thursday Statton and I rode Bunker Creek Trail and we both crashed. For me the Fishing was Terrible and that may be an overstatement.

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On Thursday I was fishing the meadow East of White Bridge Campground and I had fish come to the surface about 15 times to eat my strike indicator. After the 15th time I was starting to lose my cool so I decided to play dirty to. I changed my fly to a little green ball that was made to look like an egg. I casted that out there and let it drag so it would come to the surface. Sure enough a fish grabbed my strike indicator and right after that one grabbed my fly. I literally pulled the fish on shore by setting the hook. Once I had looked at him I realized why, I just caught a Rainbow Trout about the size of my index finger.

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In the 5 days I spent at Panguitch I caught two Rainbows, a Brown Trout, almost ran into a deer on my Mountain bike, crashed on my mountain bike at 30 mph, and froze my ass off which made for a hell of a trip.

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Bunker Creek Trail

Bunker Creek Trail is an awesome downhill trail IF you do it a month from now. I learned my lesson and I won't be soon forgetting it. Let's just say the snow patches on the mountain look smaller they are.

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On Thursday Statton and I decided it would be fun to do a trail while we were up here on a camping trip. I've wanted to do Bunker Creek for years and was finally able to do it. When my dad dropped us off near the top of Brian Head, we had to hike over a snow patch that covered the road before we could even get to the trailhead. To add to the situation the wind was cold and must have been blowing at 60 mph

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The trail starts at about 10,500 ft. We had to spend most of our time hike-a-bike through the snow that covered the trail in patches. Once we started dropping it started drying off and was a nice smooth ride until we got to where the trail forks left and right. We took the right fork of Bunker Creek (left fork from top) and instantly ran into snow again.

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Again after we started dropping in altitude we were cursing down some fun rock gardens and switchbacks without snow. We soon ran into another problem, since it was so early in the season there were tons of trees that have fallen over the trail and the Color Country Bike Club hadn't had time to do trail work yet, and I give the Color Country Bike Club props for cleaning up this trail every year.

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After climbing over three dozen trees the trail turned into an ATV track and turned into some smooth riding that is until I got bucked forward and went over the handle bars at 30+ mph and landing on my face. Good thing my head was resting on my left arm and my right hand. After I crashed I was in so much pain could swear my shoulder was broken and the same for my wrist. After lying on the ground for a few minutes the pain started to dull and I was able to determine that I fine except all for all the road rash on my knees, arms, shoulder, and a scratch on my face. It took me 10 minutes to figure out where my bike went, but I soon found it upside down in a tree 15 feet down the trail from where I was sitting (last picture). I figured I flew/skidded 15ft from the start of the crash.

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This would be an awesome trail in July, but I will never do this trail again in June or any time before it. On a side note I thought it was really cool watching the ground fly by 2 inches from my face.

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