Option back dating
I’ve known Humphries for several years, and I like his simple philosophy.He offers the kind of adventure trips that he wants to do, as a passionate cyclist and mountain biker.Overnight the sand quietly duned in his eye sockets, a fact he discovered upon waking the next morning.After many trips, I thought I knew southern Utah and its dusty ways.
The campfire sends its sparks toward the Milky Way. One morning we spin 20 miles on a subtle climb up Wooden Shoe Road without once fingering the brakes.
“There will be walking of bikes—if you ain’t hikin’, you ain’t bikin’. When in doubt, chicken out.” We break camp and pedal into the already warm day. ” We follow the signs toward Poison Spring Canyon on doubletrack edged with blooming snakeweed and rabbitbrush. The land takes on the pinkish cast of a Brit left on the beach too long. Tall clouds pause over them for our snapshots before drifting off toward the Rockies. Today’s ride was a gorgeous new variation he’d wanted us to see.
” We’re heading into the backyard of the boondocks, he reminds us. Leaning over our shoulders are the lumpy Henrys, a passel of frustrated volcanoes that never erupted. Soon we’re bouncing over cobbles in a wide gully that seems to have had some water coursing through not so long ago. Anywhere else this landscape would be an attraction. I have a sudden urge to light a Marlboro and spur a big bay toward Mexico. The world shrinks to the want of a cool glass of water, a ham sandwich, a cot. But the mileages on signs were wrong, and unforeseen washouts meant the truck had a hard time reaching us. Humphries leads some of the best trips around, but once in a rare while riders pay for his exuberance. There’s a name for days like this, Tucker says later: type-two fun. “It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun.” Sleep and mugs of cowboy coffee brush away the previous night’s despair.
With each change of direction, headwinds become tailwinds become headwinds again. Time rusted these names into something else, however, and endowed them with the accidental poetry of an old harrow in a field. On the map are places named for people who once lived there (Negro Bill Canyon, Freddies Cistern) and places named for bad things that happened there (Bloody Hands Gap).
There are places named after what they were good for (Beef Basin) and places named for not being good for much (Devils Garden).