Monday, June 21, 2010

The Islands in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park Turned Me Into a Mountain Biker

You are looking at the Islands in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park in the picture.

The two humans in the picture are the Goober Twins, Big Ed and Wally.

I've been to the Islands in the Sky a few times. The view is an iconic American west landscape.

It is from that view, in 1994, that I decided to become a mountain biker.

It was part of a Roadtrip, near the end of December, 1994, that saw Disneyland on Christmas, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum (loved it), and then on to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Moab.

It was a very cold, snowy New Year's Day that I saw Islands in the Sky for the first time. There was at least six inches of snow on the ground. But the roads were clear.

As I looked down on the river valley below I saw a pair of mountain bikers. I instantly saw the appeal of riding a bike through such scenery. I vowed to buy a mountain bike and return to Moab.

Within a month of getting back to Washington I bought my first mountain bike. Spring of 2005 I returned to Moab, with a group called MudSluts (a northwest term for mountain bike riders) and biked the Gemini Bridges Trail, the Slickrock Trail and the world infamous Porcupine Rim Trail.

I don't think I would have become a mountain biker if not for that moment of inspiration that hit me hard while enjoying the icy cold winter view from Islands in the Sky.

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