Monday, February 24, 2014

Hovenweep Over niter

With the Arizona Trail Race fast approaching I decided I better put some weight on the bike and head out for an over niter in the four corners area. I decided on a route out of Cortez on County Road G that leads out to Sand Canyon and Cannonball Mesa. Great locations to ride and see old ruins. Further out is Hovenweep National Monument. I haven't been out there so I decided to pedal that direction making it a loop suggested by others rather than an out and back. There also has been a lack of snow in the very southwest corner of Colorado making the route doable this time of year.

I left Cortez on Saturday afternoon a bit late after leaving Laura at a girls function outside of Cortez. I was on my 29er Kokopelli bike running a 32x20. The bike was weighing in at 50 pounds. No pack on the back. A 20 tooth cog was a bit spinny but with the prior weekends effort of 245 miles I thought to take it easy on the legs. I pedaled to the bike shop to maybe get a map. I didn't bother with the map and chatted with the guys at the shop before heading out. I made good time on the single speed and had a headwind the entire 40 miles out to the turn to Hovenweep. Traffic out to the Rez wasn't bad and everyone was friendly giving me lots of room. There isn't much of a shoulder on this road. The turn to Hovenweep was traffic......the sun was setting and I had the entire road to myself. I arrived at the Hovenweep campground right after sunset only using my light for a short bit. 53 miles down in about 4 hours. Hovenweep has 31 camp sites and I saw only one other camper who wasn't so friendly it seemed. Bitter people everywhere. They probably don't like bikes. I set up camp and made some dinner. I had snagged some Rolling Rock beer before leaving Cortez and it tasted great with some cheap frozen bean burritos I had packed as well. Heaven. I used my Isbit fuel tablets and titanium stand to heat up my food. The Isbit stuff is light and cheap. Ive used alcohol stoves as well but I find the Isbit fuel tablets easy to use.

Usually when I camp out like this I never get great sleep it seems. Except on the Colorado Trail Race I did because I was so darn tired each nite. On this nite the owls were hooting and some other bird was making chatter all night. It was also a partial moon. Very awesome nite.

I awoke in the morning with lots of ice built up in the tent. I was thinking it was about 20 degrees or warmer. The park ranger said it was down to 15 degrees. WOW! I was warm in my set up with my 30 degree Stoic bag, SOL bivy and a few layers of clothing. My Patagonia Nano Puff jacket is key to sleeping in at these temps. No problems at all.

I got my butt moving with some hot oatmeal and hot coffee. When bike packing hot food goes a long way. Trust me. I got back on the bike and quickly viewed some ruins and pedaled out to highway 491 via County Road 10 and back to Cortez snaking my way over to Phil's World where Laura was riding and that would be my stopping point. I managed to pedal a few miles around Phil's before spotting Laura and her ride mates. I wanted 100 miles and I ended up with 111. What a sweet ride it was. More to come in the upcoming weeks.

50 pounds fully loaded.

Sunset coming.

Sunset on the Colorado/Utah border.

Hovenweep campgrounds are nice.

Dinner of champions!

My bivy setup.

Do I have to get up??? LOL!!!

Awesome morning.


Kind bars are great!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bro, I love reading your stuff.keep at it, for my sake. Anthony Diede