Tag Archives: Gooseberry

Sit Back

29 May

Relax and soak in the view.  I can’t stop looking at this picture.

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It’s done.  Thanks in no small part to Brian and Brent Price.  I’m speechless.  How about another view.

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It’s huge.  24 x 24.  Go lay those dimensions out in your back yard to get a perspective.  Enormous.  I think I’m going deck camping.

In other news it’s Tasha’s birthday today or is for another hour anyway.  Happy 39 baby! I  Love you.  Hey, let’s go camping.

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24 X 24

26 May

I have been a little preoccupied over the last couple of weeks but thought that I should share something with everyone.

I spent 2 of my 4 day Memorial day weekend on Gooseberry Mesa trying to put together a deck for a future yurt.  I did not even take my bike as to not be tempted.  Serious, no bike.  How many people go all the way to Gooseberry Mesa and don’t bring a bike?  Zero,  that’s how many.  Well, 2 that I know of now; Myself and Brent Price.

Just a mess of boards on Saturday morning.

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Setting up construction camp.

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Good thing no one brought a nail gun.

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Brent picking gnats out of his ear.

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Level and square are so overrated.

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Brent cursing the gnat god.

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Could it be almost framed?

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I will never tire of looking at it.

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Nice and tucked away in the trees.

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I think we’ll cut a hole in the deck for the tree.

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None of this would have been remotely possible without the help of Brian Price, Kevin and especially Brian’s dad Brent whose work output is approximately that of the other 3 of  us squared.  Thank you Brent Price!

I had to leave Saturday night but Brent and Brian hung out for the next 2 days hauling more lumber and finishing the platform.  They even spent a night camped out on the deck.  I can’t wait to see those pictures and promise to share them.

Gooseberry 110k, 90k and 60k

6 Jan

Those are your options. Saturday January 19th we will be rolling off of the North rim of the mesa between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. instead of the previously reported 9:00 a.m. because it’s a little chilly that early.

We will meet at the windmill between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. I’ll be camping out there Friday night with anybody else that wants to join me. There are plenty of empty motel rooms in Hurricane this time of year if you don’t want to camp and it’s only 30 minutes away. I’ll bring coffee. It will be kinda cold so bring two sleeping bags and extra clothes if you are camping. It should warm up real fast and be about 50 degrees by noon.

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There will be several bail out points if you want to head back early, not that I expect that from anyone.

All 3 routes stay together for the first 55k or so and then the 90k and 110k options stay together until back on top of the mesa where those wanting a 110k can opt for a loop around the Gooseberry trail. We will start and finish at the windmill.

The 60k is all off-road and there is only 7 miles of pavement for the 90k and 110k. Plan on anywhere from 3.5 to 6.5 hours total ride time depending on which option you choose. Bring everything you need for that long of a ride unless you want to beg food and water in Rockville.

Our routes will consist of sections that I rode a couple weeks ago. I promise not to get lost this time around.

I’ll try to get some maps up this week.

Any questions?

Circumnavigating Goosebery Mesa

31 Dec

You gotta love it when your original plan is replaced by the unexpected.

I have been telling myself for the last week that once I figured out how to use my new GPS (I now know what GPS stands for) that I was going to Gooseberry Mesa to plot important way-points on my property. For example, the property line, the road going through the property, where the yurts will be, toilets, fire pit, sweat lodge, pool, etc. So, Saturday evening I finally figured out the GPS and took off for Gooseberry. All by myself.

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I’ve always thought it would be cool to camp out in the wilderness all by myself. Saturday night out in the middle of BFE I turned off the engine and the lights of the Yotavan and found it to be a little spooky, actually, way spooky. It was totally dark and eerily quiet. Did I mention I was all by myself? My ears turned into mini radar dishes trying to make out any little sound. I heard some strange gurglings and became a little spooked until I realized it was just my stomach. Somehow I made it through the night in one piece.

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My plan was to work on the way-points and GPS stuff in the morning and then spend an hour or so trying to figure out how to connect the goat trail that goes off the north rim to the Jem-Goulds-Rim trail.

The next morning I tried to call Tasha to tell her I was OK and that no coyotes, psychos, chupacabras or polygamists had had me for dinner. The phone was dead. I knew she would be worried so I decided to finish up the GPS work since I was right there and then head to Apple Valley and call her by pay phone. Once in Apple Valley with my phone call done I really didn’t want to drive all the way back up to the property as it was almost 1:00 p.m.

I decided to start riding from the South Jem trail head which is only a few miles from Apple Valley and try to find my way over to the goat trail. Well, the Jem is a total blast especially counterclockwise and I just couldn’t help myself and kept on going when I should have turned off the trail.

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I then started taking any road or trail heading in what I thought was the right direction. I finally ran out of tracks and took off through the sage brush half riding half pushing my bike. I was pretty sure I was going in the right direction. I eventually came to a point where I either had to back-track, jump off a cliff into the Virgin river or hike up to the top of the mesa above me. I hiked.

I then got lost and went left when I should have gone right. Luckily I somehow ended up in Rockville but realized I now had to climb the north side of Gooseberry. That climb would have been hard all by itself but after nearly 3 hours of biking and hiking it just about did me in. I was baked!

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Almost 4 hours after I started I finally made it back to the Yotavan. An accidental circumnavigation of Gooseberry Mesa. 38 miles and nearly 4 hours may not quite make it to the epic category. Let’s call it mini-epic. As a matter of fact, it’s my last mini-epic ride of 2007. Happy New Year!

Binge Training

18 Dec

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That’s what Lynda Wallenfels calls it. Back-to-back epic training days. I’ve known about Lynda for several years although I’m pretty sure we’ve never formally met. She is as hardcore of a biker as I know. She beat me at the 06 Desert Rampage and later that same year I rode with her for quite a bit of the E50 in Park city. Yes, she beat me there too. I didn’t even finish.

I came across her blog a couple weeks back and noticed she has some epic binge training rides planned for the weekend before my Gooseberry 100k. Her 3rd day looks very similar to what I have planned for the 100k. I think Tasha and I are going to make a go of her camp. At the very least we plan on doing days 1 and 2.

The unsupported nature of the rides she has planned apparently require using a GPS. I must admit I’m intimidated by GPS. I don’t even know what the letters GPS stand for but I now know what Tasha is getting for Christmas. I’m sure she’ll love it.

I’ve never been so excited for a January in my life and yes, I’m still going down on the 19th for the inaugural Gooseberry 100k.

I Spent My Kid’s College Fund

15 Dec

And my retirement fund.

I started this blog to keep everyone up to date on my Gooseberry project. Reading that first post I realize I didn’t even mention what I was doing on Gooseberry Mesa.

I’m putting up some yurts.

2 years ago I found a 10 acre parcel for sale. I got excited about owning some dirt in Southern Utah and what better place than Gooseberry. This parcel sits right on the north rim and has views of Zion National Park, Kolob mountain and the Springdale-Rockville-Virgin corridor. As a bonus it’s 500 yards from a trail head of the Gooseberry Mesa trail network. Did I mention it’s completely surrounded by BLM land and only 1 of a couple privately owned parcels on the entire mesa? Zero chance of ever having neighbors.

I made an offer and after a couple months of negotiating things fell apart. I spent the next year and a half tracking down the owners of the other parcels, making offers and begging them to sell. The owners were not at all interested. I went back to the first seller and worked things out. I now own the only available and arguably the finest parcel of dirt on the mesa.

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Takes your breath away, huh. A work of art.

Art requires patience. While they got some of the parcel flagged right away It took the surveyors 4 months to get the necessary details and numbers complete.

During this time I’ve been hassling Washington County to secure permits for the project. The biggest obstacle has been classification.

How do we classify what you want to do? That doesn’t fit within any of our current classifications for building projects.

I think we’ve got it worked out but the county planner wants me to present the project at their next meeting.

I’ve been working on a site plan myself but don’t have the skills or tools to impress. Any mountain bike obsessed architects or drafting wizzes out there that can help me with a site plan? Help. Thanks! Jon H., Rob S. and Randy.