|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Tonya Auden Stiles, Moab, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
POINTBLANK "THE HARD WAY’ Doing the Unthinkable...taking a bike trip without support vehicles By Claire Rogers — Our campsite this night was right on an edge where we could watch the violetgreen swallows sweep and dive at dizzying speeds to nests in the cliff face below us. After dark, we listened to the curious sounds of the latrine door repeatedly opening and The park ranger looked inspired when she found out we were going to ride the White Rim alone, just the two of us, self-supported, no vehicles. We had seen the rim from a distance so many times and now finally we would be able to be out there with it, just us and our bikes. Little did we know. We had heard it was a popular ride to do with a group of friends and a support closing and the voices of people as they When the quiet came, we were visited by a We woke with the coyotes, packed pedaling through a quiet morning. "I can’t vehicle. As we packed and prepared to go we wished our friends from the bike club back home could be with us. How fun it would be to have them with us, sharing the camping rider said. This group was accompanied by two vehicles, one adorned with a martini and camaraderie. As it was we had lucked into a three night permit just by walking into the visitor center. We had all our camping and biking gear and just needed a day to put our tour together. After a mad dash shopping for food and hiking extra water down to our: halfway, point, we were ready to go. The descent down the Shafer Trail was exhilarating, especially with the challenge of extra weight on the bike. When a bighorn ewe crossed the road within ten feet of me, I nearly fell over the handlebars. This was going to be a great trip. "Don’t just do the White Rim Trail,” the guidebook warned. "Be a traveler not a tourist.” Well said, and I took it to heart, focusing on the silence and stillness. . landscape so flag that might have been visible from the Island in the Sky. Yes, they had everything a tired cyclist could wish for: drinks, steaks, chairs, lanterns, tunes. They had thought of everything, but they couldn’t imagine... "I can't imagine doing the w ay you're This group was accompanied one adorned with a martini flag _ visible from the Island complex it was all consuming. "You're doing it the hard way.” We were to hear those words repeated each of the next four days. This particular group was camping in the other site near us on our first night. They waited patiently for their two support vehicles to pull in. We went to bed at dark ‘and listened as the group of fifteen set up, ate dinner, cleaned up, and sang Happy Birthday to some lucky friend. We waited laughed and talked while they "showered." ringtail looking for food. up and put our fresh aoa cnerey to imagine doing the way you're doing it," one doing it,” one rider said. by two vehicles, that might have been in the Sky. for the quiet to come to accompany the timeless night sky. In the angular morning light, we inspected recorded in the sandy roadbed. Later, we were much of a hurry to talk. The remainder of their Murphy Hogback and the mood of the tired the tracks of nocturnal animals’ activities passed by a couple of fast riders in too group of fifteen collected near the base of group seemed to sour at the prospect Likewise, neither would we have imagined this backcountry would be so crawling with SUVs and large groups that any expectation of finding solitude or retreat was completely unrealistic. Music, martinis, margaritas, bright lights and all the comforts of home don’t seem to be in the spirit of a national park backcountry experience. It certainly doesn’t parallel the experience proposed by Canyonlands’ first Superintendent Bates Wilson: “Come to our wilderness, but be ready to rough it." Guess of pushing up. The forces of gravity were enough that it took both of us to push one bike at a time. An hour later, we reached the top, had lunch, set up camp, then hiked a mile.to fetch our water. Visiting with our neighbors, one rider assumed we were taking turns driving the vehicle. When we explained there was no vehicle, only our bikes, he asked "How do you carry enough stuff?” His dual-suspension bike would not hold a rack with panniers. he was wrong. The conflict for the National Park Service to preserve, protect and provide for LINDA, WE'RE FINISHED! I'M GETTING THE BLAME FOR EVERYTHING!!! THEY SAY | on ENRON! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS NO MORE 4TH WHAT ABOUT ME? I'VE BEEN KICKED OFF THE REPUBLICAN LADIES’ GARDEN CLUB! THERE WON'T EVEN BE MONEY FOR ME TO GET MY ROOTS DONE.....THERE WAS THIS ONE LETTER THOUGH... Fm HOMES! OR 12 CARS! NO MORE CALLS FROM 'DUBYUH!’ EVERYBODY HATES ME!!! @ LET ME SEE THAT... HEY! THIS IS A LETTER FROM A GROUP OF PROMINENT BUSINESS (A > iy SEMI : etree oe ; BUT EN-RON a 1S DEAD AS A BEA MO-RON 19 ALIVE AND MACKEREL... ee 2 Stiles @20e2_ "KICKSTART THEIR ECONOMY!" MOTEL ROOMS? THAT'S RIGHT HONEY. AND DO YOU KNOW _ uN THEY WANT ME TO COME OUT THERE AND <= MOAB...IS THAT THE PLACE WITH ALL THE TRAMS AND CHEAP Ai MEN AND WOMEN IN SOME PLACE CALLED MOAB, UTAH...