Dinotrax 2003 mtb festival

8.-10.8. 2003

I have been really looking forward to this festival, and got quite frustrated when I crashed and broke my finger again two weeks before it. However, a week later, as the initial pain subsided, I looked at the map of the area and figured I can have fun even riding on the road, if the trails turn out to be too difficult for one hand. The festival is organized by folks from Altitude Cycles in Vernal, and takes place at Red Canyon Lodge near southern tip of Flaming Gorge.  The location is awesome, on the northern slopes of the Uintas in ponderosa pine forest (quite unusual for Utah).

We arrived there on Fri afternoon right on time for registration. After that, we found an empty campspot at the Greens Lake USFS campground, which is within a walking distance from the lodge. This meant a certain level of luxury, as we could walk to the lodge to buy stuff and had a dinner there on Friday. No pasta cooking on this trip. Camping was free as USFS is one of the sponsors of the festival. We had a spot right next to the lake. Friday evening was a welcome party with a keg of Wasatch summer beer and a movie showing local trails. I was getting tempted on riding those, but, got chilled up the next day.

On Saturday, I figured I'll try the beginners ride on Red Canyon Rim trail, but, it turned out to be too rocky for a single hand riding. So, I bailed out and rode the road to the Flaming Gorge Dam. I rode all the way under the dam (another 150 m descent), checked the area out, and got busted by the police after I stopped at the dam to take another picture. It took them 15 min to check me out, during which I ate my lunch and checked out the map to decide what to do next. Only later Gary reminded me of the bust during the Olympics, when secret service people stopped me after taking pictures during a hike above the Olympic Village. I probably would be less calm knowing that I already am on the record. Some detail on this (only in Czech) is here.In any case, next thing was to ride back to the lodge, which took over 2 hours, since I had to seek shelter twice because of vicious thunderstroms. Luckily, each time I was close to a shelter, first time at the Flaming Gorge lodge, and second time at a USFS rest area. I got back to the camp at about the same time as the advanced ride members, who were soaked considerably more than me. Clickable map and fotos from the day are here. In the evening was party, this time in a hawaiian style, with baked fish, salad and, of course, another keg. A local bluegrass band played and most of the people went home with some sort of prize from raffle and other competitions. Naturally, we got rained on several times in the process and I spent some time at the campsite drying tent which I forgot to close.

On Sunday I coordinated with Gary who went on the famous boat ride trip. I rode a different road loop and met with the group at the lake, and rode on the road with Gary back to the car. Clickable map and fotos are here. Especially the Geological Loop was quite interesting and I took my time to go through and took a lot of pictures, so, you can also explore the geology of the are with my clickable map. After the climb back, I was ready to drive home, which I did to get back home in about 3 hours, plus time spent in Evanston, Wy. in a vain search for a good liquor store. Guess Wyoming is not like Nevada or California in this respect. In any case, it was a great weekend of riding even with one hand and I am already looking forward to the next year.

U of U / CHPC / Cuma / Travel / English / Dinotrax 03
URL: http://www.chpc.utah.edu/~mcuma/summer03/dinotrax03e.html