Monday, July 23, 2007


I was sitting on my arse watching the tube one day a few weeks ago, (right before our trip) the lead story was a young Utah boy pulled from his tent and mauled by a black bear, right thru his sleeping bag/pad and all. Now when your sitting in the comfort of your air conditioning smack dab in the middle of Iowa you think "yeah, poor kid, I hope everything turns out ok", and life goes on just like before. HO HUM. When your actually IN YOUR TENT IN BLACK BEAR COUNTRY UTAH, this thought crosses your mind in a much different way, more like "Oh shit, ya know some kid got drug out of his tent right about HERE!" which is why my LOADED rifle was with me during our little excursion, not that it would have made much difference, and really offered NO comfort as Mrs. Brakeville and I tried to get to sleep that first night, and the previous campers had left a veritable BEAR schmorgasborg of foodstuffs laying all over the place, why not eat the corn fed Iowan's? Like a big green cream filled turnover, we went to sleep in our tent. (shhhhh! did you hear THAT?)growl/snort!!! The observation above came after a few of lifes little reminders that a person really has the ILLUSION of control at any given time, case in point; When your river guide tells you "hey you know you can jump out of the boat and do these next class III rapids in your life vest"... He's right! you can, however hitting a 7 foot high wall of water tends to knock the air from your lungs, and the next time you see daylight could be downstream quite a ways, my advice? Stay in the boat, you paid for a RAFTING trip, not FLOATING... Before ANY thought of Bears entered my mind, we decided that being in the MAZE during the 106 degree days was a death wish, (the locals confirmed this), so we headed up to the La Sal Mountains instead, 15 miles to the turn off, and 14 miles of 4X4 ONLY "road" would get us to "DARK CANYON LAKE", the 4x4 road took over two hours of climbing in low range locked in, with roughly 6,000 ft of elevation gained, once at our campsite my truck decided it would not shift into any forward (or reverse for that matter) gear. Crap. Stuck in park- 30+ miles from ANYWHERE, 11,500 feet high, no tow truck in sight. what to do? well you take your bike and head downhill, 40 mph at some points on texas sized gravel to get a cell phone signal, after 10 miles or so, i was finally able to make the call, only to have my phone DIE. OK. Well we're descending toward the town of La Sal Utah (pop. 15) might as well keep going. Off we went, I'm riding ahead (kinda enjoying the massive downhill) until I feel the warm stans-no-tubes solution washing over me from my front tire, no ordinary punture, I've torn the tire big time, I whittle a piece of pine into a tire plug and we're able to close the wound with 10 lbs of air remaining, almost enough to make it to La Sal without destoying my rim...long story short, got a ride back up from a nice local rancher, fixed my truck, ( I had jammed the steering column and key switch enroute UP the "road") and we commenced camping. Oh it rained THREE times that evening, had I not been able to move my truck, it would have been sitting in axle deep had not rained there for a couple of weeks, and we camped without the bear fearing campfire going, burn ban don't you know? I rode the slickrock trail. sweet.

2,663 miles later

Friday, July 13, 2007

On Holiday!!!!!

Headed out this friday towards the Canyonlands in Utah! I'm going to miss a couple of cross country races but OH WELL! We'll be loaded with film and video, but I won't be able to post up until we get back. Slickrock Trail, Rafting the Colorado, Desert Camping, Climbing and Cayoneering I need more frickin hobbies...