I am starting to see the desert in my sleep. Slick rock, blackbrush, juniper. Far off mesa tops, deep box canyons and that silvery winter sky stretching into the horizon. Amidst it all a snaking singletrack contouring over the landscape. The falling leaves and the slow descent into winter always spark that inherent desire for the wide open spaces of southern Utah.
However, the riding in the Wasatch right now is fantastic. The days are cool and crisp. The leaves are starting to turn and crumble. But as I ride, it is always with the vision of the desert in the back of my mind. I see the White Rim, the Kokopelli, and Gooseberry. I see the Jem and Sovereign and Gold Bar Rim. And I find myself wondering about what rides, what explorations, what views lie ahead.
Despite the inevitable powder days that are soon to be reality, I am not ready for winter. Not yet. In fact, I wonder with some trepidation if there is not some way to prolong this summer season, this season of singletrack. Of course, there is not. And like it always does, the snow will begin to fall. But, even more so than the prospect of ski days, it is the desert that provides that salve to the sting of an ending summer. The very idea of that empty, hostile, yet beautiful place brings a smile to my face. I see Camp Lynda and the Rim Ride and weekend trips with dawn to dusk trail rides and Mexican food. An idealistic mountain bike day.
And it all begins this weekend.
Vegas. Gooseberry. Irmita’s.