Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Biking the Slickrock

I finally made it down to Moab for the epic mountain biking that is world famous. Kirk and I headed down Thursday night and pulled into Moab at about 1:00 in the morning. Most of the campgrounds were full, so we headed down a dirt road just outside of town, found a relatively flat spot on the ground and rolled out the sleeping bags. I was a bit under prepared for the cold desert nights and spent the night freezing in my drafty bag. On all three nights we camped under the stars and Kirk made sure he slept about thirty yards away from where I made my bed, he said that I am loud.

That first morning we got ourselves ready and made our way to the Slickrock trail. Kirk said he has been on the trail numerous times, but with someone that has never been to Moab it is a must ride, so thats what we did. I cannot believe the riding that we were able to do on that slickrock. The tires are able to grip that rock like nothing I've seen before, which allows a mountain bike to climb, side hill and descend on terrain that is sometimes quite intimidating. We seemed to make good time on the trail, but were riding for a few hours. That was more bike riding than I have ever done at any other time in my life and it was incredible.

That afternoon we were able to ask around and find some information on some places that we could make our best efforts at catching some fish. We headed to a lake outside of town and fished it for quite some time before finally we started throwing a lure that caught some fish. Of course this is my secret lure that I barely shared with Kirk and never reveal to anyone, (especially my advanced technique). The next afternoon following our second day of riding we returned to this lake for more fishing but only after we had partaken of the waters ourselves.

Having camped out in the desert for two nights and rode our bikes hard for two days we were a bit colorful in the odor department and needed a shower. We first attempted to catch a shower at a local Hostel, but with no one around to help us and a long line of far more "colorful" people ahead of us to take a shower we opted out. Once we reached our fishing destination we realized the watery bounty before us and dared each other to bath in the freezing cold lake. After some coaxing we each stripped and dipped. It was either the great washing with soap and water or the intense cold, but I felt extremely invigorated afterwards.

Two of the three nights in Moab we ate at a local pasta joint that had some incredible food. The place was always hopping with plenty of comers and goers but all of it made for a unique atmosphere and some killer food. Our second day of riding was on the souverign trail that was also an incredible ride, and that afternoon we spent an hour or two catching some rest and even a few zzz's at the park along the river. The whole trip was outstanding and I cannot wait to get back and ride more of that rad slickrock and incredible trails that are all over this place.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What the Willard

The weather here in Cache Valley has remained quite cold and has yet to feel like spring in anyway. A couple weeks ago Kirk and I set out for Willard Bay with the boat in tow. I had never fished at Willard at all, but Kirk informed me that there is all kinds of fish in that little sea, and that day it did indeed feel like a sea. The wind was howling across the water and was bone chilling cold. Of course ours was the only truck in the parking lot. The little 12' Jon boat we were in was not a fan of the two foot waves that kept pounding the sides and even spilling over into the boat. Though small in comparison I felt as if we were crab fishing on the Bering Sea tossed too and fro by the powerful waves on an episode of The Deadliest Catch. In all seriousness it was very intense and Kirk for the first time in his life put on his life jacket and cinched it up tight. At one point during our weathering the storm it actually snowed on us. Needless to say we did not catch any fish that day and did not stay long at all.

The next trip to Willard Bay we made a couple of weeks later and it was a completely different trip. The weather was nice and even felt a bit like spring. We had Kirk's cousin, Chad, on board with us this time and we were heading out to fish for walleye or wipers, either one would do. We fished for hours and hours with no luck at all. We had crisscrossed the entire bay and had not even had so much as a bite. Then all of a sudden out of the blue I snagged into what I thought was just a log or rock, but as I quickly noticed it was a fiesty little fish. Kirk and I had been fishing all day for the wipers and then quite unexpectedly I had one on the end of my line. I did not waste anytime fighting the fish for fear that I might loose him, so I just muscled him in and Chad netted the fat sucker. It was a beautiful wiper bass, pretty good size, but definitely thick and fat. It was really the only moment of excitement the entire trip, but those few seconds of intense reeling action on my pole was worth the entire days work to catch that bugger.

With three of us in the small Jon boat it makes for a much more intense fishing trip. The weight loads the boat down so as we push through the water, it seeps over the front and in the rivets, which soaked my rear and most everything else as well. Once I caught that fish it gave all of us a energy boost to fish that much harder and before we knew it we were fishing in the dark with a long way to get back to shore. Once we stopped fishing and started back to the marina it took us forever to get back. I don't recall exactly but it seems that it was around 20 to 30 minutes of travel time, which is not really too bad, except that when our top speed is 5 mph it makes for a slow trip home.

That Wiper is one of my top notch fish, at least here in Utah. The Silver and King Salmon in Alaska are hard to top, but Utah fishing is still incredible.