It was a busy, busy weekend for this rider. After more than 3 weeks of almost constant rain, this weekend the sun came out to play, and temperatures were in the 80’s!. There was a lot going on, and I had been invited to by two different groups to ride through East Canyon (a favorite among riders here…. clearly). One group was going Saturday, and the other Sunday. I hadn’t yet met either group, so I to go planned to go on both rides.
Saturday’s ride was with the group SL, UT Riders, and was going up Emigration Canyon, dropping into East, heading through Morgan to Trappers Loop and then up through Ogden Canyon. I was pretty excited to go, But I had a lot of things to get done, including shopping for a new helmet (mine was stolen– another post). I found a helmet I was interested in but there are only a few places in the valley that sell the brand.I chose to go to Layton, it was farther away but traffic is not as bad, and I’m more familiar with the area. I didn’t leave my house until about 1, and arrived around 1:30. I spent time looking around and trying on some different helmets. I did find one I like, but I had to order it. Anyway, by the time I left I knew I’d never make it back to meet the SL,UT riders in time. I considered just riding home, but couldn’t stand wasting such a wonderful day.I headed east towards I-84 and Weber Canyon. One of my favorite things about riding on I-84 is Devil’s Slide. It’s a geological formation of two parallel limestone strata that have turned vertically and are now protruding out of the hillside. As far as I can tell there is only one other like it, in Montana. There are pull offs on either side of the highway, and so I pulled off to get a few photos. (See some more photos here). After spending a fair amt of time at the “slide” I headed on down the road. I wanted to ride East Canyon and I was getting hungry, so I exited in Henefer. After about 2 miles, I pulled off the road next to a farm and some very pretty drainage ponds, to snap a picture of the rocky pass I had just ridden through. I noticed the field next to me was full of Red-wing Blackbirds, and they were in full courting behavior. If you don’t know already I’m a huge bird nerd. So this was fascinating. I stayed and watched/photographed the birds for a while, until I could ignore my stomach no longer.
I hopped on my bike and stopped at “Grump’s” my favorite (and possibly the only) gas station in Henefer. I grabbed a soda and some granola bars. I sat outside eating my “lunch” attempting to make dinner plans back in Salt Lake when “Diva Amy” rode up. Most riders turn and look when they hear the growl of a motorcycle, I am no exception. This time it did not disappoint. Amy’s bike has a custom leopard print paint job with a heart on the tank, a bejeweled air filter, and a custom leather seat with the words “Diva Amy” on it. Her plate was also personalized. Amy herself was quite interesting, a woman in her 60’s with short spiked hair, dyed red about the same as the accents on her bike.I watched her make some loops in the parking lot, and once she parked I approached her. I really wanted a closer look. She told me that this was her first bike, but has another that she prefers for longer rides, but still really likes this one. She was fueling up for a trip on Sunday through the Monte Cristo pass. She headed inside, and I took a quick photo, secured my bike, and headed out towards East Canyon.
I had only ridden about 4.5 miles when I saw a swarm of bugs ahead. “GREAT,” I thought, and ducked my head. I made it through with minimal squashing. I was relieved until all of a sudden my left arm began to burn. As I processed the pain in my arm, I filled with terror… THEY. WERE. BEES. I immediately began flapping my shirt up and down to try and free any that had gotten stuck inside, and I pulled off as soon as I could (a dirt pull off ~.5 miles after I was stung). I jumped off my bike and started removing my scarf and continued flapping my shirt. There were two men (and their bikes) there who had pulled off the rode for a smoke, and they looked at me curiously. “I just rode through a swarm of bees!” I said, only slightly concerned with how odd I must appear. One of the men saw one on my head, and we found two more on my bike. I could only see one actual sting but my arm was burning. My arm felt like it was on fire, and I didn’t want to get back on my bike, but one of the guys started creeping me out. He asked if I always rode alone, and stated how it would take a long time to get help if something happened, so even though my arm was still throbbing, I hopped on my bike and sped off.
At this point I was eager to get home, it was getting late and I needed to treat my arm. But I didn’t want to waste the trip, so I made a few more stops. The first was quick stop at the East Canyon Reservoir to take a few photos and to make sure my arm had stopped bleeding. I then headed up East Canyon. There is NOTHING like riding up a windy canyon road on a gorgeous, warm day. I am always taken a back by the beauty. It was so gorgeous I decided to try recording my ride with my phone, and was successful except the video is wobbly/shaky. I’ll post them soon. The second time I stopped was to take photos at the top of the canyon and headed down. I finished out my ride through Emigration Canyon.
All in all it was a wonderful day of solitude and riding. It reminded me of why I wanted to start riding in the first place. I was sad that I didn’t make it on the ride with the group, but there will be plenty of time for that.
Overall it was a great weekend. I have decided I want to start dedicating Sundays to a different ride every week, possibly combined with a hike as well. There are just so many places to explore here and I’m not going to let this summer go to waste. I’m going to make calendar of ride/activities, and if anyone wants to join, feel free to message me and we can meet up!