Tuesday, June 28, 2011

100 Miles* is Still Not Enough (Logan Canyon, Tony Grove, Bear Lake and Strawberry Canyon)

As promised, I did ride the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway yesterday.  I snapped a few photos for you.  Each one met the four requirements set forth in my last post.  As I was riding, I realized I should have listed one more point.  So here it is:

5.  Stopping will not cause me undue concern about being late for work.  Or endanger my ability to arrive at my  final destination before dark. (You know how I feel about riding at night.)  Because playing beat the clock (lap times not withstanding) takes some of the fun out of it.  And why partake in what is widely recognized as a fairly dangerous activity if you’re not enjoying it?

Here’s a photo of the Rick Springs Area. 

Logan Canyon Ride Rick Springs-2

No, there is not usually water rushing over the pedestrian bridge.  It’s been an unusual year here, and Logan River has exceeded flood stage.  The daily flood warnings continue.  Areas of the road were reinforced  with temporary berms of sand and gravel to guard against the rising river.  That sand and gravel will no doubt find its way onto the roadway over the course of the summer (grumble).  But not today!   This little spot has always intrigued me, but it took a stinging insect in my sportsbra to actually get me to pull over.  What timing!

I can report that the pavement on the side road up to Tony Grove is in fine form.  Not a defect to be seen.  It's definitely not regulation width though, so I recommend a recon lap to map it out in your head before testing your limits.

Here’s a fun left hander.  Or right hander.  Depending on which way you’re going.

Logan Canyon Ride 021

I thought there might be snow on the Tony Grove road, but so far, so good!

Logan Canyon Ride 018

Aieeee!  The Duc stops here.

Logan Canyon Ride 006

I could have managed another 50 yards or so winding my way through a clear tire track a few inches wide, but I’m glad I didn’t.  With no way to turn around, I’d just have to push the bike backwards, expensive track boots in the snow, to get back out.  I did walk the final quarter mile or so to the lake.  Slogging a half mile in snow several feet deep, wearing inappropriate footwear and thirty pounds of safety gear at 8100 feet definitely qualifies as my exercise for the day.

There’s a lake around here somewhere…

Logan Canyon Ride 014

Ahh!  That’s better.  This is what I expect to see when I ride up to Tony Grove.  Like I said, it’s an unusual year here in Logan Canyon.

Tony Grove Lake Panorama-1

Archival photo graciously provided by C.S.  I do believe my only photos of this lake are from back in the days of actual film and are in a closet somewhere in Tucson.  Hard to believe.

If you can tear your eyes from the view (and even the most hopeless adrenalin junkie will have difficulty, the Bear Lake overlook is that much of a showstopper), and not let the scent of sage brush and wildflowers distract you, there are some fine fast sweeping turns to be enjoyed as you make your way down from visitor's center at the east end of the canyon into Garden City, UT.  RazzleBlueDazzle! were my words, I do believe, when I waxed poetic about Bear Lake back in 2008. It’s worth repeating.
Logan Canyon Ride Bear Lake crop

For nine summers now I’ve been telling myself I’m going to spend a day photographing this lake.  The myriad brilliant blues to the south, the lesser known marshy Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the north…  Still waiting on this one.

Garden City is as fine a place as any to grab an American diner style bacon cheeseburger with fries.  (If you’re looking for portabellas and Kobe beef, better to hit ZinBurger in Tucson.)  Toss in a raspberry shake, for which the area is famous, and you’ve got… a really, really full belly.  I find it worth the discomfort and usually opt for the "Home Town Drive-In", if for no other reason than their fine grassy picnic area.  I’ve also learned you can get a freshly made donut and espresso across the street at the Holey Cow.  Good to know for those morning rides.

Continue north, into Idaho, proceed through Strawberry Canyon (ID 36) and loop back down into Utah. Return home via the north end of town, where you can check a few errands off the list to tell yourself you’ve gotten something done instead of squandering your afternoon in sinful play.

Dinner that night?  A bowl of muesli.  Turns out I was late for work.

*This trip actually clocks in at 145 miles.  Add 14 miles for each additional run up and down the Tony Grove road.  (You’ll want several.)  Still, Not. E. Nough.

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