Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Screaming Down the Middle Finger of Death

The weather was looking up for our third day of riding. Peggy and Bill started out with us on a local mountain bike trail called the Bear Claw Poppy (also a mere five minutes from their door). The trail is a cobweb of woop-de-doos carved into the corrugated desert wash below the bluff upon which St. George is situated.

The trail itself is wonderfully smooth hard pack - buffed out by a myriad of bikers and hikers (and trail builders) before us. It's well marked, with "easy" and "more difficult" sections, so that you can customize your ride according to your appetite for destruction. Erik joked that the "more difficult" signs should have read "more fun".

After a few miles, the trail splits off; with Stucki Springs to one side, and Clavacal hill to the other. Though I'm not educated in physiology, I can tell you that the latter is not named as it is because it is shaped like a clavical. Erik seemed to really like this part of the ride - challenging to ascend and descend on account of pitch, rather than technical terrain.

Picking up on Erik's love and appetite for all things thrilling, Bob took us on a diversion to The Three Fingers of Death. The Three Fingers of Death are paths carved out on some steeper pitches than what we saw at Clavical Hill. Truth be told, there are more than three fingers. But, perhaps only three worthy of the title of a Finger of Death. I went up, and down, what you might consider the superfluous pinky finger of death. Meanwhile, Erik picked the steepest and meanest finger (the middle one, ironically) and blazed down it as we watched in wonder.

Eventually, Erik and I headed out together and Bob turned back. Erik rode slow and easy - sometimes riding ahead and looping back. It made it possible to spend most of the day together. I busted myself for going riding slowly when I yelled ahead for Erik to come back and look at something I saw on the trail. A tarantula!! Cool!! I spotted two in total; a small blue one and a giant ratty looking brown one, shown below.


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