(April 23, 2012) VERNAL, Utah. - Whew… finally on the road as of later in the day yesterday, after the Buell-rig needed some careful trailer-sorting/loading, and then a departure around 1800hrs from Carbondale. The first leg of the trip took us due west on i-70 to Rifle where we promptly decided we’d had our fill of Interstate and headed north on 13 to catch 64 to rte40 through Dinosaur to Vernal… our final destination for the evening. We’d read and heard about some epic riding (all singletrack, all the time) in Vernal, and decided that this was the ideal spot for our first documented stop, and subsequent documentation for our first ride-guide segment of our trip for #MountainFlyerMagazine.
After a ridiculously scenic drive up through a desolate-stretch of large-ranch country along the White River in Northern Colorado to reach the border, we’d decided that we weren’t in the mood for a ton of exploration for a super-ideal campsite, so we headed through Vernal straight to McCoy Flats Rd where a multitude of singletrack loops abound, and promptly pulled straight into a place we decided would suffice for the night… too close to 191 as it turned out… and delivering me about 3hrs of sleep, partitioned by passes of trucks engine-braking as they headed down the hill out of Vernal. As it turned-out, lack of sleep would be forgiven by some of the most epic and deserted singletrack probably anywhere.
We awoke, fired up a speedy-breakfast, and headed down the road to a pavilion on McCoy Flats Road, where trails branch out like a spiderweb of heaven on both sides of the road. We opted to sample the goods starting on the East side of the road beginning with Cookies>Jackalope>Serpendipity>Jackalope and then ended up back at the parking area.
At the end of the ride, we ran into Troy who owns #AltitudeCycle in Vernal, and who introduced himself as the guy who’s built the majority of the trails in the area. We got some local-beta concerning the riding on the other side of the road (we didn’t ride the other side, but hope-to on our return-leg of our trip), and were advised to NOT miss the riding on the West-side.
Dining-wise, we explored the finest messican Vernal had to offer within shotgun’s-blast-distance from the Dodge dealership, as Michael’s truck has a wiper-motor in need of replacement… so we ambled down a block to Taco el Gordo on the North side of the street and gorged ourselves on burritos, tacos and popsicles. A quick tour through the Dinosaur museum just across the street, and then a walk back up to the dealership now has us sitting on plush RED naugahyde couches at the dealership, patiently awaiting wiper-motor replacement, to see us on our way down the road. Destination this evening: Winnemucca NV, where we’ll resume blog-fest and photo-fest April 2012.