Zen Trail that is! I've seen photos, read reports and knew it was an integral part of the True Grit Race (which is on the agenda for next year) So it was on the list to ride for sure. With the help of our map, we found the trail pretty easy and headed up. A steep double track climb up towards the Mesa edge that quickly led to narrow singletrack right along the cliff edge. Wow. Higher and higher we climbed - following the tire tracks and cairns through the maze of rocks. Big rocks. With some big moves. Nick was enjoying every minute. There were some tricky lines, but only a few places had big consequences. That made it even more fun. We practiced a few different sections, the lines between the rocks becoming more clear with each run. After one lap, we decided we hadn't had enough fun and headed back up the road. A little cleaner this time and more ability to enjoy the huge views.
Wow - from the climb up to the Mesa edge to peaking over the edge of the cliff. We could see the maze of trails below the mesa, wondering where they all went to. On our second lap, we found the trail through slick rock that we'd missed the first time. Following cairns down into the wash, I found the one section I wasn't willing to ride. Steep downhill into a choppy right into a wash. Yikes! I bailed and walked. Maybe next time...
|Looking off to the north from the top of Zen|
|View from the top of Zen, looking north.|
|One of the many rock features on the top of Zen|
|Working on the technical skills required to manage Zen|
On Wednesday, Nick met up with JD and LW for another Zen loop. Me? I ran - needed some some time off the bike to rest up for a big weekend on Gooseberry. I was planning on staying low and just running out and back on the section of trail that paralleled the road.
But after I turned around and met Nick and the gang, I suffered from a severe episode of TADD (trail attention deficit disorder - or a severe lack of being able to do out and back runs.) A road looked like it lead up to the singletrack at the top of the Mesa. So up I went. There was some power hiking as the road tipped steeper, and some cairn following as the road turned to singletrack and traced a path between two washes. And then I was on Zen. I didn't know if I was ahead or behind the of riders, but I was ready to have some fun. It was easier to follow on two wheels and just as fun as riding.
Dancing down the trail, over the rocks. I'd told Nick I was planning on running between 6-8 miles and the addition of Zen made it a solid eight. Perfect. I even had time to stretch for a while before the guys showed up.
|Shadow surveying the trail while running|
|yes - there is a trail there...|
|Nick and Lynda W at the top of Zen|