Fruita Mtn Biking
	  September '06

Camping at the "North Fruita Mtn Biking Preference Area" campground:

[Don't be deceived--the place was packed with bikers!]

Riding Mary's Loop and Horsethief Bench just S of the Loma exit. Looking down on Horsethief Bench:

How you get from Mary's Loop down to Horsethief Bench: [When I was at the bottom, coming back up, I actually saw a fellow ride 2/3rds of the way down this. I was amazed.]

The Colorado from Horsethief Bench:

A rider on Horsethief Bench trail from Mary's Loop:

The only tricky place on Mary's Loop is at a pour-off. Checking, I decided it would NOT be a good route down to Horsethief Bench:

Then I went out to Rabbit Valley, to camp at a wonderful Syncro spot that Bob Stevens and I found a couple of years ago:

Pretty good, eh?

The only trouble is mice:

Some old markings along McDonald Creek (the way in and out):

After a (wonderful) burger at Munchies in Fruita, I headed east on US 50 to Whitewater and then up Lands End Road to Grand Mesa. Climb from 4500' to 10500' on a road built in the 30s by WW I vets, sort of an adjunct to the CCC: If you look at the top of the photo, you can see the gash of Unaweep Canyon and then the La Sals in Utah on the skyline. [Unaweep Canyon is very interesting--a long canyon that is "down" at both ends from a high point in the middle, but subtle enough that few realize it when they drive it--a great drive from from Whitewater to Gateway on the Dolores River.]

Near the top, the aspen leaves covered the road like gold coins:

At the top of the mesa, there is a CCC observatory building-- all closed up because it was winter up there--snow drifts in the trees. But a view of Grand Junction & Fruita area. If you are familiar with Mt Garfield looming along I-70 at Palisade, see how small it looks in this shot! It was winter up on Grand Mesa, but you can see it was another wonderful day for biking out at Fruita....