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....

The END