Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Red Bull Rampage, Flying Monkey Bikers, and Another Visit to Tripod Rocks



The Red Bull Rampage took place in Virgin, Utah last Friday. This is an invitation only freestyle mountain bike competition where riders are judged on their choice of lines down the course, their technical ability and the complexity of tricks. When we realized the venue was just a couple miles from where we’re parked we hoped we could hike up near the course to watch some of it. Unfortunately spectators had to buy tickets, which had long been sold out, but Jim did some research and found that it would be broadcast live on Red Bull TV, which we were able to get through our Roku device. Very exciting to watch, but I can’t imagine how anyone gets up the nerve to do this. If you’re interested there are some videos here on the Red Bull website.

On Saturday we didn’t want to hike anywhere near Zion, as there are throngs of people in the area, so we drove up to Hurricane Mesa (aka Flying Monkey Mesa). A few years ago we rode our bikes on the dirt roads up on the mesa, but Jim’s left buttock is still not up to sitting on a bike seat, so a hike along the rim would have to do. We were joined by Debbie, Chris, and Andre and Rose, who pulled in the previous day. No Mark and Bobbie, as they were in Las Vegas, where Bobbie caught a flight to VA to visit family and attend a class reunion.



I found this bottle of Benchmark whiskey, but Andre made Rose smell it and she declared it to be well-aged urine. Yuck!





We found lots of pieces of petrified wood, including this large tree trunk wedged in the rock.


We thought we could see the Flying Monkey bike trail so we went looking for where it drops off the edge.



Andre and Chris going down the trail.


I had to crawl down on my butt, and couldn’t imagine anyone riding this, but then along came a couple of cyclists.


They were scoping it out and trying to find the best line.



The first one to try it crashed but was not hurt. The second one made it with no problem. If you get down the rocks there is a sharp left just after the landing. Miss the turn and it’s all over. The trail goes left where Andre and Chris are standing.



We watched several more riders, some who made it look easy, and others more wise who walked their bikes down. No danger in us ever even trying this trail, and we were amazed that so many were.


Yesterday Mark proposed a hike off Kolob Terrace Road at the Wildcat Trailhead in Zion to their secret tripod rocks. Jim elected to pass since his body is not yet ready for a long steep hike, but Chris, Andre and Rose, and I were game. It was my third time doing this hike, and each time we’ve gone a different route, so it never gets boring.



Just pick a path down, and keep going down. It’s much steeper than it looks.




Lunch break by the tripod rocks.




Since we were close to the entrance to the upper Subway route, we decided to hike another half mile to take a peek into the canyon.




Along the way we saw three young people with two camera men filming their Subway hike. It looked like a lot of equipment to have to haul along, especially since this route involves rappelling to get to the floor of the canyon.


We watched them recreate this same segment several times. It was pretty funny.


When the trail dropped sharply we decided it was time to turn around and work our way back up.








It was a perfect day for a hike on the quiet side of Zion.


Sunday was Jim’s birthday, and for lunch we all went to Fort Zion, a touristy looking western decor restaurant and gift shop in Virgin. What a pleasant surprise, as all of their food is made from scratch and was excellent. We had a really good black bean burger on a wonderful whole wheat bun, the others had ribs, and we shared some pumpkin pie for dessert. We would highly recommend it if you’re in the area.    


  1. Another great hike! You certainly earned your trip to Fort Zion! We put a chopped & fried black bean burger into mushroom soup - serve or toasted english muffin ... Easy, quick biscuits and gravy.

  2. Thanks for another great tour of the area. Ratzzz on me waiting too long.

  3. Suicide, the painful way.
    Good shots of the tripod walk :)

  4. Just love all your simply fabulous red rock pictures. I can't even begin to imagine biking down that trail with all those colorful folds. Wonder how many people have been hurt there. Never heard of Roku. Glad it worked for you. Sounds like Jim's fall was much worse than mine. I'm not surprised since I was barely moving when I was flattened. Hope you are 100% soon Jim.

  5. The Flying Monkey acrobats- Some of us freeze as we crest the trail and see the obstacles below, others, pivot their center of gravity over their pedals, push their weight way back over their saddle and flow through the obstacles. How the hell do they do it?

  6. We need to explore the "quiet" side of Zion. It looks beautiful.

  7. No way I'd ride a bike on that trail. I don't particularly like to hike where there's bikes. But it is super spectacular scenery.

    Happy belated Birthday! Hope you're feeling better.

  8. It never ceases to amaze me what real (crazy) mountain bikers will ride! Way too scary for me!

    I'm loving vicarious red rock hiking with you!

    Happy Birthday Jim!

  9. The tri-pod rocks are so cool! Thanks for taking me along where I'll never tread in my own shoes :-) Those cyclists must have nerves of steel to even attempt those trails - but it must be great fun to watch them do it! Your pics of the red rock are spectacular.

  10. Looks amazing! I can't wait til I get to travel to Utah some day.

  11. Happy Birthday, Jim!!

    Those bikers are crazy! I watched the video and wouldn't dream of hiking it! Amazing!!

    Ahhh:) The tripod rocks!! I love this hike and one day we will get back for try three to find those rocks:)

  12. Beautuful pictures. Happy Birthday Jim! What an awesome hike

  13. I would love to comeback to this area since we already did most of the trails within Zion. This is a great hike!
    Happy Birthday Jim, I hope you are feeling much better now.

  14. What beautiful country! I can't believe we still haven't gotten to Zion. You have given us some great ideas. Happy birthday Jim. Sounds like you had a great birthday meal. Hope your body is now feeling better since your fall.