Mr and Mrs Kidney Stone were nice enough to join us for a weekend of fun and sun in Fruita. We left Friday morning and hit the Kokopelli Loops area that afternoon. Kris and Jolene had never been to Fruita so for an overview of what Kokopelli had to offer we did a big loop of Mary's, Lions, Mack Ridge and Moore Fun. I hadn't ridden Moore Fun in over 7 years and I remembered it being a difficult trail but not the pain in the ass that it is. It's pretty much set up on both the climb and the decent as a "MTB trials" type of trail and since I'm an XC weenie the trials, especially on the climb, ended up being a lot of hike-a-bike. The rest of the trails we rode that day were sweet and you can read all about them on my trip report from May.
On Saturday we had a blast riding the buff singletrack over in the bookcliffs. We started with the classic loop of Prime Cut, Joe's Ridge and Kessell Run which is quite possibly the most fun per mile MTB loop in the world. Next we looped Prime Cut, Chutes and Ladders, Edge Connector and Vegetarian. Then we finished with a repeat of Prime Cut, Joe's Ridge, back up to the very top of Kessell Run and finally back to the car. The first time I rode Kessell years ago I liked it but it was never near the top of my list trail wise. Now I'm starting to really love that trail. The more you ride it and get to know it the better it flows and once you get the no brakes flow of that trail it's like MTB nirvana. My only regret of the day was skipping Zippity. As I get older the pucker factor on that trail gets to be less fun and more fright but it's still a classic and I maybe shouldn't have talked us out of riding it. We finished the day with awesome food and beverage during happy hour at the Rockslide Brewery in Grand Junction.
Last time we were in Fruita we didn't have so much fun riding the Tabeguache area but I've heard so many good things about the trails there we had to try again. Armed with the Fruita guidebook on loan from Kendra we saddled up. We climbed the Tabeguache trail up to Little Park road where to save time we took pavement up to the top of The Ribbon. Rode the Ribbon down and climbed back up the connector trail to the top of The Gunny trail which we followed back to the car. This ride was much better than the ride we did in the spring but was still not great. The rideable parts of the trail were really fun but there are so many short (and not so short) portages that we got a bit frustrated. A lot of the portages could have been avoided with switchbacks or other trail alterations which also would make the trails more sustainable. The trails closer to the trailhead seem to be better than some of the trails further out so maybe we'll stick with those the next time we go. It's still a fun area but it's just not quite living up to expectations.
All in all it was a sweet trip with great riding and excellent company. It's always fun to get out of town and burn desert singletrack but I'm looking forward to some mud, sweat and tears this weekend at the CX doubleheader.
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