YouTube Weekly VLOG | EP26 | Mountain Biking and Geo-Mapping Valley of the Gods
Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Valley of the Gods, Utah while on contract in Fort Defiance Arizona (staying in Gallup, NM)
CAIRN TRAVELER VLOG | EP 26
This week brings a return to one of my all-time favorite places . . . Valley of the Gods in Utah for a virgin trip with my new Santa Cruz Hightower mountain bike which came this week. This brings a great opportunity to geo-map the Valley of the Gods Road for other RV'ers so the pullouts and features are easier identified.
Be creative and find your adventure this week!! ✌️😎
Valley of the Gods Road is a 17 mile dirt and gravel "unimproved" road loosely maintained by the BLM. This is a destination spot for many RV'ers but it can prove difficult to know where to pull off to set up camp so I decided to geo-map the road while mountain-biking. While I do not have much to compare it to, I found the Santa Cruz Hightower to be an excellent bike for this terrain though there were many sandy spots where the tires could not maintain sufficient traction and I had to get off and walk. I did take my gel seat cover but did not otherwise wear padded shorts.
I started at about 10am with temps in the low 80s and a nice breeze up - quite a pleasant ride. The road ended up having many more turnoffs than expected though and by the time I made it to the other end, I had gone approximately 25 miles. I had gone through most of my 3 liters of water by the time I arrived at the other side but I also found an unopened 1L Smart Water bottle which had been dropped along the way. After a short rest and some salty snacks I headed back but was alread rationing water and expected to run out long before the end (that being said, I had plenty of cold water and other drinks in a cooler in the truck waiting on me). This may seem reckless in some respects but I always have a contingency plan - in this case, there were actually quite a few vehicles moving through the valley (several had previously offered water) and I knew I could flag one down to ask for water or a ride if necessary. Had other cars passing been an issue, I would have stopped and found shade to rest until the sun went down and then continued as things cooled off. Ultimately with about 10 miles left a truck stopped and offered a ride and hot, tired, and thristy I was in no mood to turn them down so I hitched for the last 10 miles or so back to the truck but ultimately a great trip. Sidenote, on a windy dirt road, it's surprising how dirty you can get riding in the back of a truck bed (especially already sweaty).
As previously noted in the BLOG about hiking the Grand Canyon (in addition to bringing more water - at least for this trip), I should have supplemented electrolytes as well. While I've always heard it said that you can go a day without water, there is a point of diminishing returns and that's not to say that you can keep up the same pace and energy level without proper hydration - I ended up walking the last mile or so beside the bike because I just didn't have the energy to keep pedaling.
GaiaGPS Mapped Route | Valley of the Gods Road with RV Points of Interest
More photography from this trip is available both on Instagram and here on the CAIRN Traveler Galley Page (both color and in the Western Shadows Galley in black and white).
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Cameras: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max with DJI OM 4 Gimbal, Canon EOS R5 with Canon RF 24-70mm Lens and Peak Design Carbon Fiber Tripod, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, GoPro Hero 7 Black
Audio: RODE VideoMic PRO+, RODE Wireless GO, Apple AirPods Pro, and Device Native Mics
Editing: Adobe Premier Pro (Creative Cloud)
Music: Epidemic Sound, MUSICBED, Soundstripe, YouTube Music Library
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