Fruita in the fall is becoming an annual trip for us. There is nothing better than ending an excellent MTB season with a long weekend ripping desert single track. In the past 10 or so years I have introduced quite a few people to the wonders of Fruita. This year the Fruita virgins we brought along to sacrifice were the Buzzards.
We arrived Thursday afternoon to temps in the low 40’s and partly cloudy skies. The sunniest place in the area seemed to be Rabbit Valley so we headed out there to ride. Rabbit Valley is the only place in the area we had never gotten around to riding and we were in for a real treat. We took Trail 2 to the Kokopeli trail over to the West Rim trail which was absolutely spectacular. Imagine riding the White Rim except on sweet 1-track and you have the West Rim trail. I can’t believe we waited this long to ride that trail. Defiantly one of the hidden gems of Fruita. After finishing the West Rim I missed the turn which would have linked us back to the Kokopeli and our car. After about 45 mins of climbing which took us most of the way towards Westwater I realized my mistake. By the time we turned around the sun was close to setting and we ended up riding the Kokopeli back to the car without lights in freezing temps. Riding in the desert under the nearly full moon without lights was a kind of cool experience but not one I would like to repeat.
The Buzzards arrived that afternoon and we met them for dinner. Since the weather was supposed to be cloudy and cold again on Friday we decided to do a couple short loops in the Tabaguache area near Grand Junction and then hit happy hour. It was barely above freezing when we started at noon. We climbed up Pete-e-Keys and headed down Lemon Squeezer. It had been raining and snowing earlier in the week and when we got to the base of Lemon Squeezer we ran into a field of pretty nasty wet clay. Strange because everything else around was dry. We slogged out of the clay and back to the car. The girls bailed for Latte’s and warmth while T-buzz and I headed back out to hit some of the higher and drier trails. We did a loop of Pete-e-Keys, Holy Cross, Miramonte, Ali Ali, and Kurts back to the car. Pretty fun loop with a lot of excellent well thought out technical on Holy Cross that was just a bit beyond my XC weenie skills. We hit Happy Hour at the Rockslide for dinner and dropped $18 to see Zombieland at the Carmike. Laughed my ass off! Probably the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.
The weather improved on Saturday and we headed over to the Kokopeli trailhead to ride my all time favorite desert singletrack loop. Mary’s-Rustler-Horsethief-Steve’s-Lion’s-Troybuilt. Almost 30 miles of 1-track bliss.
For a finale on Sunday we hit the trails at 18 road. Prime Cut-Joe’s Ridge-Kestle Run was loop one and we finished with a loop on Zippity. Zippity has become a victim of its own success. Too many Fred’s skidding down the hills have turned the wicked fun trail into a loose, rutted mess. Too bad but there are plenty of other trails around to ride plus rumors of a new loop being built out there are intriguing.
Fall Fruita 2009 was a sweet success. Nothing beats a weekend of great trails and great friends.