The Plan: Start up in Mantua and ride as far south as we can traversing the Wastach range.
What Happend: Oh man did we get tired. From Mantua at 6am, ~4500 elevation, we climbed to the top of Willard peak, Traversed to Ben Lomond,
which was our high point (~9,700). We descended down Ben Lomond on great switchbacks with intermitent patches of
snow. On one snow patch I lost my footing and went on a accidental 50 ft. glissade till I finally came
to rest. Once down to ~5000 ft elevation we climbed up to Lewis peak (~9,300) to some great verdant
high-altitude meadows. We decended through scrub oak in the heat of the day. After some flat tires we reached the pine creek resivior (~5000). I bumed an extra tube off a mountain biker there and we climbed again up to Snowbasin resort on the most beautiful trails of the ride. We rested and lunched at the deserted lodge in the afternoon. Twelve hours into the ride we started up the cat tracks of snowbasin to the summit of mt. Ogden. By then I was bonking. The photo below of me with the 1000-yard stare says it all. Both of us were only able to push our bikes up the final summit to ~9,400. From there I made a phone call to tell the then significan other that I was alive. The view from Mt. Ogden was surreal In my exaustion. It was evening by that point and we needed to get down the west face of Mt. Ogden. This was the Start of the great "mystery section" ben was telling me about. The trail was faint, rocky and very steep. It was a section of the great western trail that was not used often. I lowered my seat post and one-footed down what I could and shouldered for the rest. The descent was brutal. By 11pm we were half way down and we found a rock outcroping that was the only flat place to sit down that we had seen on the descent. Here I ate more clif bars and summer sausage. I CAN NEVER EAT SUMMER SAUSAGE AGAIN. It made me really sick. We decided to bed down for the night on that rock so I got on my long jhons and sliped inside my bivy sack. The mosquitos were able to poke right through that sac and I ended up with about 100+ bites all over my sides and back. The long jhons and bivy were not very warm and the gravel surface took some exquisite positioning to be, in some remote way, comfortable. By 1 am I was shivering so much that I decided to make a rock wall around my body to keep me warmer. For about 1 hour I stacked rocks in a coffin shape around my bivy sac. Ben, who was also suffering was watching me fiddle and stack rocks and finaly inquired as to what I was trying to do. Our speech had a vacant quality about it from so much exaustion. Only the simplest phrases were possible at that point. Humor, Sarcasim, and any kind of nuance would have escaped us then. So when Ben inquired about the purpose of the structure I was making it came out as "what are you doing?" To which I replyed "I am building a rock wall." And that is all we said. The true purpose of the wall as I found out was not to keep me warm inside my bivy sac. As far as I could tell I wasn't any warmer. But for that hour that I was building it I was keeping warm at least. By 3 am Ben and I had enough and we started off down the faint game trail toward the city of Ogden far below. The trail at that point was absolutely unridable. The scrub oak was thick and I ended up with scratches and iritation all over my sides from brushing over it. About then I truly knew what suffering was. Ogden was right there but each step was excruciating. The scub oak, the mosquito bites, the summer sausage that was not digesting properly, I had saddle sores so bad, the blisters, the exaustion for riding for 24 hrs minus the 4 hr. stint on the torture rock... By sunrise we were close to Ogden and the trail was getting ridable. I felt to woozy that riding was really scary. We ended up in a dranage full of huge ferns and these big flowering plants. It was surreal. I got another flat. I replaced the tube with the final tube that I bumed earlier. Ben took off down the trail without me. I got going again only to get another flat 100 yds. later. That was it. I was done. It was a liberating feeling. All I could do was walk. I caught up to Ben who had also got a flat and we walked out to the trailhead and into an ogden suburb. I called my then significant other at 7 am, just hoping that she would (1) have her phone turned on and (2) answer it. fortunately she did both and we were saved. The cavalry was coming. I laid down in the asphalt parking lot and sort of slept for awhile...
The breakdown: About 10,000 ft elevation gain and loss in about 26 hrs in about 40-50 miles of riding.