Keeping it real along the 100-mile White Rim Trail

As for just about everyone, it had gotten to the point where I put plans on our calendar in pencil versus pen. 2020 was dealing all the wrong cards, until a small yet mighty posse of friends and family partnered up with Mother Nature and we were dealt the perfect hand.

The full harvest moon rose over the La Sal Mountains as we sat perched over the notorious Shafer Trail, so precariously carved into the cliffs of Canyonlands. The next morning we would roll out and down, down, down — seven tight switchbacks descending roughly 1,500 feet over five or so miles to greet the White Rim Trail. Seventy-two of the 100-ish miles ahead of us in the next two days would follow the aptly named sandstone trail looping around and below the Island in the Sky mesa.

Morning greeted us with the glory of a desert sunrise, strong coffee in my camp mug, and the anticipation of what the day would hold. We knew how far we would pedal, yet not how long it would take us. We knew we...

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