Greetings from Beaver, Utah, where there is … not a lot going on.
We are in town for a few days so that my husband can race the Crusher in the Tushar, a gravel bike race that follows a super hilly 70-mile route through the Tushar Mountains. It looks like “fun” in the way that a lot of these things look like “fun”. A Type 2 kind of fun. An It’s fun when it’s done kind of fun.
We broke up the long drive across the Colorado western slope and Utah desert with a stop in Fruita to stretch our legs. One of my favorite trail systems on the planet is right next to the highway outside of Fruita and it was a perfect place for a break. We were hoping to both get in a quick lap on Mary’s Loop but while I was out a storm rolled in and only one of us got to ride. I felt a little bit bad about it but not too bad since my husband will be getting to spend many hours (probably more hours than he’d like to…) in the saddle tomorrow!
Mary’s is one of my favorite trails on the planet. It’s quick, relatively easy, and gives you a ton of bang for the buck. This wide open, ledgy, high desert riding is the stuff my mountain bike dreams are made of. It feels so good to be up there and I try to hit it as often as possible. This trail also holds a special place in my heart because I remember riding it, very cautiously, at 18 weeks pregnant and feeling like I was conquering the world. Active pregnancy naysayers be damned!
While I got my dirt fix in, my husband corralled the minion at the trailhead which, as far as I can tell, mostly involved watching as he rode his Strider bike down the little hill over and over and over again. When I arrived back at the trailhead they were both happy and ready to get back on the road. So that’s what we did.
I didn’t get any pictures on our drive from Fruita to Beaver but I sure wish that I would have. With cool canyons and crazy looking rock formations all over, the place is gorgeous. Rolling into Beaver was a little less impressive. This is a tiny town with not a lot to do. I knew the place was small but I was expecting a quaint downtown area that we could ramble through or .. something. There’s really not a lot here to speak of. A bunch of fast food joints, a couple local diners, and a lot of truck stops. I don’t recommend it as a vacation destination but it’s probably a fine place to grab some food if you’re just passing through.
While Beaver itself leaves much to be desired, the area around town is gorgeous. We went out this afternoon and went for a drive on the Crusher course to get the lay of the land. Rolling hills, long gravel climbs, rushing rivers, and tranquil lakes were waiting just beyond the town’s boundaries. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get ahead of the race, set up shop along the road to cheer and take pictures, and then take the kid for a paddle on one (or more!) of the many lakes up in the hills. We are kicking ourselves for springing for a hotel instead of camping. The camping in the mountains looks glorious and would surely beat the hell out of being stuck in town! You live and learn.
I’ll be honest and say I was feeling a little down on the place. And then I spun my wheels up the canyon. And we found a really good place for dinner (PSA: Patti’s Place is awesome!). And THIS SKY happened.
And I started liking Beaver a whole lot more.
My favorite part about Beaver might actually be it’s name. Even without the obvious innuendo, Beaver is a hilarious name for a town. Throw in the mind of a 12-year old boy and it’s even better. And the “I Love Beaver!” signs and shirts and bumperstickers all over town don’t hurt.
Tomorrow will be a long day of racing (and watching racers!) and then we’re off to Moab. Hope you all have a great weekend!