Elberta Dunes

March 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Sam and I went riding on friday. We debated going a few places, but ended up going out by Elberta. It's only about 30 minutes from Sam's house in Payson, so we figured we could get 3 or 4 hours of riding in before it got dark.

Sam was on his bike and I was on my Z. Unlike the Grizzly, the Z and a bike can fit into the back of my truck, so we were able to ride in 1 vehicle without a trailer which was nice.

We went there last year, but this year we stopped just after we got off the highway where we saw some tiny sand dunes. Did you know there were dunes in Elberta? Neither did I. Don't get me wrong, this is no little sahara. We're talking 1-200 yards wide and maybe a mile long, but boy was it fun.

There were no big dunes, and therefore no big jumps. We mostly found ourselves finding little drop-offs or bumps to jump off of. We found one little hill that we were able to double off of that was a blast. It didn't have much of a lip, so if you hit it too fast you would buck your back end too much, and if you hit it to slow you couldn't clear the second jump. When there is are no big jumps around I love finding little technical things like this. They may not give you the same rush, but there is a certain satisfaction you get from hitting a jump just right.

There was also a bit of a loop that ran thru the dunes then west into the desert. It had some long whoop sections which were pretty fun to cruise on, although they did get a tad tiring. It's hard for me to imagine doing a long cross country race with long whoop sections. After 2 or 3 times I was definitely ready for a bit of a rest.

Once I was cruising down a long whoop section in the sand that ended in a wash. Luckily I had gone that way earlier in the day and new the bottom was mostly flat, so I slowed down as much as I could and then just jumped off of it. Tearing through whoops only to see the trail drop off ahead of you is one of those moments where you have to pause just to let your heartbeat slow down.

Along the loop there was also an old gravel pit that people have been apparently using as a target range. It's too bad people left all their old junk there. I like target practice as much as the next guy, but there aren't many things uglier than old shot up cans, Computers and VCR's.

Mike Jumping This pit did have a nice ledge we were able to drop off of in a few places. The landing was very steep, and therefore very short. Like most things do the first time I try them jumping off this ledge scared the crap out of me. Barely goosing it off the top and I landed just before the bottom. The picture doesn't really do the landing justice, and sadly the batteries died after that shot so I wasn't able to get another. Despite that I think the shot looks pretty good.

Overall this was a very satisfying trip. There are still plenty of trails for us to explore and it is relatively close so I plan on going again soon.

Next time you find yourself in Elberta. Look for some sand.

Posted by Mike |