After the holidays there comes a moment of relief–not that we don’t enjoy our families and visitors, but relief that a good year has passed and a bright outlook for the coming year. To ring in the New Year, Kim and I always try to start off on the right foot. This year was no exception as we headed into the backcountry of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park to kick of 2016.
The difference this round was the addition of fat bikes. These massively wheeled mountain bikes allow a degree of float over sand, snow, and rock. Like never before, we were able to travel faster and comfortably through the some of the few canyons and jeep trails open in the National Parks to these new type of bikes. Why fat bikes? Aside from the winter blanket of snow, the miles of sand that has slowed us down many times before would crunch under the large tires and allow a simpler and easier form of travel. What we didn’t anticipate was the surreal nature of the method. Travelling through the rock walls and over anything in our path provided a new and beautiful way to explore this vast and extraordinary landscape.
Needless to say, it was an exceptional journey. Travelling via means of bike changed the experience in a way neither of us anticipated combining the best of both worlds–slow, contemplative travel similar to hiking, but efficient and entertaining like driving a 4×4. I hope that between wilderness and the National Parks, more people can experience these places in such a beautiful way.