Wasatch Crest Trail and a Broken Collarbone

July 30, 2008

I don't have much time to tell you about my last bike ride --- and frankly my shoulder is killing me right now, so I'll spare you the gory details. But I do have a bunch of pics for you to enjoy of the Wasatch Crest Trail --- arguably the most enjoyable trail in Utah --- and I wanted to share them. That trail has a bit of everything you could want. But for me, it ended in a bit of carnage with a broken collarbone. More on that later... The Wasatch Crest Trail goes along the top of the Wasatch range, with views to the East towards Park City and The Canyons Ski Resort. And to the West are views of the Cottonwood Canyons where Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird are located. Like I said, the Crest Trail has a bit of everything you could want. It has a big uphill portion called Puke Hill (coming from the Guardsman entrance from Big Cottonwood Canyon near Brighton and Solitude ski resorts). If you like a climb, this one is definitely good for building your lungs. It then has a bit of a jeep trail towards a weather station. Then a long, gorgeous ridge ride on soft red dirt. That is followed by a steep, rocky spine in the style of Moab (see the video here for a glimpse of jimmymack's first time riding the spine). After that, it's just a looooooong gorgeous downhill singletrack for many miles before you come out of Mill Creek Canyon. I've attached a bunch of pics for you to enjoy. I went with two of my brothers-in-law, John Hollberg and Brad Alldredge. And I then ran into an old college friend, Adam Davis, at the trailhead. We all pretty much rode the whole way together, until my "incident." About halfway through the downhill into Mill Creek, after the spine, I was in a bit of an opening in the trees. I saw about 5 folks coming uphill on the trail towards me, so of course I tried to get over to give them the right of way. But I was going at a fair speed and my front tire hit a rut, throwing me over the handlebars. Yes, I tried to do the "Magnum PI-style" shoulder roll but it didn't turn out as smoothly as I thought it would. As I lay there, face-down in the dirt, I heard the guys who were on their way up the trail stopping and talking about the wreck. I had no desire to move, because I knew something would hurt. I finally got up and I could tell my shoulder was destroyed. I was in serious pain, and I just kept hearing the guys who were coming up the hill talking about "popping my shoulder back in for me like Die Hard" and stuff like that, but really I didn't feel like talking much. Much less letting ANYONE touch my shoulder. But I was still about 5 or 6 miles or more from the car, parked at the bottom of Mill Creek Canyon. So what could I do? I just gritted my teeth and rode down the rest of the downhill, in pain with each stump or rock that I rolled over. You can see I eventually made it down to the car, in the picture where I'm holding up my right arm. The doctor said it was a broken collarbone, and maybe a bit of rotator cuff. Bummer. But it doesn't look like surgery will be required. Sweet! So I don't hold this injury against the Wasatch Crest Trail. It's still one of the best trails (if not THE best trail) in all of Utah. If you get a chance to ride it and not get hurt, it will become one of your favorites. Heck --- even if you do get hurt, it could still turn out to be your favorite. Cheers, Brig

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