Waiting for Kokopelli


About this time last spring, we were all sitting in a friend’s living room in Grand Junction, Colorado, staring incredulously at the evening weather round up. The national weather service had been tracking a storm front moving across the country from the Pacific. It would arrive on Western Slope in two days and a series of hazardous weather statements told of the carnage that would ensue. Strong winds, cold temps, heavy rain, flooding and snow in the mountains. Travel was not recommended. We’re talking cars and trucks, let alone bikes.

Yet here we were, packed and ready to start riding the famed Kokopelli’s Trail in the morning. In two days we’d be smack in the middle of our ride, somewhere out in the desert between Fruita and Moab. Tarp camping with tiny down sleeping bags. On the one hand, we’d all traveled down here from Alaska for this legendary backpacking tour. And if you postpone your plans any time it’s going to rain, you won’t do too much. But it’s different in desert canyon country. Things wash out and can flood in hurry. And did we really want to be those ‘hardcores’ from Alaska that made the news?

So we hung out in GJT, sampling the stellar singletrack around there until the front moved in. Which it did with a vengeance. Cliffs turned into waterfalls, roads washed out and a foot of fresh snow covered the San Juan’s. It’s known as the ‘Mother’s Day Storm’ to this day. When the carnage cleared out, we got on our bikes and started the ride. Sometimes patience really does pay off.

Cheers | Matt & Agnes Hage

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