The skies quickly became blue and sunny again. I thought (wrongly) that I wouldn’t run into any more storms. Not wanting to drive all the way to Park City and not accomplish my goal of riding the Wasatch Crest, I pushed forward.
Finally, nearing the top of the mountain range, I came to Shadow Lake. The skies were still blue, and, I congratulated myself on nearing the summit and thought that I could outrun any more storms by riding quickly down the Wasatch Crest trail.
I was pretty tired by the time I finally started on the Wasatch Crest Trail. I can see why the first part is called Puke Hill because its a really steep incline. The views on the Crest were amazing.
Off in the distance, I saw some dark clouds gathering again. But, I thought I could outrun the storm. However, by the time I got about halfway down the Wasatch Crest Trail, the clouds appeared much closer. I realized that I had made a big mistake tempting mother nature again. I already escaped her once today, and now she was coming after me again. I turned back and literally pedaled for my life. The Wasatch Crest trail is at about 10,000 feet and there would be no Yurtinal to save me this time. I could hear the storm getting closer. Finally, I started descending and made it about 1,100 feet down in about 20 minutes. I was hoping to make it to Brighton ski resort. By now, the rain had started to hit me and the thunder was much closer.
I realized I wouldn’t make it to Brighton and so, I sought shelter under the front roof of a home near the trail. It makes your hair stand on end when the lightening strikes and then you hear the thunder clap so loud that it sounds likes its hitting only a few yards away. I was asking myself why I hadn’t just turned around after surviving the first storm. Now, I didn’t have any indoor shelter to run to. As the lightening struck, I nervously wondered if the next one might hit me. I do still want to attend my kid’s wedding, graduation and know my grandchildren. What is the continued appeal of engaging in risky outdoor activities?
Finally, the storm passed. The skies were still a bit cloudy though. I rode down Big Cottonwood Canyon and was glad, once again, to have made it out safely. Wasatch Crest is an amazing trail. I will have to ride it again sometime, just not during a severe thunderstorm!!