All is Well in the Swell

Get lost in the wilderness with Mike Debernardo and his buddies as they head out to check out the trails, or lack of them, in the San Rafael Swell region of Utah. When you get this remote it’s mostly about riding whatever the terrain puts in front of you, looking at some of those climbs makes my knees hurt just thinking about it, but the rewards, as always are worth while!

“After cracking a celebratory beer I was sitting comfortably in the warmth of my sleeping bag in the small camper trailer. I wasn’t really asleep but my brain was floating in that space between conscious thought and dreams. It was about 12:30 in the morning and we just got done with a very slow 5-hour drive. The light from a little flashlight filtered through the whiskey bottle that I just took a warming pull from and dimly illuminated the space in a pale orange glow. It was peaceful and it was quiet.

The loud blast of the 12-gauge shotgun only startled me a little bit. The childish laughter that followed seemed appropriate. I knew we were in for a good time when John came back in from rummaging around the back of the Jeep and shooting random things in the desert and asked if it scared me. Drifting to sleep was easy enough, although with the anticipation of riding some of the most technically challenging trails in the state my dreams got the best of me. I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night because I thought for sure that I had at least three broken spokes on my front wheel.

Hot weather and hot babes, okay maybe the weather wasn’t that hot, on the second morning the water jug had chunks of ice in it. And okay, maybe there were no chicks, but it was still really fun. In fact, there was hardly anyone around except for us. The San Rafael Swell is a big, desolate place. Perfect for switching off the cell phone, playing in the sand and relaxing for a bit. Bikes, beer, guns, and bacon; all is well in the Swell.”

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