How Mountain Bikers Are Saving the World by Mapping It Download PDF
Five days in the proposed Bears Ears National Monument reveal great potential and many challenges, both political and physical.
SOUTHEASTERN UTAH—On a brisk, clear morning in early October, the autumn sunlight surges into Arch Canyon and sets the sandstone cliffs on fire, transforming the 250-million-year-old rock into blinding amber. A creek meanders through the chasm, producing a faint trickle. Moisture here is rare. But a spell of intense rainfall recently spawned a sudden oasis, reviving the cottonwood stands huddled beside the riverbed. I’m riding a mountain bike, exploring a trail where loose sand and frequent stream crossings make forward movement difficult. I’ve covered just three miles in an hour—glacial by mountain-biking standards. My shoes are soaked and full of grit, and I should probably turn back. Instead, I clamber onto a smooth, flat-topped boulder 10 feet above the canyon floor to have a look around. Continue reading