Weather definitely became a theme for this trip. It’s also silly to say that, as we decided to do a road trip in late February through high desert country...we shouldn’t have expected all that much. As we left Phoenix, it was beautiful and sunny. The desert was cool as the water percolated both down and up. However, about a half hour outside Phoenix, we hit snow. And a lot of it. Flagstaff had received over three feet in the past few days, and we were headed into the heart of it. We were bound for Virgin, Utah, as various webcams showed very little snow and sunny skies. As the hours ticked by, the snow pretty much never went away, Trevor and Henry both looking at each other in recognition but not saying much on the topic.
We arrived in Virgin that afternoon, and things actually didn’t seem so bad...a little snow on the north and east slopes, while the south and west facing slopes seemed totally dry. We cheerfully rallied up to the old Red Bull Rampage site, and jumped out the truck to go check things out. We stepped into the dirt and quickly sunk a few inches into cake batter. We left everything at the car after this observation and walked up to the iconic hip jumps (walked is a bold term; rather slid and stumbled). Things looked touch and go, and we both looked at each other waiting for someone to make an executive decision. It was muddy, the jumps were falling apart, and we were running out of daylight. Henry decided to rebuild one. Trevor hesitantly agreed, and we both quickly jumped in to make it happen.
In a half hour, the jump was rebuilt, packed, and actively drying out. After a speed run, Henry gave it a whirl, and it hit like butter. Despite clogged tires and pedals, it was game on. The light was getting good, and by golly is this a fun jump. Henry started feeling himself and ended up getting a backflip around after a year of injuries. Elated, and Trevor nailing the shot, we both jumped in the car to go get some food. We nomed down some BBQ, both once again feeling lucky to have been able to make lemonade with bad weather.
Photos by Trevor Lyden
Editorial by Henry Lanman