Thursday, November 5, 2015

I have to admire a park that names sections of itself after people who were
injured there.
Curt Gowdy State Park, which straddles Cheyenne and Laramie,
Wyo., is that kind of place, and I got to ride bikes with the man whose fall
inspired Bruce’s Bounce.

There’s no shame in taking a tumble
at Gowdy – I know I took a couple.
The park is one of 24 U.S.
sites
deemed Epic Rides by the International Mountain Biking Association for their
challenging nature.
It hasn’t had much recognition beyond that, but it
should: even if singletrack mountain biking isn’t your thing,
there’s 37 miles of hiking, bountiful photo ops from the Laramie
Mountains, fishing, horseback-riding, and even archery.Bruce’s Bounce
isn’t the only injury-related part of Gowdy park –
there’s also Gordo’s Rock, named after a biker named Gordon who,
yes, hit the rock.
But it’s named after Bruce Burrows, and it’s
a section of the Canyons Trail overlooking Crystal Reservoir that was narrower
than it is now.

Make sure to ride or hike along the Stone Temple Trail.
(Photo: Greg
Keraghosian)
As Burrows tried to walk his bike through the spot, he slipped
and plunged about 15 feet: “I went headfirst straight downhill, I
didn’t even have time to get scared I went so fast,” he
said.
“I literally bounced off the rock with my chest, which gave me a
chest contusion but it bounced me out onto the water, which broke my
fall.
That [trail] has now been widened out quite a bit.
It’s very
rideable, but people need to exercise caution on those trails.” Get
ready to ride over lots of granite.
(Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
What makes the
park’s trails so challenging is also what makes them so scenic: the
geographic variety, with steep inclines, lots of exposed granite and many
twists and turns.
Not to mention the altitude, which ranges from 6,800 feet to
7.700 feet – I rode three hours of just under nine miles here, which
felt like more because I had just landed from sea-level San
Francisco.

“A Gowdy mile is a lot longer than another mile,”
Burrows said.Most of the trails are exposed to the sun, which can also drive
up the temperature on a hot day, but there are rewards: at one point I took a
wrong turn near Hidden Falls, where sweaty riders or hikers can splash
themselves with water to cool off.

Related: Better than ‘Breaking
Amish’ — a Bike Ride Through Indiana’s Amish Country
If you’re overheating from the trails, you can cool off at Hidden
Falls.
(Courtesy: Visit Cheyenne)
You don’t have to push yourself hard
here to have fun at Gowdy park, named after the former sportscaster: The
2.6-mile Shoreline trail is wide and flat, with just some gravel, and despite
my mountain-biking inexperience I handled much of the new Rocking V trail
without having to dismount (though I definitely had to at times).

With some
help from Anthony from Cheyenne’s Rock On Wheels bike shop, I was also
able to handle some more challenging sections, such as the 10-foot drop from
Hardee’s Rock.
It took me several tries to psych myself into barreling
down that granite.Related: Yes, Even City Slickers Can Learn to Fly Fish in
Wyoming
Me after finally conquering Hardee’s Rock.
A bike or hike to the
Stone Temple Trail is also a must – it’s the core trail of the
park and offers a fantastic photo op of the rock formation it’s named
after.
And the Crow Creek Trail is most popular with hikers, as it leads
straight to Hidden Falls.But if you lust for challenge, you can have a
spirited debate about the toughest sections of the Curt Gowdy: the 2% Trail is
so named because that’s how many people are supposedly able to ride
it.
El Alto is the highest point of the park (7,700 feet) and steep; the
half-mile Skin & Bones Trail (yup, that’s what it’s called)
has the steepest downhills.Related: Bike, Bike, Baby: Coolest Destinations for
Fat Tire Biking
One of the scenic views from over a mile high.
(Photo: Greg
Keraghosian)
And then there are the Play Areas – highly technical,
rocky outposts where only experienced bikers need apply, meaning I could
not.
I was told one mother complained to the park’s visitor center that
there wasn’t a swingset in the Play Area.

And if riding in the
daytime isn’t challenging enough for you? The park is open all night
– you need only bring a head lamp to guide you.
Running into some horseback riders.
(Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
Along the
way we ran into three women riding their horses with their dalmatians tagging
along – as idyllic a scene as I could imagine on this day.
Horses
aren’t provided for rent – you’ll need to bring your
own.
Crystal and Granite reservoirs both offer trout and salmon fishing, and
if archery is your sport, there’s a range in the western end of the
park.

WATCH: 9 Unexpected Surfing Spots
Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Check out our original adventure travel series A Broad Abroad.
Curt Gowdy State Park, which straddles Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyo., is that
kind of place, and I got to ride bikes with the man whose fall inspired
Bruce's Bounce.
Bruce's Bounce isn't the only injury-related part of
Gowdy park – there's also Gordo's Rock, named after a biker named Gordon
who, yes, hit the rock.
Make sure to ride or hike along the Stone Temple
Trail..Related: Better than ‘Breaking Amish’ — a Bike
Ride Through Indiana’s Amish Country
If you’re overheating from the trails, you can cool off at Hidden
Falls.
(Courtesy: Visit Cheyenne)
You don’t have to push yourself hard
here to have fun at Gowdy park, named after the former sportscaster: The
2.6-mile Shoreline trail is wide and flat, with just some gravel, and despite
my mountain-biking inexperience I handled much of the new Rocking V trail
without having to dismount (though I definitely had to at times).

With some
help from Anthony from Cheyenne’s Rock On Wheels bike shop, I was also
able to handle some more challenging sections, such as the 10-foot drop from
Hardee’s Rock.
It took me several tries to psych myself into barreling
down that granite.Related: Yes, Even City Slickers Can Learn to Fly Fish in
Wyoming
Me after finally conquering Hardee’s Rock.
A bike or hike to the
Stone Temple Trail is also a must – it’s the core trail of the
park and offers a fantastic photo op of the rock formation it’s named
after.
And the Crow Creek Trail is most popular with hikers, as it leads
straight to Hidden Falls.But if you lust for challenge, you can have a
spirited debate about the toughest sections of the Curt Gowdy: the 2% Trail is
so named because that’s how many people are supposedly able to ride
it.
El Alto is the highest point of the park (7,700 feet) and steep; the
half-mile Skin & Bones Trail (yup, that’s what it’s called)
has the steepest downhills.Related: Bike, Bike, Baby: Coolest Destinations for
Fat Tire Biking
One of the scenic views from over a mile high.
(Photo: Greg
Keraghosian)
And then there are the Play Areas – highly technical,
rocky outposts where only experienced bikers need apply, meaning I could
not.
I was told one mother complained to the park’s visitor center that
there wasn’t a swingset in the Play Area.

And if riding in the
daytime isn’t challenging enough for you? The park is open all night
– you need only bring a head lamp to guide you.
Running into some horseback riders.
(Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
Along the
way we ran into three women riding their horses with their dalmatians tagging
along – as idyllic a scene as I could imagine on this day.
Horses
aren’t provided for rent – you’ll need to bring your
own.
Crystal and Granite reservoirs both offer trout and salmon fishing, and
if archery is your sport, there’s a range in the western end of the
park.

WATCH: 9 Unexpected Surfing Spots
Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Check out our original adventure travel series A Broad Abroad.
Curt Gowdy
State Park, which straddles Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyo., is that kind of place,
and I got to ride bikes with the man whose fall inspired Bruce's
Bounce.
Bruce's Bounce isn't the only injury-related part of Gowdy park
– there's also Gordo's Rock, named after a biker named Gordon who, yes,
hit the rock.
Make sure to ride or hike along the Stone Temple Trail.

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