By Peta Liston Owens  

Part 2 “Sand Happens”

“Sand Happens.” You’ve seen the bumper stickers, the T-shirts. The White Rim Trail is named after the thin, durable layer of White Rim Sandstone that was deposited some 225 million years ago. Among these deposits is some very soft sand—baby-powder fine. It feels great beneath your toes, or sifting through your fingers, but under a bike tire it feels like quicksand, especially if your momentum slows.

Ever hit quicksand in your life? That point when you want to give up. Nothing seems to be happening fast enough. Or it feels as if the world is constantly kicking you in the seat the pants. Hitting the sandy spots on the trail did get easier as the days passed, but I had to first accept that moving slow and steady through it was okay. I was still making progress. Relinquishing control and accepting where I was and how to best move through it echoed a state of mind relevant to certain times in my own life.

The more I relaxed and quit trying to overpower these patches, the more fun I had with the challenge of navigating them. I experimented: racing into these patches with plenty of momentum in hopes to avoid having to pedal at all through them; following established tire tracks in seeking more solid ground; outsmarting it all by hugging the furthest edge of the trail where the sand was not as deep. It sometimes worked and sometimes I just walked my bike through it while taking in the view. It was all part of the journey—I don’t believe we were ever guaranteed a smooth ride indefinitely.  Enjoy the slick rock while you have it.