I normally don’t ride in group rides. Since I was having a birthday I decided to plan a ride, inviting different people that I have ridden with over the years. I invited 7 or 8 people that I figured had similar riding skills, figuring that maybe 2-3 would show up. The ride was planned for August 18th on the Ashley National Forest, north of Vernal, Utah. I live about 10 miles from a parking area on the forest boundary. I can ride from my house if I desire but trailer most of time. We met up at the parking area at the appointed time, ending up with a group of 7, counting me and my son. Of the group, I was the common denominator. Of the 5 other riders not one of them knew any of the other 5. But all of them were very friendly and easy going. Introductions were made and we headed out. It rained the night before, just enough to settle the dust. It was overcast all day and the temperature was perfect. It was one of those days that the stars align. What a perfect day. The only down side was the haze from so many fires in the West. We rode a loop of about 50 miles of mixed trails, starting at 6500’ up to 10,300’ and back down. We spent about 4 hours on the bikes. Since I organized the ride, I had my son lead while I brought up the rear to make sure we didn’t lose anybody along the way. My son and I had planned places to stop for rest and show off some of the scenery we have to offer in this area. We started off in sage brush which is what most people expect to be riding in. Within a couple of miles we were into quaking aspen and pine trees all the way up to almost tree line. We went to a cave that, amazingly still had ice in it, an old copper mine that was in operation from around 1890 until around 1925, and a smelter for the copper mine that was in operation for a couple of years around 1920. At the highest point in the loop we stopped on a bare ridge that gives a beautiful view of the surrounding area. After the ride, we met up at my house and had pork loin that had been on the smoker all day long, along with the rest of the meal my wife had prepared. What a great way to end an awesome day.