My relationship with Maxwell has always been special. He is such an optimistic kid and everybody loves him. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked Maxwell how his day was only to hear him respond, “It was the best day ever!” Some would suggest this is hyperbolic positivity, but for Maxwell, he means it. In fact, there have been times in my life where I would engage in self-think and try to channel some of Maxwell’s positivity. I love this kid, unconditionally. That said, we are different. I grew up loving and playing traditional sports like baseball, soccer, basketball and football. As I got older, I zeroed in on baseball and football. For small town, Casper, Wyoming, I was actually pretty decent. In my heart, I wanted my son to have the same interests and skills as I had. Over the years, Maxwell has tried each of these sports with varying degrees of success, but he never really loved any of them. As his father, I had visions of us lovingly playing catch in the backyard and shooting the breeze. That never happened because Maxwell never loved playing catch.

That all changed last year when Maxwell joined the Lone Peak’s Mountain Bike Team. Not only did he lover it, but he was dang good.  I recognized this could be “our thing.” We rode a few times together last year and by the end of the season, he beat me up Hog Hollow, by a lot. He’s fast! He’s so dang skinny and his lungs are incredible from swimming.

This weekend, we planned a family trip to Moab. Unfortunately, the girls couldn’t join us for the whole trip because of ballet commitments. So, Maxwell and I came a day early (yes, I pulled him out of school), to ride some of the classic trails around Moab. The drive down was pretty fun. Maxwell and I both like the same music, so we just passed the time listening to tunes an engaging in casual conversation. Just outside of Green River, I was pulled over by UHP and given a speeding ticket—my first in over 15 years. Anyway, after we arrived in Moab, we grabbed some brunch at The Peace Tree Café and discussed our plans for the day.

After breakfast, we drove to the Omasa trail system and started the ascent up the Hymasa Trail. The surrounding landscape is incredibly beautiful. The mountain biking was technically challenging and since I had brand new cleats, I had a hard time getting out of my pedals resulting in a few falls. We made it to the top of the Hymasa trail overlooking a spectacular valley below. We took some photos and talked about the highlights of the ascent. We rode the classic Moab trail “Captain Ahab” on the descent. This trail is full of technical drops and sketchy rock ramps that are a little too technical for us, but we rode most of it and had a blast. We were pretty tired by the time we made it back to the car, but we wanted to maximize our time on our bikes, so we drove north to the Klondike Trail System.

While the landscape isn’t as beautiful as the Omasa trails, the Klondike trails aren’t as technical. As a result, we were able to ride faster and feel the flow a little more. We rode up Mega Steps, crossed the Klondike Ridge, and down Little Salty. It was a great time! But we were exhausted, hungry, and cold. We hustled back to Moab and checked into our hotel. After we showered, we went to the Moab Diner for awesome and well-deserved burgers and fries. We discussed the highlights of the day and planned the next days activities. After we returned to the hotel, we soaked our bruises in the hot tub before falling asleep. It was a memorable day full of adventure, fun, and relationship building. I am truly blessed to call Maxwell my son. I love him

When I was in high school, my Young Men’s group went to Moab to ride mountain bikes. We hit Slick Rock and Gemini Bridges. Today, I returned with Maxwell to ride Slick Rock. After we awoke, we grabbed some pretty nasty breakfast at the Super 8 to fuel up before the big ride. We packed up our stuff from the hotel and headed to the Slick Rock trailhead. As we embarked, we came across the first technical component, a small dip. Maxwell was intimidated and got off his bike to walk it. I thought to myself, “this is going to be a long ride” as I knew how this was just a blip and it got way more technical. As the ride continued and got a lot more fun, Maxwell grew increasingly confident. The scenery was incredible and I realized that when I did this as a youth, we only did the proctice loop and no the whole thing. I was suprised at how technically difficult and cardiovascular it is. By the end of the ride, Maxwell had improved both in ability and courage. He was doing great and taking on obstacles that would have stopped him in the past. It was a lot of fun to spend this time with my Son. I love him and look forward to similar trips with him and Truman (and the girls too.)