It is hard to believe that it all began in a snowstorm. I delayed driving over to Fruita because of snow.

Yeti Tribe Gathering, '08 Fruita, Colorado

I guess I should provide some background. Every year we invite anyone who wants to come along to go ride bikes and camp out for a weekend. And maybe even drink a beer or two. We don't do this for any sort of nefarious marketing purposes. We don't do it because we have to. We do it because riding bikes, camping out and drinking the occasional beer is an inherently fun activity. So this year we headed out to Fruita. Because we care, Sarah and I went out early to pre-ride the routes and just make sure everything was going to go smoothly. And before anyone claims that I have the best job in the world (I do) or that I am so gosh-darned lucky( I am) I'll have you know that I spent about 45 minutes picking up cow pies from the Yeti base camp area just so our guests could have the most pleasant experience possible.
I had a new camera and spent very little time learning it aforehand, so apologies if some of these aren't up to snuff.
Grendel helped set up camp....

And off we went. Up to the top of the Ribbon and down into the flower garden.

It was here that we ran into our scaly little friend. An omen of good things to come, I think...

Back at camp Sarah practiced her wheelies. And the next day we took off to preride the Koko loops.

Out Mary's, down Horsethief, more Mary's, and then Moore Fun!

Coupla "where's Waldo?" shots.

So the next day we loaded up 200 or so folks, and their bikes, and headed up to the Ribbon. Now before folks start moaning and bellyachin' about how improper it is to take so many people out on the trail at once, lemme say that we obtained a permit well in advance, and we (in accordance with the rules that the BLM set out for us) broke up into groups of ten and rode down the trail in smaller groups. We had other trail users complimenting us on being so well behaved for a large group.
So with that out of the way, off we went. The upper lot is tiny and we didn't want to cluster it up with buses and trailers, so we parked at Bangs Canyon, got organized and set off up the road for a little warm up before the descent.

As usual, the Ribbon is just too much fun to take pictures of, and my group of riders turned out to be a highly skilled and fit bunch, so we motored along.
Everyone drew a little bit of blood. Everyone had a great ride.



Ribbon Junction was a veritable flower garden. It was so beautiful down there.

One of the riders (who was not on a Yeti) had ugly, ugly derailleur suck.

Rising up out of the earth on Free Lunch...

In further praise of my group of riders (who I shall heretoafter refer to as the A-Team) everytime we got to a trail junction, I explained how one way was the faster way back and the other way added more mileage, but was fun. Every time we had this discussion, the A-team opted for the extra smileage.
Remember the guy with the ugly chain suck. He won the raffle that night:

A night of festivities. There was barrel racing and campfires and dogfights and limbo competitions and unicycles and barbecue and all sorts of hilarity and craziness. You know, the kind of stuff we here at Yeti refer to as "core values."
We woke up bleary eyes and bushy tailed and set out for some Koko loops. I had a little group nucleate around me and we hit the trail.

We had a spate of merciful cloud cover. Which kept us from baking in the sun. Remember how it snowed on the way over? I don't either...

And that, friends and neighbors, was the Tribe gathering '08. If you were there, thanks so much for coming out and hanging out with us. It was great to meet so many cool folks.

Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009