Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Delicate Ending

Just finishing up our MOAB trip here with two incredible days. We ended up getting a great nights sleep after the 24 hour race. We awoke Monday morning 10/13 to Utah Blue sky. It was pretty chilly in town, around 30 degrees. We got coffee and breakfast at Eklictica Cafe downtown Moab and the headed over to the Chili Pepper Bike Shop to meet our Coyote Shuttle Driver for our ride to the start of the days Mountain Bike Adventure! We had heard from a few people about the Hazard County ride to the Porcupine Rim and with what we heard, we knew we had to give it a go! I have posted a slide show on the blog to highlight the day, I'll keep this part brief.

This was and Steph would agree, probably THE best Mountain Bike ri
de we have ever done in our lives. As you can see in the photo above, we started right in the heart of the La Sal Mountains. Our shuttle drop was at 9800 ft and we climb gently from the parking lot to 10,000 ft where the picture was taken. Our shuttle driver Jesse, who ironically was the same driver we had on a shuttle ride back in 2001 on our first visit gave us a quick briefing on the ride ahead. I looked at one of the guys from Boise, Rich and said "Mountaineer's Rule" after Jesse asked us to stay together to make sure everyone made it down ok- Suggesting we would make new friends and have a great experience. Well that proved to be so true in the end.

The first section of the trail is called the Hazard County Trail. It is about 3.5 miles of some incredible single track with many switchback turns and technical rock garden sections, but nothing too terribly difficult. You cross the La Sal loop road (w
hich we actually drove the day before in the car) and then you continue on the Kokopelli trail which was just awesome....Super hard packed and fast with water bar style jumps that you could get some sky on. At one point coming into a corner, we lost the group and thought maybe we missed one of the critical sections or a turn....We had to brake hard, there were about 15 cows on the trail leaving little room for two tiny bike riders....The Cowboy guy rallying them gave them direction with a couple of quick Ya, Ya's and a crack of a whip. We ended up catching up with the group because someone got a flat tire. They were stopped right in a section that had been burned from a recent forest fire. The destruction was pretty amazing with a very unique fire line. Some how we ended up on the wrong trail than what was described to us. We rode over the green cattle guard and took a right on a trail that was just amazing, single track right along the rim of Castle Valley, eventually we ended up at the traditonal start of Porcupine Rim but, we did not have to do the nasty 3 mile climb to the rim view point. Not sure how that happened but, it was well worth it. In the end we rode 29 miles back to our car parked at Chili Pepper bike shop. 22 miles were on trail and we dropped 6400 feet from the start...We climbed very little. Our group mostly stuck together, the five the did had the best time with a lot of laughs and memories to last a life time. The slide show tells a good story but, we capped off the day with all you can eat pizza and salad, beer and drinks to celebrate a safe memorable day on the stellar trails of MOAB with newly aquired friendships, good people and good times.

Tuesday was to be our last day in town with also having to drive back to Denver. Steph suggested we start with smoothies from a place she saw during our stomps through town. We did that and then visited Rim Cyclery and a few gift type shops for some small presents. We had wanted to hike to the Delicate Arch on our last visit and we did not have the time, so this day we made time. The hike starts from the trail head about 13 miles on the road the goes into Arches National Park. It is a 3 mile round trip and a pretty mellow hike. Here are a few photos from our adventure to Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch with a delicate shadow

A delicate Lady...

The firey Furnace, Arches NP.

We got back to the car after the hike and had to disassemble our bikes and put them back in the hard cases for the flight home. Then we hit the road for the seven hour drive back to Denver. Steph snapped this next picture of the full moon as we were getting near Vail Pass in Colorado. We stopped at The Red Mountain Grill in Dillion, CO for dinner and then drove the rest of the way to our hotel near DIA. A great trip with memories to last a lifetime! Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

I like your delicate shot . . . a little different than the "standard shot" you typically get as the sun is setting.