Utah – part three

Once again we got up at 5:30am and took down camp in the dark. As we drove, we got to see the sunrise which is always a pretty cool experience. The start of a new day and the feeling that anything can happen.

We drove to the BLM land just north of Moab along the Colorado River. We had camped here before and was hoping to find a spot even though it was Labor Day weekend. We got lucky and found a spot at the Granstaff camping area. We set up our tent, paid our $12, and got our gear together for mountain biking.

The 4-wheel drive road that leads to the Klondike Bluff area was easy going and beautiful to drive on. Upon reaching the trailhead, there was a map showing the 4-wheel roads and all the single-track in the area. We picked the Dino Flows trail to tackle.

At first it sucked. We were riding in deep sand. We kept fish tailing and not really going anywhere. Then our trail broke off from the main trail and it became more hard packed single-track. Now this was more like it! We were climbing over rocks, slickrock, small sandy areas, and rolling hills with short climbs. We were having tons of fun. Neither one of us are true mountain bikers. I’m more of a road cyclists and hubby does it just for fun so this was exciting for both of us. It was about a 5.5 mile ride to the end of Dino but in the mid-day Moab heat it was taking us quite a while to reach the end.

On the return stretch hubby wanted to try some harder black diamond riding so we broke off on a side trail, Baby Steps. I ended up doing the hike-a-bike more than riding so we turned around and headed back to Dino. At this point I was getting pretty tired and the cumulative effects of hiking and riding were catching up with me. I wasn’t mentally focused when trying to climb a short rocky section and it was a little steeper than some of the other terrain. Nearing the top, I second guessed myself and decided to unclip my right foot. It wouldn’t come away from the pedal and I quickly lost momentum ending in a fall off the rocks and into a dead, dry, stick fill desert bush of some sort. Hubby was far ahead of me and had no idea that I had bit the dust. With blood flowing from my right shin and scrapes and cuts all over my leg, I got back on my bike and tried to catch up to him. When I finally was able to tell him what happened, he said “guys dig girls with scars” which made me feel better. 🙂

Things I have learned about mountain biking:

  • you must concentrate the WHOLE time – on a road bike I can zone out quite often
  • the chances of falling are greater than on my road bike – steeper learning curve
  • I don’t like falling
  • you can ride for hours without traveling all that far compared to a road bike
  • I need to commit more when climbing over something
  • sometime speed, although counter-intuitive, is better than slowing down
  • sand sucks – go faster, sit down hard, and don’t steer
  • mountain biking is hard but fun

After almost 4 hours of riding it was time for the reward…ice cold brews from the Moab Brewery. I had definitely earned my beers today! Hubby ordered the Derailleur red ale while I had Johnny’s American IPA. Both were good!

Back at camp we had the tent already set up so it was just time to relax and watch the river flow. We cracked open some more Johnny’s IPA since we bought a 4 pack to go.

It was really hot and sunny with no breeze to speak of but we could see a storm coming in from the west. Hubby kept saying that he thought it was going to blow over. I packed some things up just in case. When all of a sudden the wind became so strong I couldn’t believe where it came from. I saw the tent stakes pull out of the ground and our tent (with sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and pillows inside) take flight. I yelled “our tent” and hubby took off after it. He was holding on to it as it whipped around in the air. I was trying to keep our chairs from ending up back in Colorado without us. Now, we are very used to strong winds and weather changing on a dime in Colorado but this storm even blew my mind. It was so quick and strong and unyielding. Hubby helped the tent drift over towards the truck, I got the chairs underneath of the truck, and we both started emptying the contents of the tent so that we could take it down. It started raining and the wind still was not letting up. I even noticed that the river had white caps that were going in the opposite direction of how the river flows. After shoving the tent in the back of the truck and grabbing 2 new beers (our others blew away) we jumped into the cab to wait out the storm. Once safely inside the cab of the truck we were laughing so hard. We couldn’t believe what just happened and how quickly it happened. We made the best of it by listening to great music, looking at old photos on the iPad, and drinking our Moab ales.

Here is a photo of the storm from our truck. Notice how it is quite different than the previous photo of our camp.

After the storm, we set back up the tent and had an uneventful night.

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~ by willtriforbeer on September 9, 2012.

One Response to “Utah – part three”

  1. Jen those cuts look deep….take care of them. Joe take care of her.

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