Jason and I just had an insanely wonderful weekend. Months ago we decided we were going to head down to Moab for some mountain biking as soon as it got nice and warm this spring. Our Moab outing was going to be my official biking restart after having surgery last fall. We chose last weekend as the date for this adventure and were ready for 3 fabulous days of biking and hiking.
Me and Jas on the lift. I was a happy camper!
Then something unexpected happened that forced us to alter our plans…a storm came through Utah and dumped over 40 inches of exquisite new snow in our mountains. This forced us to alter our plans because we simply cannot resist that much heavenly powder. We abruptly changed our 3 day biking adventure into a 4 day snowboarding/biking extravaganza. Awesome!
The Bubbas taking a picture break: Aaron took this opportunity to make a giant snowball and promptly threw it at me.
Friday we went boarding with our friend Aaron, who also ditched out on work at the last minute because he was powerless to resist the Siren’s call of the snow. None of us had any regrets about skipping work to board! The fresh powder was amazing, the resort was extremely empty, and the weather was warm despite the lingering storm. Oh bliss!
That's me biffing it. It was my first attempt to really board powder. It turns out that riding on lots of ungroomed powder takes some getting used to.
The second we got back from boarding we unloaded the snow gear from our car, took showers, and reloaded the car with our biking equipment. And we were off to Moab. We arrived there a few hours later extremely exhausted but completely satisfied.
Yes, those are shorts! And yes, this was taken the day after we went boarding, on the Monitor and Merrimac trail.
The next morning it was time for some spectacular slickrock biking. For those of you who are not familiar with Moab, what’s wrong with you? Just kidding, but in all seriousness, Moab is a mountain bikers’ Mecca. This small city is in close proximity to countless gnarly biking trails, including the famous Slickrock Trail (the most popular biking trail in the world), and several national parks. If you are into hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, dirt biking, ATVs, or off-roading, Moab is your place.
Jas riding the rock candy at Bartlett Wash.
We’ve ridden The Slickrock Trail several times, so this trip we decided to try some of the other amazing rides Moab has to offer. The first new trail we tried was the Monitor and Merrimac. It was superb, with lots of slickrock, sand traps, and breathtaking views!
The second trail we cycled was Bartlett Wash. This ride over slickrock was mostly freeform-meaning there was no trail marked through the majority of it. While that meant that there were ample opportunities for exploring “Bartlett’s playground”, it also meant that you had to keep a close eye on where your bike was headed as you weaved around boulders, sandstone ledges, potholes, and drop-offs. Jason, unfortunately, wasn’t being observant enough while coming down a steep hill. He went over a two foot ledge and flew over his handlebars, giving himself some nasty road rash on his shoulder, upper arm, and knee. It looked pretty painful but at least now he has a wicked awesome story to tell.
This is the ledge that took Jason out. Here he is reenacting his wreck.
During our stay in Moab we also took a break from biking to hike through Dead Horse Point State Park and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. The vistas were magnificent and the sunshine was even sweeter!
Jas at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands.
So that, in a nutshell, is why I absolutely love Utah and will never ever be tempted to leave. Jason and I were snowboarding in over 40 inches of new powder one day and the very next, after only a few hours of driving, we were mountain biking on fantastic terrain in gorgeous weather. Only in Utah baby! I’m grinning from ear to ear right now just thinking about it. If only heaven could be that sublime!
This is me on the Grand View Point trail in Canyonlands. I liked this tiny tree that was growing out of a rock.
Incidentally, Jason and I were a little concerned about how my ankle would hold up to multiple days of intense physical activity. I am extremely pleased to report that it did splendidly. It was a little unhappy about the snowboarding, as usual, but the rest of the weekend it didn’t complain much. Yeah! Also, I noticed that it felt more stable while biking than it used to before surgery. Double yeah! Way to go ankle! I’m so proud!
Easter this year was typical of holidays for us-busy, busy, busy! We had a lot of fun visiting with our families but squeezing in time for both of them made for one tiring day. We enjoyed ourselves, yet we’re glad not every Sunday is Easter.
I forgot to take my camera to my in-laws but here are some picts from my family’s get together.
We had quite the Easter egg hunt for my nieces and nephews. Between all the toys and filled eggs Jason and I brought, and the ones that my brother brought, and the ones that my sister contributed, the kids really racked in the goods.
Benson was very focused on the task of filling up his basket.
The awesome females of the Nelson gang. It's important to note that I am almost the tallest.
Miles paused very briefly in his quest for a golden egg to show me his loot.
Drew, Simone, and Jadon
This little guy, Wesley, was too intent on figuring out how to walk on the grass wearing shoes to be interested in Easter eggs.
Jason and I attended a Utah Grizzlies hockey game on Saturday. Although I have been to an Olympic hockey match, this was my first time at a professional hockey game and honestly, it was a bit of a shock to me.
Everyone knows that hockey is a pretty violent sport. Players get slammed into the plexiglass, high-sticked occasionally, and shoved on the ground; that I expected to see. However, I wasn’t counting on all the team brawling and fist fights. Yeah, really, fist fights.
So yes, the game was much more viscous than I anticipated. I was amazed at just how many times play was stopped abruptly due to players randomly deciding to pound each other. These sudden violent exchanges seemed to quickly escalate into team affairs. If two guys started quarreling the other players usually swarmed around them ready to jump in, and often did. On several occasions the ice was littered with dozens of gloves and various forms of padding, which players had removed in order to better get in on the action. I frequently had to remind myself that I was actually at a hockey game and not the WWE on ice.
But the players weren’t the only ones ready to battle; anytime there was even an incline of a confrontation the crowd was immediately on its feet chanting “Fight, fight, fight!” It felt like junior high all over again.
I completely forgot to take my camera to the game so this will have to be the only visual for this post. One of the Grizzlies threw this puck to me. He looked directly at me and tossed it lightly over the divider right into my hands. I was too excited to notice which player he was and I can't decipher his initials. So, if any of you have a clue who I should thank for my awesome puck, I would be thrilled to know.
Jason and I were seated on the second row directly adjacent to the penalty box, so we were in a prime location to catch all the cross-team banter. (The comments we heard will not be repeated here because they were deemed inappropriate for small children, left-handed monkeys, and your mom.) We were also in a perfect spot to hear all the crowd heckling directed at the opposing teammates unfortunate enough to end up in the penalty box (also not repeatable). All this rampaging seemed a bit over the top to me and I contemplated the possibility that I had somehow entered a parallel hick universe. What was with all these people? I seemed to be the only one in the arena that felt anything akin to sympathy for the players that got thrashed. (If you find my sensitivity laughable, you are not alone. Jason got a kick out of it too.) But while the fighting was a bit too brutal and testosterone fueled for my taste, I did enjoy the actual playing. The Grizzlies played a great fast-paced game and pulled off a landslide victory, with a final score of 5 to 2. This was the last game of their regular season but they clinched a spot in the playoffs, which will begin on the 10th. Jason and I plan on catching one of their playoff games. If you enjoy bloodthirsty crowds, mean slap-shots, padded men hitting each other at unpredictable intervals, or perhaps just padded men in general, then you might want to check out one of their playoff games as well.