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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!