Arches, Bluffs, and Canyons
Jason and I just got back from Moab. We had a great time, as we always do when we visit that region.
We took our mountain bikes down with us and tested them out on the demanding paths to Klondike Bluffs and Hidden Canyon.
The Klondike Bluffs trail took us over some pretty steep slickrock, which was lined with prehistoric dinosaur tracks, to the bluffs high above Arches National Park. It was a fantastic and tiring ride.
Our journey to Hidden Canyon turned out to be more eventful than anticipated. The wind was in a foul humor that day. It rampaged as we tried to climb over the slickrock, pelting sand into our faces and adding another layer of difficulty to our ascent. Not only did we have to work much harder to pedal against the wind, we also had to struggle to keep our bikes stable as the persistent gusts threatened to blow us off our precarious trail. We weren’t entirely successful in this ongoing battle. As I was traversing some tricky rock the wind literally knocked me and my bike over. That cunning wind! Jason was more than willing to give up at that point but I wasn’t about to let that obstinate breeze whip me. He was glad we had stuck with it when we reached Hidden Canyon though. We got to enjoy its spectacular fiery sandstone ebbs and precipices in complete solitude. The ride back from Hidden Canyon was a cinch. The wind that had made our outgoing trip needlessly difficult aided us on our way back. We flew over the slickrock carried by gravity and the turbulent air. A small cactus growing in the middle of the trail made for a temporary setback when I unknowingly stepped on it but after some quick needle removal we were on our way again.
We took a break from all that biking by enjoying an afternoon hiking in Arches National Park. The wind was our temperamental companion at Arches as well. It made the 90+ temps quite comfortable but we were relentlessly bombarded by airborne sand as we explored. Oh well, a little grit in the eyes and ears never hurt anyone too much.
It was a crazy and delightful trip! We returned home sunburned, sand burned, scraped, bruised, and exhausted. I got more banged up than Jason but he won the prize for the worst injury, a title he has held our last two visits to Moab. He managed to pull a back muscle somewhere in the middle of our hiking/biking frenzy and he has been hobbling around like a decrepit old man ever since we arrived home.