Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, Oct 24

Our trip to Moab was fun and not just because of the warm weather and gorgeous fall colors; but more so from the workouts everyday.

On Friday Kim wanted to go exploring up one of the local canyons in Moab. Through her property runs a small stream called Mill Creek which starts somewhere up in the lofty heights of the La Sal Mountains. On its way down to the mighty Colorado River it passes through a beautiful sandstone walled valley called Mill Creek Valley. I was more into the hike for the fall colors since the Cottonwood trees were just screaming yellow against the orange and red cliffs of the canyon.

We followed a meandering stream up with camera in hand, here are a few shots.

Farther up we ran into some pictographs up on the wall. The hike took a few hours and then we were back for burgers at the local hangout called Milt’s. Then that afternoon we were up at the Slick rock trails to do the practice loop with my daughter. The up and down steep slick rock can be a challenge with the gears of a mountain bike, as Lina soon found out.

The next day the other half of the family showed up and we all headed back up to the Slick rock trails again. Karin took Lina on the practice loop and I naively headed out with the boys on the radical ten mile injury loop. A crowd of bikers were at the top of one steep downhill decent that had a nasty forty-five degree angle to the side limiting your traction on the rock. The boys raced down it somewhat oblivious and continued on. I, on the other hand timidly started off and found my wheels slipping out from beneath me and sliding down the eighty grit sandpaper on my side in an embarrassed heap at the bottom.

I knew from then on that this ride was going to be painful at my age. My bones were not made of rubber anymore, nor did I have that on-call adrenaline pump that most teenagers have. I watched them disappear up another steep incline as I huffed and puffed behind. Five miles out we reached the apogee, a rather nervous overlook point above the Colorado River 800 feet below. An energy bar would have been nice right about then, or maybe a Paraglider down to the cool river water below.

After several hours and endless hills of up and down slick rock I was able to make out people standing at the trailhead far off in the distance. My energy had run out several miles back and I was now walking up sections with bike in hands that were too steep to peddle, as twenty years pumped their way up past me with piston like efficiency. I promised myself to look into buying some newer legs.

We finally made it back to the parking lot, where my body felt like rubber. I had the luxury of sitting in the car for the four mile drive back down to Moab; the boys decided to ride their bikes down.

Richard Boyer

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