So Moab was a lot of fun. Well, maybe fun is not the right word, but our stay there was both rewarding and demanding at the same time. Thursday we hiked out to Morning Glory arch in Negro Bill canyon. I think that arch was my favorite of all we saw this time in Moab. The Morning Glory arch opening is 243 feet across and consistent in size with a nice symmetrical arc to it.
Friday we rode a few bike trails around Moab. First we did the 13 mile Poison Spider/Portal Trail loop that starts down by the river and climbs 1000 feet through canyons, goes across slickrock mounds up on the mesa and finally descends a narrow ledge atop 500 foot cliffs. We passed several signs that said, “Dismount Now, 3 Bikers Have Died Here.” We dismounted and walked the bikes a half mile because, while the trail was relatively smooth, it went across a steep slope only a few feet from death by cliff. For those considering riding this trail, be prepared for extreme technical drops and narrow conditions, or walk your bike the entire two miles down hill.
Next we drove the car across the river and rode the Amasa Back trail, a 10 mile roundtrip out and back trail that tops above Jackson Hole, way out in Back of Beyond country; as the name states, there is nothing here except a 1000 foot deep canyon to look down into at trail’s end. Amasa is an incredible trail, although it’s even more technical and rougher still than Poison Spider. There is some cliff-edge slickrock riding, but it’s not as dicey as Portal. The sun was hot and bright; it felt like 90 degrees out there riding over bright rock and sand with no shade whatsoever. The sun burned through several coats of SPF and I was lobsterized by the time I finished.
After the ride we explored an abandoned mine shaft along Kane Creek road. There was really nothing inside and it wasn’t very deep, but it sure looked inviting from the road. Then it was into town for a restaurant meal of fettuccine alfredo and after that a Burger King meal because I was still ravenously hungry. And, yes, it was my first Burger King meal in probably over a year, but I told myself I needed the sat fat.
Today, Saturday, we climbed Owl Rock, a 100 foot pillar in Arches National Park. Jonny and I have both climbed it before, but it was still fun to get out the rope and tighten up the forearms. The view wasn’t bad either. It’s pretty cool standing on top of a rock taller and smaller than a farm silo and waving at all the gawking tourists… We stayed up there a good while and ate lunch of Clif bars and Gatorade, then hiked back into Devil’s Garden at the back of Arches to look at some more, you guessed it, arches. Devil’s Garden is spectacular but not as much so as the Maze where the fins are tight and tall and go for miles. But the Maze is huge and hot, and people who venture into it are liable not to return.
Now it’s back to Flagstaff and school. There I have the option to either go mountain biking in 70 degree weather or go skiing up on the mountain. I’ll choose to stay in town and do homework because I have lots of stuff piling up that needs to be done.