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Hiking Moab; Mountain Biking; Arches NP; Rappelling

Well, now that we are down to 4,000 feet in Moab, Utah, Corvette Chick has recovered from her altitude fatigue. She took me out mountain biking yesterday at the Moab Brands Trails, an area designed for beginner to intermediate riders. The trails have names such as Rockin’ A, Lazy Easy, Killer B, Bar M, Rusty Spur and Deadman’s Ridge. Here is Our Heroine, looking fresh at the top of a relatively easy climb. 

After half an hour, I was starting to sweat, but My Lovely Bride wasn’t even glistening. We were on top of a small rise and took the path whose sign read “Cliff option”. She was chuckling as I looked over the edge of this cliff and said, “Sweetheart, I think maybe we took a wrong turn back there… I would like to pass on this optional descent.” I think I heard her mutter, “You are such a wuss…”, but I couldn’t be sure because of the squawking vultures circling just over my head in anticipation. 

Even after an hour and a half, she was still fresh – part of this can be attributed to the amazing scenery, like the red rock cliffs backdropping this photo. But we also met a nice couple on the ride who are really hard core – a few days ago they had completed a 50 miler in Durango, Colorado, at 11,000 feet. Having role models like that gives you an extra boost. 

So, still feeling chipper, Suzanne decided to ride the 8 miles back to town on a beautiful paved bike path; I drove the car back with my bike on a rear carrier. Now, lest you think that she is a real Amazon, I have to disclose that all but a few hundred yards of that ride are downhill through a gorgeous canyon with a 7% grade and signs limiting bikes to 20 mph. She was exhilarated when she arrived back at The Coach (before me!), saying that she indeed had to ride her brakes to keep her speed down to a safe level. I got to do that same ride this morning, and it was a great rush (in several ways). 

We also got a delightful six mile hike in today on the Negro Bill Trail leading to the Morning Glory natural Bridge, at 243 feet long, the sixth longest arch in the country. (Okay, so the trail name may not be politically correct, but it is historically accurate, and is named for William Granstaff, the first black American in Moab, who grazed his cattle here in the late 19thcentury). Here is Suzanne in her Bwana Babe hat negotiating a slickrock section of the trail. Don’t worry, she was surefooted as a mountain goat, and it was only a 20-30 foot drop to the rocks below… 

The trail follows a beautiful creek through the canyon, and you can see where the rushing water has undercut the rock over the millennia. 

There were a couple of places where you had to scramble up the rocks; it is actually easier going up than down, because gravity wants to help you come down faster, not always a good thing. 

The arch itself was impressive, but even more so were the young college kids rappelling down 120 feet from the arch to the ground below. They had hiked in 5 miles to make the rappel, and were having a blast. My Lovely Bride asked if I wanted to give it a try; I said, no, I think it’s time to go have a glass of wine instead…  

1 Comment

  • Beverly G
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    All l can say is AMAZING (both the views and your physical fitness!)
    Miss you both –


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