We arrived in Moab with enough time for what has become our standard Moab shakedown cruise- down to the Colorado River bicycle bridge for photos plus ride up some steep hill, but as we headed out dark clouds threatened, and we found the wet ground showed signs of recent washouts.
| Steve and Will at the welcome to Moab sign a couple days later - photo by Willl|
|Steve with the bicycle bridge to Moab in the background - photo by Will|
|Will adjusting his derailer on the outskirts of town- proving last evening's shakedown cruise was too short.|
|Will enjoying slick rock at the side of Sand Road|
|Near the top of Sand Road a couple of strangers catching us as we took a break|
Will has gumption when he tires, but even his gumption was beginning to wear down as we neared the top. A longer morning break with a snack helped revive him followed shortly at the top by lunch and a very brief nap which seemed to restore his energy.
|Will on one of the many "drops"|
Clouds slowly lifted throughout the day. I think "Falcon Flow" isn't flowy enough to warrant that name, but it it did have flowy sections and was within my abilities.
We drove out to the Mustang Trailhead on hwy 313. I'd requested a repeat of the 7 Up Trail, so Will put together this combination of trails that outside of 7 Up were generally as technical as I could handle - stretching my abilities but not over stretching them. I gained confidence throughout the day and found myself trusting both the trails' design and my abilities, but the continual drops seemed to tire me by the end of the day while they seemed to energize Will.
|Steve disappearing on the Mustang Trail - photo by Will|
|A couple of strangers on a scenic section of trail|
Will had downloaded the route into our Garmins, but neither we nor Garmin knew part of the route was one way, and the Garmins didn't adjust to the required reversal of the planned course. Although neither the elevation gain nor the distance show this as a difficult day, by afternoon break I was ready for the ride to end. I'm blaming this on my technical skills being stretched - but not exceeded- by the trails that followed 7 Up. As I tired it seemed like we did a circle within a circle, but the recorded route shows a small circle at the bottom of the main circle.
Any tiredness I felt from the prior day was gone, and I particularly enjoyed the slick rock and views on this trail. Today was the only day we rode the roughly 10 miles of paved path to the trails north of town, and it was as we exited town today that the two introductory photos in this blog were taken.
|Steve crossing the Colorado River on the bicycle bridge outside of Moab|
The paved bicycle trail took us about 10 miles before we turned off onto a steep jeep road that led to the actual Monitor and Merrimack Trail.
|Steve as the jeep road becomes steep - photo by Will|
|Will at the top of the first steep section of jeep road which in this photo doesn't look as steep or rough as it was.|
|Will starting up another steep section of jeep road|
|Will after most of the climbing|
|Steve after most of the climbing - photo by Will|
|Steve on the slick rock of Monitor and Merrimack - photo by Will|
|Will enjoying Monitor and Merrimack's slick rock|
|Steve on more slick rock of the Monitor and Merrimack - photo by Will|
We took a lot of photos and really enjoyed this slick rock. Will now says we must return to Monitor and Merrimack every year, a thought I can agree with. The sick rock eventually leads into a sandy draw, and although the sand was still a little damp, we had to push through sections of it. After the earlier rains we found water in the draw.
|Will finishing the sandy draw|
|Will on the first stage of 7 Up|
|There's slick rock here and there too.|
|Will in the pinons|
|Steve riding a drop - photo by Will|
|Will rounding a corner|
Arthur's Corner was short but slightly more technical than the other trails, and then we were on Gemini Bridges Road (jeep road) with some deep sand followed by a steep climb and a great descent back to the car.
|View from the top of Gemini Bridges Rd. We'll descend now to the valley below - photo by Will|
|There's also a lot of slick rock that looks like a super-highway. Here Will is on a section of it.|
|Steve on some slick rock - photo by Will|
|Will on Baby Ladder|
|Steve and Will on Baby Ladder|
Ladders are apparently things too steep to ride and require either pushing or carrying a bike. We could push up Baby Ladder. We found a group of friendly ATVer's at the bottom who took the photo of us both. After Baby Ladder, the slick rock freeway opens up again.
|Will on the long wide section of slick rock after Baby's Ladder|
|Will between two rocks on the return either on Jurassic or Inside Passage|
Because of the possibility of rain, I couldn't talk Will into extending the ride on any trails, but he did allow me to ride up the road to get my day's accumulated elevation gain over 2,000 feet!
|Steve on the road getting his last feet of elevation gain to total over 2,000'|
Will had a later flight from SLC, so as we drove north we had an extra hour or two for a short ride, and we both like some of the trails at Bar M. I'd taken a 2nd camera with me, so after yesterday's full memory card, I switched cameras. When I went to snap the first photo, its battery was dead, so I took no photos on this last partial day of riding. We usually switch bikes for a couple hours, and today was that day, so I was on Will's new Canondale Trigger - a better bike than mine, but I spent too much time adjusting to its small differences like its Scram shifters and handlebar controls of the shocks. I enjoyed Will's new bike, but I'd rather ride it in less technical conditions like at Klondike Bluffs while I adjust to the Trigger's slightly different controls and different feel. Will seems to instantly make those adjustments. Will has a fancy soft sided carrying case for his bicycle, and we spent close to an hour packing it up for its flight home.
|Will on Steve's Trek Superfly 8|
|Inside our cabin at the Lazy Lizard - photo by Will|
|Outside our cabin at the Lazy Lizard - photo by Will|