Go west young man…

On the road again…

 

After a year on the sidelines, I was thrilled this spring when I realized I could get on my mountain bike again without any restrictions. So I did what all Coloradans do when ski/snowboard season is over and headed to Utah to do some mountain biking. Springtime is the perfect time to visit before the heat of summer makes daytime rides an exercise in masochism in the Utah desert.

Where the past comes to life…

Utah is a magical place for those who like the splendor of the desert. Petroglyphs, fantastic rock formations, and all your favorite earth tones make for stunning imagery every where you turn.

Utah’s “Little Grand Canyon”

A lovely rim ride

Day one found us at The Wedge, also known as Utah’s “Little Grand Canyon”, located in the San Rafael Swell. The drive there was almost as spectacular as the views from the top as we passed numerous petroglyphs and gorgeous rock formations. The bike ride was not challenging but the scenery more than compensated.

They don’t call it “Island in the Sky” for nothing…

 

As far as the eye can see…

 

And a little snow in the distance helps keep you cool…

On day two we set out to explore the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. We decided on a seemingly little used trail down into Lathrop Canyon. What started out as a pleasant little hike through a pretty meadow turned into a stunning descent into some classic Canyonlands terrain, each corner revealing a more spectacular view than the last.

Just another typical mind blowing vista..

 

Now I see why they call it the White Rim Trail

Island in the Sky, Canyonlands

Just to put it into perspective

Normally, I avoid scenic overlooks in national parks but the overlooks in Island of the Sky are pretty much irresistible. So after the hike we did a car tour through the park, oohing and aahing along with everyone else. And as an extra bonus, I got a good view of the legendary White Rim Trail which seduced me into reserving campsites for a return trip in October to do the trail on bike.

We couldn’t leave Moab without at least sampling one of the newer and ever expanding bike trail systems. So on day three we checked out Navajo Rocks, a nice mix of sandstone and classic desert riding. I don’t really love the hard work involved in mountain biking but I’m a sucker for the scenery and once the endorphins kick in all the grinding is long forgotten.

What everyone goes to Moab for…

 

Land of the Navajo

 

Sandstone anyone?

 

After the bike ride it was time to find some shade and water to cool down in. Fortunately for me my friend Mike knows Moab like the back of his hand and had a lovely little canyon with creek included for us to explore.

Down by the river

All in all it was a fabulous trip. And more importantly it was the first time I really tested my leg in a multi day multi sport trip and it passed with flying colors. The next big test will be when I get on a board again but until then I’m just going to be thankful that there are still plenty of summer sports that I can enjoy. I guess I really am one lucky boy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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