Moab: the undisputed mountain-bike capitol of the world. I still think so anyway.
Yes, it may be a bit over-run with cheesy tourist-trap shops and pretentious tree-hugger types, but it hasn't lost its magic.
Susie saw an ad for a 10k in Moab and asked Kandi, the wife of my nephew Hector, if she was interested. Not only were they interested, they had connections for us to stay in a sweet condo for two nights! My brother Eros and his kids planned to come too. It was shaping up to be a short but fun-filled weekend.
We were the first to roll into town at around 2:30 pm on Friday. I had plenty of daylight after unpacking and getting everyone settled, so I hit the Slickrock Trail.
I haven't done this trail in years. I remember it being an all-day outing back when I was a teenager. Now? It only took 1 hour 45 minutes to cruise through it, and I felt like I was just warming up. Yeah, I've got a lot better endurance, but I have to admit, I walked a couple of super-steep sections that I wouldn't have thought twice about before attempting back in the day.
Above: overlooking the Colorado River on the north end of the Slickrock Loop.
Above: the LaSal Mountains (2nd highest range in Utah next to the Uintahs) are reflected in a pothole along the slickrock trail.
The next morning, I was itching to get out and see something new. I took the girls to check out Faux (as in fake) Falls. The falls are pretty impressive and the plunge pool at the bottom would make a great swimming hole in the summer. As the name implies, the stream is actually a diversion of Mill Creek. The water is brought through a tunnel and then it tumbles down into Ken's Lake, a major irrigation and drinking-water supply for Spanish Valley.
With our baby asleep, I missed the 10k (Hector got these shots above). Both Susie (left) and Kandi (right) did well and enjoyed the course. Susie shattered her goal of finishing in under 1 hour.
After the run, I took Eros and Hector around the Slickrock Practice Loop. We took our time, walked a lot of the techy/steep sections, and just enjoyed the views.
Above: Eros tries to tackle one of the steeper sections on the Slickrock Practice Loop.
Above: Me, on the edge of Negro Bill Canyon (Hector photo).
Above: Hector leans into a tight turn on the edge of Negro Bill.
After the bike ride, we headed down the Potash Road toward the Corona Arch trailhead, stopping to check out a couple of great petroglyph panels on the way.
Above: a nice little crack next to the petroglyphs was perfect for practicing a little chimneying (Hector Photo).
Above: Hunting for dinos.
Near the petroglyphs, at the Poison Spider trailhead, are several allosaurus tracks stamped into large talus boulders that have rolled down from the top of the Kayenta.
Above: good exposure of what appears to be the contact between the Navajo And Kayenta Formations (Hector photo).
The Corona Arch Trail is perfect for kids. A coupe of little surprising challenges (including ladders, cables and moki steps) along the way keep it exciting.
Above: Trick photography -- even our youngest hiker, 4-year-old Ava (pink coat), thought that this cable along a gently-sloped slickrock traverse was overkill.
Above: Corona Arch in all her glory.
Corona easily rivals many of the more famous rock spans in nearby Arches National Park, and as a bonus, you don't have to share the trail with millions of other tourists or pay an entrance fee.
Above: I love this shot Hector got of Zoe and Kandi near Corona Arch.
I'd say we fit in quite a bit for just 1 1/2 days. We also took a small side trip on the way home to the Sego pictographs and ghost town, but I couldn't take pictures 'cause my camera was M.I.A.
A big thanks to Hector and Kandi for setting up the excellent accommodations! I can't wait to go back.