While in Moab, one MUST get out for some mountain biking (of course, if you’re not getting out to do some photography) and that’s what was on the agenda for the guys this morning. We all traveled up to the Geyser Pass Trailhead, which is also the start of the “Whole Enchilada”. The WE is not a single mountain bike trail, but rather a collection of 6 individual mountain bike trails of varying difficulty, all rolled up into the “whole enchilada” … get it? That’s right … 25+ miles!
They guys began to prep themselves for their upcoming ride … plenty of fluids, nutrition, cell phones, spare tubes, etc. At the start of the trailhead, there were lots of wildflowers around, so I warmed up my camera as well. 🙂 I’ve always been fascinated by columbines … so pretty.
We said our goodbyes, and good lucks, to the guys and they were off. Rachel & I began to make our way off the mountain as well. The scenery was spectacular from the La Sal Mountains. As I looked out at the landscape, I couldn’t help but remember when we stayed up there years ago at Lake Warner. Wonderful memories.
As we were headed down towards the highway, we noticed a man-made reservoir nearby and decided to check it out. Being that Moab is pretty much dessert-like, the water contrasting with the mountains was a welcome sight. This “lake” was called Ken’s Lake and there were some families and SUP’ers enjoying the water … and those gorgeous views.
We also found this dirt road where there were some interesting photographic subjects for us to shoot.
More wildflowers were found along the way and I just couldn’t resist. So bright and cheery.But alas, the day that started out so beautiful, turned very, very nasty once more. As Rachel and I toured Arches NP again and got poured on, so did the guys. At a 11,000 foot elevation, they were caught in that same downpour and in the midst of lightning bolts striking all around them. Not a good thing. We figured that they must have been getting rain, but we didn’t realize how cold they got at that elevation in the rain and wind. OK, picture this … 4 guys (as they gained another rider along the way) all huddled up in an outhouse trying to stay warm and not struck by lightning! You heard me right … an outhouse! That was about 2 trails into their 6 trails planned for the day.
Now mountain bike trails, especially those not accustomed to the downpours, become dangerous places to ride. The clay terrain can make it difficult for the wheels to even turn, for they get so caked with hard, sticky mud. In addition, the trails deteriorate when ridden in those conditions. Knowing that Tom and Todd abandoned their adventure … totally not having much fun as of that point. Our traveling partner John and the additional rider (yes, the one from the outhouse) decided to continue on. A “4-hr” adventure turned into a 9-10 hr journey.
As we waited for them to return, we hung out a bit at the local bike shop who had been dealing with rental bikes needing huge repairs as a result of the trail conditions. Indeed, Tom & Todd spent the good part of 30 minutes at the car wash cleaning the mud out of every component of their bikes. Then on to a warm shower and fresh, dry clothes. :-).
Funny because when we visited Moab last it was in April and we never had a drop of rain. Murphy’s Law, I presume. Thank you Tom for listening to your head and not your heart and abandoning your ride and keeping me from the associated worry.
With another ride planned for tomorrow, they all lived for another day. 🙂 Stay tuned for the next blog post.
© 2015 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography