I've been so awful at updating this ever since I left California. I don't have a great excuse except that I've fallen so completely into a 9-5 M-F routine, that the lulls in the day often seem to be pre-determined simply because they fall at the same time and habits reigns supreme. Either way, this by no means is an indication that I'm not having fun. Quite the opposite. I've been so busy exploring, adventuring and trying new things that I feel as though the other parts of my life have fallen a little bit by the wayside. Obviously, it's far too late to catch up on the adventures of the last 15 months, so I'll just start now and try to do a better job. However, Kyle and I have done a great job of exploring some of the best parts of the state - on foot, on bicycle, on skis, on boats. It's been a blast!
When you move to Grand Junction, you have to make a decision: you are either going to become a mountain biker, or you're not. The middle ground is narrow, it's hard to be a recreational mountain biker here because the terrain is technical and challenging. There are few options for beginners. If you decide to become a mountain biker, you're going to fall a lot, you'll be covered in scrapes, bruises, and bumps, and you're going to get pretty good pretty fast. I learned this from experience.
I got a screaming deal on a great bike this winter (always buy from people who work at bike shops - they just want the money to prodeal a new bike and they've probably kept really good care of the one they're selling you). It's a hardtail 29-er (for those of you not familiar with the jargon - that means it only has front suspension but makes up for it with 29 inch wheels. It's been an adventure every step of the way. Twice, I've crashed so hard I thought one of my legs was broken but both times I've walked it off and gotten back on the bike. No permanent damage and I'm having some fun too!
Our first big ride this spring was the Slickrock Trail, very possibly the most famous mountain biking trail in the US. It was hard and I hated it, but the views were phenomenal.
Here we are at one of the overlooks. Slickrock riding all around us, La Sal Mountains the east, Colorado River to the north. It was a pretty great backdrop.
This past weekend, we rode the Porcupine Rim Trail. After Slickrock, I was a little skeptical about Moab mountain biking. After all, we're only 90 miles away and have great riding of our own, only much quieter and more peaceful. But Kyle really wanted to check this one off the list too, so I went along. This was a completely different ride. We started at almost 9,000 ft in the La Sal Mountains and rode all the way down to the Colorado River at around 4.000 ft. It was still a challenging ride, but for very different reasons. This ride was technical downhill riding all the way, with very little climbing. On the Slickrock Trail, the hills are so steep that if you miss the first move, you walk the rest of the way. Procupine Rim had short climbs that were very doable. The difference was the downhill. A majority of the people that passed us on this trail were wearing some kind of body armor or another. There were drops of 2-3 ft that you either rode down or tossed your bike down. Needless to say, I tossed my bike. Here are some photos from the trail:
Here's a view of Kyle and I on the edge of the rim, La Sal Mountains in the background.
There's Kyle, hanging out over the edge of Porcupine Rim looking down on Castle Valley.
I'm riding down towards Professor Valley in the distance. The Colorado River sits below those cliffs.
Here we are at one of the overlooks. It was probably a 500 foot drop just to my left. It was a little scary riding singletrack with that just off the side of the trail. It was great fun though, this trail has many built-in overlooks and gorgeous vistas. For all the time I've spent in the Moab area, I've never looked down on it from above like this. It was truly amazing. I'd recommend this trail, but everyone who has ever written a review before me has already done that. It was BUSY! As we were getting ready to take off in the morning, three vans of shuttled riders pulled up and took off before us. And they must have kept coming all day long, because we kept getting passed my armed riders on downhill bikes. But everyone was very courteous and friendly. I even ran into three guys I went to high school with on the trail. Small world!
Ok, sorry for the long update. I'm going to try to be more diligent with updates in the future. I love living in Colorado. I love that I have an incredible, driven adventure buddy(/boyfriend) to explore all these amazing places with. I miss the places I've been before, but I love the thrill of something new. Alright, that's enough for now.