It was off to the desert this past weekend for some more training for the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge. Moab is the closest thing in our area to the Arabian sand dunes of the UAE, and it’s getting harder and harder to paddle and mountain bike at home as winter approaches.
I started on Saturday with a two hour paddle from Moab to Potash on the Colorado River while Ian and Juniper hiked to Corona Arch with our friends Andi, Rachel and our four rambunctious dogs.
Then, Ian really wanted to show me the Hazard County/UPS/LPS/Porcupine ride from the LaSal’s into town. I thoroughly enjoyed the technical singletrack descent out of the mountains along the cliffside, but afterwards I felt like I needed more climbing. So, I decided to ride the shuttle. The 30-mile ride back to the car was mostly on pavement, but there were 20-plus miles of climbing back into the La Sal Mountains, making it a pretty long slog. I enjoyed the effort and felt like I was getting some good miles in for Abu Dhabi; however, it was a relief to have some fellow bikers drive me the last 2 miles to Warner Lake as it was really dark and cold by then (and they were convinced I was crazy for riding back to the car).
More paddling and then riding with Juniper in the Chariot on Sunday in the warm sun rounded out the weekend. Part of me is convinced I need to move to Moab part-time, but for now I’ll have to settle with going back for Thanksgiving with Mike and Michael for some more fun.