Saturday, October 19, 2013

Desert dreaming

Last night while flipping through Fodor's Guide to the National Parks of the West -- I spent the past month updating the Grand Teton chapter -- I had an intense longing for a trip to the Utah desert.

Not that this weekend's shopping jaunt to the big city of Idaho Falls hasn't been satisfying. It's just not a real vacation, and it's not Moab.

Once while on a trip with my pal Alexa we were paddling duckies along the Colorado River under towering sandstone walls in silence except for the occasional car zipping by on the highway above. As we watched one of those cars pull over by the side of the road, a man got out, put a trumpet to his lips and serenaded us, the sound echoing through the canyon.

Another time, Denise and I came down for a long weekend of mountain biking and got into an epic vacation fight on the way home. I believe the issue was my wanting to stop for ice cream and her refusing.

When Scott and I went down and explored Arches National Park, we almost got blown off the cliff just before Delicate Arch in a crazy windstorm.

This spring, I forgot my national parks pass when we hit Moab for a week, but since we had kid and dog with us that was OK. We hiked up Negro Bill Canyon and the dog miraculously didn’t find any rattlesnakes. Coyote Shuttle dropped us at the top of Gemini Bridges jeep road, and we ate a fantastic picnic lunch at the edge of the bridges. Scott was towing Desi in her Weehoo recumbent trail-a-bike, so we stuck to the road, even though I looked wistfully at every big of singletrack we passed.

We did a tiny bit of “real” mountain biking on the Bar M of the Moab Brand Trails, and now that I’ve done those trails I think Milo would have had a great time running alongside.

Moab with kid, dog and husband is quite different than a trip with the girls. With the former, there’s more packing and less adventuring, but at this point, seven months post-vacay, I’d take any kind of trip.

Seeing as I’ve got a big birthday next summer, I’m planning a big-ish girls’ trip, something I’d train for all winter. I was thinking Bikerpelli along the Kokopelli trail, but my pal Rachel suggests the San Juan hut system instead. San Juans don’t open up until June 1, and my preferred time window is a bit earlier, probably May. Anybody got other ideas?


Annie V. said...

Maah Daah Hey.

Yes, I know that North Dakota doesn't sound like a biking mecca but I have friends who rave about this trail.

Annie V. said...

Nice job with the blog J-Lo!

Jo on the go said...

Annie, the symbol for the trail is a turtle?!? That's my speed, dude. :-) How far from Jackson? Does it melt out any sooner than Sun Valley, I wonder? Investigating...

Annie V. said...

I know what you mean by relating to the turtle. Since I was out of town for most of summer by technical biking skills are weak - mostly town rides and a few very cool, exploratory rides in Laramie. I'm threatening to get a new bike next spring. I've had my current bike for nine seasons and I think I can feel good about letting it go. It's the bike I've used for all of my Sun Valley trips.