Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moab wind and work

It has been a very busy rental season at our place in Moab this spring.  We had renters in for 24 nights in April and 30 nights in May.  Last week there was an opening so we bombed down for a couple of nights to assess the damage a few months of vacationing families can do to a place. 

The trip did not start out smoothly.  We left the house at noon on Sunday, a truck full of bikes, tools, supplies, and cats, but on this first warm day of the year (85 degrees), before we even made it to the freeway, we discovered the AC did not work.  It has been such a cold spring that I haven't needed the AC.  Rough finding out it doesn't work with a packed truck on a Sunday!  So after running around to 3 or 4 different Firestone stations, we found one that could work on the truck.  We settled in for an hour or so to the lobby of the service station, cats in their carriers and us on vinyl seats. 

Things looked good at first, but by 2:30 the technician discovered a puncture in the compressor.  That is no bueno!  A parts store was open and the technician agreed to stay after closing time to work on it (see, family, there are advantages to living in a big city), so we bunkered down in the waiting room and wasted away a gorgeous June afternoon. We used the time to do some computing, sewing, reading, and bike maintenance. The cats slept through it all.

Finally at 6 PM and $700 later, we were on our way.  We used the AC even though we didn't need it anymore. :-(

For all the people through the condo, it was in pretty decent shape.  We spent Monday patching paint and deep cleaning.  The new trail we wanted to try was on the agenda for the afternoon, but vicious winds prevented any cycling activity and closed the pool to boot. Bummer! 

Instead, we waited until the wind died down a bit and hiked Mill Creek Canyon, just on the edge of town.  Neither of us had been up this canyon, and we get asked for hiking suggestions all the time from our renters, so we were doing necessary reconnaissance.  It was a fabulous hike, even though we missed the side canyon reportedly containing a shangi-la waterfall. 

The trail follows Mill Creek very closely,

and has many crossings.

The best part about the hike was observing how the course of the stream is dependent on the jointing (geo term) or cracks (non-geo term) in the Navajo Sandstone. 

 The stream tumbles over bedding plane ledges and follows the joints, widening them over time.

There were cool micro things to see too.  These insect creations looked like mini termite mounds or nuclear reactor cooling towers. 

And these rocks were cool stuck like shingles into one of the joints in the streambed.

The evening light on the sandstone and distance view of the La Sals was magnificent.

Tuesday morning we spent cleaning some more and getting a tear in the carpet fixed, but we were both itching for some pedal time, so we managed to ride UPS and LPS as a loop.  Last time I did this trail was on my old Titus. I remember it being at the top of my technical ability.  This time, on a 29er, was a whole different story.  I can't get over how much easier technical trails are on the big wheels. Wow!  It is almost cheating.  Drew shot some video, but it might take a few weeks for him to find time to edit it.  We'll make sure to post it when he does.

Tuesday we packed everything up and headed home really late. Not a great recipe for both of us working the next day, but that's the price ya gotta pay to play. 

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