Here is the Moab valley . The Colorado River cuts through this valley at the north end. The Slickrock Trail is to the right of where I stood when I took this photo, extending up to the Colorado.
The trailhead is within a BLM "Fee Area". There is a campground about a quarter mile away.
Here we are unloading at the trail head. Astute followers may notice that there are fewer bikes on the trailer than were loaded in Cincinnati. The rest fell off in Kansas. Actually, there were very strong headwinds in Kansas that forced the GT and Pat to stop for gas every 160 miles. Today's riders include only Alan, Curt, GT, Rudy, Ivan, Pat, John and Jim.
The rock is not slick, it is sandstone. It is soft - you see chainring marks on it just like you do on logs crossing bike trails. The traction is very good, and you need it. The ascents and descents along this trail - there is nothing in between - are steep.
We went three-quarters around the Practice Loop, which was a humbling experience for many of us. Perhaps the unfamiliarity was a factor, but it took a while for us to become comfortable. We headed out on the Main Trail, doing a lot of walking, rarely riding for more than a minute before dismounting. The altitude is about 5000 feet.
At the northern end of the trail, there are spectacular views of the Colorado. There are spectacular views everywhere, actually. Though the views are vast, the desert is also vast, and it is clear how one could become quite lost. The trail is marked with white paint.
The whole ride was about 15 tough miles, taking over three hours. Sorry, no actual riding photos today, out of caution for myself and digicam. Maybe tomorrow.
After a brief rest period, we drove to Arches National Park, which is just 5 miles north of Moab, and the reason most people come to Moab. This is a deceptive park - you drive in an ordinary entrance, up a ridge, but then emerge onto a bizarre scene of crazy rock formations. And then the arches. This is the North Window arch.
We stayed for sunset. This is Turret Arch, as seen from the North Window Arch.
Virtual Moab Site
"Official" Moab Site
41 West 100 North
Moab Ut 84532
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