08 March 2016

Stardate 2016.184

Moab Delights

Recently, Snowcatcher and I snuck in a mountain bike visit to Moab, Utah, while returning to Colorado from a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. We decided to cut the distance home into 2 days, which allowed us to ride early the second day. We both are quite fond of Moab and surrounds.

For our rides, we headed north to the Moab Brands Trail network. The brand named trails are Bar M, Circle O, Rockin A and Bar B with the second-half letters spelling MOAB. From the staging area, we started together on the EZ Loop. Once to the Bar M trail, Snowcatcher rode the Rusty Spur route while I tackled the Bar M and Rockin A before returning to the staging area via the Bar M.

The hazy 11,000- and 12,000-foot peaks of the Manti La Sal Mountains rise in the background. The picture haze is the result of a controlled burn not far from where we were riding. Hopefully, the wind didn't make things too worse from an out-of-control fire standpoint.

The Rockin A route travels across ancient sandstone for its entire length. That's Arches National Park in the background. North Window Arch can be seen in the photo. It's a rather interesting line of site because there are numerous large arches around North Window Arch, and they aren't seen in this photo.

This is where a lot of snowmelt ends up along the Rockin A Trail. As summer beckons, the water will evaporate. This particular pothole (erosion feature closest to the bike) was about 3 feet deep and already teaming with aquatic insects. Many of the insects burrow until moisture returns. Summer thunderstorm events (and flash flooding) can recharge potholes and intermittent streams as well.

The Manti La Sal Mountains tower above a sea of ancient stone. Newer map nomenclature excludes Manti for some reason; the peaks are now simply referred to as the La Sals. Mount Peale is the highest peak in the range, touching desert sky at 12,721 feet. Moab sits at the western base of the Manti La Sal Mountains at an elevation of approximately 4,000 feet.

Bar M Trail landscape

Bike season is just around the corner, and I'm very much looking forward to it. More to come...


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