Saturday, May 25, 2013

Moab Man Camp: Poison Spider Mesa, Portal, Slick Rock, and Fruita

The next morning we headed to Poison Spider mesa to ride up to the Portal Tail Overlook, and then descend the portal trail. The ride up Poison Spider was our first and only time sharing the tail with jeeps and moto traffic. The jeeps drivers were very courteous, waving us thruogh whenever there was a back up and cheering us on in the tech sections.
After a few days of man camp things were starting to get pretty weird. Photo Cred: J Schroeder

Navigating around the sand on poison spider mesa

The only real bummer was the 2-3 miles of deep sand that we had to navigate through to get up to the overlook.

Finally to the top
Once we got to portal it was all business as theer was a storm brewingto the south, and portal is one of the deadliest trails in Moab due to the extreme exposure. The signs specificly tell you to dismount now, as 3 bikers have previously died on Portal.


And Patterson kept riding. Photo: J Schroeder

lots of exposure Photo: J Schroeder
After we finished portal with all aof our appendages intact, we snagged some pizza headed to our swimming hole up left hand canyon. Knowing that it was our last day in Moab we also got a twilight slick rock loop in before dinner. Slickrock is one of those trails that many folks think has played out, but it is just so incredible the first time you ride it.

The Classic: Slickrock
We rolled slickrock right at dusk, and it was perfect.  One thing that I did notice was that there were a lot of people riding slickrock that really were ill prepared for it. I really think that the real reason the slickrock trailhead/parking lot is so big is so that they can get the ambulances in more easily. 
Fruita: Horsethief
We did stop in fruita on our way back to DIA.  I got to ride a $10,000 mtb. I managed not to trash anything.
Thats not gonna buff out.
Which is more than I can say for some people.
In all seriousness Moab really is still the place for wide open technical singletrack. I would not have had near as much fun without a dropper seatpost and a 5 inch bike. When I got back on trails here in MN I found myself steering with my hips and using more body english instead of steering the Scalpel .  Moab is just one of those places that sticks with you.

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