Zen On Dirt

Camp Neighbors and dorking around Moab

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If someone ten years down the road asks me what the best part of this visit to Moab was, I’ll say that hands-down, it was the rotating list of camp neighbors. When we’d gotten to Moab, we’d lucked into a beautiful little spot that was large enough to fit 4-5 vehicles and their occupants, but with the Scamp parked nobly at the end, it was left mostly alone by people who we didn’t know.

The morning that Bec and Mike left from their campsite that was walking distance from ours (we had several lovely dinner parties that were centered around the propane powered princess oven that Bec had, and the cakes and brownies that came out of it), we went out for an easy pedal to Uranium arch, just across the highway from our campsite.

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It was one of those iconic spots where you can ride a bike over an arch, and it wasn’t far away, and the riding to get there wasn’t outrageously hard. Rest day, we said.

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The beauty of it was that it’ll never make a Top 10 Rides in Moab list, so even on a Sunday morning, we had the place to ourselves.

Later that day, Shannon showed up. She’d said that she probably didn’t want to ride that afternoon after having done a 50-mile the race the day before, which is what made the Uranium arch expedition a good idea in our book.

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But really, when you get three mountain bikers in one spot who haven’t ridden together in several months, well, it doesn’t take much mumbling about a ride to make it happen.

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We went out for an easy ride on the Klonzo trails, Moab’s beginner friendly loops in the golden light of the evening. Shannon had only ridden the Whole Enchilada in Moab, so I wanted to show her some of the other fun stuff.

We returned to camp an hour later to find new camp neighbors in the form of Julie and Jo, and their four-legged kiddos, Fritz and Dotty.

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Maybe the best part of our campsite was all the dogs I got to hang out with…I love doggies.

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Even Scott was a fan of Fritz, who’d adopted our Scamp as his own and couldn’t figure out why we wouldn’t give him snacks (most of the time).

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In the morning, Scott mentioned something about being willing to run a Mag7 shuttle for us. That’s sort of one of those offers you jump on before your shuttle driver changes their mind!

I hadn’t ridden the top part of the Mag7 trails yet this trip, and had been angling for a way to get it done.

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Scott rode with us to the bottom of Bull Run where we all checked out the Gemini Bridges. From there, Scott returned to the car and Shannon and I carried on down to the bottom of Little Canyon and back out Gemini Bridges to the Moab Brand Trails and back the semi-secret way back to our campsite.

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I have a pretty stinkin’ awesome boyfriend to enable rides like that.

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Wanting to make the most of Shannon’s time in Moab, and wanting to hang out with Julie and Jo, we took a sunset group field trip to Arches National Park. 9am, the line is out to the highway. Post-5pm, they don’t even have anyone at the gate anymore.

We made short work of the hike up to Delicate Arch. The people watching up there is divine, especially at sunset. Watching the constantly rotating set of people walking into the arch to get their picture taken and then listening to people with giant cameras bitch that they can never get a picture of the arch without someone in it is hilarious.

National Parks, our nation’s greatest export.

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Photo from Julie

Julie, Scott, and I took the more adventurous route down from the arch, cruising up to an alternate lookout, and then ending up hustling the last mile of the trail back to the parking lot in the dark, giggling the whole way.

Shannon, with bruised ribs from a crash earlier in the month, rallied for one more short ride on Navajo Rocks the following morning. Moab riding beats me up when I’m perfectly healthy, I can’t imagine doing it with bruised ribs.

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We spent the afternoon eating ice cream and lounging in the park before doing another short hike at Arches.

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In the morning, Shannon would point south to go home. Jo and Dotty would point east to head back to Denver. Luckily, Heather had showed up the night before getting ready to do a bikepack on the Kokopelli. While we waved goodbye to old friends leaving, we welcomed new ones into our home.

If the forecast was correct, we had one more week of good temperatures. We had plans to make the most of it.

 

 

 

 

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