Monday, 6 August 2012

The Slickrock Trail, Moab

So today's plan was to get up at 5.30am and knock off the Slickrock Trail before it got too hot.

A good plan if I do say so myself.

Except ... my air conditioner in my hotel is very loud and kept me awake during the night, so when my alarm went off I kind of rolled over and went back to sleep, and then I decided I'd maybe go out to Arches National Park today instead and go and ride Slickrock tomorrow ...

Yet another good plan, as I'd probably benefit from a days rest ...

But then ... well it was 9.30am, I stepped out my hotel room door and changed my mind and headed for slickrock.  I'm a creature of desire.

I was worried about the crowds that I'd heard about riding this trail if you get a late start, or more specifically how I might slow those crowds down. Turns out that it wasn't as busy as I thought it would be ...

Slickrock Trail Car Park ... a little empty.
There are lots of warnings in the trail guides about just how hard the Slickrock trail is, but I thought that this sign at the trailhead was either taking things too far or a really worrying sign ...


However as I set out it didn't look too difficult ...


... and others looked like they were having fun.


 and it was kind of beautiful as well ...


Then it got to the hard bit ... that's the route up that way, not a sign ...


About 4kms in, I had already figured out that Slickrock deserved its reputation.  I mean it is magnificent, and truly I now understand why they say it is unlike anything else anywhere, but it was also hard (no pun intended).  Those strenuous climbs mentioned in the guides, were killers and I was already baked ...

I sat down in the shade of one of my favourite trees for a while and contemplated the situation.  I still had over three quarters of the ride to go and I was already in a bit of trouble ... but I knew I may not come this way again ... I decided that even if I had to push my bike the whole way, I wanted to complete Slickrock so I continued on ...


The views made the occasional struggle worthwhile.


As did the trails themselves ... except maybe the sandy bits ...


I saw another storm coming in, but this one didn't arrive until after I got back to my hotel.


It was hard, but where else do you get to ride in places like this ... the route goes right up to and around this rock.


You can also see that the slickrock trail is pretty much all on slickrock ... this I didn't expect.

In the whole time I was out riding I saw less than a handful of other riders ... unlike me they were all riding.


Yep, it was an amazing ride, and one I will always cherish, though to be honest I was cooked, baked and fried well before I got back, and by the time I pulled into the carpark ... well I felt like this squirrel ... I'd do anything for some shade, even if it means lying under a car tyre.


I'd completed slickrock.  Yee Ha!

Epilogue:
After returning to my motel and having a nice cold shower and lots of Powerade (which by the way costs under a dollar each over here, as aginast the $4.00 it costs back home) I was sitting on my bed watching HBO when suddenly my left calf cramped ... and I mean it cramped.  I've never had such a painful or long cramp in my life.

So current situation is that my left knee has been increasingly playing up for the last few days and my left calf is extremely sore and tender.  In simple terms I can limp around, but that's about it.  I think it might be time for a couple of days off the bike. 

No comments:

Post a Comment