We rolled away from Blondie's Diner hoping to make it the rest of the way to Moab that night. We should have known that a glorious day can't last forever and that the night would catch up to us and drag us down until we finally gave in and stopped for the night. Exhausted and dirty, we checked into the Richfield Marriott for some showers and sleep.
Morning came around too soon, but it brought another bright day and the promise of more adventures for our wandering little group. We drove across Utah at a leisurely pace, stopping every so often for gas, food, a nice view, and to harass each other. We made it into Moab on Sunday afternoon, just in time to settle in and meet up with our good friend Nick from Fox. The five of us walked over to the Moab Brewery where Nick insisted that we all "get on the program," which meant ordering the following: A veggie burger, server picks the cheese, onion rings, and no pickle. I have to say, that was hands down the best veggie burger I've ever had.
Monday mornings are notoriously lame for most people, but not for us. We slept in a little and then hopped on our bikes and rode down to the Jailhouse Cafe for breakfast. I'm not usually a big fan of breakfast, but that place had it nailed. Scrambled eggs with a billion different vegetables and cheeses mixed in, fat thick strips of bacon, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and hot tasty coffee that didn't spill in my lap.
After breakfast, we rode back over to Chile Pepper bike shop to stock up on stuff we'd need for our ride. We got back to the hotel to get ready and to drop our dirty laundry off next door so we'd have clean clothes for the rest of the week instead of going around like the dirty stinky gypsies we really are. We took off down the road to the trail head and before long, I was riding in Moab for the first time.
And I hated it.
First it was the sand that pissed me off. I felt like we were riding through the world's biggest litterbox. Then we got past some technical sections and I thought maybe the fun part would start. Not so much. The whole trail was one technical sandy section after another with a few patches of slick rock thrown in. Not my style. Toward the end of the trail, Tori and I were trudging through the sand all pissed off and poor Nixon was riding along next to us listening to us bitch and talk shit about Moab in general. At one point, Tori and I paused our whining to wonder where Nixon had disappeared to. He had just been behind us and he hadn't passed us, but we couldn't see him anywhere. Suddenly we saw a figure on a bike pedaling rapidly toward us. As he got closer, we could tell he wasn't going to slow down. Then we realized why. He was naked except for his shoes, holding his clothes in his hand as he whizzed by us. We just kinda looked at each other and then laughed, grateful for the comedic relief.
It had been a hard, hot day and Tori and I were quite displeased with our ride. Our sour moods didn't help the boys much, so it was a quiet ride back to the hotel. Showers and naps soon rallied our spirits and once again our merry troop went in search of food. Tori lived in Moab once, so she knew of a great spot to eat. As the sun dropped, bringing on the cool evening, we sat under strings of bare light bulbs laughing at one another over several bottles of wine and huge plates of local fare. We were all spent and pretty tired from the finished day and we knew the wine would bring sleep to our heads before long. We spent the rest of the evening catching up on e-mails, making plans, and watching mountain bike videos before dozing off in anticipation of an early morning road ride.