Thursday, October 8, 2009

Moab Day 4 - Sovereign Trail

We headed out to the Sovereign Trail Tuesday under blue skies and 65 degrees. I had shaken my fear and knew then that I could handle (or walk) anything that these Moab trails could throw at me. Some of the girls from Palmer that we ride with had told me that their skills had jumped to a whole new level after they rode in Moab and Fruita and I was now beginning to understand what they meant.

The Sovereign Trail is a slow climb with plenty of technical challenges. Porcupine Rim on Monday was all about the rocky downhill, but Sovereign was the place to practice ascending rocky ledges.

After a few miles of playing around on the rocks, and numerous photo shoots, the trail climbed steeply up and over a rocky ridge. We had to get off and push the bikes here.

I walked most of the descent on the other side of the ridge. It wasn't too technical, but I seem to lose my nerve (and all skills) when I ride next to a cliff. It's like my bike just wants to steer out into the abyss.

Eventually we made our way through a sandy wash that ended on a wide open expanse of slick rock. Slick Rock. Those two words were enough to send chills down my spine about a week ago. Before we arrived in Moab, I feared the slick rock. I never thought that I would like to ride in a place where the rock never ended. Where every crash ended with your body falling against the rock. But slick rock is what riding in Moab is about, so I knew that I would have to give it a try.

In the past four days I have learned to love it. I have even started to wonder on each trail we ride, when the slick rock part is going to begin. And who can hate something that provides such amazing photos. The blue skies contrasting with the slick rock produced some of the best photos that will come from this trip.

After playing around on the slick rock and eating lunch, Heather and I were feeling tired so we found an alternate way back on a jeep trail. Tim's brother Matt rode with us. We figured the guys would have fun bombing back down the Sovereign Trail without having to wait for us.

I was just beginning to get comfortable with my new skills, but our time in Moab was ending. Only one more day to ride here...

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