Bike and Hike the Dead Horse

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Canyonlands RV
What I did
Bike and Hike the Dead Horse

Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Just two days left in Moab and I have not biked in the mountain biking capital of the US. So time to change that today. We drove this morning 30 miles outside Moab to Dead Horse Point State Park. This place was made famous by Thelma and Louise when they drove off the cliff here. Since this is a state park we can take Quique to walk around. The only bad thing about this park is you have to pay $10 for one day. National Parks you pay an entrance fee for about the same price at most and this takes care of you for a week. But I heard nothing but great things about this park and $10 is not that much in the large scheme of things.

The drive to the park is almost the same as the one to Canyonlands NP. You just turn off to the state park road a few miles from the national park. The park had a big visitors center for a state park with a large shop, educational exhibits, and a small theater/art gallery. Pooh and I were the split up today with her taking a hike with Quique and me finally taking a bike trail.

The bike trail – called the Intrepid – is a good introduction to slick rock riding, which is what I need. I'm use to riding in a forest dirt path with roots all over the place. Here, you ride on a dirt path with no trees or just bare rock. Back home if you fall, there is a good chance you’ll fall in the dirt and an occasional rock. But out here if you fall on the slick rock, you’re guaranteed to fall on rock. This is not what I need on a vacation where use of legs is mandatory. So here I go down the trail – 9 miles in all. The first part had its twists and turns that you expect on a mountain bike path with a few small slick rocks here and there. As long as you have some speed when you hit them it is OK. But if you try to go over them slowly, you’ll fall off. After a mile there was a great overlook right on the edge of a sheer 1,000 ft. cliff – don’t go too far or you’ll disappear off the trail. Then you had to go up this small plateau – I’ve done this before so it should be easy, but not on this trial. This trail wanted to go uphill for just a short distance – 45 degree angle over bumpy slick rock. No way I’m doing that. So off the bike I went – it was hard enough just to walk the bike up. After another mile there was a gradual uphill on all slick rock but much of it was stair like so I had to walk again or maybe fall in one of the pit holes. After this long section the rest of the ride was OK – and I did get somewhat use to the sick rock and went over some major sections. But I’m not going to kid you – this was easy for many of the riders out here. No way I’m going to get up to their ability during my short stay in Moab. Maybe I should have taken a course on this, but I’m not out here for long and I’m pretty cheap. There were a few more killer overlooks – that is why you come out here. The last four miles were pretty easy – mostly straight on coarse gravel and downhill, so some major speed. The office said the average rider takes 2 hours to do this trail, while I did it in an hour and a half. Does this mean I’ll try something harder tomorrow? Probably not.

I was back at the VC 30 min. ahead of time of when Pooh was to meet me back. So I sat on their back porch with a nice view of the Colorado Valley 1,000 ft. below. Thirty min. passed and no Pooh and Quique. No problem. Then 15, then 30 min. late. Now I know something is wrong. Maybe she got lost on the trail. Even though it was a loop around the point, Pooja does not have the best sense of direction. She did come back just a tad over 30 min. late with an umbrella in one hand and Quique in the other. Yes, she did get lost was one problem. Also, she started 15 min. late. Then Quique got tired fast in the sun and was going to every shade spot she could find. She is an old dog. After meeting back, we decided we’d go back to Moab. We would come back out here in the evening for a night walk.

Back at the RV I cooked some lunch and we just chilled out for the afternoon. Just sitting outside on the porch (we had our outdoor carpet and awning out) and going back in the ACed RV when it got too hot. When we do this the hours just pass away very quickly. Why do hours not do this when you’re at work? Later in the afternoon I ate a little dinner at this fast food rice bowl place called Hogi/Yogi. They also sell ice cream and sandwiches.  I got a curry chicken bowl which was not the best – I did read in a review that said it was 75% rice and just a little meat; this was true. Then we did a little shopping across the street at the Kroger owned store. This is good since I can get points on my Kroger card for gas. I did have enough for 10 cents off but this place was already 10 cents more than another place so why waste those points here.

After we put up our grocery’s in the RV we drove back out to Dead Horse Point State Park for the night hike. This did not start until 9:30 so we had a few hours to kill. So we walked around Dead Horse Point as the sun was setting. We saw our only true wildlife here as a fox came across our path. Luckily we saw it for a few seconds before Quique barked at it and it ran off. Overall, Dead Horse Point should be on the must see list for any traveler to the Southwest.

Our night hike started a little late as the ranger was waiting to see if anyone else would show up. There were suppose to be 10 people in our group but it ended up only being us two and Quique. The ranger was very informative and we learned a lot from her but there was really no wildlife that we could see. This was supposed to be a full moon hike, but it was hiding behind clouds for our hike. Quique really liked the hike as it was cool and there were many sounds to be heard. We could hear bats squeaking here and there, but that was about it. Back at the VC and the bright light turned out to be the best wildlife viewing of the night as bats were flying around trying to get at the insects. So after our official walk ended we just sat here for 15 min. watching.

As we drove the 30 min. back to Moab the full moon did slip away from the blanket of clouds. It was pretty neat to see the desert landscape with all the mesas, buttes, and cliffs being lit up by the moon. It was also cool in that we were one of the few people on the road at this time so we could stop in the middle at anytime. We got back to the RV just after 11 and it was time for bed.
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