Monday, October 1, 2012

bikes in the desert, pt. 4

Sunday, our last day in Moab.  For breakfast, we walked a few blocks north on Main Street to the Eklecticafe (353 N. Main), an incredibly funky little breakfast and lunch spot in an old ranch house.  There are only about three tables inside, but there's seating on the lovely wide porch and plenty of tables in a shaded patio to the side.  It's a mellow place: you stake out a table then go inside to order, where they give you a plastic vegetable to put on your table so they know who gets what when they bring out your food.  There are several jars of serve yourself water and coffee urns for the refills.  Despite all the tofu on the menu (they seem big on tofu, brown rice, seaweed and soy butter, but have the real stuff too), I went with the biscuits and gravy and H ordered the huevos rancheros.  The food was good - homemade country gravy for sure - but the portions were way too big.  Neither of us could finish our plates; H, who is a good eater, scarcely put away half of his.  We felt guilty for wasting so much food - next time we'll split something.

We biked around that on the slickrock

After we went back and packed up our room, we had time for a short MTB ride, driving north out of town for sixteen miles, then turning in at the Mill Canyon Road.  We parked in the enormous dirt parking lot and jumped on our bikes, heading down the Lower Monitor & Merrimac Trail.  The Monitor and the Merrimac are the names of two enormous rock formations that look rather like the Civil War ironclad warships; we weren't heading out that far, but the trail we took had great views of them.

Heading towards the slickrock

This short (6.62 mi. per our GPS; 7.5 mi. per the trail description) lollipop (an out-and-back with a loop at the end) trail got mixed reviews from us.  The out-and-back portion was a pain in the neck because it was riddled with deep pockets of sand that forced us to get off and push.  But once we got out on the slickrock, it was just wonderful.  This is great slickrock for beginners:  wide and rolling, with no cliffs or technical sections.  It was really fun because even though the trail was marked with blazes, you could ride around and pick your own line across the rock.  The trail encircled a huge chunk of rock looming out of the slickrock, then looped around by a seasonal creek bed - at the bottom of which we saw big animal tracks, bear or mountain lion perhaps as they seemed far too big for coyotes.

Trail-side self-portrait

We finished up our ride, finished up a couple of PBRs and piled back into the truck to head for home.  We had one more stop to make, though: lunch at Ray's Tavern in Green River.  Now, there's not much going on in little Green River except for melon stands (Green River melons are fabulous) and Ray's Tavern (25 Broadway), and both were hopping on that early Sunday afternoon.  Ray's serves really good burgers and great hand-cut fries (and beer).  Yes, there are some other things on the menu - I think I heard someone order a grilled chicken sandwich - but you stop at Ray's for the burgers.  There were all kinds of folks stopping there: locals, old folks driving through, bikers, folks out on the patio with their dog.  I had a cheeseburger with fries, H had a bacon-cheeseburger with fries (there is coleslaw for people who don't want fries but the fries are fantastic).  They didn't ask how we wanted them cooked and they were delicious, charred on the outside and still juicy.  I would totally stop there again.

Eat at Ray's!

And that was our long weekend.  After demolishing our burgers, we headed north, retrieved B from the kennel, still damp from her bath, and went home to do about eight loads of laundry ... and figure out when we'd get to go back to Moab.

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