Monday, September 23, 2013

long weekend in moab, pt. 1

Fisher Towers under a perfect Utah sky

This past weekend marked the third year in a row that we've gone down to Moab for a long weekend.  The first two times, H did the Moab Century, which meant that his Saturday was pretty much consumed by the road ride.  This time he opted not to do that, instead compiling a nice, varied to-do list.  And by "varied" I mean "a bunch of hiking and MTBing."

Slightly technical section of the trail

We were up and moving early Thursday morning, dropping B off at the kennel around 7 a.m. before she even knew what was happening.  Rather than taking the usual way of I-15 to 6 East to 70 East to 191 South, we went the scenic route, continuing a little further east on 70 to the smaller Route 128, which goes along the banks of the Colorado River through Castle Valley to Moab.

View of the Colorado River from trail's end

Our first hike of the trip was below Fisher Towers, just before Castle Valley (4.4 miles round-trip; 2 hrs. 45 min.).  After a quick lunch at one of the unoccupied camp sites near the trail head, we headed off across the red, red dirt and red, red rock, the towers looming overhead.  No one was climbing the massive Titan but we did spy some (to our minds, fool-hardy) rock climbers, swarming a terrifying spire far above us.  The sky was amazingly clear, the temperature a perfect mid-80s, the views absolutely impressive.

Can you see those wackadoo climbers up there?

We had a post-hike beer in the parking area before continuing along 128, following the river into Moab.  Our accommodations were again at the charming, funky little Kokopelli Lodge; this year's motel room had a noticeable gap under the door, Ikea furnishings and a tight but nicely tiled shower.  After checking in and showering up, we walked down Main Street to the Moab Brewery for dinner where H had a chicken burrito washed down with Johnnie's American IPAs and I dined on fish tacos and the Dead Horse Amber Ale.

Yeah, that spire is what those climbers are on in the last photo

It cooled down nicely as we walked back to the motel, making the evening's beers on the bench outside our room very pleasant.  Bedtime was before 10 p.m. - and we had to pack for Friday's adventures first, because we were planning a very early start in the morning.

End of the road, so to speak

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