The dreaded cattle guard crossing
We drove straight to the MOAB Brand MTB trails, north of town, and did our favorite circuit of Rusty Spur and the Bar M loop twice (18.93 miles, 2 hours 12 minutes). There were several vehicles in the parking lot but we didn't really see anyone out on the trails. We had intended to swap my clip-in pedals out for flat pedals, as we have done in past trips, but didn't get around to it before leaving home; I forgot my flat shoes anyhow so I rode mostly with just my right foot clipped in. With it being the first time back on the bike, I was a little nervous going over the uphill cattle guard on Rusty Spur, and had to walk one short section at the start of the Bar M loop. But I was climbing okay and by the second time around was beginning to regain some confidence on two wheels.
H, Bar M loop, La Sal mountains behind
After our ride, we went back to town but found it too early (2 p.m.) to check into our motel, so we bided some time at Woody's Tavern, talking with a young local river guide/waiter/lost soul over beers. After we were able to get into our room and clean up, we did a necessary laundromat/grocery store run, then walked down to the Moab Brewery for an early dinner. Although the restaurant did not seem as busy as it has on past Friday night visits, the bar was full. H had a chicken burrito and a red rye; I had a gyro salad and a Johnny's IPA. It was an early night for us - and wow, all the nights seem to be early nights these days.