I looked through all the pictures and videos from this past weekend and got a huge smile on my face! Another successful Moab Camp of great rides, yummy food, and time with friends. I already can’t wait for next Spring!
After a week of torrential rains and devastating floods along the Front Range of Colorado it was a welcome relief to spend some time in the dry sunny desert of Moab, Utah. We had blue skies and warm days for most of the camp, using lots of sunscreen and even filling up my Camelback bladder to the very top for our long rides. We had six guests this year; three were returning alumni and three were newbies. This was the all-inclusive camp so Rim Tours did all of our cooking and Beth Roberts helped me with guiding, instruction and worked her magic on the bikes every day so they all ran flawlessly.
Our first morning was spent at the Old City Park doing skills and drills on the grass. I recently took a Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Certification course and used the new techniques for the first time in Moab. This was an intermediate/advanced camp so we didn’t spend much time at City Park except to quickly review the fundamentals and brush up on our drop-off and ledge riding techniques that are so important for riding around Moab. After a nutritious and delicious lunch we rode the Slick Rock Trail. Not wanting to destroy everyone on the first day we did just the Practice Loop (in both directions of course) and worked all the technical sections. Everyone enjoyed massages in the afternoon back at the condos followed by appetizers and a large dinner. Beth gave us a great trail-side bike maintenance clinic before retiring to our beds for a much needed night of sleep.
Saturday was another gorgeous blue-bird day. We drove up to the Magnificent Seven trail system and spent the entire day riding singletrack! The Mag 7 trails are a nice mix of challenging technical sections and fast fun flowing singletrack. The views of the La Sals, Gold Bar Rim, and the Moab valley were stunning. We had a late lunch back at the van and then did the short hike to the Gemini Bridges. Then it was back to the condos for massage and some down-time. After dinner we got some good laughs watching all the videos I took from the last two rides.
Sunday, our last day, was our first day of inclement weather. The Moab valley was clear and sunny but the La Sals were engulfed in dark ominous looking clouds and that was where we wanted to start our ride. The plan was to do the Whole Enchilada which starts at the top of Geyser Pass and then climbs almost to tree line over Burro Pass. With the weather not looking good we decided to start lower down at Warner Lake and do Hazard County to Kokopelli and then down the Porcupine singletrack. After riding and racing all over the world, I can still say this is one of the coolest rides I’ve ever done! We rode fast, stopped and worked on fun technical sections, took tons of pictures, and kept an eye on the slowing worsening weather. Eventually our little donut hole of sunshine disappeared and the skies opened up on us, dumping rain and wind for the last 4 mile singletrack descent down to the Colorado River. This was also the most technical part of the ride which the rain and mud made even more exciting. But everyone made it down in one piece and we were still smiling as we loaded the bikes in a torrential downpour. As we drove back into Moab we stopped and took pictures of the huge waterfalls that had formed from the huge amount of rain that came down in just a few minutes. It was quite impressive!
After unloading back at the condos we hooked up the hose and washed our muddy bikes and clothing. We had snacks, exchanged photos and videos, and then said our goodbyes before everyone left to head home. I left Moab at 5:30pm and experienced some of the worst weather ever on a drive back from Moab. Pouring rain for hours turned to a blizzard over Vail Pass. I finally gave up from exhaustion and got a hotel in Frisco, finishing my drive early Monday morning. Always an adventure driving anywhere in Colorado this time of year!
I am already planning on running camps in Moab in May and October in 2014. Check back to our website www.alisondunlap.com around the first of the year for the new schedule. Enjoy the changing of the seasons and the beautiful fall colors!
PS. To see all the photos from the camp go to