Take a billion or so cubic yards of ice cream, let it soften into smooth mounds under the Utah sun, then swirl in a dazzling array of syrups—strawberry, chocolate, black cherry—and refreeze it. That's what slickrock looks like, and this is how it looks to ride your mountain bike on it. And now, I'll tell you what it feels like to be a kid again.
Camp Boonster Utah: If the first day out of the winter Crevice is a barometer, this trip is going to be a fairy tale composite of everything I dreamed my retirement life would be, should I be so lucky to live to see it. A celebration of health, fair weather, and a like minded woman, not to mention RV friends (read antagonist in this case) to play with :).
Boonie got it right when he scouted this boondock. It's about 14 miles north of Moab, a cute little town growing up fast in a red canyon crevice along side the mighty Colorado River. Bobbie and I scouted this road a couple of years ago, looking for new slickrock opportunities besides "The Slickrock Trail" above town...the one with a gillion spandexed riders on it.
Bartlett Wash is a kinder-gentler version of The Slickrock Trail. We've ridden The Slickrock Trail many times over the past thirty some years, the last time being in 2008. But the most memorable was in 1982, when Bobbie went flying OTB (Over The Bars), didn't let go of them, and landed smack on her chinny chin chin. It was a bloody mess. Once I untangled her from her machine, she sat in a dazed state and spat little pieces of chipped teeth. As luck would have it we couldn't have been further from the trailhead. I flushed out the gapping hole with water (I could see her chin bone) and told her she was going to need "a stitch or two." Well, I didn't want to frighten her; I knew it was going to take a seamstress to close that gap.
It was a Duct Tape moment...it's all we had and it worked. She rode her bike out of there and then I drove her to the ER of Moab's tiny hospital. She's a tough one.
Five or so miles from our boondock, on a road that can't make up its mind whether it wants to be Mancos Shale or Red Sand, we entered the pretties of Bartlett Wash. Gnarly old cottonwoods showed off their few hodgepodge jumbles of yellow leaves, and there was only a smattering of bikers camping under them.
It seems like ATV's outnumber mountain bikes anymore. It is a sad, sad day and age when perfectly young and healthy kids must be carried every freaking place they want to go by a motor...such that one fine day Evolution will determine that Legs are no longer necessary. So they will begin to shrivel and waste away...replaced by motorized vehicles of one sort or another.
Now for the "ice cream," miles and miles of mounds and slickrock pavement to play on...zig zagging, freewheeling, standing on the peddles. With no mirrors to tell us otherwise, it felt like we were twelve years old again.
Life, my dear friends, is short—time is all we have—so why not go out and make it "good!"
Peace out from "The Land of Oz."
mark and bobbie