After a repeatedly & much-delayed flight from O’Hare, I was back in Utah for my fourth visit in less than four years – being one of my favourite western states, I was much excited. That excitement was muted a little by the lateness of the hour, picking up the rental car & completing the easy drive across Salt Lake City to Jeremy & Pam’s house. It was fairly late in the planning of the trip that I realised I did actually, sort of, know people in SLC – having met Jeremy & Pam riding a very nice river trail in central Oregon two years previous. They came through for us time & time again during our Utah stay. With the late hour, there wasn’t much to do apart from say hello to those I’d kept from sleep, make a bed and hit the hay.
Waking up, I was a little concerned & surprised that it wasn’t much warmer than the dreary English weather I’d left behind. After a brief, more awake, re-acquaintance with Jeremy & Pam they were off to work & we were out the door to a huge breakfast at a diner (complete with learn-your-US-presidents placemats – mostly remembered for the impressive quiffs of bygone centuries) chosen by Jeremy (as this trip progresses you’ll see we began to take any of Jeremy’s recommendations as gospel). With a bit of faffing round looking for odds & sods for me, our small convoy (two Subarus) set off south for Moab.
It was a pretty leisurely drive down south over a pass as we struck off I-15. The fresh snow was concerning considering ten days of mountain-biking & camping, but not too off-putting.
We stopped in Wellington City, of all places, for a playground expenditure of energy for Finn. I think I may have been the most worn out. I should have mentioned by now that I flew to SLC to meet best-friends from living in Canada, Alex, Megan & their son Finn for Moab adventures – this time biking. Moab being possibly the most famous mountain-biking destination, I was thrilled to be back (I had been here with Valerie on the roadtrip two years ago) and salivating at the chance to ride proper bike trails with rocks, climbs, singletrack and all those good things. The plan was to camp for our entire stay, but rolling into Moab it was much too cold to be setting up camp with a toddler (a handy excuse), so we got a cabin for the night.
In the morning it was off to Poison Spider to pick up my rental bike – more about that later (except to say it was at the low end of the Moab rental bike range and cost more to hire than a late-model Subaru Forester – cars are cheap in the States!). And off to ride!