Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Porcupine Rim Trail

Two weekends I go I went to Moab, UT home of the delicate arch in Arches National Park.  I have a picture of it in a previous post when I headed there for thanksgiving.  This time we were in town to do some mountain biking/hiking/running.  We arrived Friday afternoon and were able to get in a short mountain bike ride before it got dark out.  Since I'm not very skilled I did the slickrock practice loop, and let me say that it let me realize that I shouldn't bike any of the other slickrock trails.  Riding slickrock is very strange, the entire trail is on rock that's marked with paint and it's amazing how much your tires grip the rock.  On the downside no matter where you fall, you will be falling on smooth rock at the best and jagged rock if you aren't so lucky.  Another down side to camping in Moab is that sand gets everywhere.  You can't enjoy any food without having the added crunchiness of sand.

 Saturday the decision was made to do the Porcupine Rim Trail which is a point to point trail that started less than a mile from where we were camping. The trail starts at about 5830 and climbs over the first 4 miles to 6800ft. After that you descend the rim to the Colorado river and it ends at about 4000 feet. The overall trail length was about 14.4 miles. It took me awhile to decide if I should do the trail or not but in the end I told myself if it didn't feel good running it that I could just turn it into a hike. I took it easy up the climb and mixed running with walking. The view from the top was amazing and I wish I had taken a picture there but didnt so I stole one from Nathan, to the left.

After that the trail descended and I did take a few pictures from one side of the rim maybe a mile into the descent.  I also wish I would have had some pictures of the end where you are running 10 feet from the edge of the rim and it is following the Colorado River, very pretty.  But at that point I was just trying to finish the run so I didn't stop to take any pictures.  In the end it took me just under 3 hours to do the trail and considering it was my longest run this year and my second run since surgery I was pleasantly surprised.  To make it even better the rest of our group was on mountain bikes and started the trail maybe 20 mintues after me and finished maybe 10 minutes before me.  They caught me right before the single track about 2 hours in which is where they took that lovely picture of me at the start of the post.

An example of why I don't ride slickrock.

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