Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Location =  Moab, Utah  
Distance =  11.32
Time =  2:30:16
Ave. Speed =  4.5
Max. Speed =  23.3
Monthly Dist. =    148.02
Yearly Dist. =  807.02

Over the years I have been to Moab many times and I always do the same rides. I come for three days, ride Slickrock, then Porcupine Rim, then Slickrock again, and go home. This time I am staying an extra day so that I can ride a new trail that I have never ridden before. Yesterday, when I was filling up on water at the Poison Spider I asked them if they could recommend a trail for me to ride. The sent to the Amasa Back area on Kane Creek Road as a good place to explore.

I got out there at about 9:00 and as I was getting my equipment together in the parking lot a large number of emergency vehicles came tearing up the road with sirens blaring. About an hour later I heard a helicopter flying and I'm pretty sure the events were connected. I'm certain that the hospital in Moab stays very busy.

The trailhead is up the road from the parking area and there was actually another parking area that was a little bit closer than where I parked, but it was only a half a mile or so difference. I found the start of the trail and it's called Hymasa trail. There were actually people out here riding this trail which was a change from my last two rides.

The guys at the bike shop told me about Hymasa and also Captain Ahab trail. There were signs and maps out on the trail but I still somehow managed to get turned around and I ended up back at the start after only a couple of miles. I stopped and talked to a guy who was from Seattle and he had a trail map on his phone that he was following. Part of the problem seemed to be that Hymasa trail wasn't continuous which is very strange. I had to go up a jeep road called Cliffhanger to find the Hymasa trail that led to Captain Ahab.

The Amasa Back area has some great vistas. One word that can be used to describe them is spectacular! I ran into the guy from Seattle out on the trail and we took some pictures of each other at this amazing viewpoint. All I can say is, Wow! and I can't wait to come back, again!

Much of Hymasa trail was marked with blue dots so that it could be followed across the rocks. Without the trail markings the area would be littered with the bleached bones of lost riders, including my own. The Captain Ahab trail was similar but it also had numerous big drop offs. The guys at Poison Spider warned me about them but you really have to see them to believe them. They were very steep and some of them were very long. Inclines that appeared to be approaching 90 degrees and up to a hundred feet long. I rode a lot of the shorter ones but the longer ones were too terrifying for me and I walked down a bunch of them. There are limits to how daring I want to be.

I really enjoyed this ride, even with it's moments of fear. Temps went from the 70s to the low 80s, and the only time wind was an issue was when I was on some kind of a ridge top.

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