Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goonie: Monster, and Cutie Pie all in a 4-legged package

We had decided it was time. Mary was coming out to visit soon, and she was going to be bringing a dog, and once you have one around, you might as well have two. Not to mention mountain biking is a whole lot more fun when you have a third party to share it with. So we got Goonie. We picked him up at an Albuquerque animal shelter. It was soooo hard to chose just one, but this guy was for us. He's about 7 or 8 months old with never-ending energy and a rather tiresome habit of trying to gnaw off your arm. But he'll grow out of that right?
My new home

We stopped at the store to get some dog provisions- the frisbee was his water bowl. That's about the 7th time he had knocked it over in the last half hour.

mmm rawhide!

We took him to White Mesa to see how he was going to do off the leash and on the trails and everything. We were pretty excited that he seemed pretty excited to be with us.

Mighty Goonie

The moon rising over the mountains. White Mesa is definitely still one of our favorite places. Both for riding and great scenery.

He's a fast little bugger


Goonie's first mountain bike ride
He did great. We decided it was best to keep him between the two of us so we could keep an eye on him, and he really seemed to like it. However, if he gets in front of the front rider there is a little bit of trouble, cause he then stops to check on how everyone is coming along...right in front of your tire. But we'll work on that too.
Unfortunately it will have to be a while before we can work on more mountain bike training. The day after this ride, we were out hiking with the Goon, came back and our bikes were gone! They had been locked to the rack on the van, and both bikes and locks had entirely disappeared. We couldn't believe it. It felt like a bad dream, but they were no where to be found.
Luckily, we do have insurance, and after a lot of discussion with the insurance folks it looks like both bikes are going to be fully covered. But it still really stinks, I would much rather have my old bike back then get a new one- but at least we're not completely out.
And then the next day it snowed. Goonie loved it- but it made driving out on the soup of a road a real chore. Mike wasn't sure if he was steering or not the whole time, but finally we made it the 4 miles out back to the highway.

Snow! snow snow snow snow

After talking to the police we were lucky enough to hook up with someone we had met at the trail. He put us up for the night in Albuquerque. And Goonie and his dog Chiquita had a blast together.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Moab and beyond March 2nd-9th

Finally we had arrived in warm weather. Moab was perfect. Great weather, and empty, there were so few people there. Our first few days we rode a trail called Klondike bluffs and baby steps. At the end you could hike into Arches national park. Great views and fun riding.

This is looking into Arches

The clouds were showing off to compete with all the cool rocks

The baby steps trail was mostly singletrack. With all sorts of narrow, curvy technical fun stuff.

This was one of our favorite parts, the trail was very cleverly constructed to go right under this giant mushroom rock.

And there were dino prints too, just right along the trail.
After a few days of riding we decided to let ourselves heal a little bit. We went to a place called wallstreet, where there are these giant cliffs right along the road, and did some rock climbing instead. There wasn't too much in our ability level that we could climb, but what was there was lots of fun.

Hanging out on wallstreet

Big cliff and beautiful blue sky

Itty bitty Emilie
We spent the week camping about 12 miles outside of Moab, on Willow Springs Road. We had a nice pull-off to ourselves and had some great sunset views.

While we were climbing, we noticed another couple there with a very cute dog, and they had mountain bikes on top of there car. We got to talking and decided to go riding together the next day. We did Porcupine Rim, the mountain bike ride of all mountain bike rides, and had a blast.

On the way up

The spectacular view from the top
Everybody at the top: us, Matt and Leigh, and Troy a guy who hooked up with us from Salt lake City (we left Tucker-the dog-in the car)

On the way down

and down...

Matt doing a crazy cool jump
We thought we'd be all full of sunshine and hot weather, but I guess they get storms in the desert too. The scenery was beautiful in a whole new way.

The day after the storm Matt, Leigh, Tucker, and the two of us decided to do slickrock; the other quintessential mountain bike ride of Moab.

One of the many ups- that dog is fast

Tucker and Mike cresting the slickrock

Once again, fantastic scenery
After a great week in Moab, we decided it was time to move on. We decided to do a quick trip through Arches National Park on our way to Albuquerque. Which of course was beautiful.

For all the geologists out there: the Moab fault

I believe this is called Wilson arch, just right along the highway

We also stopped by Mesa Verde National Park, but we didn't get too far up the road. It's 20 miles one way to get to the top and the cliff dwellings, and we were tired of driving all day into the wind, so we didn't make it all the way to the top. The scenery was pretty anyway.

Great clouds as we travelled through New Mexico

Shiprock in the distance

Now the main reason we had up and decided to drive off to Albuquerque was that we had decided it was time for us to get a dog. He is an absolutely adorable fuzzy crazy critter...more (lots more, we can't stop taking pictures of the beast) to come soon.