The things that I love (and hate) about Moab |

The things that I love (and hate) about Moab

A biker from the Roaring Fork Valley makes the transition from skiing to biking last weekend on a trail north of Moab.
Bob Ward/courtesy photo

As good as the skiing has been, I needed a four-day weekend in the desert to melt away my end-of-winter blues.

Multiple hours of hiking and biking last weekend gave me plenty of time to think of my love/hate relationship with the Greater Moab Desert Area. I have loved the canyon country and what it inspires me to do since my first trip 33 years ago next month. I hate that so many tourists — people such as me — are flooding the area in increasing numbers and with a growing arsenal of toys and activities to undertake.

I loved drinking beer around the campfire and occasionally howling at the moon.

I loved that even though there were a fair number of campers within earshot of one another, everyone was cool and chilled out at a reasonable time of night.

I loved getting up to whiz Saturday morning and seeing the setting moon turn the clouds red. Not sure I’ve seen that before.

I loved how the diversity of trails allowed us to ease into our mountain biking season and ride increasingly tougher terrain over three outings.

I loved how even though it was a busy weekend, we were able to hike in a relatively obscure canyon and not see anyone for three hours. We had one of the coolest pictographs I’ve ever seen to ourselves for as long as we wanted.

I loved visiting the Moab Brewery. No trip is complete without it.

I loved seeing endless sandstone cliffs with desert varnish again.

I loved watching the ravens play tag with one another.

I loved how my bicycle performed after a January tune by the valley’s best mechanic.

I loved how I survived the weekend with just a few bruises and lost skin but no major injuries.

I hated to see during a short walk from our camp to a canyon rim that a few soulless mountain bikers had indiscriminately plowed through crypto soil gardens.

I really hated that so many mountain bikers either were unaware that uphill riders have the right-of-way or they didn’t see fit to honor the singletrack code.

I hated that some of the side-by-side vehicle drivers were true pricks with no regard for anything but their need for speed. They acted like they were in a rally car race and that pedestrians and bikers on the dirt roads were obstacles to maneuver around at high speeds.

I hated people who pulled into trailhead parking lots with their music blaring. Dude, no one cares what you’re listening to.

I hated that Moab can’t get a grip on sprawl.

Most of all, I hated I didn’t buy something in Moab 25 years ago when I first thought of it.