It is crazy to think that this was almost a week ago. It feels like a month! Anyway, Sunday was the “big” day. We rode about 75 miles of Moab terrain (which is pretty demanding!), and were out for about 9 hours. The trails we rode: started in Moab, Bar M, Circle O, Sovereign Trail (my fav!), Gemini Bridges, Gold Spike, Blue Dot Trail, some of the Portal Trail, and Poison Spider. We brought all of our water with us in our packs for the day.
… we got lost a couple of times on Gold Spike, and were starting to run out of daylight. Jeff said, “We have to hurry.” Not really what you want to hear at the end of a tough weekend when your body is tired! We were hauling the best we could and got back on track. It was a relief to know we were on Poison Spider Road, and we thought we were home free.
Then, we suddenly lost the trail. The road ended at a bunch of slickrock which we rode up on, but there were no markings anywhere. We couldn’t tell where we were on the map. We spent about 45 minutes looking for a turn we could have missed… at this point, it was about 4:30 PM. Yuki, Jeff, and I all knew what would happen if we didn’t find the right way to go soon. We did not have lights. That would mean spending the night in the desert… not ideal. I usually prepare better for epic rides, and bring things in case it comes to that, or in case it gets really cold. This time, we just had a space blanket, iodine tablets, and a flint fire starter. Jeff had been scoping out places for wood, sleep, and water…just in case. We were wandering around, looking for a trail or for SOMETHING where we could figure out where we were. Nothing.
At this point, I thought it was a 95% chance that we’d be out there until the sun came back up again.
Suddenly, I heard Jeff say, “HEY! DOWN HERE!” We hiked down to where he was, and he had found a rivine. If anything, that would lead us back to the river, and from there we could find our way back. There were other tracks in the sand, so it was evident that others had gotten lost there. We found Poison Spider Road again and made back to camp right as it turned pitch black. We were all sooo relieved. We wouldn’t have died out there, but it would have been one of the more uncomfortable experiences in my life. 🙂 That whole night, I felt so grateful to be in a tent, in my warm sleeping bag. I don’t mind sleeping out in the woods or the desert, but only when that was the original plan (and it isn’t for survival purposes!)
I was expecting to be super sore from 17 hours of riding (especially because for the last month, I was only touching my bike once a week). Surprisingly I felt pretty good, but I did take 2 days off for recovery. It’s been back on the bike this week for week 2 of base training. More to come.