The Pioneer Loop. Day 13: Rising Above Moab.

2 October 2018.

(Location: Moab, Utah)

After a late night we got up slowly and considered the weather. Tropical Storm Rosa was bringing rain today, although it still wasn’t cold. The forecast was for a reduced chance of rain in the afternoon (40-50%) so we decided to go shopping first.

We walked some of the backstreets and then up one side of Main Street as far as Poison Spider cycles. It occasionally spotted with rain but didn’t get heavier until we were nearly at the shop. Andrew had a browse at sunglasses but didn’t get anything. However the rain had stopped by the time we came out.

We then walked back south down the other side of the road. So many new places have opened up over the years. When we first came to Moab, Poison Spider was almost outside of town. Now, it is part of an extended Moab Street and hotels are almost opposite, with others built further out.

We walked past Love Muffin, and the coffee smelled very good..,

We continued south to Desert Dreams shop so that Andrew could look for a new hat. He found two, and a Columbia jacket he had been wanting, so a great result! After that, I won the debate of where next and we returned to Love Muffin! It was noon, so we had lunch as well as coffee. If there is one thing that America does a lot better than the UK, it is salads. Actually, most places do them better than the UK… anyway, they were great. While we were eating there was heavy rain, but it had stopped again when we emerged.

After that, we returned to the flat and got ready to hike. We considered, briefly, waterproof trousers but it was just too warm -70F. We decided that we would just get wet. We did take jackets though.

We drove down Potash road and stopped at the Jaycee recreation site, which is the trailhead for the Portal Overlook trail. We set off, through deep undergrowth… ! The trail soon cleared this area and started to climb as it paralleled the Colorado River. We got good views of the rain coming! All of the en route photos are taken with Andrew’s phone, as I kept my camera out of the rain and in my pack. We could hear and see jeeps and buggies climbing the rim road opposite.

This video doesn’t exist
This video doesn’t exist

Jackets were off, on, off, on, off…and then we left them off as the climb steepened and it was too hot to wear them, regardless of the rain. Luckily this was only occasional light spots by now. Route finding was mostly ok, but we did lose the trail once. We realised quite quickly, as there were no other footsteps, so backtracked and found the right way. The climb was very tough but eventually we reached the top and an Overlook of Arches, the river and Moab. We could spot Balanced Rock, South Window (?), Courthouse Towers, our road in Moab and the City Market, which I could pick out with my camera’s zoom. We ate some Shotblock, shared a muffin, and then began the descent, which was dry and getting warmer.

The down was easier than the up, but still required focus especially on the slippery sections. It was very humid and I was glad the sun wasn’t out. We cut down to the road at the end rather than fight the bushes again.

The video is here:

Portal Overlook Trail

After that, we got fuel (and I did my usual window washing job), and had a trip to the market (again), this time to get some cereal and chocolates for a friend’s daughter. After that it was showers and a quick trip to Zax’s (yes, again, but it is the shortest walk and they usually don’t have much of a wait!). A quick dinner and back to the flat for an early night. Moving on tomorrow!

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