Moab is incredible. On my second trip back I had fresh legs and I was on a mission to rediscover camping and tackle the trails with more confidence. Mid-October can be risky with night time temperatures dipping towards freezing but I was very lucky and the weather was picture perfect, as was my campsite.
Sparing you the details and cutting to the chase, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. In fact, camping was pretty good. The slight loss of sleep caused by a middle aged back on a 1.5 inch pad was totally and completely overshadowed by the breakfast views. I took my morning coffee (Starbucks instant packets--HIGHLY recommend them...and I am a coffee snob) down to the river and watched the sun paint the eastern wall of the canyon while simultaneously casting a perfect mirror image onto the glassy river.
I've had several, what I like to refer to as, 'transcent moments' in nature. All of them involved a bike. Not that I was on the bike at the time. But the bike was the means that pulled me away from the real world, that put me in a place and a moment that was stirring and unforgetable. The quiet, natural solitude gave rise each time to an incredibly peaceful sensation that cements the moment in perfect clarity in my mind. This sunrise was one of those moments. At least until the month old baby woke up in the trailer behind the bushes and wanted breakfast! I would have never seen that sunrise if I had been in the Motel 8 or the Four Seasons. A $12 campsite and three Motrin for an achy back isn't a bad price for a transcenent moment the Four Seasons couldn't provide at any price.
The biking was amazing. It was the first time I had my own bike on the slickrock and that made a big difference. I still marvel at the skills of some of these cyclists. And at the 8 year olds fearlessly taking to the trails. Even better, I had age cohorts out there! You have to appreciate a biking culture that draws a parking lot full of tourists and experts alike, riders from barely off training wheels to a couple in their late 60's, all sharing a trail. Amazing.