DAY EIGHT. Painting Outside the Lines

We were so knackered last night that everyone just disappeared from the party lounge real early without hatching any cunning plans. As usual I finish my blog far too late and then my square retinas refuse to allow any sleep until midnight and the one too many beers and one litre too little water meant I woke at 4.30 am with a mild hangover to shouting coming from Jeff's pull out sofa bed (yes, the lads took pity on me and gave me my first bedroom).

After a few seconds of alarm I realise that Jeff is perusing Instagrams latest add on, Instagram Story which if you are not social media savvy, is short video clips with sound. Knowing that he is awake now I facebook message him to see if any plans were made without me (I know right, you're impressed that at 50 I am so savvy myself). We quickly hatch a belated cunning plan to wake everyone at 5.30 am for another dawn raid, this time riding Slickrock which will be awesome for photos with last nights rain adding some puddle reflecting photo art.

Maybe we were a little early.

My plan for waking everyone was very respectful....Get up, flush the toilet, turn on a few select lights and get the saucepan boiling on the stove. (What is it with Americans and no electric kettles? Turns out they drink drip filter coffee and microwave a cup of water if they want a cup of tea).

Jeff's plan,which worked better, was to plug his iphone playlist into the big house speaker and play "Party 'til we die" at high volume. The boys got up pretty quick. 

Last nights rain was a photographers dream for a shoot at Slickrock. Shame my photography is nearly as bad as my linguistic skills.

We hit Slickrock at 7:30 am with the sun piercing the clouds and giving us glimpses of the snow in the high mountains where we were riding the day before.

Up down up down up down...Jeff quite rightly described the area as like riding sand dunes made of rock.

Great views.

Shared trails

Awesome riders (that's me in case you hadn't noticed). photo: Jeff Carter

Average riders (Jeff Carter).

Strange holes (with awesome riders) photo: Jeff Carter.

Average photography of awesome riders. photo: Jeff Carter.

Awesome riders doing awesome moves with average photography. photo: Jeff Carter.

You might think I'm being a bit mean to Jeff but after you read the next paragraph you will understand.

Slickrock is a bit of a tourist trail, you only ride there once. Amazing scenery and strange rock formations with a steep up and down cross crountry trail painted onto the sandpaper like surface. Unreal grip means you can climb and descend anything as long as you have the strength and the nerve. We thought it was going to be a gentle 90 minute loop but Stefan, james and Simon wisely turned back from the high point while Jeff (I really don't like Jeff anymore) convinced Tim and myself to continue on for a full 4 hour loop of madness.

Even Tim was trying to find a quicker way out. And that's saying something...this man could save Superman from Lex Luther with a Camelbak full of kryptonite.

After that "adventure" we met the others in town for our first time-out since we hopped off the plane. We visited every bike shop in town and I tried to get heaps of free shit. I was gobsmacked that no one in Moab follows therodfather on social media. Such a backward country backwater. Some guy even wanted to charge me to fix my bent derailleur hanger. After leaving town in a huff we headed over to the other side of town to ride Captain Ahab. Similar terrain to the lower slopes of Porcupine Rim, we had a super technical climb and descent back to the turn off point back to the cars. Because those tossers, Stefan, James and Simon had two hours less than us on their bikes today they decided to climb up Hymasa again and tackle Jacksons, another technical descent traversing down a cliff alongside the Colorado river. Jeff and I opted to chill at the local redneck bar in preparation for tomorrows extreme mission and Tim, being 35 and of 6% bodyfat, ditched us too in case he was missing out on more fun. 

Jeff climbing Hymasa. That lump of stone out back is called Whale Rock and if I was a better photographer, Jeff would be a few inches back and not be cutting off the Whales tail.

Once again the others shunned the spotlight and forged ahead leaving me with Americas Topmodel.

We are always eating. Badly. I was sure I was going to arrive home tanned, healthy and with ripped abs. looking in the full length mirror in our condo, it looks like my wife will have to deal with skin cancer, strep throat and hamerrhoids.

Tim dropping a wall on Capt. Ahab

James riding pretty casually for a guy who is meant to be out of his comfort zone. This guy is a wolf in sheeps undies.

Simon rides slabs nearly as good as he can parallel park. (yes he has a parking OCD) Stefan taking the rear.

More awesomeness from therodfather.( I can't believe I'm fifty right?) photo: Jeff Carter

Just in case you haven't seen enough of Jeff Carter and rocks.

While Jeff and I were drinking rootbeer and listening to banjos, the others rode Jackson's trail. Check out that slab overhang Stefan is on.I wouldn't normally post a pic of Stefan "the Sheikh" Bennet wearing his hanky but it's the only photo my sidekick Tim managed to take.

And then home for homemade burgers and sweet potato fries (that's American for Kumera chips)

Battle tank troubles? I know a guy who has a tow truck...... 

This is as rowdy as it gets. Simon is asleep at the table and Jeff's in bed already. See you at 4:30 am Jeff....

In a world of sand, rock and cacti it's nice to be able to send flowers to our wives and girlfriends. Wives, if you didn't get the flowers then they must have gone to our girlfriends. (Even my wit astounds ME sometimes)

Tomorrow we plan to rise early and catch dawn as we push our bikes up Portal to ride back down. Then we head to the Grand Canyon where I will attempt the first Grand Canyon gap jump on a bicycle. Wish me luck....