Sometimes moms just need to get away!
Here in the mountains April brings a mixed bag of muddy trails and major snowstorms that dump many of us into a slump, and that is when visions of red rock arches, fins and pinnacles infiltrate our minds and our bodies yearn for the adrenaline rush of mountain biking in Moab.
The conversations began with my friends, Patty and Seana, where we explored the idea of taking a break from it all; the kids, the work, the nasty weather and yes, the puppy and the more we thought about spending our days riding through vast canyons and red buttes the more determined we became to take off for the desert and escape the threatening snowstorm.
On this trip we would not be going to sleep with our hats and socks on in an ice cold sleeping bag with nothing but a lumpy pad between our backs and the rocky ground, we were going to pamper ourselves by staying at The Sorrel River Ranch, a place that I have never passed by without a secret yearning to pull in and stay for the night. As rewarding and fun as it may be to go camping with three or four families, it has always been a dream of mine to stay somewhere without the worry of wipey baths and campfire meals lingering over me.
We sped past the Colorado border sign and noticed that the temperature gauge had risen from a chilly 46 degrees to 70. “Moab here we come,” we sang.
Driving through Moab we had a strange feeling that we were part of a parade that we had not signed up for but it was soon revealed that spectators were lining up on the streets to watch the hot rods roll in for the car show that was happening over the weekend.
It was exciting to watch the scene, for all of ten minutes, and we gunned it out of there to our oasis awaiting us 17 miles up the road off of Highway 128.
We checked into our rustic and cozy room with the Colorado River slowly flowing by, concealing tales of Indians, dinosaurs and adventurous raft trips and we gained a huge appreciation for Robbie Levin, a 70s rockstar who played in a band with General Hospitals heart throb, Rick Springfield. Clearly a smart and talented man, Robbie purchased 240 acres of the property back in 1997 and sold 160 acres of it in 2008 to Elizabeth Rad, co-owner of Tribbles Home and Garden, a store located in Tribeca in New York City.
Drinking our cocktails on the over-sized rocking chair on the front porch, we watched hypnotized as the suns light set the distant mesas ablaze in the evening glow.
What a luxury it was to wake up the following morning without anything to tend to but our growling stomachs and we leisurely made our way to town to inhale a 16 ounce Latte at the charming Eklecticaf and get revved up for an entire day to ourselves spent riding in the Juniper and Sage infused desert.
Since I am truly petrified of the word technical I made the decision to demo a Specialized Sapphire dual suspension bike from The Rim Cyclery bike shop.
Mountain biking in Moab
The bike helped me to become more one with the desert but I still struggled to fight the fear of body slamming into the gravel by the inability to release from my clipless pedals. Look up, advised Elisabeth Osmeloski, the PR Manager for The Resort who bravely rode along with us. Her tip improved my riding by tenfold.
Seana was about as adept on a bike as I was but she looked good, always appearing as though she had just walked out of Vogue Magazine. Posing at the bottom of tough ascents we received compliments for Patty from the young studs riding by, Theres that switchback girl again, they said as she muscled her way up. Patty’s dyslexia led her to hear, There’s that six pack girl. Either way, Patty rocked!
At the end of the day Patty and Seana were looking forward to drinking an ice cold beer in a lounge chair by the pool and I was looking forward to a long overdue deep tissue massage that I had scheduled at the spa of the Ranch.
We parted ways and I met with Brooklyn who introduced me to the world of aromatherapy. She covered me in warm towels and I felt months of anxiety melt away under her firm and healing touch.
Later that evening we ate at the resorts River Grill, dining on spinach ravioli stuffed with chevre and broiled Japanese seabass with a balsamic riesling reduction, topping the evening off with to die for Espresso ice cream.
The following day we bid a sad farewell to the Sorrel River Ranch, thanking the friendly staff for delivering to us a brief respite from our hectic lives. On our way home Patty pulled over on a street corner where Tad Brown was making pizzas in an outdoor oven. Tad, owner of Fuocos, introduced us to the best homemade pizza I have ever tasted in my life.
Driving home I fell fast asleep to the sound of Patty and Seana catching up on lost times and when I awoke I wondered if it had all been one incredible dream, but this time it was real.