Sovereign Trail - Following the Blue dashes!

Our Friday ride plans were for two rides - Sovereign trail in the morning and then Slick Rock in the afternoon. We left Fruita at a decent time - I got some compression pads and ace wrap for my leg so I would be able to ride. We survived the boring drive from Fruita to Moab - Nick drove and I studied the map. Nick was planning on riding a loop on the Sovereign trail he'd ridden a few years ago, so we were planning parking at the north trail head off Dalton Wells Road. We got changed, hoped on the bikes and headed north. I saw a small sign that said "Sovereign Singletrack" Singletrack is aways better the road, so off we went, following the blue dashes on the rocks. The trail dived into a small canyon, then the diverged. One set of blue dashes when up, the other stayed in the canyon. I was having fun in the canyon - so I followed that set of blue dashes.

And that set of blue dashes quickly turned south and headed down. We took a pretty technical descent down into a grey slick rock section. More blue dashes lead down into a sandy wash, which popped out at the base of a steep climb. Nick almost cleaned the entire climb on his single speed, but I had to walk a few chunks. Steep, loose and sandy with a sore quad do not make a solid climb! That and the steep dropoff... At the top of the mesa, we stopped to study the map. The tiny section of trail wasn't easy to make out on the map, but we were heading south. South sounded good! There was also a different trail - the Salt Wash Singletrack. We decided to stay on the Sovereign Trail until the south parking lot at Willow Springs Road.  Uber fun, really technical with short punchy climbs, sandy washes, slick rock and just about everything I'd been promised with Moab riding. It didn't take long for my arms to get tired from throwing my bike up ledges and down steep drops. But it was all fun, and there was no one else on the trail. (The temperature might have had something to do with lack of riders...)

We made our way down to the Willow Springs trailhead and took another look at the map. It seemed that there was another section of trail south of Willow Springs. After a few minutes of debating, we continued south. The trail remained fun for a while, then turned into the ATV track. Nothing but sand. Finished the loop, then got on the first section of single track we could find. Salt Wash Singletrack... Just as much fun as Sovereign, but with more consequences... A prime example of "don't think about the consequences...." and keep your eyes on the trail. Once again, there were a few sections that I was off and walking. Nick cleaned most of it - some of the steeper, really sandy trails were a bit too much. But the trail as a whole was really fun - enough entertainment to make Nick want to come back and ride it all again.

The ride was long enough to make us skip the Slick Rock adventure. We got some food and checked into the condo to chill and enjoy (?) some cable TV... And plan the adventures for Saturday!

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