November. That wonderful time of year when all the midterms are stacking up, course projects are looming too ominously to ignore anymore, and the entire day passes by while we’re in either a basement lab or a cubicle. Granted, No-Shave-November is something we look forward to all year. But it was too early into the festivities to safely hide behind a full manbeard. So we did like any self respecting Frenchman would do: we ran away! Rented a crashpad, loaded up the bikes, and left the books. We’re ready to go! On Friday evening, we crammed 5 of us into Zach’s tastefully decorated 4runner and made the ~6 hour drive from Boulder to Moab.
We showed up in the dark on a nice clear night and we were itching get out of the car and do something. Naturally, Zach (I find it weird to talk about myself in 3rd person when I write my name…), pulled the beast up onto a rock, and we all spilled out to take some night shots. As always, seriousness is rule number 1.
Then we pulled out the big guns, and really started sparking the flint. Which, by the way, is the best night photography tool ever. As per usual, Zach ended up with his shirt off, with Jed right along with him. They thought it would be more epic that way. Don’t think it worked. Shirts back on, we all sat down to watch the milky way spin by.
In typical Zach car fashion, the 4runner decided it would not like to start while parked at this precipitous angle. Zach also happened to leave the interior lights on throughout the whole event. He’d like to say this type of thing doesn’t happen much, but its pretty much routine at this point. We had to run to the campground nearby and get a guy to drive out and give us a jump. It wasn’t easy navigating this guys Tacoma in close enough to the front of the 4runner so the jumper cables would reach. Ha!
The next day, we went and rented Zach and Jed some sweet 29er mountain bikes from Moab Cyclery. Still, Pierce’s stupidly awesome Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon Comp 29er was the best bike of the lot. Still can’t believe he basically got it for free. We ditched the girls, and began our ride to the slickrock trailhead. About 10minutes after leaving them, Zach got a frantic call from Alyssa about the bouldering crash pad flying off the roof of the car and landing in the middle of the street. Phone on mute, we finally got to the slickrock trail, which is a perfect fit for the 29inch wheels:
Took a break halfway through for a cliffside Cliff bar. The irony only made the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut taste all the better. Sweeter still has to be the approach though. Best part is about 1:00 in. Nice sense of vertigo.
The riding was a blast, and we rode back into town for a coffee while we waited for the girls to finish up there tour of Arches National Park.
That evening we decided to go have a cookout in island in the sky. This involve first going to the state run liquor store to get some personal libations. We also got some brats, and really tasty hamburgers. While we were waiting for the grill to warm up, we partook in some mild shenanigans on the cliff edge (common theme). And yes, Jed really is drinking his beer, while hanging over the cliffside. No one ever called us responsible:
After eating we moved on to the Grand Overlook in Island in the sky to watch the sunset. We had been in this exact same spot in the middle of January last winter and found ourselves taking the exact same pictures over again. We found new ways to goof around, and came up with some interesting shots. Mostly, this just involved dangling the cameras over the cliff edge to get a new perspective. Of course, our usual Zach-taking-a-picture-of-Pierce-taking-a-picture-of-Zach shot made its way into the evening:
Saturday night, while enjoying some grown-up games in the rented house we were in, Zach climbed up onto the slippery steel roof and put his camera on “go” mode. He survived, and the camera froze, but not before capturing a moonrise over the desert:
The next morning we went and did some bouldering at the Big Bend bouldering area on our way out of town. For a bunch on gym-rats our first time bouldering outside we did pretty good! Sent a few 4s, almost put together a few 5s, dyno’d some dynos-it was awesome! All this photography is Pierce’s handywork. Probably some of my favorite impromptu bouldering shots I’ve seen: