Kona 2012

Kona 2012

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

It is absolutely incredible how inspiring it is to be a part of the determination, passion and camaraderie that defines the Ironman. This event demands the best and claims the best as it can be the worst of conditions through the 2.4 mile jelly fish infested ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride in the blistering heat that reaches over 110 degrees and the desolate 26.2 mile marathon. Despite the grueling conditions, athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia were represented in addition to 60 countries, 15 of which only had 1 athlete. The youngest athlete was a 19 year old girl and there were 2 competitors at 82 years young. Talk about grit!

This year we had the privilege of working in the medical tent again and we also served as “Catchers” at the finish line. Yes we did what the name implies; we caught world class athletes from South Africa, Vancouver, Australia and the good old US of A. It was fascinating how strong people looked as they sprinted to the finish and how they just crumbled in our arms at the end of the race. We were warned that we’d fall in love with our athletes in the short 100 yard walk and it was true. Life stories, dreams and disappointments where shared along with an ice towel and ice cream. There’s a benefit, if you burn 10,000 calories in a day you get pizza and ice cream at the end.

Ironman 2012 winner Team Jacobs

Truly one of the most inspiring sights was Fireman Rob. For the 9th time this year, in full firefighter gear, Fireman Rob finished the Ironman with only 11 minutes to go before the cut off at midnight to build awareness for “Code 3 for the Cure”, a cause that raises money for firefighters struggling with cancer. You should have heard the crowd – absolutely incredible!

Just as inspiring, the crowd was able to cheer every single athlete on the course back to the finish before the clock stuck 12. The final finisher only had 11 seconds remaining, but he was 77 year old, and he’d done it!

Although our main purpose of traveling to Kona was to volunteer at the Ironman, we did manage to squeeze in some other exciting adventures as well. The dolphin swimming in their natural habitat was so much fun last year, we decided to do it again and yes, it is just as thrilling the second time around. Swimming along these graceful animals and being part of their community is a must.

One unique thing we did was drive the Ironman bike route all the way to Hilo and then go zip lining on the northern part of the Island. Almost all the 400 ft. trees are imported and nestled in the midst of the macadamia nut farms. The vantage point was so high, we could literally see Maui from our platforms. Screaming through the rainforest over flumes, under the canopy with the view of the ocean always to your side is cool, but meeting people from around the world and sharing the special bond that is required on this trust activity is always just as exhilarating.

Adventurers on the high ropes course

Since we’d gone as far north as we could, we also decided to go as far south as we could. The cliff at the most southern tip of Hawaii looks like the perfect spot for a death defying cliff dive – maybe next year. On our way to the tip, we went to both black and green sand beaches. Who knew there was a green sand beach? It is an incredible hike through a forgotten lava field and should not be taken without a guide, plenty of water and lots of sunscreen.

We also stopped off at the volcano and really enjoyed the “Indiana Jones” feel of the rainforest that led to a lava tube. It is unfathomable how Mother Nature can create such beauty out of such devastating environmental conditions. The special bonus? The steam vents were an intriguing adventure that provided warmth on a rainy day and then seared the skin right off your shins. It was that weird rush of pleasure and pain, like jumping in the snow after a sauna that kept us going back again and again like moths to the flame.

Volunteer Vacation on the radio

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Tom  and Karla had the opportunity to speak with Shelly Irwin on the WGVU-FM Morning Show on Friday, June 29th. We talked about the Ironman Championship coming up on October 13th. This is a volunteer opportunity. You can hear all about by clicking here. If you’re ready to sign up you can do that by clicking here.

Top 11 Travel Experiences of 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

2011 has been a great year here at Blue Monkey Adventure. We completed our first full year in business. We went on some amazing trips and learned a lot about the travel industry. 2012 promises to be a fantastic year, full of new adventures and new friends. But before we say good bye to this year let’s review our Top 11 travel experiences of 2011.

1. Cutting short the zip-line tour in Costa Rica

Our group after getting caught in the rain on the zip-line tour.

When taking a rain forest canopy tour rain is okay, lightning is not. We were about halfway done with our zip-line tour when a storm rolled in and we had to get down off the mountain quickly. Apparently the metal in the harnesses and the steel zip cables don’t mix well with lightning. We rappelled off one of the platforms and proceeded to scamper down a switchback trail as the rain began to fall harder and harder. The trail quickly became a fast moving stream and footing was treacherous. Even though we were laughing and having fun, our guides made sure we all got off the mountain safely. We even saw poison dart frogs along the trail, something we would have missed had we finished zip-lining the traditional fashion.

2. Biking slick rock in Moab, Utah

Riding trail bikes in Moab is nothing like riding in Michigan. The mountain and desert scenery is stark and beautiful. Where the Michigan rider dodges trees, the Moab rider dodges boulders. We signed up with a guide who took us on a “moderate” half day ride. By the end we were happy and exhausted. We’re pretty sure a full day or advanced ride would have probably killed us.

3. Dinner cooked in our condo by two Costa Rican chefs

We had many memorable dining experiences this year, but this was the most authentic and absolutely the most fun. Two accomplished chefs prepared a gourmet dinner right in front of us. The food was incredible and the local wine and beer was tasty. Another experience outside the average travel itinerary.

4. The Royal Wedding in London

Although we couldn’t get into the actual wedding ceremony it was a blast being part of the millions of people visiting London for the event. The highlight was joining the crowd witnessing the first kiss of William and Kate at Buckingham Palace.

5. Hiking through Arches National Park

Billy hanging out at the start of the Fiery Furnace hike.

The Fiery Furnace route is the most intense hike the park has to offer. You are required to go with a Park Service guide. It’s like walking through a natural rock labyrinth. It would be very easy to get lost inside. The rock formations and natural arches were amazing. Our guide was also very informative about the geology of the area. The hike was just the right mix of adventure and education.

6. At the finish line of the Ironman Championships in Hawaii

A two mile ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a marathon, all accomplished in one day. That is the Ironman. These are the best endurance athletes in the world. As volunteers, we were fortunate enough to be “inside the ropes” at the finish line. Our job was to hang medals around the necks of the top finishers. It’s hard to get any closer to the action than that.

7. Competing in the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race

Not exactly an Ironman experience but a lot of fun anyway. This event was more like the television show “The Amazing Race”. Blue Monkey entered a team in the competition that featured bike riding, running, and completing challenges through the urban landscape of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

8. Kicking back on the big island of Hawaii

Taking a hint from a local we hiked down to a black sand beach and went swimming in the big waves. Spending a couple hours in this decidedly non-touristy spot was a great way to enjoy the splendor of Hawaii.

Adventurers enjoy dinner and views of the Tower Bridge.


9. Dinner cruise on the Thames River

Paris may be the city of lights, but cruising through London on a pleasant spring evening was a great way to see the sites and lights of the British capital. The food and the company was pretty good as well.

10. Viewing Native American petroglyphs in the Utah desert

Connecting to the history and culture of the place we are visiting is a hallmark of a Blue Monkey Adventure. We had the opportunity to see many Native American petroglyphs while in the Utah desert. These drawings on the cliff sides are hundreds of years old. They are also easy to get to, providing you like to climb up to rock ledges, and not tucked away in some museum.

11. Hiking and swimming at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

This gem of a park in Central America features abundant wildlife including howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, iguanas and coatamundis. We saw all of those during our hike to the swimming beach. The beach looked like a movie set from a film about the south Pacific. It was the perfect spot to swim and relax in the warm sun.

Aloha from Hawai’i

Monday, October 24th, 2011

As the traditional greeting of the Hawaiian Islands, the word aloha actually represents the virtues of the Hawaiian people, Akahai – Meek, modest, gentle, Lokahi – Unity, harmony, ‘Olu’olu – Pleasantness, Ha’aha’a – Humility, Ahonui – Patience.

As promised the beauty of the Big Island was breath taking, the adventures were plentiful and our participation in the 35th World Championship Ironman was inspiring.  One of the most beautiful aspects of Hawai’i is the smell, everywhere you go it smells incredible; whether it is the jasmine flower, the fresh scent of the ocean or the smoldering pork, the senses are delighted every time you breathe in.  Of course the historical luau was the melting pot for all of these delicious smells. We were greeted with white ginger leis and enjoyed traditional fare such as Poi, Poke, Lomi Lomi, Malokai and Coconut Flan while we watched the grand procession of the Royal Court, the interpretive dances and the mesmerizing Fire Knife performance.

Our greatest adventure came as the result of an insider tip from the people of the Waipi’o Valley.  After our stimulating ATV ride through the lush forests, to the waterfall and above the Valley of the Kings, they recommended we “hike” down a local road to the black sand beach.  Since our philosophy is “when in Rome” we did as they said.  The 35 degree pitch proved to make even walking down the road a real challenge.  A challenge that was well worth it.  We were rewarded with the biggest and best waves we’d ever swam in.  Since no locals were swimming, we were pretty sure the winds were too strong and the tide too high, but it was just soooo much fun!!  The only draw back, black sand sticks to you for days!  The other best part of this trip was the “hike” back up – remember it is a 35 degree pitch.  We had also been advised that hitchhiking is the way to get back up the hill and fortunately after we’d made it about half way up and we were really feeling the burn, some kind folks with a jeep gave us a ride.  Hang loose – we are hitchhiking in Hawai’i!!

In addition to that, we swan with the dolphins, manta rays and sea turtles in their natural habitat.  It was so sweet how the dolphins travel in pods and there were so many babies.  To be able to swim right along side of them was like floating!  The spinner dolphins are also very anxious to entertain and the cirque de sol show they put on was too much fun.  You can literally spend hours snorkeling around observing the rainbow of sea life and some of our favorites were the gold saddle goatfish, the black sea urchins and the Hawaiian cleaner wrasse.

Now to the main event – the Kona Ironman – where it all started and where it ends with tens of thousands from around the globe cheering together, crying together and celebrating together.  This year, like so many, proved to be THE test of ultimate endurance, 2.4 miles of jostling ocean swimming, 112 miles along the desolate Kona Coast with speeds of 55 mph on the down hill and then a grueling 26.2 mile marathon with temperatures reaching 135 degrees.  With that type of punishment, you can never predict the winner and even the best have succumbed to the elements.  The winner with a new world record of 8 hours, 3 minutes and 56 seconds was Craig Alexander.  I can’t tell you how electrifying the crowd was as he was approaching the finish line and the world record was in sight.  Craig commented, “This race means more to me that anything.  It’s the sweetest victory – I just proved that anything is possible.”  We were personally able to celebrate with the athletes as we put the medals around their necks and provided medical support to those who experienced the sweetness of victory and the agony of defeat.

This adventure has certainly encouraged us to see what is possible in our own lives and share that adventure with others.

Aloha!

Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Saturday was a busy day for Blue Monkey Adventures. Karla was leading a group at the Ironman Championship in Hawaii and Tom was participating in the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race. We’ll review Karla’s trip in the next post. This one is about the race.

The participants assemble for early morning instructions before the start of the race.

We conducted a contest through Facebook to find a partner for Tom. The lucky winner was Linda Thompson-Poeder of Caledonia.

This event takes place on the streets of Grand Rapids and is part adventure racing and part The Amazing Race TV show. The weather was sunny and warm. It was a perfect October day for the almost 750 friendly, yet intense competitors.

Linda checks the map during the biking portion of the race

The course had a biking portion and a running portion. There were check points and challenges scattered all over the city. The object was to get to as many checkpoints as possible and get back to the start/finish line in four hours. Since Linda and Tom have a lot more experience riding as opposed to running they decided to do the bike portion first. This turned out to be a good plan since there were more points available on the bike portion and the Blue Monkey Adventure team found all but two of them.

One of the challenges was to count the monkeys on the Blue Bridge.

They finished the biking in two and a half hours, which only left an hour and a half to do as much of running portion as possible. The run course took racers to several ArtPrize venues and included challenges related to the art. With limited time it was obvious to Tom and Linda that they couldn’t get all the points. They concentrated on getting ones that didn’t take them too far from the finish line. With 20 minutes left they were on top of Belknap Hill, a mile and a half from the finish line at Founder’s Brewing. They knew we could make it if they only went after easy to find check points that were on the route back. Luckily they found two more as they ran and/or fast walked back to the finish line.

At the end the Blue Monkey Adventure team had completed 40 of a possible 51 check points and finished in 3 hours 58 minutes and 20 seconds. That placed them 27th out of 192 teams in the co-ed division and 64th out of 330 teams overall, finishing far ahead of much (a-hem) younger teams.

The tired but happy Blue Monkey Adventure team after a successful race.

Great job, Linda and Tom!

A Custom Trip for You to Enjoy

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

How much fun would it be to bike Tuscany with your 10 best friends for your 50th birthday, hike Mt. Kilimanjaro as a family, or dog sled along the Iditarod with your 5 favorite work buds? Blue Monkey Adventure customizes trips specifically designed to your needs and pleasures. We create travel on your terms so you get an authentic feel for the people, culture and eccentricities of that region rather than a prepackaged tour. So if there is some place special you’ve always wanted to go, let us simplify the process and do all the coordination so you can just spend your time getting excited about the adventure.

Some of our successful trips include:

  • Biking & Hiking – Moab, Utah
  • Extreme Cycling – Death Valley, California
  • Wine Tour by Bike – Tuscany, Italy
  • Historical Perspective – London, England
  • Surfin, Zip Lining and Fishing – Costa Rica
  • Close up wildlife and gushing geysers - Yellowstone National Park
  • Art and Culture of the Smokies – Asheville, North Carolina
  • Mother nature’s finest adventures – Niagara Falls, Canada and the US
  • Rock climbing and Olympic training facility – Adirondack Mountains, New York
  • Volunteer at the Ironman - Kona, Hawaii
  • Kayaking & Rock Climbing – Acadia National Park, Maine

We enjoy finding that unique retreat that gives you the opportunity to balance adventure and relaxation. Traveling can be as intense and physical as you like, or it can be Mai Tais by the pool while a local chef prepares an authentic meal for you!  If you can dream it, we can create it!!

Costa Rica Recap

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

It truly is a small world! We just traveled 1,200 miles and the people sharing our shuttle to Jaco Beach are from Karla’s home town of Fremont, Michigan!!

Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

The warmth of the sun was what greeted us first and what we’d been waiting for. We were able to really experience the villages of Costa Rica as the main expressway was closed due to the traffic coming off the beach so our Costa Rican adventure began with a bumpy shuttle ride through the mountains near the airport at San Jose all the way to Jaco on the Pacific coast. The journey wound back and forth, and up and down through the incredible mountainous countryside and the cultural richness of the towns. We also had the opportunity to stop at Crocodile Bridge. That’s not its real name, although a cottage industry has sprung up in this particular area because crocodiles like to congregate beneath the bridge. When we stopped there were at least 30 of the reptiles sunning themselves on the river’s edge. Several of the crocs were over 15 feet long and a couple weighed over 400 pounds. There were also several entertaining iguanas running through the thicket in search of their next meal. Quite an introduction to this lush tropical country. It really was a promise of a great adventure to come.

Adventurer Mary watches the crocodiles from a safe distance.

La Paloma Blanca was a perfect venue with ocean side condos, on the southern end of Jaco beach. Our condos were large and clean with great views of the three pools and the ocean. The beach is very wide and made of volcanic sand that is light gray in color. Jaco is known to have the best beginner surfing waves on the Pacific coast. We took advantage of that, right outside La Paloma’s back door. But we’re getting ahead of the story. We immediately headed to the beach to frolic in the warm buoyancy of the sea and a stroll along the shore till sunset.

One of the three pools at La Paloma Blanca.

Our first night we were treated to an authentic Costa Rican meal, prepared in our condo by local chefs Noches and Gustavo. The dinner featured a delicious Hoya de Carne soup made with beef and local vegetables like yucca, nape and camote. The main course was a splendid array of baked chicken in a tomato sauce, barbeque beef, traditional rice, black beans, and salad made with hearts of palm and fried plantains. The offering was so bountiful there was even enough to have leftovers the next day. With full bellies and a full appreciation for the splendor of the day, we nestled in our beds to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the ocean.

Enjoying a traditional Costa Rica meal prepared in our condo.

The sun comes up early in Costa Rica and by 6 a.m. the sun is so bright, you’d think it was high noon. At high tide, we hit the beach for surf lessons. Professional surfers make it look so easy. Lucky for us our instructor Freddy helped make our surfing experience easy as well. Our lessons took place right outside the beach gate of the condo complex. Talk about convenient. Although we were all anxious to “ride a wave”, the first part of the lesson was spent on the beach learning the moves we’d need once we got on the water. It was great to really get a feel for the technique and our success on the beach was a nice confidence booster to prepare us for the real thing. Then Freddy worked with each of us individually in the water to practice what we had learned. Success was more immediate than we’d thought and it was a blast. Everyone in our group was able to get up on their boards and ride the waves. The speed you feel when the wave catches the board is amazing. It was an invigorating morning and we had a couple of people who couldn’t wait to rent boards the next day.

Getting ready for our surfing lesson.

Our afternoon activity proved to be much more adventurous than we originally planned. We joined up with Jaco Canopy Tours to zip line through the lush rain forest. After gearing up we rode in their shuttle toward the top of the mountain. It was very steep and more than once we were impressed that the vehicle could make the climb. The vehicle climb was followed by our own climb further up the mountainside along a dirt path and some uneven steps that had all of us “feeling our thighs”. The climb was definitely worth it as the view above the tree tops was spectacular. I think we got lots of new profile pics here! The staff was very fun, professional and reassuring to those who were inexperienced and/or not a fan of heights. The step off the first platform to sail over the jungle was a little harrowing for some of us, AND it was an exhilarating experience. The smiles on that first platform were ear to ear. The sense of accomplishment, the freedom, Mother Nature – what’s not to love?

Karla enjoying the zip line before the thundersorm rolled in.

We were having so much fun and then Mother Nature decided to give us a taste of what the words “rain forest” mean. Zipping off the 4th platform with a gentle rain on our faces was what made the trip! Ok, a little rain on your face is refreshing, a torrential downpour, not so much. As we reached the 5th of 12 platforms a thunderstorm rolled in and we needed to get off the zip lines in a hurry. Something about lightning and steel cables not being a good mix. After an efficient belay off the platform, we hiked down the mountain in a driving rainstorm. One bonus was we got to see cute little blue and black poisonous dart frogs. (Luckily no snakes!) The switchback trail turned into a slippery stream as the water followed the path of least resistance. Just as we got back to the safety of the starting point and the first lightening cracked, our guide reminded us “this is the start of the rainy season.” No worries, eating fresh pineapple and watermelon as we delighted in the antics of our unique trek down the mountain was just as fulfilling.

Billy was hanging out with his "cousins".

The next day was our trip to Manuel Antonio National Park for our wildlife excursion. On the way to the park we stopped to watch a family of nearly extinct and rarely seen squirrel monkeys. Once inside the park we saw two and three toed sloths, toucans, hermit crabs, a coatimundi (relative of the raccoon), iguanas and lizards. Of course we came to see the moneys and we were not disappointed. The most interesting sighting was the family (troop) of howler monkeys making their way to the beach. The monkeys were high in the trees on one side of our path trying to cross to the other side. One by one they climbed to the top of the tree closest to the trail edge and leaped. They sailed through the air and caught themselves with a palm branch right before they hit the ground. It was an amazing show and a large crowd gathered to watch. When the littlest primate succeeded after several attempts we cheered quite loudly. We suddenly heard a loud, low grunt of what we assumed was the big daddy howler. Our guide said that was our warning to keep moving. So we did. Those howler monkeys are awesome at crowd control.

The swimming beach at Manuel Antonio National Park.

The next stop on our tour of Manuel Antonio was a swimming beach. It looked like it was right off the movie set of Pirates of the Caribbean. A small cove of white sand surrounded by palm trees and volcanic rocks offered several photo ops. Not only did the water taste like a finely salted margarita, it was warm and quite deep and we spent about an hour relaxing in the sun and playing in the surf before hiking back along the shore. By that time, the tide had come in so we had the very fun albeit sketchy experience of riding the “ferry” across the river. Ahhh, we made it and we met some people who live in Spring Lake about 40 minutes away from Blue Monkey’s home base of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Again, this vast country proved to be a reminder of what a small world it is.

The trip wouldn’t be complete without a review of the local fare. Our meals were great. We ate everywhere from basic roadside diners for tacos (very messy and very yummy) to upscale restaurants with melt in your mouth beef tenderloin and crème brulee. We had breakfast and lunch right on the beach a couple of times. There is nothing like eating pancakes and watching the Jesus lizard scurry on top of the water or sipping Mai Tai’s and seeing how the “real” surfers hang ten.

On this trip, Blue Monkey Adventure got to fully enjoy the beauty of Jaco Beach and the casual laid back way of Costa Rica. Next time will be back and ready to explore more adventures in this rich Central American jungle land, after all, Costa Rica does mean rich coast and our lives are richer for the experience.

Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Join us for the inaugural Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race on July 9th. Blue Monkey Adventure is putting together multiple two person teams to compete in the race. For $125 you get race entry (for two),  two pasta dinners, the after race grill out, and two Blue Monkey t-shirts. This will be a fun adventure that requires no travel for our West Michigan friends. If you’re from a different part of the country and would like to participate we can help arrange accommodations and additional meals. Check out the GR Urban Adventure web site for more details. Drop us a note or give a call if you’d like to be part of our team.

Royal Wedding Review

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the procession route and millions more watched on TV on April 29th as Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in London, England. The Royal Wedding was truly a worldwide phenomenon and our own Karla Oard was there taking in the festivities. She was among the crowd that watched the royal carriage make its way from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Place.

William and Kate ride in the Royal Carriage.

“The festivities were absolutely amazing,” said Oard. “I was so surprised at how exciting it was to see Prince William in person. The real shocker was what a stunning young gent Prince Harry is.” Oard and her group joined the mass of people that walked the Mall after the carriage had arrived at the Palace. “The procession through the mall was truly exhilarating. The kids in the parade, the British version of cub scouts, were so excited.

They were waving to the crowd and taking pictures and the crowd was waving and taking pictures. It was too funny. Then once we got to the Palace, even the best laid plans went awry and people hopped the fence to the fountain and even got in the fountain to get a better vantage point. It was like a great rock concert!”

The crowd moves up the Mall toward Buckingham Palace.

The people crowding the front gate of Buckingham Palace to see the first kiss of William and Kate were from all over. “We met people from Plainwell, Michigan, Chicago and even saw someone with a cheese head from Wisconsin. There are lots of Canadians, Australians and the Brits didn’t have work or school, so they were here in full force.”

According to Oard she spoke with many English people who are very excited about the young royal couple. She said the feeling in London is that they provide a new hope for the nation and a glimmer of positivity for the entire world.

Sir William at Windsor Castle

Our report on the Moab trip

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

What a great way to kick off our 2011 travel season. Moab, Utah, located in the southeastern part of the state, is absolutely beautiful. The red sandstone cliffs, the scrubby green desert plants, and the clear blue sky helped make this a very colorful trip.

Fisher Towers

Fisher Towers, outside of Moab

We stayed at the Red Cliffs Lodge which sits in a bend in the Colorado River about 15 miles outside of Moab. The accommodations were excellent. We stayed in a Creekside queen room with our own private patio. The views from just our room were spectacular. The Lodge grounds also featured a working horse stable, a winery, hiking trails, and an outdoor wedding area. The food at the restaurant was excellent and Sunday brunch was fabulous.

patio view

The view from our patio

On Friday we spent the day at Arches National Park. The highlight was the guided hike we took through the Fiery Furnace. The area is basically a rock maze with skinny passages and towering cliffs. There were several times when we had to use climbing moves to continue along the trail. The hike took about three hours and, although it was strenuous, it was suitable for families with young children and older adults, providing that you are relatively fit to being with.

Fiery Furnace

Tom and Ian on the Fiery Furnace hike

Saturday was our mountain biking day. We hooked up with Rim Tours and they took us on a half day trek in the Monitor and Merrimac area north of Moab. We rode through sand, over slickrock and did a lot of climbing and fast descending. Though this trail was rated “intermediate” it was one of the toughest biking trips I’ve ever taken. It was great!

Mountain biking

Mountain biking just outside of Moab

On Sunday we struck out on our own and found some dinosaur tracks and native petroglyphs. These were high on a cliff and once we viewed them we continued climbing up until we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the canyon below. We also took a scenic drive near Canyonlands National Park and had a picnic.

petroglyphs

Native petroglyphs near dinosaur tracks

Moab is one of the best places for outdoor recreation in the United States. Whether you want to mountain bike, road bike, mountain climb, hike, ride ATVs, take a Jeep tour, go canyoneering, visit national parks or even sky dive, there is something here for you. You can also sit in the hot tub, watching the sun set over the mountains and counting the stars as they blink on.

Arches

North and South Window in Arches National Park