We were in Moab for a few days, and one thing I really wanted to do was ride Pocupine Rim, without having to ride Sand Flats Road to get there. The last couple of times that we had done the loop, we had done the whole 38-mile loop, including the dirt road ride to the trailhead.
Now, I like riding gravel roads, and all, but I find that riding the washboard road all the way to the trailhead tires me out enough that I don't enjoy the trail, as much. So, we decided to pop for a shuttle ride.
The guy who runs the shuttle is named Randy, and he is an interesting character. He showed up at Poison Spider Bikes to pick us up, in an old VW bus. He was the essential long-time hippie who has settled into the bike world in Moab. He was wearing sandals, of course, cut-off shorts, t-shirt and a long graying pony tail.
We loaded up the bikes, and took off.
If you have ever driven from Moab, up Sand Flats past the Slickrock Trail and to the Porcupine Rim Trailhead, you know that the road is one of those which requires a little caution. It is windy, hilly, dusty and wash-boarded all to hell. Randy, however, drove it like he was moving his car in the driveway.
"Hey, I useta be a stunt driver, man!" he yelled over the rattling of the bus, as we careened down the road at 45 mph. He was turned halfway around in the driver's seat, looking back at us in the passenger's seats.
"Looks like you still are," I said back to him.
He spent the next five miles regaling us with stories of doing photo-shoots for the GM HumVee, and getting the Hummer 6 feet into the air on the jumps, riding motorcycles while smoking herb, etc. Occasionally, he would actually look forward, at the road, fishtail the bus around whatever it was that his ESP had made him look around at, then turn back to us and continue his stories.
We made it to the trailhead, in one piece, somehow, and unloaded the bikes. Randy gave us a jaunty wave as he headed back to town, and we took off down the trail. It was nice to tide the trail a little more physically fresh than normal.
And, I had so much adrenaline flowing through me, after that bus ride up, that actually put in a pretty quick climb to High-Anxiety Overlook!