Mountain Biking in Klondike Bluffs, Moab, Utah

Our last full day of the trip was an action-packed one. Jordan and I were on the fence about renting mountain bikes during the trip, but decided to go for it on the last day. We were in Moab, after all, where some of the best and most famous mountain biking trails are located. Our hotel was also right across from the best bike rental shop in Moab, Poison Spider. The night before we picked out and got fit for our bikes. I chose an Ibis Mojo HD3, an extremely high end, 27.5 wheel size, carbon fiber, full suspension mountain bike. We asked our friends who had come to Moab previously on a mountain biking trip where the best place to go would be. They recommended Klondike Bluffs, just outside of Moab. The guys at Poison Spider installed a suction-cup bike rack on our rental vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, while we picked out the bikes.  We brought them home for the night so we could get up early and hit the trails the next morning. We parked at the North trail head off of 191 since the South Entrance was closed. The trail names are dinosaur themed because dinosaur footprints can be seen on the trail. Crazy! Here is a great description of the trails.

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It was unlike any mountain biking I’ve ever done! It was so different out here because it was so wide open! I’m so used to riding through the woods, afraid of hitting trees, I actually enjoyed riding these open trails much more.

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Riding the Ibis Mojo was amazing. I can see why it is such an expensive bike. I felt comfortable on it and it rolled over every rock effortlessly!

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Can you spot the jack rabbit?

 

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I was worried it would be hard to find the trail, but they were marked very well.

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Green Lizard Guy

We stuck to mostly beginner/intermediate trails and rode 11.3 miles total in about 1 hr, 45 minutes.

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We were so glad we decided to rent bikes. We got out early (around 7:30) to beat the heat. It started to get hot fast, and by the time we were done it was in the high 80s.

For lunch we went to the Quesadilla Mobilla, a food truck in Moab serving what else–quesadillas! They were delicious! We liked them so much that Jordan and I ate lunch here two days in a row. Yum! When can we move to Moab?

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The Southern Belle – Shredded beef with cheddar/jack cheese, sautéed corn, sautéed onions and roasted sweet potatoes

 

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Weekend Update

Friday night a few friends and I went to Troy Night Out! We went to Troy Cloth & Paper’s Print Off. They were selling prints designed by the Artist of the Month and I knew I wanted one, it was awesome.

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We wandered around downtown a little bit before stopping at Bacchus for some pizza. I’ve only been here a few times, but every time the pizza is great.

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The crust is extremely thin and crispy, the pizza has lots of flavor and it’s not overloaded with cheese.

After dinner we walked over to Peck’s Arcade, the new spot next to the Confectionery.

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This place is extremely hip. I loved it! They also had interesting drinks on the menu.

The next morning I had a run planned with my marathon training friend, Jenna. We are both signed up for the Buffalo Marathon (I may have convinced her to run it) so we had a long run on the agenda for Saturday–16 miles.

We met at UAlbany because it was snowing and we weren’t sure if the Niskayuna Bike Path would be completely clear. Thankfully at SUNY, the running loop is always salted and mostly free of snow and ice. It was snowing when we got there and continued to snow for our entire run.

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16 miles is a lot of loops at the UAlbany campus. 5 and half to be exact. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it. Saturday I liked it. It was pretty mindless but sometimes I just need that. I can count down the number of loops as I go and I can stop at my car for fuel and water when I need to. 15 miles was the longest that Jenna had run, ever! I was super proud of her (she ran 15, I ran 16). I felt really good, even by the end.

Sunday was another busy day. Sunday is the only day of the week that Jordan and I both have off from work, so we try to do something outdoorsy and fun. We decided to go back to Petersburgh Pass for a quick hike since it was getting late. We picked up his parents’ dog, Jack, and brought him along because he loves hiking.

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There was still a few feet of snow up here. We were unprepared and didn’t bring snowshoes, but it wasn’t really an issue since it was really packed down. I happened to have my microspikes in my bag, so I put them on to make it a little easier. I like this hike because it’s close to home and only takes about 45 minutes. Perfect when you want to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and you don’t have much time!

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Syracuse Half Marathon

Saturday evening Jordan and I drove out to Syracuse for the Syracuse Half Marathon! I signed up for this race ages ago and got a hotel .5 miles from the start of the race in downtown, Syracuse. We checked into our hotel and then immediately went searching for some good eats. Around the corner we found a little place called Modern Malt.

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They had a small late-night menu and I went with the egg and cheese sandwich because it seemed harmless for a pre-race dinner. Thankfully it was a great decision and it was delicious.

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Both of our meals (Jordan got a burger) came with tater tots! I got sweet potato and he got regular. I liked the regular better, actually! They were delicious.

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After our late dinner we headed next door to a place called Al’s Whiskey & Wine Bar. Normally I don’t stay out too late the night before a race, but we just had to check out these cools spots so close to our hotel. I just made sure to hydrate well with plenty of water!

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There were many spirits to choose from. Overall it seemed like a really cool place to hang and grab a drink.

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The race was starting at 8AM the next morning and the starting line/finish area was a short walk from our hotel. We left at around 7:30 and walked in the freezing cold. The high was supposed to be 18 degrees so it was pretty cold at 7:30am–I actually didn’t even look at the temp because I didn’t want to get discouraged. I think it was the coldest I’ve run in all season, which is funny because now it is actually Spring. At the start I met up with my friends Val and Jona who were also running! Jona and I decided to try to run some of the race together.

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Yes, it was cold.

 

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This was Jordan’s first time spectating a race. He was awesome for standing out there despite the freezing temps! 🙂

I had no goals for this race. I was just planning on using it as training run. But Jordan asked me what my best possible finish time would be and I told him 2:10, and that was if the run was going fantastic. I told him I doubt I would run that fast. So during the race I decided not to look at my pace at all and just run by feel. Turns out that was an really good decision!

Race Stats

SYR stats

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I lost Jona during the first big hill at around mile 2. She told me there were hills on the course but I really didn’t pay any mind–I didn’t even look at the course elevation in fear that the hills were going suck, sometimes I think its better when I don’t know what’s coming. Surprisingly they didn’t kill me and I felt really great during the race. The only time I walked was to eat Gu and drink water. I ate two–one at mile 2 because my stomach was growling, and one later around mile 8.

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My pace stayed under a 10 minute mile until Mile 10. Darn! But there was even an 8:52 mile thrown in there which I still can’t even believe I did.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this race! I finished in 2:09:47, for an average of 9:54 per mile. I am very happy with that for a tough course!

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The race medal was awesome too.

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The post-race party was located inside at the Oncenter. This was really nice because it was extremely cold out! If it were outside, everyone would have frozen! They had a lot of tables for people to sit at and eat their post-race snacks. I grabbed a chocolate milk and a yogurt to refuel with. They get an A for post-race party. And the race itself was extremely organized, overall I was extremely impressed!

Our hotel had a late checkout, so I got to go back and shower before heading to brunch. Jordan and I drove over to Lemoyne College to pick up my cousin and the three of us met Val at Funk n’ Waffles on the Syracuse University campus! This place was on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, so we knew it had to be decent!

I went with the waffle with eggs and bacon, and it was delicious. It hit the spot after the half marathon! Very tasty when paired with a Magic Hat #9. 😉

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And that concluded my first half marathon of 2015!

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A Michigan State Wedding

Friday Chris and I arrived at our destination, East Lansing, Michigan for our friends’ wedding! Friday afternoon we stopped for lunch and some drinks around the Campus, and quickly found our favorite spot was a place called HopCat, that had 100 beers on tap!

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Thankfully they had the option for half pours, so I could try a small amount of different beers! I think my favorite was Soft Parade, a beer brewed in Michigan.

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Saturday morning Chris and I took a nice long walk around the MSU Campus. It was HUGE!

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Then it was time to head back to the hotel (we stayed right on campus in the Kellog) and get ready for the wedding, which was held at the Chapel on campus.

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And the reception, which followed, at the Kellogg!

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Congrats, Vicky  & Chris! We had such a blast at your wedding. It was wonderful. So glad we could be a part of it.

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Before heading out of Michigan the next morning, we made another stop at HopCat for brunch. I ordered the vegan patty melt, which was incredible. It came with their famous “Crack Fries” which were really delicious, and of course, addicting.

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Overall, we had a fantastic weekend in Ohio and Michigan (with a quick stop in Pittsburgh)! Back to reality.

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Dinner at Rain Modern Chinese

Look, a restaurant review! It has been so long since Chris and I have gone out to a “new” restaurant in Albany. Yesterday was our chance! We had plans to attend the Winterfest Beer Social at Lionheart Pub on Madison ave after work, so we decided to grab dinner nearby at the Chinese place, Rain.

There was a nice ambiance in the restaurant. It kind of reminded me of Sushi X…ha. We love that place, too. But it was nice inside.

I decided to order a drink and went with the Scorpion, a cocktail of fruit juice, brandy, and rum. It was tasty, tropical, and reminded me of summer…

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Chris ordered a beer, and we both got appetizers. Chris got the Hudson Valley foie gras soup dumplings($12)and I got the veggie dumplings ($6).

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My dumplings were very good. They were pretty much your standard Chinese dumplings.

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My main meal was the pineapple chicken ($15). It was literally served in a pineapple! It was delicious. I had the option of brown or white rice with the dish, and I was thrilled because I love brown rice (and its healthier). Along with the chicken, there were mushrooms, peppers, and onions in a pineapple sauce. It was great, and not overly filling. I saved half to bring for lunch today.

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Dessert was a chocolate and mascarpone mousse with a crispy topping–it was good, but a little small for the high price ($8).

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Overall, Rain was great! It was a bit pricey…our bill added up pretty quick with drinks and dessert, but we hardly ever eat out so it was a nice treat. If you are looking for a tasty place to sit down near Lark Street, I’d suggest checking them out.

Rain Modern Chinese on Urbanspoon

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