Monday, October 29, 2007

302 miles

Flagstaff to Tucson, via Sedona, Payson and Globe.
Our stop in Flagstaff bore the fruit of warm showers, comfortable beds, quality beer, and a tour to the Grand Canyon. Although amazing, comfortable and pleasant, we choose adventure.
We peddled out of Flagstaff, hopped on 87A and promptly dropped off "the rim" descending 3,000 feet in a few short miles. The scenic highway of 87A is nationally renowned for being beautiful. I thought it was cool to see water in the river beds. 87A leads to Sedona, an overrun club-med-stlye-tourist heaven, complete with Pink Jeep Tours. Leah and I both gauged. Visiting the local natural food store, we saw a man dressed in full body spandex fashion. It was awesome. I told him so. I was also wearing spandex.
We slept on the Red Rock National Forest, adjacent to the Red Rock High School and marveled at the scenic Red Rock.

The following day we climbed back up onto "the rim" 4,000 feet drawn out over twelve long miles. The sun beat the life out of us with it's 92 degree heat and the desert provided little cover. A mystical unopened bottle of water appeared along the climb to save us from completely running out. That night we slept in the unofficial city park of Strawberry. They have a park bench and it is very nice.

We ate lunch and napped at Green Valley Park in Payson. The locals looked retired and suspicious of the likes of two vagabond bikers. We camped in the Tonto National Forest and had a nice fire. It's always a good night when you have a fire. The Senora cactus kept us intrigued; I had no idea they grow so tall.

We took a dip in Roosevelt Lake. Of all the united states, Arizona has the most boats per capita, largely due to the existence of that reservoir.
Then we climbed up to Globe, arriving at sundown and crashed at St. Paul's Lutheran church. It would have been a good place to sleep had the highway been further away, the street light turned out and the neighbor's dog shut-up. I was happy to see the sky breaking into day.

Winkleman has a large city park, a gas station and a general store. The general store sells produce and food, the gas station beer and the park has camping. I liked Winkleman.

The next day we peddled up to Oracle, past the Bio Sphere 2, and into Oro Valley. Outside of a strip mall, we met Uncle Ed! He drove us into Tucson, thankfully, avoiding city traffic and near sighted snow birds. And now, I sit in there beautiful home enjoying the luxuries of modern living and the generosities of Wisconsin born in-laws. That's right: Brats and Beer!
May it never end.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

greetings from tuba city

Hey all, this is my first time as a 'blogger'...pretty sweet. I just wanted to let those that are worrying about us know that we're fine! Doing pretty awesome actually. The trip has gone up and down so far...right now the weather sucks outside but we're having a good cup of coffee and taking a break. highlights of the trip so far...definitely utah's red rock country, glen canyon, crossing the beautiful colorado river. jack already filled in on most of that. Biking really makes you look forward to every meal! Suddenly gas station burritos don't sound too bad :) Yesterday I finally felt like my biking legs were under me and we cruised a good 50 miles after lunch...that's a great accomplishment on this trip considering the load we're carrying. Anyway, we're heading towards flagstaff mile-by-mile and will write more then.
love to you all!

Hola a todos mis amigos y amigas que hablan espanol!! No uso el idioma tanto en este viaje (hasta el momento). Pronto vamos a estar en Mexico donde lo puedo usar todos los dias. Algunos saben que deje de trabajar en Eugene, Oregon donde estuve viviendo por 5 anios y ahora estoy haciendo un viaje en bicicleta con mi novio, Jack. Si no se dieron cuenta por el titulo de este 'blog', estamos viajando hasta Mexico. Pues, eso es la meta que tenemos por el momento. Mis amigos y amigas mexicanas me inspiraron a visitar su pais para conocer mejor su cultura, historia y todo. Siento que somos muy afortunados para tener esta oportunidad de viajar un poco y tener una aventura juntos...hace dos semanas que empezamos en Sandpoint, Idaho...hay algunas fotos que muestran algunos sitios donde estuvimos y vamos a anadir mas en el futuro. El clima estaba tan feo en Idaho (mucha lluvia y viento) que decidimos tomar un colectivo hasta Green River, Utah. Pasamos una semana con mi padre en Orofino antes de tomar el bus...fue super lindo estar con el y poder ver algunas amiga en el pueblo donde creci. En la ultima semana hemos visto un monton de sitios bonitos en Utah y ahora estamos en Arizona en el desierto...pero gracias a dios, no esta haciendo demasiado calor. la ciudad donde estamos se llama Tuba City y hay mucha gente indigena aca del grupo navajo.
Pues, les prometo escribir mas adelante y espero que todos se encuentran muy bien. Para mi familia argentina, les mando muchos abrazitos y besos. Ana, lo siento que no te he llamado. estoy en la busqueda de una tarjeta de llamadas para argentina.
Tengo que irme ahora pero les mando a todos muchos saludos y espero que esten bien de salud y espiritu!

cuidense mucho

Green River, then Tuba City

We got off the dirty dog in Green River, Utah, intent on seeing Arches and the town of Moab. Put our bikes together, reanimating their boxed up selves, ate at Ben's Cafe and were about to head East when two Colorado folk informed us of a much better, less traffic, few trucks, kinda route West. We bit.

Road out into the desert. Slept on BLM dirt. Rose and shone, road into Hanksville for Hamburger and groceries, realizing that it will be a while before we see another grocery store, give or take 120 miles. Huh. Shoulda, coulda, woulda taken a longer look at that there mapper-thingy.

The road fallows a red rock canyon of empty beauty, crosses the Colorado River, lifts up into the pygmy forests of Pinon and Juniper trees. Then drops off a cliff in dirt switchbacks at Moki Dugway, to strech out into the horizon again. Remarkably serene, endlessly remote and in October, lightly traveled.

Four days later we safely roll into Mexican Hat. We still had food: a tortilla, some oats, a cliff bar.
We ate pizza to celebrate our return to "towns with gas stations."
We almost made it to Kayenta after stopping for groceries at Gouldings. But the sun was setting and so we asked a dude if we could pitch our tent in his property.
"Yeah Sure. Whatever." His name is Gearison and has three kids and a wife. He gave us BEER and Spare Ribs. (Beer is hard to come by on a dry reservation).

Since then we have been pushing along the flat expanse of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. Yesterday we left Kayenta and slept at Red Lake. Right now we are sipping coffee in Tuba City. Hoping to wait out the dust storm that is darkening the sky so we can push on to Cameron and up over into Flagstaff...

Skills learned:
Cooking beans.
Map skills.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

7 days in Orofino

Leah and I bought bus tickets to Green River, Utah. The nearest city to Moab via bus route and on the 13th of October we will board the bus and resume our bicycle adventure south.

In the mean time we are enjoying down time with movies, popcorn and Mark, Leah's Dad. He is awesome and hilarious. Also, Leah has been looking at various WOOFing farms throughout Mexico. I have been reading the prehistory of the Far Side. And napping. My beard is huge.
We are both thankful to be out of the rain and cold.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bitter Sweet

The longer I am somewhere, the harder it is to leave.
Sandpoint is a beautiful town and has a great City Park and bi-weekly Frisbee games. But, the real hard goodbye was to Dave and Janeen. They are really wonderful, beautiful people that are living an honorable life of simple joy. I type that with a touch of envy, because I hope to someday achieve what they have mastered.
So we had to say goodbye and mount our bikes and ride away.
That's about the time when it started raining. Our first morning, we were drinking coffee and discussing our plans, the news said it had rained two inches the night before, which could explain why I woke up in a pool of water.
The fallowing day we charged into the wind hoping for a seventy mile day. Hoping for Grandma's cooking and Gordon's jokes. Hoping for a dry bed and fire. After riding six hours we had managed to cover thirty miles.
The weather report calls for rain. Then next week, more rain. And of course, wind and more cold miserable weather. Maybe we will buy bus tickets.