Sunday I studied the weather forecast which is all it is. Winds were forecasted to swing to a more headwind direction. I left Flag early Mon AM to beat the wind & holiday revelers on the road. Plan was to drive to Monticello, UT and drive up into USFS for dirt bag camping.

Drove a new piece of road, UT rt 163 that went thru some spectacular SW desert rock scenery. Mexican Hat. Desert driving.

Mexican Hat, UT w/ rock strata behind

Still had the wind @ my back. Made Monticello then drove up mtn. Bailed @ Dalton Spring XG @ 8383′, the highest I have been this year. Went for a road hike and struggled w/ my shortness of breath. Elevation was a factor. Aspen are greening out and snow is melting. $10 camp fee. Outhouses look like CXT but lack the id tag. Chilly night, below freezing. I learned that my heater turns off when set on low. The doubled over down blanket and hat did not ward off the chill. Started the heater again and slept w/ it on high till crawling out of bed. This time zone change from no daylight AZ to daylight UT is disruptive.

Today was a short drive down mtn and then onto Moab. Checked forecast that called for 80s in Moab. Needed to get there early and get my ride in on slickrock b4 heat hit.

Took an AM hit of Advair that I felt relief right away. Looks like I will be on it.

Made Moab. Drove up to Slick rock. Paid $5.00 day fee that can convert to a camp spot for another $5.00. Rode practice loop and the easier way on the Slick rock trail which is just following white rectangular blazes on the rock. “Trail” prevents blind drop overs and getting lost on this expanse of fossilized sand dunes. real hump of a ride. My breathing curtails my climbing effort. I rode here the first time back in ’92 in my youthful prime. Years have advanced wreaking havoc on my aerobic performance. OK I pushed a few climbs.

crowded trail, follow white markings and black tire rubber

While hanging in the TH parking lot a rider approached me. Turns out his father and I talked last year in Sun Valley. The kid is a top 100 XC ski racer. Articulate young man.  I remembered talking w/ his father.

Drove out to camping area and put dibs on a spot w/ my locked chair. Drove into town. Stopped @ Chile Pepper bike shop. Made appointment for them to install new bushings in my bike. I will tear it apart and give to them the new pieces for install.

Drove out to KOA for nice $5.00 shower.

Next stop was Lin Care to pick up my blood clotting monitoring device. Guy who instructed me is 6’9″, I didn’t even make his shoulders. I need to perform a test each week and call in the results. Process is to arm a small skin pricker device that is spring loaded. Upon release a sharp blade slices a small hole in my finger. I squeeze a drop of blood on a piece of material that capillary force draws the blood into the machine. battery powered. INR time is spit out. I call an 800 number w/ the results. Costs $54 a month. Benefit is I know the results weekly and can adjust as required my dosage of coumadin.

A $2.75 pint @ Moab Brewery, type this then drive up to Slick rock camp for the night. Will ride Slick rock again tomorrow because I have already paid the entry fee.

Have an endocrinologist appointment in Grand Junction on 6/10. Will hang here for several days then move up to Fruita then GJ.

Sedona saturday… and Sunday

Friday night I decided to drive down Oak Creek canyon on Sat to visit Sedona. Forecast was for high winds a bit lower than Flag but warmer. I was sort of hoping to visit w/o riding because of how I feel.

Drove down canyon into Uptown Sedona which is very touristy. Traffic was backed up. Memorial weekend but I didn’t expect that many cars and people. Made BnB. Walked in the door quietly. Jimmy had his head down tending a customer at the counter. He looked up and saw me and a big smile spread on his face. Such friendship. Goofed on Gonzo and Scott hanging in the shop for several hours. Been gone 25 days but seemed like yesterday.Almost the first thing I heard was the juniper gnats were out and all the bites they are recovering from. Bad but good. Maybe a reason to not ride on Sunday, that plus the forecasted high winds

Drove up canyon to Uptown to visit w/ Dave @ Fat Tire. Told him about my knowing Joe in Flag. Dave spoke highly of him.

Called Danny. Drove back to BnB. Afternoon traffic was slack. Danny caught me in my van. Fun time visiting drinking a beer in my home. Danny has some serious juniper gnat bites, some were like open wounds. Man, the gnats are the worst things I have experienced on my travels. The egg laying females need a belly full of mammal b4 she can lay next year’s brood. She feeds like a mosquito by sucking blood. The gnat chews a would, spits into it which contains an anticoagulant which causes the horrible itching sore, then laps up the blood. She is so no see ’em.

Down to PJs for grilled chicken salad that has green leaves, grapes & apples for fruit, & chicken for protein. Add in a small order of fries and a pint and dinner was balanced.

Jimmy invited me over to his house to watch cage fighting on TV and a foreclosed former neighbor’s drive way for a sleeping spot. Watched the cage fighting while visiting. Jan is back east in her haunts on an artist tour.

Sedona got hot into the upper 80s. At bedtime my bedroom was still flannel sheet only toasty. This AM it was 70 degrees. Oh boy a hot one possibly in addition to the 40 mph gusts. Jimmy invited Kris w/ a “K” along for an easy short dog ride in the AM. We left after 9:00 in bearable heat but gusting winds. Rode neighborhood streets to get into Old man’s wash where Jimmy could let Rico, the dog, off the leash. Sedona technical riding. Kris was smarting from a run he did several days ago that caused him riding leg pain. He made the call and we bailed back home.

Jimmy with Courthouse @ his back

The 3 of us prepared ourselves to defend against the gnats. Jimmy used Skin so soft, me a lemon citronella, and Kris just natural. None of us got bit perhaps mostly because of the strong winds grounded the little buggers.

This Sedona riding is mostly full time technical, it ain’t no Flagstaff woods trail. I put the required skill away for the season when I left 25 days ago. I struggled to retrieve the skill set. I didn’t fall, I just didn’t feel comfortable.

Kris w/ some slick rock

Back @ Jimmy’s for a shower then up to BnB to hang. Caught Tony this time. Scot gives me a hard time about my, to him, short short shorts. He of below knee long “shorts”?

Plan was to visit for awhile then head up canyon back to Flag for cooler temps. Holiday crowd. Took almost 45 mins to drive 7 miles to uptown. So many people. Strong winds. road leaves the canyon and climbs an exposed face w/ several switchbacks before cresting onto the Mogollon Rim @ almost 7,000′. Wind buffeted my van. Drove into Flag w/ wind behind me. I drove into the wind a short distance retracing my drive to a Safeway and really felt the push back from the headwind.

Drove out to place i have been staying which is in the P-pines. Still windy enough to frequently rock my van. 50 mph winds still forecasted. Mon the temp is forecast for 26 degrees. My van is almost broadside into the wind. A gust just really rocked the boat so to speak.

Plan is to stay here tomorrow to let the weekenders get back to work and the winds to die down then drive Tues 325 miles to Moab where I will pick up my blood testing gizzmo.

First day without Advair

Chilly night last night. Turned the heater to low and crawled under the covers. I turned the valve too far and turned it off, the mistake felt @ daybreak.

The pulmonologist said I can cold turkey from the Advair and I did. I did have problems w/ shortness of breath once I started riding.

Fixed bfast and cleaned up. Plan became ride early b4 winds pick up, get a shower, do the wash, and have my maxxel serviced.

I worked on spinning riding up Schultz creek trail coping w/ shortness of breath. Spinning lessens the demand for air. I did ride a bit better, it helps that this ride was the 4th time. I was just looking for a ride and not interested in seeking new trails. I did take 2 hits of albuterol. My lungs were mostly clear.

Something is happening in my body as I have pronounced shortness of breath that the Advair couldn’t beat. Plus i had beaucoup congestion in my lungs. I am quitting the Advair to see what my condition will be after several days of no medicine.

I finished b4 the strong winds came up. Caught a $5. shower at the aquatics center. Drove into town on Beaver street to a small laundromat beside Macy’s, a funky coffee & food restaurant. Clean clothes.

Drove back to Absolute bikes to learn how to make this maxxle work that holds my front wheel onto the fork. A wrench took it apart, cleaned it, and applied some grease. He said it will work better now. Next ride I will learn.B4 leaving town I stopped @ a brew pub for a pint of porter. sat outside in strong winds and sun. Great weather.

She didn't know how Mom did it.

Forecast still calls for strong winds till Sunday. Along my planned route winds are forecasted to gust to 50 mph and blowing dust. In Flag forecast is just for winds, even Sedona down canyon will be wind blown and upper 80s. Flag is cooler.

Riding here has been on the south flank of San Fransisco peaks, former volcanoes. Trails contend w/ volcanic ejecta: big blobs of basalt. Open P-pine forest. Mix in some Doug fir and patches of aspen.

Clean sheets and clean body: double score.

I have a saddle sore which is like a boil right where my left leg contacts my saddle. Ouch.