from maybe we shouldn’t to wow that is dry

On Friday I was in a group ride seeking rideable trails. Today would be the first riding day since the week before Wednesday. Eagerness yet skepticism for what we would find. Our choice was something above Cottonwood. We got out of the truck right into the company of a local who said just no way as mud is the dominant tread. Bummer. Next idea took us down Upper Red rock down to the bottom of Pyramid. A loop was lead. We found some mean freeze thaw slippery mud. We rode down Scorpion which is east facing hence in the cold shadows, there were small patches of frozen snow. We all stayed on top of the rubber.

Then there was Friday night social at the Bean. I shared my bottle of corn whiskey that had almost empty jug samplers. Back out to the overlook as dirt is not terra firma.

Sat. I dallied awhile before driving up canyon to VOC. Comment at the shop was the trails are just a mud pit. Beautiful day, I put on my low cut hikers and set off on Slim Shady to see wet muddy boots first hand. Surprise: yes there were puddles where they would always be, most everything was dry, some loose sand dry. Prolly could have ridden. I satisfied my outside need to just the hike. That night I watched the Zags cream Pepperdine, they are now 22-0 and playing up to that record. Late game. I drove out to my favorite spot which was empty. I had previously deemed the road firm enough for the wheels to stay on top.

Sunday’s 11 AM start ride was slid to 1:00 to allow last night’s freeze to perhaps dry. We rode a ramble on the east side of VOC. A modis  of this ride is social and ends at Historic brewery at the Collective south of the bike shop. Lots of basalt big kidheads. We pedaled up the road to the brew pub. Several beers and many many minutes visiting. It was beer talking that lead us to plan on a ride for Monday down on the Black Canyon Trail (BCT). Meet at the Bean at 10:30. Finally I bid adieu returning to the desert.

Warmer nights are back such that I am running the forced hot air furnace and covered only by the thin down blanket doubled over. I turn the heat setting lower. The furnace heats up my bedroom but not enough of the good stuff makes it to my living room leaving me wearing a wool sweater.

Sunday dawned blue skies and 60 degree temps down on the BCT. Six of us needed to fit into 2 trucks for a shuttle ride. Getting that straight. 2 trucks with 3 people in each but 6 bikes in 1 truck. Down I 17 we went. The other truck was to have had the directions to the TH to meet another rider joining us. I used MTBP to locate us and where MTBP showed a parking spot. We turned east and found it but not after going by it and denying accuracy of MTBP. The other truck called again for directions. We drove back down to the highway turning N sort of paralleling the trail. No trail anyway near our drive. Another call then a U turn, we drove just past the road we climbed on to where our meeting rider was standing. That was the last of the unplanned events. We offloaded bikes and loaded after ride stuff in the truck down at Bumblebee, our end point.

New real trailhead facility with CXT concrete outhouse made in Spokane. Return shuttle took 40 mins. Finally geared up we pedaled out going south from Meyer. Going this way gravity was in our favor. Oh, turns out another data misunderstanding. The ride would be about 17 miles as described from where we thought we were supposed to start from. It took us 7.7 miles to get to that point. From there is was to be about 8 miles to the tank, a normal out and back turn around point, and 10 miles down to Bumblebee. Ride turned out to be 23 miles, descending 2713′ and climbing 1414′, my time of 2hrs 46 mins.

And about the ride. My hard effort is well short of their speed. Our pace to me was a suffer fest as to how fast the pace and no stopping. I rode all but several  step ups that I was too pooped to lift my front wheel. I was way off the back. I had a clear image of the trail by not having a wheel to ride on. The front 4 just raced. I was never left out of contact for long as Ian was the last rider tender. His last wait was near the end of the ride, I almost caught up to him before he pedaled off. I rolled in a bunch of seconds later. I thanked him for waiting for me as my finish appeared that I was right near his wheel.

seeking shade BCT

Note: January 30, see the short sleeves. Me also but no sunburn.


Today I rode for the first time the 7 miles. The next piece down to the tank for the second time with the rest a bunch of times. All hand built sustainable except for the flash floods down the washes. Some incredible work to bench cut.

No eating pie at Rock Springs as the ride consumed more time than planned. Straight drive back to VOC. Tonight I needed a shower up in west Sedona and a salad bar dinner from Whole Foods. Ah, clean. I drove out to Deer Pass road scoring a last empty spot. In the morning I looked out the slider door window seeing a mound of bigger than 1 person red rocks. Seems the FS will be blocking off these primitive spots under the guise of healing the land. Over the years I have stayed here and have observed really no litter or new camp spots driven in. FS is keeping the land away from us. I was told that article 18 stipulates there will be no primitive camping in the entire Red Rock district.

Friday after our ride and mind altering socializing I received a phone call from an internet security company telling me I have malware on my web site. The service caller went around in circles attempting to sell me their service. I asked a straight question to which he answered with a sales pitch. Finally he told me their service was $99, that’s per month. No way. I called the service that shook me down last summer which should have kept my computer safe. The tech spoke english as a second language and I was in a slightly altered state. He took over my computer to which he made changes telling me all is safe. Today I receive a phone call from the guy who called me Friday launching into the same malware pitch. Tonight I emailed customer service at my internet provider asking for info. No answer.

Last night I rented a Redbox movie looking forward to a distraction evening. I fired up the dvd player which spooled into the promos of other movies. At promo end a banner of the feature movie appeared. I clicked Play Movie. Screen displayed  logo for the company but no movie, an error message displayed “DVD copy protect fail”. I tried several ways to make it play but ending up at same place. The disc would play the previews so I knew that circuits were connected. I chalked it up to my computer. I rented another movie tonight that followed the same path as last night. I called Redbox, again a second english speaker. Lack of comprehension of my problem, he kept repeating we’ll give you credit to rent another movie. Finally after several on hold seeking tech answers he said he would write a report and send it up the chain. He was ready to hang up when I asked him how they would contact me. He asked me for my email, I asked to be called, he said that they will only reply via email. 2 movies same problem, same disconnect with ill trained customer support. Which lead me to writing tonight instead of being drugged by a movie on my laptop screen. But I have allowed issues to consume me.

Tomorrow my carpet will be cleaned at a car detailing place I read about on line up in west Sedona. I so look forward to a cleaned carpet even if cleanliness last a short while, at least the olive oil spill will be gone ( I hope). I will ride up there, shower, and spend the night to be in place for laundry then down to PJs for the Zags game who are now rated Number 1 in the country.

report: Hunker down

Yesterday’s forecast was for some kind of solid precip to fall. The ground is too wet to hike out here at Deer Pass area as the dirt, when wet, sticks to whatever is on your feet. I did walk down to Oak Creek on the road which had some of its own slime. After dinner clean up I heard the hiss of yes, snow, landing on the sheet metal. At bedtime i stepped outside viewing a star filled sky. Temp did drop converting liquid to solid.

Today was the 2 week follow up for the gum graft down in Cottonwood. I drove down early seeking a time consumption event by walking Main ST in Old Cottonwood visiting for a coffee and banana bread. My mouth is on its way to successful healing. The 4 stitches were removed and built up plaque on the protected teeth. 2 weeks of a soft brush then back to sonicare. Still chew on other side.

Forecast is for below freezing at night until Sunday when uppers and lowers warm up. Maybe next Monday will be hero dirt.

Tomorrow is laundry then down to PJs for Zags game then prolly the overlook pavement.

Working my way thru Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins for the 2nd time. His take on religious history matches Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Angles and Demons. Pagans revered the woman, the christian church was afraid of women as they were earthly and not part of the construct of the something masculine in the ether space. trump and buddies supported denying female reproductive rights. Men still afraid of their Mother.

Presently 40 degrees under broken clouds at 3:30, snow here has been returned to the air transport environment.

rain and wet

One rain event after another. Flag added inches to their snow depth. Just rain down here at 4,500′. The ground is not frozen which allows the water to follow gravity’s pull. However the forecast for later this week is for below freezing at night and not much above it during the day. The shits of a melt freeze cycle. Today is an inside day enjoying my own small space parked out to Deer Pass during the day. Furnace is on and the sun is charging the camper batteries  for the blower. Hard rock surface here allows off pavement parking. I slept uninterrupted last night, so great. Used 3 eggs for scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of buttered toast sweetened with Muddy Bees honey from Hurricane. Cup of cold brewed coffee made from Java Love beans. Cleaned up. Wind effect picked up rocking the van.

Today is a west sedona day. Additional testing is necessary for my blood, the lab is in west sedona, the authorization for test lacked proper medicare codes for payment. I called the DRs’ office connecting to  an actual person. She said she would attend to it and asked if I would pick up or she could fax. The next part is like watching sausage being made. This AM the req. was in the possession of the lab. Another story will be skipped. Blood was drawn and sent out for the testing.

I stopped at Java Love for fresh beans and a latte. I am established known here. A shower at snap, a short drive to  the Worm to give back Angels and Demons and on taking of spigot water. I shopped at Whole Foods buying a piece of salmon for dinner. Which brings us back to where I am sitting. I washed with a fragrant bar of soap, the scent remains now.

Wed was the last ride day and it was a beaut: hero dirt, blue sky, and only a long underwear top layer. I rode Soldier Wash trails for the first time this visit. Copious eye candy

7 sacred pools

Sedona trails are elevation limited, there is just a short band of profile which does not make for a downhill run. Hence, the trails just undulate with maybe 50′ change on the long side, punchy ups w/ tech features on narrow single track. The tread is mix of sand and either slick rock sandstone or babyheads of basalt. The scenery here is jaw dropping pretty. I rode Noxibee hills trails in Mississippi which had about the same elevation profile and used the tight trees for tech challenge. The scenery was just tree trunks. Similar type of riding. I’m just saying.

Thursday rain fell during my 3 hours of volunteer trail work on Andante. A shower at snap and dry clothes I drove back down to VOC and PJ’s to watch the Zags game. They won.

Back at the paved overlook. Insufficient sunlight to charge the camper batteries to support the furnace blower caused me to run the catalytic heater.

Friday was another wet day of just hanging around. Sat was the same. Did hang at the Bean w/ locals. I’m connected while not an integral part. Watched Zags at PJs, where they let me have a main up front TV. They won. Back out to the overlook for the night. I have been scoring the favored most level spot in the cul d sac. Solitary.

Sunday was more of the same. I watched the NFC game w/ Jimmy, 2 others joined later. A guy stopped by our table and reconnected w/ a conversation we had last year. He is a Yupper and remembered last year. Late 4th quarter our group drove down to Historical brew pub, we were the only customers. For me, finally the subject of trump was broached. A spirited conversation ensued. No ruffled feathers but a difference of opinion. No TV to watch the AFC game. Then back to the overlook.

I am frequently asked what is my most favorite, sometimes my best ride or favorite state. I am unable to give an answer. Variables exist as do perhaps temporary conditions which when plugged into my best of bucket matrix might tally I’m glad this ride is over and I can drink beer or the other end is WOW. A WOW under different conditions might be rated as OK. As an example years ago I rode Thunder Mountain in UT under just gorgeous conditions, first rate. Years later I rode it again on wet snow and freeze thaw mud, really shitty riding. I had 2 experiences to rate the ride, The first ride overrode the not so smiley face second. I have ridden the Pisgah in the rain because, well, that’s what you do. Also in heat and high humidity. On the other hand riding the north rim of the grand canyon was just stellar eye candy and a so so trail. I have so many rides to choose from. To me, really, it’s just about riding. I don’t know what the questioner will do with my answer. I used to say Switchgrass in Kansas was my favorite knowing the likelihood of anybody riding there was almost nil and they would never experience my favorite trail. I did like that trail.

Tomorrow the gum stitches are removed. The wound on the roof of my mouth is finally pain resistant to cold beer but not hard food.

Corn whiskey. If you are going to drink all day you had better get started.