Hero dirt

Yesterday .5″ of rain was reported from a VOC home rain gauge. Rain showers off and on for a chunk of the day. Ian stopped in at the bean. He said Shady was dry and he was going for a ride. In the time of this conversation he looked out the window to see that the sucker hole had closed again. Instead we internet researched e bike laws. I dallied allowing the ground to swallow what had been dropped before checking out MP4 camp spot. favorite spot on Beaverhead is a parking lot. Nobody picks MP4 which is full on exposed: no trees for shade bit the cows have been wrangled to another grazing area for environmental damage.

Forecast for today called for showers after 11 and gusty winds. I headed up to west Sedona after Bfast cleanup. I parked at Sunset Park to ride SSS: Ridge, Sketch, Ridge, Scorpion, Skywalker, Old Post Ridge loop. Skies threatened. I added my new breatheable rain coat to my hydration pack. Hero dirt. Rain wetted the dirt binding the dust into almost hard pack. However, sandstone becomes soft in the wet as water solves the adhesive holding the sand grains together. Rock is now friable hence unpredictable for traction. I followed maybe 3 biker tracks on Ridge and Sketch. A younger and faster rider passed me on Scorpion for my only human sharing. Climbing up Scorpion is a fest of basalt babyheads. Steve said we would not be able to ride this trail in our lifetime. I agree as I am only getting slower and generate fewer fractions horses of power. No blue sky or shorts today. I finished back at the park as drizzle dropped form the clouds. I covered my bike then took shelter inside my home.

Home, the carpet back where the water jug broke open is absorbing water from underneath creating a wet spot. wet carpet smell inside. I lift the carpet and prop it up to allow air evaporation albeit slowed by increasing humidity.

Rain has been falling steadily since ride completion. Parked at cultural park listening to rain hitting the van. Toasty snug as a bug in a wet rug.

rain rain stick around

Of course most days are this experience:

Girdner finish

Spending night behind Uhaul staging myself for laundry tomorrow and weathering out forecasted showers.

The Propex furnace is failing to light consistently. Last night I sensed no heat while in bed. The controller is right above the in board side of my bed. Flashing red LED signals no light. A reset fires the furnace back on. Not good for consistent comfort.

Windshield wipers still work

(Authored yesterday)

And Elizabeth Warren was rained on.

Yesterday’s forecast for today called for now rain from showers starting after 11AM today. At get out of bed time I looked out the windshield to the prevailing SW direction. Mingus mtn was shrouded in clouds. Rain splattered on the windshield during a quick breakfast. Rain appeared to be a reality and I wanted to get off the dirt before I learned the extent of my traction on slippery mud. Made it out hardly accumulating any dirt on my tires. Today became a rest day.

Drove into town stopping at a coffee shop. I sat at a window bar and watched intermittent showers make puddles outside. Good to be inside. I spent a chunk of the day in a parking lot reading Scott Turow’s new book: Testimony. Finished the afternoon at the Bean chatting with Tony and Ian. Ian and I played information research on E bikes which apply to public roads not off road.

Rain fell off and on all afternoon creating numerous small sucker holes. Broken cloud cover showing blue sky. A geared up rider might have made it out of the parking lot before the hole closed and poured rain.

I drove out to paved overlook for the wet night. Rain in form of rain and showers appears to be forecast for the week. Good gentle soaking rain. Back in Jan during the 1.76” dumping I was parked at the same spot and orientation. I was awakened by rain drops on my pillow. The water did not come from either the skylight or the solar panel cable entry. Scott has a Sprinter also. He said rain entered his van thru the rear door seals. High winds during that dump must have forced the rain by the door seals. The inside paneling is inexpensive something. That rain softened the material creating sags.

Friday I drove up to Flag to a DR visit for my abdominal pain no longer discomfort. Next up is to be seen by a gastro dr. Painful cutting into my get up and go. I spent Thurs night at the Uhaul in Sedona then drove up Oak Creek Canyon to Flag. I like the slower shorter drive over fast I 17. Another rest day.

Sat I rode what I call Llama loop. I still looked at the rocked uphill, still to fearful of consequences of failure. Next up was the paved climb Steve and I sessioned. It took me 4 tries to reach the top. I rode it successfully a second time. Chose gear #2. At the intersection of Llama and Little Horse I visited with turned out to be father daughter from GA. We chatted about trails we each have ridden back at their home. I enjoy visiting with tourons and sharing common rides. No idea of what they think about running into a rider who has knowledge of their home trails. The daughter said I reminded her of her twin brother. I called to the fact that her does not have as much white in his beard. At a difficult roll down tech feature I showed off my recently acquired confidence. A rider pedaled up from below. He called me by name. He said that he reads my blog and was just tickled to meet me. From Maryland.

I rode Easy Breezy back. My technical skills seemed to have vanished from Monday’s successful efforts. This ride the ups seemed higher. The FS trail crew is working on correcting unsustainable sections. They are doing a real nice job armoring the wash edges. I asked the crew leader about the piece up the way that had been dumbed down. He is a rider. He saw that it had been taken apart. He attempted to return the key log to its challenging location but the log fell apart in his hands. He rocked in the feature. He said that during his time here he had seen it torn apart 3 times. The FS is not destroying tech features. A private party is dumbing down features. Good to know FS is not responsible.

Sat night the Zags played Saint Marys at their home. SMC beat Gonzaga at the Kennel. This game was revenge. 8PM bar side seat at PJs for the entire game. Zags skillfully blew them away. I spent the night in the parking lot shared by the sheriffs. View out the windshield was a cream colored cement block wall.


Tues update: Skies are clearing sort of but the ground is still cherishing its wetness.

Back in early 60s Alan Sherman sang about Camp Crinata(?). Kid’s letter to parents complains about camp conditions. Letter is concluded with wait, forget what I wrote the weather is improving. Big sucker hole as forecast continues to call for precip. So much more is needed.

I have never been here for the monsoon season so named as there are heavy short lasted rain fall which causes washes to run. Easy Breezy is a wash that runs. The FS has been armoring the sandy banks of the wash down into the wash. The monsoon rain will test how well the rock work holds up. Local conditions are local. You got to learn local.

Biding dirt dry out till next ride.

Overlook attracted other sleepers that arrived after I was in bed. I got the spot that is the easiest to level my home. No rain entered the van. However with the high humidity my house has a smell of wetness.


Every choice we make has consequences. My choices create impacts. Even if I sat on a rock and fasted till death I would still be consuming air and producing heat. Being dead impacts nature. We are all hypocrites. But we are able to make lesser impact choices. I burn fossil fuel driving around and caused by purchase choices. I have feet of clay, I have dirty feet.

On my fossil fuel burning (25mpg) driving my take away of land use in the west is if you can steal water. I saw irrigated hay fields, past harvest unsold bales of hay, and feed lots each as a result of stealing water. Cows are the cause. But getting closer to the root cause is human demand for eating beef.

Back in 1981 I read Francis Moore Lappe’s book Diet for a Small Planet which educated me about food choices. I have not eaten beef or pork since then. Recently I ran across additional facts about the impact of eating beef. Beef production is resource intensive. To create 2.2 lbs of meat the cow requires 29 pounds of grain and 66 pounds of hay plus 26,000 gallons of water. US food production uses approximately 50% of land area, 80% of fresh water and 17% of fossil fuels. I have no data on how the ecology is affected by grazing beef. Obviously cows compete with native animals which affects plants. Cows digestive gasses are a significant source of methane from the front end.

Arizona is in a drought. The desert is dried up. Grasses are standing straw. Yet ranchers are still allowed to graze cattle. They seem to be eating dried plants of some kind. Water is stolen from somewhere.

cattle grazing this. Dead. What nourishment is forth coming?
check the firm cow pie.

Grazing on public lands, yours and mine, is damaging our lands.

We create a demand when we consume, if no consumption no demand. I as 1 person is all I can change which I did back in 1981. I have made my mark.