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august 06, 2000
To Phoenix & back, weather á la Flagstaff ... (more)

july 30, 2000
Biking, hiking, and a new look... (more)

july 25, 2000
Humphreys Peak, a hike to the top of Arizona.. (more)

july 24, 2000
Scenes from lake Powell, 5 day family vacation... (more)
august 9, 2000
I'd been slaving away for days, maybe, chained to the computer keyboard, so I figured today was a good day to skip that stuff and do some mountain biking. As the morning skies over Flagstaff were billowing masses of grey, rain filled fluff, I decided to head down the hill 25 miles to beautiful Sedona, the artsy town nestled in the beautiful red rock south of Flagstaff.

photo hereThe route from Flagstaff is the scenic Highway 89a, which drops off the edge of the Ponderosa forested Colorado Plateau, and heaves you into the depths of Oak Creek Canyon, dropping some 3000 feet in the process. The road snakes its way down through several different biozones, and hints at the tranquility of Oak Creek as it tries to follow its path. Not for the feint of heart or slow of RV? (Mom, do you remember closing your eyes the whole way down?)

Morning is excellent for this ride as the tourists have not yet risen to clog the arteries. Eventually, 89a drops you into the tacky tourist zone of Sedona.

photo hereToday's goal is a bike loop that traverses some trails that would remind riders of Moab Utah's famous slickrock trails. I head for the Broken Arrow trailhead, for a route that will take me to Submarine Rock and beyond. The sky is clear, the trail is slick and calls my name, or someone else with the same name as me.

True to the form of Cosmic Ray's bike map, the snaking trails here are fun, though a bit challenging in spots. photo here Not before long, the famed "Submarine Rock" looms ahead, a low lying slab of pink rounded rock lying among the green trees. It does not take too much imagination to see where the name came from! The rock is covered by hordes of tourists who came in by the bucket load aboard the "Pink Jeep" tours. Folks come from all over the world to see this kind of scenery and rake on the western aura of bouncing around in a pink jeep.

today's photos
- all photos   o o o o

o o Submarine Rock Bike Ride

photo here Standing atop the "sub" affords some pretty spectacular views of the Red Rock country. The elements have shaped, scraped, and winnowed the sandstone into all kinds of weird objects, each of each with its anthropomorphically applied name. It is a peaceful place, whether you believe in the power of energy vortexes or just the power of awesome landscapes.

But enough philosophizing, back in the saddle! It's a huff and puff up the jeep trail, to a rocky pass known as "Chicken Point". photo here From the way I handle some of the rocky descents going down from here, I am at "Chicken Point" fairly often! But once down the arroyo, the trail is a fast spinning blast, running all the way out towards highway 179, and then branching west towards the section known as Mystic trail. I am looping back now, the home stretch, and glory be! It is all downhill.

A few turns through some neighborhoods (the way is well marked by signs), I hide my immense jealous of those that can afford to live with this in their backyards. Back in a flash to the starting point, checking my time and distance to sadly realize I averaged about 4 miles per hour! But it's not the speed, it is the journey, and this was a fantastic one.

So it is off to the road again, stopping for junk food at the mini mart, and up the hill via I-17 to Flagstaff, just in time to hear some thunder!

photo here Later that evening, it is time to relax and enjoy the mountain biker's favorite beer, Fat Tire. Yes, this is the life..

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