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july 8, 2000
Settling in, walking the town, an Escalante movie... (more)

july 7, 2000
The eagle has landed! in Flagstaff, Arizona... (more)

july 3, 2000
The sabbatical is off! still getting packed and ready to fly north... (more)
july 10, 2000
I decided by Saturday morning I had been here long enough to start my ambitious program of regular mountain biking (some who have visited my wacky weird web know of my bicycle commute page). photo hereFlagstaff is a biking kind of town, known for having a lot of great trails (and home of famous biking author Cosmic Ray) and downtown has a large number of bike stores.

The place I am staying is very close to one of the Urban bike trails that leads to the city's Buffalo Park, from there, trails branch off into the National Forest land all of the way to the top of 12,000 foot Mount Humphries. My lungs, still working as though they were at the 1700 foot elevation of Phoenix, were quickly strained by the 7000 foot elevation here. It is like, "someone stole my lungs overnight and replaced them with the ones of an 80 year old smoker."

The sky was dark gray with clouds and I was treated to a few rain sprinkles. The trails were great, though my endurance was not. It is something to work on as a project.

today's photos
- all photos   o o o o

o o Streets of Flagstaff
o o Meteor Crater & Canyon Diablo Ghost town

photo hereIn the afternoon, I joined my friends Betty and Roger, who summer here in their RV, on a trip out to Meteor Crater, some 30 miles east of Flagstaff. It was here that a hunk of gas and rock from outer space smashed into the desert and blasted a huge hole in the ground. Sometime much later, it was turned into a tourist attraction. Actually, the museum there has some nice up to date displays, and the view of the crater is eye popping as well. I digitally pasted together a series of photos into a single collage.

photo hereAfter this, we went exploring a bit north of here for the Canyon Diablo ghosttown, which I had read about in an Arizona Highways article a few years ago. I am vaguely remembering the story telling of a serious of vicious gunfights that made the Tombstone shootout at the OK Corral seem like a game of tiddlywinks. photo hereWhen my wife and I visited Winslow last March, the folks who have fixed up the lovely La Posada hotel, one of the historic buildings deisgned by Mary Colter, had recommeded seeing this place.

We drove a bumpy road that led us to the remnants of this 1870's town, now just a few walls of what might have been large buildings and the photo hererusting hulks of some old cars. Off in the distance, a grey downpour works its way across the Navajo Reservation. We leave in tome to bounce back and the rain starts just as we leave the dirt road for pavement.

On Sunday, just for fun, I got up at 4:00 AM. No, that is not the reason why! Darren, who works at the CREATE office, invited me to join him to go elk spotting at first light. We drove north of Flagstaff about an hour, and turned west on the road that leads to the East entrance of the Grand Canyon. We left the highway for some dirt roads, and drove around an hour spotting elk here and there, mostly scampering up the cliffs or looking at us curiously down the road. photo here By 7:30 AM, we got out of the truck and headed up the cliffs for some hiking and exploring around (see topographic map from topozone.com). We ended up going in different directions. By 10:00, there was noticeable rumbling overhead, and despite enjoying an expansive view north to the Grand Canyon, we could sense the thunderhead exploding above me and the grey wall of darkness moving my way. I picked my way down the cliff, and met up with Darren only a few hundred yards from the car. The storm it before we were back on the highway.

Having done enough exercise, in the afternoon I went to the movies to see "Chicken Run", an uproariously funny clay mation movie. There were so many subtle jokes that pass right by all of the kids in the audience. I loved it.




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