The August Roadtrip continues on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. My longtime buddy Bill O’Neil joined us on the segment of the trip arriving a couple of hours after we setup camp.
Day 8 – We rode the Rainbow Rim Trail from Locust Point to Parisswapitts Point as an Out-And-Back. On our way back, at the best downhill section I had a pretty castistrophic tire slash. Somehow I got 1.5″ slash in side of the tire. I was able to boot the tire with duct tape, but it did not last. I ended up bailing and letting Bill drive back and pick me up near Fence Point.
Day 9 was an side trip to Hurricane Utah to get a new tire. Hats off to Quentin an the fellows at Over The Edge Hurricane for getting me taken care of and back rolling. I also bought a spare tire so should such a thing happen again I won’t have to make another unscheduled day trip.
Day 10 – The Rainbow Rim Trail from Locust Point to Timp Point and back. Nichol had to roll out and go back to adulting so Bill and I were left to our methods of mayhem.
Day 11 – The Arizona Trail. Telephone Hill to Highway 89A. Boy did we thread the needle with a weather window. We got sprinkled on a little on the ride, but not one minute after we got in the truck at the far end did the skies shutdown and pounding began. On our way back to camp we thought there was snow on the ground but it was piled up hail. Crazy!
Day 12 – Moved to Navajo Lake. The forest service roads getting off the north rim held up well from the storms. While not terribly far of a drive, between some admin tasks like tear down, dumping tanks, getting more fresh water and setting up and the new location it took up the bulk of the day. A good rest day.
So I am on three-week MTB vacation. These posts are quite a bit time late as I typically have the choice of riding, enjoying tasty beverages, chilling or posting stuff on the internet. Guess which one gets bottom billing? Here is a quick recap of the events of the first part.
Day 1 was the transit to Flagstaff with the travel trailer. The first ride was on day 2 in the Fort Valley area. I climbed up Chimney, Lower Moto, a bit of the AZT, connected up with Secret and then descended Schultz Creek. Schultz Creek was ever bit as good as I remembered it
On Day 3, I checked out the Flagstaff MTB skills park which was right next to where I camped at Fort Tuthill. This is an impressive skills park with access to the regional network of trails. After playing around at the park, I hit up Soldiers Trail and The Bridge trail to loop right back to camp.
Day 4 was Chicken Noodle Soup for the MTB Soul. The Walnut Creek Segment of Arizona Trail is simply amazing. I did about an 18 mile loop that included the AZT, the Flagstaff loop trail and other tasty singletrack. Later that evening my lovely wife and dogs arrived to join in the vacation festivities.
For Day 5 I cut my wife some slack and we did a shuttle up to the top of Schultz pass. We then did the half of the loop I climbed in day 2 as a descent. Secret to AZT to Moto to Chimney and the the lower bit of Schultz Creek. She was most appreciative of not throwing a beat down on her out of the gate.
For Day 6, I did a 24 mile dumbell looking route from camp that included Highland, Soldiers, Flagstaff Loop, Rogers. Gold Digger and Two-Spot. It was a glorious morning when I started. Pretty much at the apex of my ride the thunderstorms rolled in. I had 10 miles with a hill in the middle to get over. I arrived back at camp a waterlogged mess. It was kinda awesome in its own way.
Day 7 was move day. It sucked having to pack up all the stuff that got caught out in the storm. Everything has “its place” with our little house on wheels and stuff being wet meant stuff had to go in different places. I managed to get rolling by 10AM enroute to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Now I have been to Locust Point a handful of times but I had never traveled those 20 miles of dirt roads towing a trailer. A handful of miles down the main dirt road. I parked my truck and trailer and hopped in my wife’s Outback and we drove the rest of the way to access the remaining roads and potential spots. After a successful scouting mission in the Outback (Dubbed the Lunar Lander), I was back in the truck with the Command Module in tow. We got a primo spot with the Rainbow Rim trail about 30 feet out our door with the canyon a few feet beyond that.
My work projects in Bahrain finally got to a point to where I could come home for a few weeks. Combined our schedules have been kinda nuts lately which included Nichol needing to move a vehicle across the country. I was able to swing my schedules around to allow for a few days at home before getting back on a plane to the east coast. There I would join Nichol for the country drive that started in Norfolk VA.
Day 1 was spent taking care of business in Norfolk before heading off to my folks place in North Carolina. Along with a great visit, my Dad cooked up some of the best pulled pork BBQ I have ever had. On the evening of Day 2 we pulled into Asheville NC. We spent the evening enjoying some of the tasty microbrew scene along the Asheville Ale Trail that included Burial Beer and Wicked Weed Brewing. Not that we had much of a plan to ride here but any thoughts of that were pretty much washed away with all of the thunderstorms they were having with more planned for the following day. Day 3 we made our way to Little Rock Arkansas where we enjoyed some more tasty beers at Lost Forty Brewing before hopping into a hotel for the evening. The next day we made our way Albuquerque NM for tastings from Ponderosa Brewing. Yes, why yes we were making exceptional time! Don’t worry we left no contrails.
The following day we made a rather quick jaunt over to Flagstaff. We had made arrangements for some rentals bikes from Cosmic Cycles. I must stay they some really good rentals at a very reasonable rate for what we got. If we would have been super on our game we could have gotten out for late afternoon ride, but we somehow managed to find ourselves enjoying some tasty grub and beer at Flagstaff Brewing Co while we planned out what the ride was going to be the following day.
The route we were going to do was a sampling of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. I had ridden this section of trail back in summer of 2010 and figured this would be a great intro to the countryside of Flagstaff for Nichol. We parked at the trailhead along Forest Service Road 418 and took the forest service roads back south along the bottom of Hart Prairie before catching trail that took us up near Aspens Corner and the junction with the Arizona Trail.
Working our way up to Aspens Corner
The connector trail up to Aspens Corner passes by a nice little pond. This views did not suck
Once on the AZT we were treated to a mix of single track goodness through stands of Aspens
Views from Hart Prairie
Stands of Pines
A ferns that were sometimes head high. The last few miles along this route were just “La La La La La” singletrack awesomeness that required very little pedaling and very little breaking as you swooped through pines, aspens, ferns, wildflowers etc…. all the way back to the trailhead.
We enjoyed some tasty Asheville goodness we brought with us for a post-ride refreshment at the trailhead.
And what a great place to enjoy a tasty post-ride beer. This was our view next to the truck. By the end of the day we would make our way to Las Vegas where we delivered and the truck and other move related goods. The following day made our way back home.