Friday, May 30, 2008

The Last month or two...

Well, we've gotten pretty behind again-

A quick sum up:

Went to a really cool climbing place south east of Flagstaff

Drove home to St. Louis for a visit

Rode our bikes up to Dubuque IA for a visit

and are planning on leaving tomorrow to bike back down to St Louis.

More in depth descriptions and lots of pictures to come shortly- but I thought I'd just let everybody know we're still alive

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cottonwood-Flagstaff April 9th-13th

Wednesday April 9th:

It was time to move out of luxury and back onto the open road. If we stayed much longer we weren't going to fit out the door, frozen pizza and brownies had become a staple- you don't realize how much you would miss an oven until you're without one.

This is a picture of a giant tree in Frannie's back yard- A cactus garden in the front and then a giant Cottonwood tree in the back - quite lovely

After leaving the Frannie abode we headed back up towards Sedona and stayed at the same spot we had stayed the 1st time through. The clouds were a little more dramatic this time.

and we and kokopelli watched the sun go down

Thursday April 10th:

The next morning we decided to do one more ride in Sedona and headed to the Cathedral trail. It's a 16 mile out and back trail with a fun 2 mile loop on the end. There are some crazy airy switchbacks on the way down, as this guy is illustrating below.

They were a lot more fun trying to go down them then trying to get up them, although both ways were pretty tricky.

And here is a picture of Cathedral rock- not our picture, but a picture none the less.
After a great ride we went back to our car, where we suddenly became celebrities. The parking lot was packed with people, most of whom had travelled to take in the vista, would hop out of the car for a quick picture and then floored it off to the next thing they could cram into seeing before the sun went down. We did do an interview for some old man from Michigan who wanted to show his friends back home "the interesting people he had met", and Mike lent his bike out to some guy who wanted to make it seem like he was a mountain biker. The nice thing out of all of this is we met a nice couple from Jackson Hole WY who said we should come visit if we end up that way.
After the paparazzi we decided it was time to head North, and we hoofed it the 30 miles back up Oak Creek Canyon to a much less snowy Flagstaff then when we had come through a month earlier. We shopped it up, and filled the water tank and drove 7 miles out of town to a climbing area called the pit. The only problem was that the campground was closed, luckily we don't need no campground, and we stayed in the lot right next to the no camping sign.
Friday April 11th:

Here's the view from the camp site- I believe that's Mt Elden

This is Mike standing at the base of our favorite climb- a 5.10 with a tricky overhang part and some hand holds that were as large as monkey bars

The cliff
After a hard day of hot climbing what could you want more than half cooked brownie topped with whipped cream- we call it brownie surprise

oooo aaaaa

A local delicacy

Saturday April 12th:
The next day we decided to tackle the cliff again and I got a little too courageous. I got about 3/4 of the way up a 5.11 (the hardest route I've ever tried) and could not get past the overhang. Luckily this guy could do it, and he got our equipment back.

You can see, it's no easy move
That night we decided to move down the road and out of the parking lot. The night before had been full of a nice police officer who said he didn't have a problem with us staying there but the forest service might, and a car-full of teens that were shooting beer cans with sling shots. After 3 unsuccessful attempts to open a Coleman stove, and dropping each time, Mike managed to scare them off using the old tactic of slamming the car door- but we decided it was time to move on anyway.
We found a great secluded spot about 5 miles down the road