4.12.2010

in AZ

John and I have wanted to visit Zach and Sara out in AZ for quite some time now. Just never seemed to work out timing wise, well more cash wise. This year we decided to use our tax return money to score us some tickets. We haven't been on a vacation since our honeymoon in 2003. We've had extended weekends here n there but it's just not the same.

When I booked the tickets it seemed like forever before the time would come that we'd be out there. But as you know time flies and we were here before we knew it and now today is our last full day here. We fly out tomorrow morning.

We arrived Wed afternoon. First we grabbed some In n Out. It was great, but to be honest not as great as I remembered. Still though, I had no problem finishing my double. After eating we came back and got the bikes as ready as possible. It was nice of them to let us ride their spare bikes. To not ship or travel with bikes is so nice. Not only is it a pain in the ass but they also seem to get beat to shit in the process.

I didn't realize that Prescott was at altitude until the shuttle bus was struggling (or so it sounded) to get us from Phoenix to the Stanford's. It was then really confirmed on our journey on the trails that Wednesday night. They took us on a short loop that was a bit more rolling and didn't climb very steep, but man, I was winded. It was almost kind of funny really to feel that out of breath with not much effort. I was a bit uncomfortable with how loose it was here, not to mention I hate (this is for you Zach) Nanoraptors. HATE THEM. My weakness on a bike is loose fast (or slow) corners. And since I'm a princess when it comes to bike fit I was way high on the front end and a bit long. Still though, it was great to be out on trails, only a small taste of what was in store for us the rest of the week.

Thursday Sara had a test and Zach had to work. They sent us out to Granite Mountain (?) with a map. Sara said to follow 347 and then find the Mint trail or something like that. I know I'm probably mixing this all up, but whatever. So we proceeded to leave the truck without a tool or the map. We are so experienced (rolls eyes). Luckily we were fine without a tool, but the map would've helped. 347 went two directions. Of course we chose the wrong way. It was a super fun technical decent but then just ended. So we had to climb all the way back up to get to where we were supposed to go. WOW, talk about being worth it. That trail was fucking awesome. Just fast flowing whoops where you could catch air easily. We stopped a few times for photos and just to chat. It's been a long time since John and I have spent any time together just us, without kids, etc. It was nice to get back in touch with him that way- no worries, concerns, responsibility, etc. I love our kids and I miss them terribly, but I'm grateful for this alone time with just him. So back to the riding. We found the mint trail right away. It was full of cacti which completely fascinated me. I've never seen so much of it. I mean, yeah, I've seen small plants at home, but nothing like this. It was almost distracting how fascinated I was by it. I had to remind myself not to look at the cactus... it'll suck if you run into it.
The mint trail was pretty dope as well. It was a bit more technical than 347 but I so enjoy that. I had one holy fuck moment when I couldn't reach my brake lever, but that was about it. When we got to the bottom we were a little uncertain on which way to go. The trail seemed to cross a pretty decent size creek which wasn't a big deal but once we crossed it the trail seemed so different. It was very deep sad almost un-pedalable for my weak midwest legs. We came across a horse only area and began to seriously doubt our choice. The map would've come in handy about then. We had been out there for well over 2 hours at that point and wasn't sure how long that trail was so we decided to just head back to where we came. Not too much of a bummer, but still would've liked to have had the map. Over 3 hours later we made it back to the truck. I'm not going to lie, I almost cried at the top. My hands were cramping from trying to reach the brake levers (we forgot to move the reach adjust in) and my back was killing me from getting pounded by the horse tracks. But still, it was an awesome day.

When we came home we made some minor adjustments to the bikes. Hung out with Zach and Sara and prepared for another day.

Friday we headed to Thumb Butte. Their friend Brian headed out there with us. It was about a mile road climb up to the trail head. I was much slower than most of them, but not as slow as I thought I was going to be so that was sort of a relief. The beginning of the ride of course was ALL climbing. Like 8% to 12% with some recovery time in between. When it would drop to like 3% it almost felt like going downhill until you stopped pedaling and realized you were still climbing. Brian had to take off after he gave us bunk directions to one of the trails we were looking for which brought us up this gravel road which seemed to climb for fucking ever. We made it to the top and both Zach and Sara were pretty sure we were not on the right path. So we headed back down to the area they knew and of course had to climb back up in the singletrack. The trails were gorgeous. Slightly technical and fun. We saw snow! I was so fucking excited to be in short sleeves and there be snow on the ground! Just one of those things. John and Zach separated from us for a longer ride while Sara and I continued to head down. I think this was my favorite part of the day. Fast sections with slower sections that you had to pick your way through. Small drops into creeks, etc. Very good times.


John and Zach met us in town where we had some kick ass burritos and then headed over to the Raven where we had a couple of beers. Saturday we'd be heading to Sedona.

Sedona was awesome. We met Darryl from Form Cycles (which if I do decide on a ti 29er, will be my next bike- so fucking awesome) at the Bike n Bean and headed out to the trails. I'd never ridden trails like that before so it was definitely a real treat! I rode in my granny gear the entire day. It was tough but wicked. The views were amazing as well as the trail riding. It was pretty cool dropping off the slick rock, picking your lines, etc. The steps and rocks while climbing were a real bitch. It was very difficult to say the least. I walked more than I would have liked, but I wasn't discouraged or bummed. There was so much good stuff, you just couldn't be bummed about anything..
Afterwards we headed to Sara's parents (they have a winter home in Sedona). They took us out for an awesome dinner to end our day.

We thought about staying in Sedona to ride more of the trails there but opted to come back to Prescott. I'm glad we did. The trails we rode yesterday had a ton of climbing. More climbing than I've ever done in my life (once John downloads his Garmin I'll see how much), but the descent was money. It was probably my favorite of the trip. I'm not sure why. I think it had a lot to do with feeling accomplished from doing all that climbing and not crying like the whiney baby I can sometimes be. I was also super confident on that terrain, probably most used to the bike, etc. I was exhausted when we were done. It was the first ride all trip (surprisingly) where my legs were like "we're done".


Today we are headed over to Thumb Butte again. Sara wants to show us her favorite trail right now. There's a part of me that can't wait to go and then another part of me that just wants to relax and internet. But it's our last day and I'd hate not to ride.

I can't thank Zach and Sara enough. I wish I could put into words just how awesome they are; I don't think I can. They make you feel so at home and so comfortable not to mention so much fun to be around. They have seriously made this vacation an amazingly fun trip for us.

I'll miss them. Hopefully we can take up a day of theirs when they visit IL come summer.






p.s. I don't know how Sara and Zach survive with their shitty internet connection. I'll maybe post more pics once it finally completes uploading them to flickr.

8 comments:

Sondra said...

Awesome description, you did a good job capturing the emotion of it all. Sounds like a magical vaca. Cannot imagine you a crying princess, I need to see that :).

Sara said...

Ah, I love the yoga pose!!! I never looked at your pictures from that day.

It was great having you guys here. Can't wait for the next trip! :)

I am interested to know if John's HR ever got over 150?

devin said...

Good stuff one of my most favorite places in the US to be on a bike Sedona Flagstaff Payson and Prescott all good stuff... Fun in the sun on bikes...

John said...

Longest blog ever...

spicyride said...

whatever video game short attention span junky.

ZMoney said...

Dudes, thanks for the kind words... We had a blast with you guys!!! We are ready for you guys to move here. Can't believe you didn't post the parking lot diva picture from Sedona on your blog????

ZMoney said...

OH, I guess I'm going to have to post that picture... it is on our camera

spicyride said...

There were so many pics. I stole it from you camera and put it on my flickr so I do have it. I think Sara facebooked it too.