Days 71-73: Flagstaff

Day 71 (2016-11-05): Resting, Reading, Night Out

I wake early, staying home-bound until my phone arrives – an excuse I happily use to be comfy and lazy. Those two words are quickly becoming the desire when I am out there in the bleak, harsh landscape. I read and enjoy hot tea for a couple hours, then spend a good chunk of time getting my new phone, a Galaxy S7 Active (rugged) set up. I hope it is as “rugged” as it is supposed to be…

With Dylan out of town his roommate Yoni invites me out to dinner on Saturday night with friends Andy and Jake who all work at Gore. Apparently, the university, hospital, and Gore are the main employers in this town. Then service industry (tourists & school). We go to The Mayor, a very college bar (wristbands, cornhole, etc) where we all order the happy hour special – a decent $8 burger/beer combo. Considering beers usually cost $4-6, it’s a steal. We also share some appetizers and get another round of 1/2 price beers before happy hour closes. Afterwards we play a few rounds of pool at Brews & Cues before calling it a night. It’s nice to hang out with a group again, even if they’re not my group.

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With Dylan away for the weekend I hang out with his roommate Yoni and some other friends/colleagues Andy and Jake.


 

Day 72 (2016-11-06): Shredding!

This morning I woke up early and, after breakfast, worked on Dylan’s crappy mountain bike to little success. Oh well, I use the limit screws to set it up on a decent gear in the back and adjust the front deraileur so I can use at least the smallest and middle cogs. Two-speed! I ride out to Fort Tuthill County Park, a short 2 mile gravel trail ride along the Flagstaff Urban Trails System (FUTS) which crisscrosses the city and connects to many parks in the vicinity. Such great access!

I ride about 15 miles of trails, a mix of singletrack, fire road, and jeep track with a pretty rocky terrain. Man, it feels so good to shred again! For the most part the trails are basic XC with some technical aspects due to all the rocks. Rated green. I ride up on blue-rated trail, the opposite direction it is intended. What a struggle! There are huge rocks clustered together – riding up is tremendously difficult, even in clips. This is nothing like MTBing in Seattle! On the way down it is easier but still difficult at spots, and by the time I return to the FUTS trail heading home I am a little sore everywhere and feel very successful. I love how easy it is to access the trails! There are more, but I think this might be my only shredding trip.Dylan and his dad return in the evening and we catch up a little and watch football until they go to bed, fairly early, exhausted from their trip to Zion National Park.

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Although I am only a short ride from town it feels like I am far out. I see few people on the backend of the trails.


 

Day 73 (2016-11-07): Friends, Food, Fun

Lazy morning. I eat breakfast, read,and nap until a knock on the door wakes me. I fix my laptop by taking the back off and tightening the loose battery connection, a common problem with this model. Why can’t technology just work, damnit!?

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Something I did not expect to do on this trip…

I spend the afternoon running some errands and end up at Joe’s house at dusk. Joe is a Warm Showers host and also happens to be one of Dylan’s friends. I also meet Stevie, a Texas native traveling in his truck who has become friends with Joe & company. We ride a nice 3-4 miles to downtown where we eat delicious burgers and fries at Diablo Burger. We wander to Vino Loco for a quick drink and say hi to Joe’s friend before retiring to the house and playing Catan with another friend, Julie. The house is quite the place – Joe has bought it and clearly displays his love for climbing.

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From left to right: Stevie, Joe, Julie. Also, what a useful hand…

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Part of the fun of Warm Showers is meeting new people, learning their stories, and seeing the interesting places they set up for themselves. Notice the climbing holds adorning the walls and hammocks next to the stairs. Everything is suspended by climbing equipment and when enough guests spend the night Joe puts them up in a hammock.

 

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