51 miles, heading north, a year ago…

3 04 2011

After two nights in Flagstaff, AZ, I hit the road again, heading north to the Hopi Indian Reservation, a desolate place, yet the most direct route to Colorado.

Leaving Flag provided some great scenery to enjoy.

 I was riding at about 7000 feet now, a real challenge for a man who’d spent the last two years riding below 2000 feet. I didn’t seem to feel it all that much however, for I was very focused on the ride this day. I was also feeling pretty strong after two nights of rest in a Motel 6 which, by the way, at only 25 bucks a night had seemed like a five-star resort to me at the time.

One of my favorite shots...30 mis north of Flag.

I stopped about 30 miles north of Flag for a banana and OJ breakfast, and took the above pic, one of my faves from The Ride. The gas station/convenience store was in the middle of nowhere, as are most things on or near the Res.

After 51 miles, a relatively easy ride due to the rolling terrain, I’d made my goal for the day, a small stop on the road called Cameron, AZ, about thirty miles east of the Grand Canyon. A hamlet of about 1000 souls with a gas station, convenience store, and a tourist trap of an artifacts store, as well as a small camping area, I paid my $17 to pitch my tent on a small patch of grass behind one of the buildings, in an effort to shield myself from the wind (which was only moderately successful).

My rig vs theirs.

As it turned out, I was not the only camper there that night. Two RVs pulled in a bit after I’d set up camp and wow, was I jealous of the rigs they were driving. Very plush accommodations, with satellite dishes and automatic levelling of the rigs, these folks had it all. Is that camping? lol

The wind would definitely become my nemesis over the next couple of days. It can truly howl across the Res, with little or nothing to slow it down. As I settled into my little tent that night, listening to the wind grab at my tiny portable home, the forecast was for winds to 60 mph on the following day. The only saving grace for me was that it would be coming from the west or southwest, while I would be riding east and north-east. I was hoping to finally find a tail wind! Here is a link to Google maps, showing just how desolate this area is: Cameron, AZ.

Most of the ride through the Res looked like this, unless the hills were bigger!

I have to admit, I was very proud of myself this day. I had ridden further than ever before, and at a good pace. I’d only had to push the bike uphill for about a mile, and had reached my goal for the day. It was a very good day on the road. “I can do this,” I was thinking. That put a smile on my face, believe me.


April 3, 2010…

Day 4…

30 mis north of Flag. Got a good start on the day. Only had to walk about a mile on one climb. May have found my climbing gear! Hope so. Nice weather, a bit windy. Rolling terrain now, so should make better time. Will post pics later.

Day 4…Cameron, AZ

Well, I made it to Cameron today, a little hamlet on the Hopi reservation, 51 mis north of Flag. This was my goal for day 3, with a rest day today. Since I rested yesterday instead, I figure I can say the schedule is OK. The riding was good today. Mostly good roads, not too much traffic, not too many climbs. I feel pretty good. Tired but not wiped out, but also a little bit raw–down there. Hope to sleep well tonite, but very windy, so will see. Will also check the warmth of my bag. Gonna get cool tonite. Looking forward to another good day tomorrow, should have the wind at my back all day.


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