The Waffle House Chronicles...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sedona





Sorry for the lack of updates but the internet crapped out in Sedona and I haven't surfed the web since Monday night. We are back in Madison and I am hoping to break this up into 2-3 posts. So we woke up in Sedona to sub-freezing temps on Tuesday morning. Too early to go mountain biking so we grabbed some free hotel breakfast and went exploring. I find this road and it says you must have a high clearance 4X4 to clear. We had a rental Subaru AWD so we figured good enough. 4 miles of rough driving and getting out alot to take pictures, it was awesome! Finally we get to where the road is closed (presumably too much snow) and there was a cool rock formation called Merry Go Round mesa. I had a great time climbing all around it. Lots of good 10 foot free climbs. We headed back down the same trail and it was rough. We spent most of the morning exploring the greater Sedona area. We ate at Taco Del Mar (a west coast favorite) and headed back to change into riding gear.

We picked up our rental bikes from Sedona Sports and headed off. Some dude broke the GT I-D I was supposed to ride so I rode a Kona Dawg. Not a bad bike at all, at some point I think most suspension bikes are the same. Funny thing also, by the time we were ready to ride it was super hot and sunny. I wasn't able to use the Garmin GPS as the mount broke right after installation so I don't have maps to our rides. But from the start I found out I was a bit over my head, Sedona is made for big-boy riding. We rode the broken arrow trail which was a blast but very difficult. We then went out to Submarine Rock (Sub Rock) which is all slick rock. I rode around aimlessly but then a local guy showed me some lines and I was soon rocking some fun stuff (not as crazy as others but still fun.) We then took a crazy climb up to Chicken Point which was beautiful. Several miles of good singletrack later (Llama, Little Horse, Mystic trails) and we were heading back to the car. 3 hours and probably 15-2o miles (mostly hardcore singletrack) so that was sweet. Jess and I were both pretty wrecked but we showered up and headed out onto the town. We had dinner at the Red Planet Diner and then walked the town and then early to bed.

Wednesday was very similar to Tuesday to start. We went to a place called 101 Omelets for breakfast (pass) and then explored other rock formations and did another 4X4 trail. Jess decided not to ride a second day but I couldn't get enough. I had her shuttle me about 500 feet above the river to a trailhead so at least I had the descent in my favor. Here is the good and bad; the story of three trails.
1. Huckaby trail. Supposed to be a great XC ride. It was, I decended and it was white knuckle with a creek crossing. Had to climb back up which stunk but then back down to the river bed. Had to dismount a few things that were to crazy for me but it was some of the best riding I've ever done. Get to the bottom and am flowing around and head to the river. Get to the river. You can cross the river to finish the trail and then ride the epic Jim Thompson trail on the north of town. Except for a couple weeks a year the river is unpassable. For example, this week it was unpassable. So I got to climb, decend and climb. All of that to decend 500feet of vertical on the road. Bummer. Get to Sedona Sports figuring I can call Jess and we can go do something else. Jess doesn't answer.
2. Brewers Trail. I ride 1-1/2 miles on pavement to the Brewers trail. It's straight up and technical. I probably ride about 1/2 of the climb and walk the rest. It's only a 30 minute trail (that direction or like 7 minutes the other way) but it was insane. The last 1/4 miles were on off-camber slick rock that was about 5 feet wide and on a cliff edge. Loved it. Called Jess from that trailhead but no answer. I have to meet Jess in 45 minutes and I see this 3-1/2 mile loop. Perfect.
3. Airport Mesa. This is the most scenic trail I've ever been on. This Mesa is in the heart of red rock country and you can see most every legendary rock formation. It's the worst trail I've ever ridden. I got about a 1/3 of the way in (past the point of no return) before it got hard. And by hard, I mean it was tough to walk...tough to walk if I was wearing hiking boots and had poles, almost impossible to walk with a bike. I probably walked about 3/4 of the next mile. I even turned an ankle, so bad that I started to fall. Fortunately my other shin caught a rock and kept me up. When I was riding I fell three times, once onto a log, twice into cactuses. It was fine accupuncture with some needles going at least 1/2 inch (no lie!) into me. Finally I get to a point where I am superlate meeting Jess but at least I can ride probably 80% and it wasn't bad. Then I see the turnoff with the Bandit trail. I take it and bomb it. One of the best downhills I've ridden, reminded me of Crested Butte. So I ended with a bang at least and then a 2 mile road ride to the Taco Del Mar.

Yes, we doubled up on Taco Del Mar...it's that good. I returned my bike and we headed north. Slide Rock State Park was the goal...but when I was by the river I felt it and it was arctic cold. We passed which is a bummer as it supposedly is a swimming hole with natural waterslides. We headed through Oak Creek Canyon which is beautiful. Once we get out of the canyon, we first caught glimpse of a future conquest (Humphrey's Peak) and Flagstaff. We started the long haul north to the Grand Canyon as the temps dropped. We got to the GC just before sundown and got some photos in. We had a big day planned the next day so we just went to the cafeteria for supper and then watched TV the rest of the night.

1 Comments:

  • That sounds like some sweet ass trails, even if they sounded devilish. I'm a little disappointed you had a picture of something that looked delicious, but didn't name it, nor report if it was any good.

    Glad to see you back, can't wait to read the other (so far) post.

    By Anonymous Riz, at 3/10/2008 8:26 AM  

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