Hi again from dry and sunny Flagstaff! This week has been very nice with sunny and mild days. The temperature in Flagstaff rarely gets above 80 degrees and the humidity is in the 30% range, a little higher in early morning because the air cools quite a bit at night. It’s a nice place for summer vacation, people.
Classes are going well. I’m taking an online geography lab course, which to me seems kind of unusual because labs are typically hands-on classes. Right now I’m learning all I can about the Colorado Plateau; its many mysterious canyons and buttes are one reason why I chose this area to relocate to. The computer imaging class is almost over; this week I have my final Dreamweaver project and, after the final next Monday, I’m done.
Thursday I went for a spin on the Flagstaff Urban Trail to try out the city’s new map. There are currently 50 miles of urban trails with another few miles being completed every week. The plan is to add another 80 miles by the end of the year. These trails are mostly gravel and are often shaded; a good alternative to aggressive urban riding necessary to stay alive on the busy streets of Flagstaff. I found out that these trails now link my dorm room with my favorite trail network up by the peaks, so now I can ride the whole way out to the mountains without getting on a road. Good stuff.
I was so pleased with myself for finding a trail route all the way to the main trailhead that I decided to keep riding up the mountain, even tho I skipped lunch and had no food along, even though it was almost dark. I was secretly hoping to get stuck in the woods so I would have to ride down the mountain in the dark, but it didn’t happen. At the top of Shultz Pass I took a new trail down; one I heard rumors of was impossibly rough. It was. There were over a dozen log ramps (because it was my first time I walked over most of them because they were too high to see the other side) designed to be ridden at body-armor speeds with hovering medic helicopters. I like riding steep downhills, but this trail was almost straight down, with several inches of dust on the trail. Not very confidence inspiring. And rough. Big drops. At the bottom I was so disappointed I rode back up, in spite of the protesting body, in spite of the fact I already had 12 miles on, and took another trail down. So worth it. I was happy. Back at dusk, dinner at Cracker Barrel.
Saturday I took the bike to Sedona and did a 9 mile trail ride in the morning. It was still pretty warm, maybe around 85?? I did the Bell Rock/Llama/Little Horse loop around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. The riding is not as hard as Moab with its sand and slickrock. There’s a lot of slickrock in Sedona but not much sand. I met a group of Phoenix people for lunch and we hiked out to Devil’s Bridge in the afternoon.
Yesterday I went up to Flagstaff’s lake country to check out the lakes. Upper Lake Mary was the only one out of the four I went to that had a significant amount of water. There were a lot of boats and wake-boarders on the water in spite of the wind. The other three lakes, Lower Lake Mary, Lake Marshall, Vail Lake, were huge areas of grass. Lower Lake Mary had eight elk grazing on the lake bed.
P.S. Changes are coming to this blog (hopefully). I have some ideas about some kind of booklist because people are always asking me what I’m reading. I’m not good at writing reviews but I still want to share what I read with the world. At least the interesting books. I will be working in Dreamweaver this week and I hope to learn some new tricks… Toodaloo