This week ended with rain. Erik, Brie, and I were going to hike up Mt. Humphrey today (Saturday) but we tentatively moved it to Sunday because rain was forecast for all day Saturday. And this was my only foreseeable free weekend for at least a month ahead. I decided to go for a mountain ride on my bike. I picked a smooth 28 mile route skirting the Kachina Wilderness Area. (I picked smooth trails, because I’m still a bit paranoid of having to hike my bike 14 miles if I would crash or my bike breaks while I’m all alone in the desert, and besides 28 miles of rough stuff is too much.) I knew about the rain forecast, but I just thought that if it actually did rain, it wouldn’t last long because this is Arizona and it never rains more than a few minutes at a time. The rain began a few miles before I reached the trailhead. I unloaded the bike and started out anyway; I knew the minute I would turn around the rain would quit. I had rain gear along so I put that on and waterproofed my keys and phone. I kept riding and made it up to 9,000 feet. Visibility really dropped and the wind was gusting around the mountain. The aspens were in full yellow and they looked nice in contrast with the dark wet pines. On the lower part of the trail I could look down on Flagstaff, but higher up the view wasn’t that great because I was in the clouds and it was raining harder. The trail was getting really muddy, so I gave it up and turned back before getting to the top. The rain changed to snow a few hundred feet above where I stopped and the temp was right down there close to freezing. The ride back down the mountain was fraught with mud, cold, and rain. I coasted back to the car and nearly froze in the process. My bike and clothes were covered with mud and sand. I only did 12 miles, nothing gained and nothing lost. When I got home at 2 PM my roommates were still sleeping, which made me feel pretty good about my accomplishment. I felt even better after a long hot shower and a slow-sipped Grande Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte from Starbucks.

Wednesday was a highlight because it was the big career fair of the year. I got to play dress up and act professional. I have a lot of future prospects but am still unemployed. That’s ok because I don’t have any spare minutes anyway. Tuesday morning the LAA came around and tried to get me out of bed at 5:30 and failed. They said they pounded the doors and windows and shouted my name. Even my roomie heard them. I missed the initiation ceremony in the wee hours of the morning, but now I am an official Lumberjack Alumni Ambassador. That’s quite a tongue twister and I hope I don’t have to repeat if often. I think it’s cool that I can be an alumnus in my freshman year. This essentially means I will have ten less free hours a week. Zero minus ten equals… well, never mind.

Friday we tied at our second intramural football game of the season. Everywhere we go people laugh about our awesome uniforms and the team name. We had nine people in the team limo, a tiny Nissan Sentra, on the way to the game. Turns out that flag football is a contact sport after all. Wrapped up the day with a barbecue on the deck.

People at NAU are very nice. I hear the same from transfer students that come from all over the US. Nowhere else can you be friends with a complete stranger in two minutes. Tonight in Starbucks, a group pulled me into them and we had a very philosophic conversation about socializing standards in Starbucks around the country. We agreed that NAU led the pack. Also I met the first person here who knows Greenwich Village inside and out, and we couldn’t stop talking about local talent found in Washington Square, Soho, Union Square, the best dives to find falafel, etc. in New York City. Take me back… After they left, another guy came up to me and asked to borrow my computer. MY computer! I gave it to him because he promised to go mountain biking with me next week. How cool is that?