Heaven and Hail in Flagstaff AZ
A beer, a fried eggplant sandwich (from Joe’s garden) and you, my readers, reading through this little white laptop lent unwittingly by the lovely and talented Evil Kim Sargent (Joe’s wife).
Yesterday Joe took us on a nice two-hour ride up into the Fort Valley area, on “Dogfood” trail, which connects to “Hotshot” which links to “Newham” and then finished “Old Fucker”.
Charming trail names are courtesy of “Night Mayor” of Flagstaff, Mark Gullo.
Along brick-red narrow trails scooted those two fast fellows, then me (the androgyne) and then two medium fast women. Testing our single speed bikes… alternately blinded by the setting sun, and the dust cloud caught in its horizontal rays. Considering the altitude (7000 ft and up) we did well. Riding on permitted trails made me high, however.
I tried to imagine a network of narrow trails–flowy rhythmic ones, gnarly technical ones, lots of each, within a lazy ten minute pedal of one’s home…and having them be permitted…oh, I was having a daydream called Flagstaff.
Aromas of woodsmoke, pine duff, and soft dirt still linger in my hair.
Then today we rode the Arizona trail, under grumbly skies. Quite a different ride (no local guide, just us tourists, i.e. possibility of getting lost)…found the trail head, rode the most wonderful contouring and barely rocky trail through aspen, pine forest separated by bright blonde meadows.
We found wild flowers but not many…campanula was my favorite.
Our plan: out-and-back. Easy enough except we didn’t leave enough breadcrumbs. As we returned, thunder began to roll through the mountains and within the hour, it became clear we were riding toward it.
But I saw no lightning. Morgan did. By his calculations we had a 97% chance of surviving the ride.
Piling into the car, hail began to fall, and all the way down into Flagstaff (yes, we drove to the trailhead) we admired drifts of hail along the road and our own good luck at missing the drubbing.
By four o’clock we were at Macy’s Cafe hangin’ with the Great And Generous Cosmic Ray, guru of the knobby nobility. I’d never met him, simply corresponded the last twenty years…heaven. His friend Benny pulled up a chair and we all merrily passed an hour swapping stories about our travels. Mr Cosmic has a seventeen year old daughter who rides great long tours with her pa…what a lucky guy.