Day 1: Fort Collins-Steamboat-Craig-Fruita (330 miles)
The trip started on Monday, September 4th, only two days later than our planned departure date. We were exited to begin the trip over Cameron Pass, a place we spent countless ski and mountain days. It was awesome to see the early signs of fall among the higher altitude aspen trees, which were changing various shades of fiery yellow/ orange.
Although the majority of our first day was on pavement, we were able to find an awesome dirt road outside of Fruita to camp off of.
Day 2: Fruita-Moab-Monument Valley- Flagstaff (430 miles)
In an effort to make our way south relatively quickly, we spent most of the second day on pavement as well. Passing thru Moab and Monument Valley brought us incredible views, which were followed by a couple hundred miles of pretty bleak terrain. It was surely windy and loud on the highway, but we found an awesome campsite just a few miles outside of Flagstaff, AZ hidden away in the woods. It felt just like Colorado!
Day 3: Humphrey’s Peak
We took our third day off, and climbed Humphrey’s Peak, Arizona’s highest point at 12,637 feet. It was awfully chilly on the summit- I wished I had brought more than my Melanzana fleece and a raincoat!
Months prior to leaving on the trip, we had a to do list that was miles long. Although we were continuously checking things off of the list, we were also constantly adding more “to-dos.” We could not believe how much work it was to get everything situated to depart on this adventure. Anyway, one of the things on the list that never got checked off was to test our new trip stove. The MSR Dragonfly stove runs off of gasoline, diesel, white gas, or airplane fuel, which makes it a great international stove. It definitely involves a few extra steps than the Jetboils we own, but we got it figured out after a couple tries!
Day 4: Flagstaff to Phoenix (~220 miles)
This day should have been a quick and easy one, but we decided to ride predominately dirt roads instead of sticking to the highway. We were blown away by the beauty of Arizona- the forest, the desert, and the foothills. Most of the day was spent on glorious smooth dirt roads with awesome twisties winding up and down, with a few enjoyable rocky sections.
We were almost to Phoenix when we ended up making a turn on a more difficult road, which consumed way more time than we had initially planned. We were headed to Phoenix to stay at Tom and Diane’s house, good friends of my parents, so we pushed through instead of camping mid way. After the initial rough climb it descended steeply on a narrow road into a canyon. Slow progress brought on darkness and more hours of rough steep descending mixed in with short punchy climbs, leading to a few dropped bikes. The road finally got better only to get worse again for about a mile of steep climbs and descents. Due to our strong desire to continue moving, we failed to take pictures of this section. Eventually we reached a graded dirt road and rode on for another hour to a shower, warm eggplant parmesan, and a comfortable bed- thanks to Tom and Diane!
In Phoenix, we spent the next couple days relaxing at Tom and Diane’s house: pool time, margaritas, desert walks and dirty martinis!
We plan on heading out early tomorrow morning to Bahia Kino, Mexico!