Catcher in the Canyons

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IMG_4895After saying goodbye to our friends in Red Rocks, we stayed a night with Bennett’s family in Las Vegas, where we got thoroughly schooled in a game of dominos. From there we made our way to Bootleg Canyon Nevada to do some mountain biking. We ended up riding with Greg and Benton, a father and son who were also pedaling Bootleg for the first time. It’s always great to see parents and their kids riding together, especially when they are as capable and friendly as those two!

IMG_4916On our way east towards Flagstaff, we decided to make a short detour to check out the Grand Canyon. The canyon is incredible but we got scared off by the massive crowds around the South Rim. We learned later that only about 1% of Grand Canyon visitors actually step onto the trail, and only about 1% of those people go past the first mile. So if you’re going to go, we’d recommend hiking down a ways!

We found a free place to camp in Flagstaff using the website freecampsites.net, and the next day we went for an epic ride around Schultz Pass. Turns out that the rest of the country has these crazy little things called rocks! On our last day in Flagstaff we climbed with some folks that we ran into at the Priest Draw boulders, then spent some time at Home Depot getting our cooler set up with a grate at the bottom for drainage. With some camping beta from our new climber friends we made our way south to a free camping area just past Sedona, Arizona.Flagstaff

Sedona is one of the places that mountain bikers visit in their dreams – it’s a mountain biking Mecca and has been steadily increasing in popularity as well as trail quality and quantity over the years. Our first stop was to Over the Edge Sports, where Mike gave us the rundown on local trails. That day we rode Munds Wagon and Huckaby trails which had some sweet technical sections and a fun creek crossing. A snow storm rolled in back at camp but our friends Dan and Lisa (who we’d met at Priest Draw) invited us in to their little RV to cook and hang out!

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Riding Highline trail the next day we ran into Pat and Richard, two retirees on a month long mountain bike vacation to Sedona. We told them about our trip and they invited us to stay at their rental house for a couple days – they’ve been our gracious hosts and friends since. We’ve been having a lot of fun hanging out, eating, riding, and learning life lessons from them and their other guest Russ.IMG_5011

For our last ride in Sedona, our new friend Corey Smith from wheresmyofficenow.com, took us up to ride Hangover, a notoriously sketchy Sedona classic. The ride pushed both of our limits, and we had a lot to learn from Corey both in terms of riding and life on the road.

Check out our short edit of Hangover below:

 

Special thanks to Pat, Richard, and Russ for all of their support over the last few days, and for a place to crash and shower. To Greg for fueling our way to Flagstaff, to Dan and Lisa for giving us a dry place to cook, to Corey for his guidance both on and off the bike, and to the guys at Over the Edge Sports for the trail info and for welcoming us into the shop. Sedona is a great spot to be a mountain biker, and we’re excited to see what the rest of Arizona has to offer!

 

– Nathan

 

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