August is finally here. In Arizona, that means a few things. Green is slowly becoming the norm once again. Rain is increasingly awakening all of your senses on each ride. If it does not fall during your ride, there is a strong chance the ground is still saturated. If that is not enough, the sunsets are getting more and more lively due to the late rains. It is good to be here in Arizona, more importantly it is good to be outside.
Photo by Scott Morris
A few pictures from the previous two weeks on Lemmon and Techy Tuesday.
It was an easy choice not to drop down off the plateau only to have to ride back up. For us, that meant shaving off about 50 miles of the proposed 200 miles. That was a-okay for me since I came up here to enjoy the cool weather [dropping down meant 90-degree weather]
More Arizona Trail goodness to (nearly) all the way to the car awaited us.
The closure sign was nowhere to be found, so we continued on toward the burnt area.
Flower goodness...one can only hope the burnt area will recover to something as spectacular as these two pictures.
The perfect bikepacking trip to end the summer. It's easy to feel alive when you are on the bike in such a beautiful area.
Interested in riding the route?
3 days, ~150 miles, 3 different views into the Grand Canyon (Rainbow Rim, North Rim, East Mesa)
There are many variations to this ride. I would not recommend dropping off the rim in the summer time. However, that said, if it is fall and you want more miles, you can drop off the east rim and head to the end of the AZ Trail as a variation.
Not really 100% sure what our loop would be, James and I started riding from Jacob's Lake toward the Rainbow Rim Trail.
The idea of completing the 200-mile loop was one option, our second option was to take the best parts from the 125-mile and the 200-mile versions and to form a 150-mile version. Both would use at least 30 miles of Arizona Trail from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon until our car or perhaps even farther to the Utah border.
Frankly, this early in the riding, I did not care what we did. I just wanted a few days on my bike.
Despite a late start, we were chugging along mostly in part to James' zeal. Although not new to the outdoors, he had never officially bikepacked.
As we got closer to Rainbow Rim Trail, the lighting really provided for some surreal moments. Mandatory breaks were necessary.
This is a special place, visited by only a handful of visitors a day. Definitely a stark contrast to its counterpart, the North Rim.
60 miles completed for Day 1. It turns out that I had a friend camping at Locust Point. Free PBR and a water refill was the best part of this coincidence. We chatted until late about biking, river rafting, hiking...basically anything about the outdoors.