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Monday, April 23, 2007

So much to tell about a tough day in the mountains

Robin: "Holy weather front Batman. The potential precipitation reached a critical temperature and solidified into some crystaline form. Then it proceeded to precipitate and adhere to everything."

Batman: "huh?"

Robin: "It's snowing!!"

You guessed it folks, today at 6,100 feet, it started to snow on us! Oh boy today was a test of wills I think and we barely won out thanks to some help from the locals. Lots to tell today but I wanted to start with the snow part, first time for both of us biking while it snowed. This is also the highest we have ever biked (6,100 feet above sea level).

Let's see... we started off in Yarnell this morning with Heather leaving well ahead of me. The first 10 miles or so really rocked, it was almost no work and mostly downhill. We started at 4,800 feet and went down to 4,000 feet or so. Then the climb started. Actually going into the mountains while very, very (ok it is down right torturous) difficult, is not so bad cause you know you are going up. The thing that gets me is when you get tricked on a long straight stretch of road and because of the very steep mountain way out in front you think it is down hill. When I checked my altimeter on my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS I found out I had been going uphill for the last hour or so!! All this before I ever reached the mountain. So today we climbed 2,100 feet to reach a peak just South of Prescott. I caught up with Heather and we had PB & J for lunch. It was freeeeeezing. That actually was not an exaggeration it really was below 32°F. I never knew riding a bike up a mountain could be so, so, difficult. FYI Ryan (our riding buddy for a few days who is heading East right now) talked us into buying lower gears for our bikes. If I see him again he gets a SUPER huge hug and thank you from us both. That goes double for my clipless pedals as well, I love them!

Right before we entered Prescott, AZ is where we got snowed on then hail (it was only pea sized), and finally rain. Good news. All our rain gear stuff worked we were dry and semi comfortable. It looked like more rain and hail ahead so we stopped for Heather to change into some thermals to stay warm. As we walked out of the store a reporter was sitting there waiting on us. He said he saw us riding through town and chased us down. How cool is that? Very! That's how cool. His name is Nathaniel and he is a photographer and reporter for "The Daily Courier" in Prescott, AZ. He seemed really cool and he had a quicksilver shirt on so he must be cool. After he interviewed us he raced ahead in his truck and set up to get some shots of us riding through town. We were very excited to get noticed and happy we had a press release on our website already. Yipee.

We rode into Chino Valley looking forward to the campground listed on our map. It was gone! We went all the way through town and saw nothing. We stopped and looked up on google maps for a spot. The one hotel here was totally booked. So we decided to bike back into town and beg for a place to sleep. We went to the Circle K and they were no help at all. As I left the store this high school student on a BMX bike was sitting there checking out our bikes.

After asking him about camping he was totally helpful. Just out of the blue this dude totally rode all around town with us taking us to the police station (they were no help at all, just recommended the booked hotel) and finally he remembered a B&B in town. Wow Patrick was super helpful and went way above and beyond helping us. He even escorted us to the B&B to make sure we made it ok. Thanks man we owe you one. Oh and on an interting side note Patrick just moved here last year from Burbank, CA how random is that.

So now we are comfortable and cozy in this B&B. It is really nice here but way way out of our budget. Really, we're stuck here in Chino Valley, with nowhere to go. We are so lucky to have found this place and the owners are super sweet to us. They let us cook our dinner here (rice, black beans and a cucumber) and made cookies too.

Three of the other guys staying here are taking classes at Gunwise, a world famous shooting school. In talking with the guys I found out that Joe is from Champaign, IL where my aunt lives. We will be visiting there on our trip. I hope he follows the blog and looks us up when we are there. He seemed pretty cool and laid back.

That's about it for today except that we did 56 miles total. One more post then off to dreamland for us.



natalie said...

Oh man. Sounds like a heck of a day!! Thank heaven for the kindness of "strangers". (Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet!!)

natalie said...

P.S. - More pictures, please!!!