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Archive for April, 2017

The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 24, The South Rim of the Grand Canyon

April 23, 2017 Ah, the south rim of the Grand Canyon! We didn’t want to miss our last chance at civilization so we first went to the coffee shop in town and grabbed something warm for breakfast. A simple egg and bacon on a bagel tasted really good at that point, even after having my normal oatmeal for breakfast.  We were prepared for about six miles of easy trail from town to the Canyon but it turned out they had recently paved the path and we just cruised it at a fast speed and ended up at our destination campground... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 23, The Throwing Knife

April 22, 2017 We could still see the San Francisco peaks in the southern distance and it was amazing that we were by them just a few days prior as they had shrunk to a small size from our current vantage point. I woke up early and watched the sun rise as I had my morning coffee and packed up. We weren’t in a big hurry, as the day should only be about 20 miles or so, and we had read that it was supposed to be easy mostly downhill singletrack.  Jamey got a 20 minute head start to get... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 22, Chips

April 21, 2017 The wind had stopped during the night and we thankfully woke up to calmness. I had to shake a bunch of dust out of my tent and it made me reminisce of Burning Man, where that is a daily occurrence. Camping right at a dirt water tank probably wasn’t the best idea, but it was flat and comfy. The soreness was still in my quads, but the muscle above my left foot felt almost back to normal.  While at REI I had splurged and bought one dehydrated breakfast of bacon and eggs. Jamey had been mixing them... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 21, Headwind, Sidewind and No Tailwind

April 20, 2017 Sleeping at high elevation in Arizona is cold. We decided to get up a bit later and enjoy the warmth of our sleeping bags and let the sun crest over the nearby peak before really starting the day. We all slowly moseyed out of the tents, with me first to appear, and got packed up and said goodbye to our beautiful little pond and gorgeous views at about 8AM The tents were frost free, but the tricking water down to the pond was icy. One nice thing about the cold was that it froze the snow, making... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 20, Hungover and Where’s My Chainsaw?

April 19, 2017 Not a fun day. My four beers and a few shots of Whiskey caught up with me. I’ve rarely gotten any sort of hangover as I’m pretty careful on how much I drink. But the day before I didn’t have much water and replaced it with beer. I knew I was thirsty, and I thought that craft IPA would be good enough for my body. And a few swigs of whiskey with a cool through hiker sounded good at the time. But by the morning I was having trouble keeping anything in my stomach.  Jamey had gotten... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 19, Black Widows and Beer

April 18, 2017 The push to Flagstaff! We were highly motivated at to get to town. Our backpacks were now much lighter after having eaten almost 5 days worth of food and we were excited to get to town to have some craft beer. Beer can be a high motivator for someone out in the woods.  The previous camp site I selected wasn’t ideal. My blow up Thermarest suffered a hole and was completely flat by midnight. I tried to find the hole my ears and headlamp, but it proved impossible to locate so I just went back to sleep... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 18, You Didn’t See the Mountain?

April 17, 2017 Yesterday we were about 5 or 6 miles short of our riding goal, and on this day we were already planning on about 25 miles. So that meant 30+ miles all on the trail so we could remain on schedule. And we did it! But we had to start a bit earlier. So I got up at 4:50AM and started my usual routine, except I opted for 3 oatmeals in preparation for the long day (and extra strong instant coffee). I somehow had an extra two oatmeal packets from a breakfast that we did in some other... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 17, Three Glass Beer Bottles on Easter

April 16, 2017 Brr… another cold night. It is deceptive in the evenings as the warmer setting sun makes you think it might be a warm night. But camping at almost 7000′ in the high desert makes you wish you had brought a portable space heater up the mountain with you. I just don’t know where I’d plug it into.  The riding was mostly flat, but rocky. That meant a lot more walking than we would usually like. Rebekka would always prefer to ride over walking, as long hours on her feet was starting to give her some pain.  At... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 16, Found Trash

 April 15, 2017 We did our morning routine and started early, about 7 or so. The day before had proved to be so difficult, and we had no idea what was in store for us. My Vans are really inappropriate hiking shoes, but my get were holding together pretty well, but I feared another 20 mile hike would start to give me blisters.  We left our river campsite and hiked about three miles away and I spot a plastic Pepsi bottle. Now, up to this point I have seen zero trash on the Arizona Trail so I was astonished to... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 15, Hike a Bike…I mean, Uni

April 14, 2017 A 20 mile hike would be hard for me. Throw in a heavy backpack and pushing a fully loaded unicycle and you have one tough day.  I woke up at my usual time of about 5:15AM. It was a little rough for me to sleep at night as the road was close by and there was a lot of noise from it. I guess it is hard for a country person to sleep with the sound of cars when they are used to the sound of nothing. Animal sounds should be okay, but the loud howling from... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 14, It’s My Birthday

 April 13, 2017 Camping at the RV park in Payson was nice, but we had to get to our next destination, Pine, by 4PM before the post office closed in order to pick up resupply packages. We were going to have to do some more wilderness bypasses again and wouldn’t be back on the trail until Pine. So, we got up extra early and rolled away from camp by 6:30.  It was also the start of my last year in my 30’s. Next year will be a new decade for me, so I should make the most out of this... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 13, The Welder

April 12, 2017 It was supposed to be an easy 10 miles or so from where we camped on the side of the dirt road to the next town of Payson that we had planned on staying at. We weren’t 100% sure of the route, but we continued up the dirt road and kept an eye out for our turn.  Eventually we saw a service road number 47 and turned down it. Later we discovered that we should have kept going on the main dirt road further to a different number 47 road! This road seemed to head in the... [read more]


The Arizona Trail by Unicycle: Day 12, The Day of the Push

April 11, 2017 A 15 mile hike pushing a unicycle is hard work. Add on 5 miles of riding and it makes for one long day. The views and scenery should make up for it, but that didn’t happen on this day.  I woke up at about 4:45AM hearing Rebekka’s alarm. She usually hits snooze 2 or 3 times, but once I’m up I’m up. So I got out of bed and started cleaning up my tent at about 5AM. It was freezing the night before and my tent was full of frost, particularly the area under my outer rain... [read more]


The Arizona Trail by Unicycle: Day 11, Shade and Cracks

April 10, 2017 Yesterday was effectively a rest day. More accurately, it was a “drink beer and rest day” while waiting for the Visitor Center to open.  We packed up a little late because the Visitor Center didn’t open until 8am, but we got there about 15 minutes before to plug some gadgets in to the outlet on the outside of the building and let them juice up. I ran in and got my food package as soon as they opened and organized a few things. We all had too much food, so we rode down to the marina to... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 10: The Unexpected Rest Day

April 9, 2017 We got up and rode (I mean, walked…) the mile from the lake back to the dirt road and started continuing along the bypass. All the loud people from the night before were snoozing, and we were polite and quiet.  The road basically followed small rivers with some gentle up and down terrain. We rode most of of it, and eventually hit a huge damn indicating we were at Lake Rosevelt.   The lake has a visitor center that we had shipped our food resupply packages to. Jamey had called to see if his arrived, but they... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 9, The Hang Man

April 8, 2017 We woke up and got an early start and were rolling by about 7AM. We chatted again with our neighbors and gave them some demo riding while Jamey bummed some coffee from them. Erick from Phoenix arrived at our camp spot to join us for the day on his 26 muni.  So the four of us made a turn off our dirt road and onto a paved road and rolled away. The road was rather boring up and down. I had my short cranks still on the unicycle and I would fly down the downhills. Erick was... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 8, Cops Called on Us

April 7, 2017  We left the “hotel” a bit early so we could get to the Superior post office right as they opened. On the previous day, the hotel owner was so kind to let us use her backyard for camping, and her personal shower, so we gave her $40 and a nice thank you note.  Not only did we want to get to the post office early, but we also wanted some good coffee. So we added in some time to go by a coffee shop that Google said would be open 30 minutes before the USPS. Unfortunately google... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 7: Mexican Food for Dinner

April 6, 2017 As you may recall, we camped in a wash about two miles up from the river. A solid ten mile hike straight up hill awaited us and I it was nice to cut off a few miles in the morning as the previous days hike was pretty grueling in the hot sun.  Our plan was to get up at about 5am to get an early start at about 6:30. I was out of oatmeal and had some Ramen style noodles for breakfast instead. The salt tasted great and it was nice and filling.  The plan went dead... [read more]


The Arizona Trail by Unicycle: Day 6, The Easy 10 Miles

April 5th, 2017 We camped by the road last night which was good and bad. It was good because the access was easy, we had pizza delivered, and it was relatively flat. It was bad because there were cars and trucks driving by at 3:30AM on the way to work. And the train. If the train itself wasn’t load enough, it would also blow its horn right before the crossing, so if we managed to sleep through the normal train noise it would for sure wake us up when it blew its load honker.  The morning pack up went normal... [read more]


The Arizona Trail by Unicycle: Day 5: Did somebody order a pizza?

April 4, 2017 Wind howling through a 15 foot cactus makes an interesting sound. I imagine the wind is screaming in pain and wishing it never encountered the cactus. At least, that is how I felt when I tried to get a bit of cactus off my shoe. I wished I had never encountered the thing! This one specific cactus plant in the desert sends out little cacti bombs that stick to anything in their path. I tried to remove one with my hand. That was a mistake as it just stuck to my fingers and I had to pull... [read more]


The Arizona Trail by Unicycle: Day 4: Going Commando

April 3, 2017 My upper butt was incredibly sore from the past few days so I started my day a little bit earlier than Jamey and Rebekka so I could take it easy. That meant a little bit more pushing and less riding to let my bottom heal. I also decided to nix the riding shorts for the first hour and just left everything air out a bit. I wished I had brought two pairs of riding shorts so I could swap to a more comfortable pair. So I flipped on my phone and discovered I had descent reception. I... [read more]


The Arizona Trail by Unicycle: Day 3, The Unicycle Savior

April 2, 2017  Snakes in the bed!  I tend to have a reoccurring dream that there is a snake somewhere in my bed. I’ll be sleeping and all of a sudden start tearing covers off the bed looking for a snake that I swear is there. I’ll flip on the lights and start a serious snake hunt trying to find the damn thing. It seems so real to me, but of course there really isn’t one around and I just am having an “interactive dream”, as I call them. I do this in some sort of semi dream semi awake... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 2, Into the White

It Saturday, April 1, 2017 We woke up to no wind, calm skies and a slight overcast. This should be the recipe for a good day in Arizona, right? Well, think again… Jamey, Rebekka and I hit the road instead of the trail to continue up and over Mt Lemon. (I think that was the name). Apparently this is common for bikers and AZ trail racers as the trail up is super technical and steep. Andy again took our bags to the top of the mountain in his car to save us some energy. I still had a pretty full... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 1, The Mountain Lion

March 31, 2017 The Mountain Lion  This isn’t what you are thinking. Well, I hope you are thinking about a unicyclist getting chased by a mountain lion on some tiny dirt trails, frantically waving their arms to try to escape.  But that isn’t what happened. Instead, my day started at 3:40 AM with the alarm blazing. I force my hand like putting it through a hot fire and turned it off.  Lexi graciously got up with me to drive me to the airport. We hit the road by 4 AM and after a short bit up the road we saw... [read more]



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