Sunday, May 31, 2009

Picking up the slack.

I guess this is my (Lori) signal to step up and participate in the communication process of our journey.  For too long now I have enjoyed knowing that friends and family were kept apprised of our wanderings through no effort on my part.  Beautiful photographs and insightful commentary were the domain of Christian, who knows what the future holds now that there is a new blogger in town..... stay tuned and we will find out together.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cutting the umbilical cord

Been thinking a lot about how how I want to document and share our journey this summer, if at all.  The still camera will defintiely be coming along for the ride but not sure about the video camera.  Not even sure I want to bother with this blog.  Today, I came across this passage:

Not only can it be done, but it already has, you are not the first, and you are not special, and no one cares.

This came from some friends of ours who just rode from Tucson to Florida (and blogged about it here).  Might be nice to cut the umbilical cord for awhile...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bike update

Ed, our framebuilder at La Suprema, has been hard at work on our bikes.  In fact, he's moving so fast that I'm unable to keep up with my Birth of a Bicycle video project.  Every time we show up at his shop, he is almost finished with another bike.  I did manage to snap a few pics of Ed at work (shown here brazing a fork).  Currently Lori's frame is being powder-coated and mine (below) is awaiting paint.  Meanwhile, I have been acquiring the myriad of parts needed to assemble a complete bike.  With any luck, after we return from our trip to Zion next week, we can begin final assembly (which I hope to film).  Stay tuned...

On a related note, we had five friends over for dinner last who have all ridden the west coast route that we intend to ride this summer.  We grilled them with questions about gear, food, and maps.  And while it's all well and good to do your homework, an integral part of adventure is to not over-plan, leaving plenty of room for the fates to steer us in interesting directions!

One of the cooler things I've seen recently...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Back to Aravaipa

We just returned from our semi-annual trip to Aravaipa Canyon.  We usually go in early May to celebrate our anniversary (we met on May 2nd, thirteen years ago!).  Our last trip was last fall which you can read about here.

Aravaipa Canyon is a BLM Wilderness area located at the north end of the Galiuro mountains of central Arizona.  It can be accessed from either the east or west side.  To drive from one side to the other would take a minimum of three hours.  A $5/day permit is required  for any entry into the canyon (I am generally opposed to permits but this canyon is an extremely special place).  Once in the canyon, it is 11 miles from end to end, mostly walking directly in the streambed.  Aravaipa is one of the few perennial creeks in southern AZ.  In addition to the wilderness area, the Nature Conservancy owns large tracts of land on either side of the BLM land.  Aravaipa is one of the crown jewels of riparian areas in the Southwest.

This was our first trip into the east side.  It took us three hours to drive the 150 miles from downtown Tucson to the trailhead, the last 38 on well-graded dirt road.  We hiked in about two hours to the Hell Hole canyon tributary.  On the second day, we hiked up Hell Hole which, in places, is only about 12 feet wide - a beautiful, twisty slot canyon with towering sandstone walls.  After turning around, I hiked further down Aravaipa creek attempting to find the fartherest point we had come from the west side.  No luck - but that means there is still plenty more to explore next time!  In addditon to the dozens and dozens of bird species, we saw quite a bit of wildlife including coatimundi, a ringtail cat, javelina, heron, toads, eagles, and deer.  Enjoy the photos...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


"Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters 
and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from 
all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, 
uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, 
safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of 
struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us." 

-John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley