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My other ride is your mom
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******I posted this account of my 1st bikepacking trip on my blog a week ago and was 5 minutes away from posting it on MTBR....but life intervened and I'm just now getting around to sharing********

When the call came to circumnavigate the Kaibab Plateau for a muli-day bikepacking trip with Chad, I threw my desire for rest aside and jumped in.....I would not be disappointed.

Leaving our car outside of Jacob Lake and descending out of the Ponderosa and Aspen forest, we contoured around to the west and then south......



Many lessons were learned by me on this first bikepacking trip.....the first one being to mentally prepare myself for the planned vs. anticipated water stops....and not assume that "Jug" implies water.....



The humid air above the northwestern Kaibab hinted at possible showers....but they never materialized....



40 miles in, we hit the Rainbow Rim Trail in the fading light of day....



Rarely seen western views from the north Kaibab were enjoyed while rolling along....me consumed by visions of running springs to which there were none.



Spotting evidence of folks camped across the way towards Locust point, we pedaled on to find a decent campsite with a good view for the next morning....



Arriving at Locust, we found two gents from Flagstaff, one of which knew Chad from 2 Spring Flings ago. They invited us to camp next to them and share in some of their PBR, cheese, pickled chiltipin's, fine tequilia and water........for which I contributed genoa salami, chili covered mango slices, and flattened banana. The conversation and hospitality was very much appreciated while enjoying timeless views of the fading light in the canyon.



Waking on day two, I walked out to the same point to view the suns rays revisiting the canyon once again.





Soft morning light along the rim from our camp exposed features obscured the night before.....



Thanking our friends in the morning, we continued on the Rainbow Rim, hollering out across the canyon at the camp we just left....taking in the echo's and the views alike.....



Transitioning off of the Rainbow Rim and skirting an active burn in progress, we borrowed some water from an unorthodox source before coming into views of Dragon Creek below which is framed by Confucius Temple, Tower of Ra, Osiris Temple.......and the "Leviathon", ably piloted by Chad.



Views of the Kachina Peaks from 70 miles away across the canyon were appreciated, however the chasm consumed most of our attention......



Moving on to the southern extent of the tour, dusty double track lead us to a detour towards the North Rim Lodge and some Pizza & Beer.....the former to be my downfall the rest of the day.



Dirty....but content....and fascinated how dirt does not stick to scar tissue......



5 of the 6 things I love in life are represented in this photo.....the sixth was in my thoughts.....



Wolfing down extra pizza which was awarded to us for suffering through an hour and a half wait....I soon realized I ate too much as I tried to pedal away and keep up with Chad.......Lesson two handily learned.

Climbing an old watchtower, more views of the Kachina Peaks on the horizon and from across the canyon....



Warning: After descending the tower, you may find yourself talking to an imaginary person in finely pressed white socks.....not seen here....because they are not real.....



Feeling spent and week, stomach torn asunder; Chad throws some encouragement my way to make camp at the East Rim.....the singletrack through idyllic meadows buoyed my spirits.....



When singletrack goes on vacation, this is probably where it goes.....



East Rim views in the fading light of day came into view, and lifted me even higher.....



Navajo Mountain, 80 miles to our northwest towered over the canyonlands......



The pastel colors of sandstone and sunset last for but a brief moment each day....but leave an indelible impression......



As we prepared for our second night....I savored the last moments before finally meeting the venerated Don Miguel......next time, I'm going to try "The Bomb".....



Falling asleep to views of the milky way, we slept in a bit before making our way to Dog Lake for our final water stop....hope the chlorine tabs work on dog water....



Making our way north along the AZT, we found the treed entrance to Valhalla........



Flowing out of climbs back into meadows, I savored the descents; hoping for more before the next climb.



Where's Chad?......



.........floating on the grass.......



......topping out......



Continuing north, the bowl shaped meadows gave way to flatter expanses of Lupine and Ponderossa.



144 miles later.....our stomaches were rewarded with Jacob Lake Cafe food.....



Driving away....Chad remarked outloud......"It's a good day to be alive"....I nodded in silence, answering only in my mind....."yes it is....yes it is...."
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Nice photos. Looks like a fun time was had.

My scenery was quite different this week -- miles and miles of midwestern farmland. Hooray me.

Thx...Doug
 

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I am Doctor Remulak
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1,414 Posts
Money shot right there

Maadjurguer said:
Feeling spent and week, stomach torn asunder; Chad throws some encouragement my way to make camp at the East Rim.....the singletrack through idyllic meadows buoyed my spirits.....
 

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I am the Tin Man!
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What about wildlife? I have heard there are alot of deer in the Kaibab, did you guys see any?
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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Pure. Awesomeness. Great post. What a great time on the bike. Looks like you've made the big leagues! Have I ever beens so jealous of a ride?.....hmmmmm.....possibly not. I've really got to give this bikepacking a try. Keep it coming!
 

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My other ride is your mom
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Discussion Starter #14
I was a little disappointed in the lack of wildlife seen....a few deer...but no elk. In times past, I've seen a lot more to include elk. I think the dry start to summer has concentrated the wildlife around the few areas with water.
 

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Nice pics and a great TR. I spent a summer guiding mtn bike rides out of Kaibab Lodge on portions of the AZ trail in 1992. Brings back a lot of memories. And a sad one when one of the guides on a Poison Spider group tour died goofing around on the rim for pics and took a fall. Seems so long ago but the trail has held up really nice, albeit a bit more rocky.
 

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I think I see a GPS unit on The Chad's bike. Post that loop up!!
I ride the Rainbow Rim a couple of times a year and have been wanting to connect over to the AZT.
 

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Tucson, AZ
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Love the pictures. You nailed a 3-day bikepacking trip on the first try without any glitches. I look forward to seeing more trips from your blog and even ride along side you at the Coconino or AZT....

Can't beat a good ride to the North Rim, followed by some pizza and beer. Quite possibly the best ride in Arizona.
 
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