With a full 9 days down in Sunny AZ last week, it's back to reality here in Bend, OR. Temperatures are barely reaching into the 50's and the clouds have been keeping the skies somewhat gray.
The trip to the southwest didn't go quite as I would have hoped. Jenny and I hit the road early at 4:30am on Friday to beat the "rush hour" traffic and make it down to northern California in time to have some good 'ol breakfast at one of my favorites, the Black Bear Diner. We stopped in Susanville, CA right around 9:30am with our stomachs ready to enjoy a hearty meal to provide the energy for the long trip.
With a full tank of gas and a full stomach we began our next stretch of driving through most of central eastern California and parts of Nevada. Once we reached Reno, NV the winds were howling at 40-50mph. These were some of the strongest winds I have ever driven through and it was not fun.
We initially were planing to stop by Lake Tahoe, but decided to save some time and bypass it. So our next atop would be Mammoth Lakes, CA which seemed like it was in the dead of winter. Sitting at roughly 7,000ft it was snowing and the temps were in the 30's. You would have to really enjoy snow living there. We decided to check out the local bakery, and Schat's seemed to be the perfect place.
Tasty Treats mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
After a short visit in Mammoth Lakes, we decided to head towards Vegas to spend the night. We didn't quite make it Vegas, instead we spent the night in Beatty, NV. Crossing into NV from California on Hwy 168 was pretty cool. It was a super winding road and very scenic. I don't think I ever got over 25 mph for nearly 16 miles. There was even a section of one lane for about 1/4 mile.
The black line you see is the road for the next 10 miles
We hit the road early again Saturday morning in hopes to meet my brother and his family outside of Vegas as they were heading to the Vegas airport on there way back to Chicago after spending time in Arizona as well. We tried to coordinate our dates but wasn't able to make it happen. It been nearly 4 years since we last saw each other and it was shocking to see how big his kids have gotten.
The older bro and his family
We finally reached my parents house in Buckeye, AZ Saturday night. My cycling plans were to ride mostly easy all week in preparation for 2 XC races in California over the upcoming weekend. On Monday, I went out for an easy spin around their neighborhood to flush out the heavy feeling in my legs from all the driving. Within 20 minutes I was on the ground and badly scraped up. I wasn't exactly sure what had just happened. My front tire completely slid out from underneath my bike and the next thing i knew I was on the ground. I knew I had done some damage to my body but didn't know the severity. When I made it back to the house, I could see that my right hip and elbow areas had taken the blunt of the fall. This crash pretty much laid me up the entire week, as it was uncomfortable t pedal for 2-3 days. by Thursday I went out for another easy spin, this time lasting 1 hour. On Friday I went out and did some short hard intervals in case I would race on Sat and Sun. I chose to bag the Saturday race (Kenda Cup SW)and only do the Napa Valley Dirt Classic race on Sunday up near Santa Rosa, CA. Well wouldn't you know it, the day of the race it was completely pouring rain. With my body still not feeling great I decided not to risk injuring myself even more and bagged this race too. I was not happy not getting at least one race in this week.
Road rash from a mountain bike
Even though I didn't get much riding in, we still had a great time. The weather was amazing (70-80's every day) and hanging out with the "p's" is always enjoyable.
One of the days we hiked up to a bat cave that's near my parents house. Yes, a bat cave. I would say it was a bit creepy to pa point, but also pretty cool. I even caught a bat flying at me on camera. You have to look really hard but you can see one.
Look in the upper middle of the cave (dark area) to see the bat
The cave was about 5 feet tall and extremely dark, duh. I don't know how far it went on for, we made it about 30-40 ft in before I started to get a little freaked out by the noise they were making.
Here are some more pics from Arizona
Beauty in the dessert
Relaxed by this most of the time
Jenny strikin' a pose
Fun in the sun/sand baby