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i have had a fun adventure this week. i had been wanting to visit my friend in Kelley in the Flagstaff area of Arizona before she goes on her great post school adventure somewhere in the world. i planned for this trip packing warm clothes to be in the reported freezing Flagstaff weather as she was living in a tent behind the school where she is learning massage therapy. i had the idea she could be comfortable living in freezing weather because she had grown up on a street named "Snowshoe Ct." in Ohio. she said Arizona was cold. i had this weather report (especially: Avg Temp: 31.5F & Days with Min Temp below Freezing: 28.0). i wanted to pack warmly.

i was supposed to board Wednesday's Amtrak 11 southbound and through a series of Amtrak connections arrive in Flagstaff Friday morning. i missed my first Amtrak train because of my anxiety regarding packing the right things and forgetting to check the location of my ID (needed for boarding the train). i was also surprised as the notoriously late Amtrak 11 train was also on time (whats up with that !), i rescheduled for the next day and then i was ok about missing the train because it meant i was then able to celebrate Candlemas at home. i got back to Lost Valley and sent an email to Kelley about my delay.

the next day (Thursday) i got to the train station on time finding Thursday's Amtrak 11 arriving late by 5hrs. that was fine as i coincidentally found my friend Kara with 2yr old child Myriad walking toward the Eugene Amtrak Station. i had fun hanging out with her at Growers Market especially as she is relocating to Mexico this week and i dont know when i will see her next. after Kara left i arraigned and had a great chinese dinner with my friend Shawna with whom i have been trying to connect in person with for the last two months. i also found out that one of her roommates who was an acquaintance of mine was also going to be on the train. then i had fun connecting with Tree and her friend Alex on the train.

a series of Amtrak connections (and misconnections) delayed my arrival in Arizona. i had to detrain from the Amtrak 704 and stay overnight in Bakersfield. fortunately Kelley coincidentally called my cellular phone and i was able to convey that i was going to be even later than Saturday so we planned on her meeting me at the train arrival time of 6a Sunday at the Flagstaff Station. there is not much to see in Bakersfield except "The Jungle Cafe" where i had breakfast.

i had a 5hr layover in Los Angeles Union Station then boarded the Amtrak 4 train heading east. i arrived in a windy chilly cold Flagstaff Amtrak Station as the dawn was emerging. i was glad to see Kelley. she had borrowed a friend's bike for my use (THANK YOU Janet). we searched for a warm place to plan our next steps, finding a small cafe for a snacky breakfast and for me to have some coffee then with full backpacks we at 8a, biked through the very empty campus of University of Northern Arizona looking for our friend Katharine, then down and up rolling hills out of Flagstaff on Highway 89A. i was getting fairly tired then saw a road sign "7% Grade Next 6 Miles" then we continued biked into the Coconino National Forest, into Red Rock Country, down Oak Creek Canyon, passing Oak Creek Vista, down these swithchbacks (the twists in the center) dropping 1700feet in elevation with me biking in excess of 40mph downhill on some of the curves. we went rapidly past Slide Rock State Park. Kelley was having fun with her bike odometer / speedometer clocking herself and me. we arrived at 12:30p into Sedona then made more plans. i saw a strange (to me) pink sculpture of a javelina then heard how some javelinas using their tusks were trying (in the recent past) to get into Kelley's tent at the school. Sedona looked like my images of sunny resort mesa lined desert. i began to realize that my packing warm clothes was excessive as my weather reports were from Flagstaff at 6906feet elevation whereas here in Sedona the elevation 4300feet and we were going to be generally camping at around 3300feet elevation where it was going to be significantly warmer with occasional periods of chill.

as we were biking and i saw vista after vista i had the idea and impression that i would not need to take pictures that many other people had probably taken already. here are some pictures:

<td align="middle">from http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedona/gallery.aspx</td>
<td align="middle">from http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedona/gallery2.aspx</td>
<td align="middle">from http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedona/gallery2.aspx</td>
<td align="middle">from http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedona/gallery2.aspx</td>
<td align="middle">from http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedona/gallery2.aspx</td>
<td align="middle">from http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sedona/gallery2.aspx</td>

we had a great lunch, and continued biking following the rolling hills of Highway 179, past Bell Rock, through the earth colored mesa architectured Village of Oak Creek continuing the up and down hills till the end of Highway 179 biking into Beaver Creek Campground. i found the area to be beautiful specifically the red sedimentary rocks, green shrubs and trees, and blue sky. we had biked through Red Rock Country biking a total of 49miles (THANK YOU AGAIN Janet for the use of your most excellent Sorrento Diamond Back CR-MO Mountain Series bike with the Shimano Altus C10 & C20 gearing). we fell asleep under the stars at about 7pm.

monday we went hiking into the Wilderness. we hiked 4miles on the "Bell Trail" (the grey line) climbing 1200feet in elevation then found the swimming hole that Kelley had heard about. the water was too cold for me, hurting my feet upon entering but she sat in the water for 20min then tried to do a "sweat" in her sleeping bag as her massage instructor had suggested she try.

then we hiked out of the Wilderness, had a simple dinner and talked about relationships then packed up sorta, set an alarmclock, snuggled into our sleeping bags and fell asleep by about 7:30p.

Tuesday we packed up and left at about 6:30a biking on Highway 179 to Beaverhead Flat Rd (which is not flat) then passively saw the sunrise at 7:15a then following the juncture of Cornville Road 119. we arrived at the settlement of Cornville at 8:50a then having lost interest in making it to Cottonwood by 10a for morning class had breakfast. we then arrived in Cottonwood by 11a. Kelley suggested i should have a brief rest instead of biking up two more additional hills into Clarkdale and so she biked a post office task rearriving and finding me in Old Town Cottonwood by 11:30a then we together biked the last hills and arrived at her massage school: Arizona School of Integrative Medicine.

i met some of Kelley's classmates then she and i partnered up for the afternoon massage practice of scalenes and neck muscles. then we biked back through Old Town Cottonwood to Kelley's bank, returned her library book, then had a dinner at a Thai restaurant. we went grocery shopping for me at a health food store: Mount Hope Foods, then did more biking by the light of the waxing moon ending back up at the ASIS school with me having biked today 36miles (and Kelley 40miles). we went down to her tent hidden behind the school then we cuddled for about 2hrs falling asleep by about 11p.

Wednesday we arrived and attended morning class, then we got a ride (in a car up the hills) and had lunch with Kelley's friend / classmate Lydia in Clarkdale, then we did shoulder massage in the afternoon exploring Teres major and Teres minor. class ended at 3p, then i found that Dennis had arrived at ASIS to pick me up as Kelley had now to go to work in town. i was sad to leave.

i hung out with Dennis in the afternoon visiting his elderly father, saw their 5acres of pecan treed land, found out what a cottonwood tree looks like and that it can harbor mistletoe and then i had a lot of fun seeing Dennis's hand designed and built recumbent bikes as well as his ultralight rotorcraft "Angel" that he designed and built. Dennis was in turn eager to hear of what had changed and had stayed the same since he and their family had visited Lost Valley last year. Glenda and Crystal arrived as Dennis and i were cooking dinner then we had a light dinner then i received a ride back up Hwy 89A back into Flagstaff.

i met up with Katharine at the Flagstaff Amtrak Station and had a fun supper as i listened to her impressions of the San Francisco Snowbowl ski slope, activism, classism, college, political science, and native american stuff of the Hopi surrounded by the Navajo Nation. i then boarded the 9:50p Amtrak 3 train, waving by to Katharine as the train pulled away.

after transferring at Los Angeles Union Station i boarded an Amtrak bus then transfered again in Bakersfield onto the Amtrak 715. i am glad that i brought my G4. i read articles on it and talked a bit with other passengers then detrained in the Bay Area.

i had a very good trip. i was and am generally happy feeling satasfied and good about my interactions on the trip. was unattached to the outcome of the bike riding enjoying my pedaling, coasting and seeing the area. since i had no real concept of how far the road was going to be i was very present and not out of wind. my legs do not ache nor do i feel sore. i think i remained happy and unattached to Kelley "doing something". she seemed to have fun but seemed (to me) somewhat distant from me on Wednesday. i do not know when or if i will see her again even though she has plans to visit me in Oregon during the summer. i want to remain as unattached to the actions of others as i feel right now regarding Kelley. i think i could be overall happier.

Mount Hope Foods has better food then their website.


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