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A little while back I discovered that a hillside near our house has several challenging trails on it. I have been trying to clean this section for a while. By clean, I mean ride it all the way through without putting a foot down. A few days back, after I first managed to clean it, I decided it’s time to break out the go pro again.
This next clip is me trying to take the even more challenging high line up and around the boulder in the middle rather than around the bottom of it. I still have not quite managed to get it. With a little persistence I hope to get this tough new line.
It all started when Sharon and I were at the Original Pancake House and I saw bacon waffles and pecan waffles on the menu. I immediately thought, “Why no bacon pecan waffles?”. I even tried to order one and they said it would not turn out right. Jump ahead to now and Sharon and I have a Belgian waffle maker that was a wedding present from our friends Matt and Julie. I used the recipe for pecan waffles that came with the machine and just substituted some fresh cooked bits of applewood smoked bacon from Bashas for some of the pecans.
Living in Flagstaff has its perks. A huge perk of our new house is just how close to trail we are now. How close is close? Watch the video and see me go from our driveway to a short steep technical downhill in 40 seconds of riding on the road.
The video is three clips, the middle clip is a very nearby dirt jump at the bottom of the Shultz Pass/ Rocky Ridge area. The last clip shows another trail that is less than two minutes away from the house.
Jay with Wanderlust brew master Nathan Friedman
Yes we have not visited and written about a brewery in a long while. It’s not that we have not been going to breweries… they just don’t seem blog worthy when they’re in your backyard. And truth be told we have a lot of local breweries: Beaver Street, Flag Brew, Cosmic, Mother Road, Lumberyard and Mogollon. They even put out some good beer.
Thankfully, Wanderlust has come to us to solve that problem of not having something new to blog about.
Last Saturday was a long anticipated event for Flagstaff beer lovers. The grand opening of Wanderlust. Wanderlust is a little different, their emphasis is on distribution. They do not have and have no interest in getting a kitchen. They are a one man show and the ring leader is Nathan Friedman. The brew master Nathan is a long time home brewer taking the plunge and going professional. His specialty is Belgian beers. I suspect this is not only because he is good at them but is also what he likes to drink.
I had one major fear for the kick off of Wanderlust – running out of beer. Sure it sounds crazy, but this is a crazy town and running out of one or more beers is standard fare for this town. Wanderlust is the smallest of the Flagstaff breweries, so the fear was even more real.
Sharon and I had the Belgian Pale ale and the Oatmeal Stout as well as the Local Farmhouse. The Belgian Pale Ale was a stand out for me. I have had a few different Belgian IPAs that all tend to be over flavored with different very strong flavors competing for dominance. This beer was flavorful, unique, well balanced and easy to drink, well at least for those of us who like hops. We got our growler filled with the Belgian Pale Ale for $12.
The Farmhouse is smooth, not too dark and has lots of subtle flavors that suggest it’s more mild than it really is. It hides a 7.5% ABV punch.
I look forward for good things to come from Wanderlust.
As most of you have probably heard by now, I am working for American Conservation Experience. This means I am often working in the field for days at a time. For most people this would mean needing a car to haul gear. Not for me, not with my Fargo bicycle.
- Yes I also carried the orange pack in the foreground.
Sure, being a one car household has some to do with riding more, but there is more to it. Living in Flagstaff forces you to up your game.
- It looks awkward but this bike is built to haul and handled surprisingly well.
Here in Flagstaff people haul multiple children simultaneously by bike. Sighting someone riding to work with 60 pounds of gear in the rain is common place. I certainly appreciate being constantly reminded that I should up my game. It feels good to ride strong even when it is uphill, in the rain, with a rig that may be north of 80 pounds.
The Jedi Trail
The Jedi trail is a long standing local staple and goes from the Dry Lake to Little Gnarly near the Shultz Creek Trail junction. The Jedi is known for its many log crossings. One of the hardest ones has been cut out. As you can see by my minor fall, my log crossing skills have gotten a little rusty. Its very rare that some masochist tries to ride it in the uphill direction and its generally ridden down. Its a lot more fun than going down little Gnarly and its also better than going down Lower Brook Bank to Elden Lookout trail.
Jay riding the Pine-Strawberry Trail on his Salsa Fargo
Over the long weekend, Sharon and I agreed we needed to get out and camp somewhere. We decided on Rim Country based on the prediction of perfect weather. The prediction held true. I had a great morning riding the Pine-Strawberry Trail. I rode from our campsite off of Hardscrabble Road up to Fossil Creek Road. This portion of the dirt road was very fast on my bike, a Salsa Fargo 29er. I then took the Fossil Creek Road on through the town of Strawberry and picked up the Pine-Strawberry Trail.
Unfortunately the video footage above is washed out or over exposed. I hope future full sunlight footage will be better, as I plan to get a polarizing filter for the go-pro camera. I was wearing sunglasses, but the mixed shade/sun/shade made it hard for me to see at times. It’s so washed out that it is hard to see, but early on in the video the trail is quite steep and I just let the bike roll, plunging off of multiple ledges. Yes, it was a rough ride on a rigid bike.
I still really want to come back at some point and ride the Highline Trail/ Arizona Trail. Of course, if I am still in northern Arizona I do not think I will want to miss the Fire On The Rim race and festival.