Tag Archives: Prescott

Post from Jay, Mountain Biking in The Dells, Prescott


Well I am sure some of you are wondering why all the beer and bacon lately?, where has Jay been riding in the last few weeks?  Well, the last off road ride I got to do was some time near the end of August.  That ride was in The Dells near Willow Lake, which is the Granite boulder filled area of Prescott, Arizona.  This area is filled with trails that are routed on solid rock.  I was lucky enough to have my brother and dad join me for this ride.  We went into the new subdivision for older adults and parked there.  From there we went to the huge slick solid rock area shown below to play.  The short trail that takes you here is tough with lots of steep rock faces.


From here we went to the Willow Lake Loop. This is one of the toughest trails in the area and following the dotted white lines over boulders and rock piles along the lake shore is really challenging; plenty of steep stuff, tight turns and up and down. This thing is way harder than the famous Slick Rock Loop Trail in Moab, Utah. This is where the ride went wrong for me. I was up on a narrow series of rocks piled up to provide a somewhat rideable line over a boulder and my front wheel got caught in a rut causing me to come to a stop. I then faltered, tried to regain my balance, and fell over with my left foot caught. My foot remained caught and wrenched my tours in an odd direction. We decided to turn around and ride the adjacent area.


This area is an entire new stacked loop system in its own right, that will eventually connect with the Willow Lake system, which already connects with the well known Peavine Trail. You can see more about this new area and watch a helmet can video on PMBA’s website here More reasons why Prescott is becoming a mountain bike hotspot.



By the time we returned to the car, my foot was swollen and not feeling good at all.

Fast forward to staying with Rachel and Luke… Rachel, who just became a doctor in May, looked over my foot. She said it is very likely a break of the third meta tarsal, the bone that the middle toe connects to. It still hurts and I have been trying to kick back and take it easy, which is not something I’m used to.

Photo Review: northern Arizona

Granite Dells, Prescott

Granite Dells, Prescott

Granite Dells, Prescott

Granite Dells, Prescott

Grand Canyon, Mohave point

Grand Canyon, Mohave point

Grand Canyon girl at geology center

A girl checking out the view from the Geology center at the Grand Canyon

bird at Grand Canyon

Bird near Kolb Studio on the South Rim

Grand Canyon at sunset

Grand Canyon at sunset

visitor watching sunrise on South Rim of the Grand Canyon

visitor watching sunrise on South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon sunrise

Grand Canyon sunrise

couple at sunrise Grand Canyon

couple at sunrise on the South Rim

bird taking flight south rim


Sunset at Mohave point

Sunset at Mohave point

Prescott, Arizona – “Raising the Bar” in Trail Building

These 5.5 hours of volunteer work were made possible by Mariel Tewksbury and Nathan Norton.  Thank you for your support!  To find out about how you can help us stay on the road and give back CLICK HERE.

Sharon's bike on Peavine Trail

This past Saturday we had the opportunity to ride in Prescott, Arizona.  I have been to Prescott many times, but I had never ridden my bike there.   The day before we left I asked Jay if he thought there would be any trails suitable for me to ride.  He explained that Prescott is quickly becoming a premiere mountain bike destination and it prides itself on having a trail system that will appeal to riders at all levels.  After discovering this detailed map [PDF] from the City of Prescott, I was excited to check it out.  I ended up riding the Peavine Trail (with one failed side trail attempt) and Jay rode with his father and brother on the very technical Willow Lake trail in the Granite Dells.  I can’t wait to go back with more time to explore all of the beginner and intermediate trails.

the Dells view from Peavine Trail

the view from the Peavine Trail in an area called The Dells

After a little online research, I discovered that the local IMBA club, Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance would be hosting a trail day on the Circle Trail the following day with the Prescott National Forest.  It turns out that PMBA usually gathers a crew once a month and the City of Prescott coordinates a crew called the Over the Hill gang to work on local trails once a week.

As Chris Hosking, the trail specialist for the City of Prescott, says in this video, the trail building work he is doing with the Over the Hill gang is “raising the bar” for how trails can be built and maintained.  I love this.  I love that these older adult volunteers are raising expectations for what a volunteer crew can accomplish.  Also, I love that Chris and the City of Prescott is supporting them and rising to the challenge to build more and better trail systems.

Rob Hehlen teaching about trail building

Rob Hehlen teaching about trail building

When I joined the monthly volunteer crew on Sunday to work on the Circle Trail I was very impressed with the number of hard workers who came out and the skills they brought to the effort.  This work day was hosted by the Prescott National Forest and the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance.  It was a unique experience because the trail designer, Rob Hehlen, was there and taught us the proper technique for building trail by hand.  He also shared his process for choosing the route that the trail will take, starting with topographical maps in the office and then moving to the field, tromping through the brush to envision a 50 mile trail loop around the City of Prescott.  If you would like to see a presentation he put together about the Circle Trail, click HERE to download the powerpoint.

Sharon at Trail building in Prescott

Feeling a sense of accomplishment after a few hours of serious labor

30th Week In Review: Reconnecting

Ducks on Granite Basin Lake

the view from the Peavine Trail in Prescott, AZ

I’ve felt more anxious and emotional this week and I think it is because we are back in our old home of Flagstaff spending a lot of time with family and friends.  In other words, we are reminded of what we do not have on the road.  Every time we see our niece Laya, I am reminded of how much time has passed and the day to day experiences we have missed.  At least we circle through Arizona enough that she remembers us, even remembers our special yoga time (which she sometimes calls yogurt).  When we keep moving, constantly packing or unpacking the car, maintaining forward momentum, I am able to push thoughts of home and family to the back of my mind and live in the moment of each new place.  It is a selfish way to live.  Our acknowledgement of that is part of what pushes us so hard to give back and stay connected.

Laya playing on toy laptop

Our 2 year old niece Laya playing on her toy laptop

Of course what has made this week awesome is seeing so many family and friends in Flagstaff and Prescott.  Today, we will head to the Grand Canyon.  It is a place that holds special significance for us.  Jay and I first started getting interested in one another on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon almost eight years ago when we were both students in Grand Canyon Semester.  Jay can even trace part of his ancestry back to one of the native tribes that lives in the canyon.  We are meeting up with a friend who we met during that semester and I’m sure we will be awed and inspired by that incredible landscape which has amazed people for millennium.

Saturday we head to Las Vegas and then on towards southern Utah where we will spend the first half of September.

Hours volunteered: 5 1/2 hours – Sharon built trail in Prescott, Arizona (Jay would have come too except he injured his foot the day before

States: 1 – Arizona: Flagstaff, Prescott, Grand Canyon

Budget: under

People Visited: the volunteers and staff at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, Millie Randel & Ken Brack, Nate & Nicole and Laya Holt, Morgan & Cindi Holt, LinMarie DiCianni, Wenda Meyer, Eleanor Mooney, Kirstin Heins

Nights under the stars: 0

Best meal: we were treated to several nice meals by Millie and Ken; we also had the chance to eat at our favorite restaurant in Flagstaff, Hiro’s Sushi Bar

Best beer: Ska Brewing’s Mexican Logger

10th Week in Review – T-7 Days to Re-Launch

T-7 days – We have a reLaunch date for Service Driven!

Lynx Lake

The view of Lynx Lake from the Lynx Lake cafe

We are so excited that Jay is about 95% recovered and we can get back to our grand adventure.  This Saturday, the date of Nate’s wedding, will be exactly one month from the accident.  The recovery period has given us the opportunity to see Phoenix in its spring splendor, fix up the car, and spend a lot more quality time with Jay’s relatives.  Last week we visited Jay’s grandma Millie and her SO, Ken in Dewey Arizona.  She took us to the Lynx Lake Cafe and the Highlands Center for Natural History, which were beautiful.  Millie also helped Sharon trace the Tewksbury genealogy (a practice she is an expert at).  Hopefully I will have more to share on that story later.

Please remember to VOTE for us everyday in the Travel for Good contest.  The bills have started to arrive for Jay’s medical expenses, so now we know for sure that if we win this contest we may be able to come out close to even.

lizard at Highlands Nature Center Prescott

Lizard that posed for us at the Highlands Center for Natural History in Prescott

Hours volunteered: Sharon sold event cards at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival (4 hours)

States: Arizona — Phoenix and Dewey

Budget: under

People Visited: the whole Arizona crew – Jay’s relatives, neighbors and friends.  Jay got to celebrate with the guys at Nate’s bachelor party

Nights under the stars: 0

Best meal: pub food at the Garage at 1534 E. Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix

Best beer:  Mothership Wit, by New Belgium

Fifth Week in Review – Back To Our Familiar Surroundings

This week took us on a short loop from Phoenix back to Phoenix via Prescott, Flagstaff (2 hours from Phoenix), Cottonwood, and Prescott again.  We spent much of the week with Jay’s grandmother Millie and her significant other, Ken.  We also spent two nights in Flagstaff hosted by Sharon’s former colleague, Wenda and her four dogs.

Jay makes a new friend, Shellie, at Wenda's

Hours volunteered: 11 hours (combined) at the Viola Awards for Flagstaff Cultural Partners

States:   Arizona

Budget: under

People Visited: Millie Randel (Jay’s grandmother), Ken Brack, Wenda Meyer, Kathy Farretta, Shannon Benjamin, Belinda Donahue, Cathy Tomasi, LinMarie DiCianni, Rick Brazil

Nights under the stars: 0

Best meal: Hiro’s Sushi

Best beer: Lumberyard Red Ale

That's how they roll in Cottonwood, AZ