Doug And Joannie. Jan 2-11 2015Due to a change in work schedule, and deferment of retirement plans, this was to be my last period of two weeks off consecutively. Damn the bad luck! I felt enormous pressure to make it worth while.
Desperate measures, last minute plans, made, discarded, modified, and finally put in motion. The plans even changed and evolved during the execution. But in the end, as always, good times were had.
We loaded up and headed out of town for Sedona Arizona. The initial idea was to hit some of the great mountain biking and rock climbing in the region while it was cool enough. It turned out to be plenty cool. The system that blew through right before I got off work left the area blanketed in snow. We arrived to several inches still on the ground with the melt out, then dry out still to occur. And while the local shops were positive it would all be good in just a few days, I was in no mood to wait.
So for the 2nd time in as many years, Vegas provided the back-up plan. A day back tracking then 3 days riding perfect trails in perfect weather. A day was spent busting the technical trails of Bootleg canyon accompanied by our dog Topaz, another doing the mellow Blue Diamond loop, again with Topaz and a final ride on the Cottonwood Valley trail system. Interestingly I took a 'black diamond' variant that would barely make intermediate at Bootleg.
|Blue Diamond Loop|
|Sign signifying Old Spanish Trail|
|Cottonwood trail system|
Cottonwood trails video
The following day was, for me to be a technical canyoneering day. Joannie was going to take a day off, go sight seeing and just enjoy the warmth and serentity of Death Valley.
|Topaz couldn't pull off the pose|
Deimos Canyon video
|The rig on Bad Water Road|
A last night at our solitary plateau campsite outside the park boundry only to awake to a flat tire on the rear of the truck. (Time to refill the Karma bank). The first attempt to jack the truck resulted in nothing more than pressing the jack into the dried clay bed. Eventually I dug and built a rock platform and of course successfully got the tire changed. We stopped at the Olancha dunes on the way home and ran Topaz in the sand, and then ...it was over.