Travel to Arizona

A Meteor, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon

Waking at an RV site in Arizona is unlike most things you will ever do in your life. If you have not done it and you are thinking about where to go and what to see in America, just spend one day watching the sunset and rise over Arizona, a more majestic and beautiful thing you will struggle to find.

Travel To Arizona In February

The days in Arizona are baking hot, the sun relentless in its effort to cook you. The nights contrastingly leave you scrambling for more layers while the beads of sweat that had been rolling down your face turn to ice. Arizona is a desert.

I had managed pain well throughout the entire trip. Painkillers were taken when needed and antiinflammatories were choked down like Skittles. On the route from Winslow to Flagstaff, my right knee burnt, not like a carpet burn, it burnt like it was being heated from the inside out, like somehow my knee was in a microwave. I managed 20 miles with the pain.

Travel To Arizona In August

There were no rest days at all planned across the entire route; the reason for this was that we didn’t have many days spare. I am teacher, first and foremost, and I needed to be back by the start of September for the new term and I also had a rather pressing engagement in Las Vegas. I was getting married a few days after the run was scheduled to be completed. I had given myself a few days of a buffer in case the worst happened and I was not able to keep moving at all. After 20 miles my knee would take no more, I still had 30 miles to complete that day but there was no way that running was an option.

The bike was always there as my plan B, if I couldn’t run anymore. It was according to most a slightly easier way to get the mileage in. Granted, the bike would eat up the miles quicker than running, the problem was, though, that I had spent the previous day on the bike and my body needed the rest. However, there was no other option – it was the bike or stop and I didn’t want to stop.

Travel To Arizona By Train

I pressed as hard and as fast as I could towards Flagstaff, this would be where we would rest for the evening. The ride was spectacular, the combination of scenery and serenity combined was breathtaking.

As we moved along the highway we saw signs for a Meteor Crater’, the team and I decided it was worth a visit and I quickly blasted out the last few miles on the bike. One advantage of doing such a short stint on the bike was that the day was over quite quickly and this meant that my body had a little bit more time to recover.

The Meteor Crater was about 10 miles off the highway, it is sign-posted and it is quite a large tourist attraction, if you are ever in the area. There is little I can say about it to be honest, it’s exactly what it says on the tin, a Meteor Crater. It’s not some little dip in the ground, though, this is massive on a whole new scale. It takes telescopes and binoculars to see across it and there are sight-seeing walks around it. Standing there on the edge of the crater gave me a great sense of how small we are and how something from outer space could cause absolute devastation, if it collided with a city or town. Meteor Crater. On the way to the RV site in Flagstaff I had seen a sign stating that we were 80 miles from the Grand Canyon.

Travel Arizona And New Mexico

I sat quietly for ages, going about my little jobs on the RV, watching people mill around the site. As evening fell and we settled down for something to eat, I asked the team a question. “Guys ” I said in a tone which implied that there was more to come, “it is pointless coming all this way, to America, to Arizona, and not seeing the Grand Canyon.” I was hoping that they would all feel the same way. I told them of the sign I had seen on the drive in and I also told them that if I was on the bike and going well I could knock 80 miles off in a few hours, meaning that day would not be much longer than normal. The answer from the ream was a resounding, “HELL YES!” So it was settled, at 5am the following morning we would head out of Flagstaff and north towards the Grand Canyon.

Plans and maps were stared at throughout the evening, tough areas were pointed out and long sections highlighted on the map. I spoke to the RV site owner; he was a brilliant guide for the area, pointing out where good viewing areas were and where we would be able to park the RV. He told me about the 1,000 foot climb heading out of Flagstaff that might cause me some problems but also that after this it was the most scenic and stunning ride I could possibly imagine – he was not wrong.

Arizona had moved us into another time zone, so we were now 8 hours behind the UK. It was 5am in Flagstaff when we departed the RV site, excitement and anticipation filled the air. I tucked in behind the RV and hit my straps early, we were off. As I cycled towards the outskirts of the town I looked to my right as a deer ran parallel to me, gracefully and camply prancing its way through the field, barely touching the ground. It parted company with me after half a mile and disappeared into the woods that surrounded Arizona.

I continued out of the town and began the ascent, it was going to take me from the 7,000 feet we had got to in Flagstaff up to 8,000 feet at the top. It sounds hard and awful, and to tell you it wasn’t would be a lie. I slogged my way up the hill, feeling like at any point snails would come zooming past me. I reached the summit, breathing heavy, almost wheezing, but I did it. As my wheels ticked over the top I saw a sign. This was a sign that was foreign to me so far on this trip. Downhill’ the sign read, 6% decline, check your brakes’, I did no such thing, I was off. I was a blur of white and ginger as I shot down the slope, my speedometer almost breaking on the way down.

Since arriving home and talking to people about my adventures, I am ofen asked what the best bit was or which bit I would like to do again. When I answer I always say that descent. If ever you get the chance to go to America and cycle, choose the route from Flagstaff to Cameron, heading North on the 89. I assure you this is the most fun you will have ever have on a bike, whether you like cycling or not.

As we arrived at the south rim of the Canyon, we parked up the RV and I decided to get changed. I thought it best not to visit one of the world’s most amazing natural attractions with my sponge sticking out – I thought it would probably tarnish the memory a tad.

Leave a Reply

+ forty = forty one