Exploring Arizona 4 – New Friends

New Friends

I went back to camp at the same area as two trips ago – the place where it rained for two days while I was there. This time, I had 6 days of absolutely perfect weather there. Also, I met some new friends.

I had been wanting to find a place near Phoenix to camp – somewhere still down in the desert but not all messed up with trash, noise and shooting. I asked on the CheapRVLiving.com forums and members there recommended a place just southwest of Phoenix. I was excited to go there.

My mom visited Phoenix for over a week, and I stayed in the city then. After she left the city and I was ready to go camping, it was hot in Phoenix, so I decided to go up in elevation rather than the hot desert spot.

Campsite:

New Friends

 

Mom’s Advice:

My mom said I should post more pictures of myself here. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures, but never of myself. When I looked at my Instagram Feed after she asked, I noticed I hadn’t posted a picture of myself for many months. I suppose some pictures of me would make it more personal and more interesting. So, I took a few of myself on this trip. More coming in the future. My grandma once told me I could be a male model. She’s probably the most biased person in the world, and that was like 15 years ago.. Anyways,… here’s a start:

New Friends

New Friends

New Friends

The Weather

I don’t see how it could get any better:

  • ~75 degree highs
  • ~55 degree lows
  • Slight breeze
  • Sunny nearly all day every day

Bike Rides

I went for two bike rides along the Forest Service Road I was camped by. The road goes about 8 miles into the forest, eventually hitting a wilderness boundary and hiking trailhead. I rode out and back both times  and it was fucking amazing. I recorded some more footage with the GoPro. It really doesn’t do the views justice.

Someone recently asked if I record any different views while riding so I tried turning the camera around. It works pretty well, and now you get to look at my crotch a bunch 😛

 

New Friends from Instagram

I met a couple name Dan and Cindy and they camped with me for two days. Dan had sent me some messages on Instagram. Him and Cindy live in Tuscon and had a trip planned to go to Havasapai falls at the Grand Canyon. I was pretty much on their way, so they stopped to hang out a while.

You can find out a bit about them at:

I’m just going to post a picture of my journal entry from the day after we parted. My handwriting has really went downhill since I stopped working. I used to write a lot by hand at work, and since I quit, I’ve done very little. If I start posting journal tidbits like this regularly, that will give me a good reason to improve.

New Friends - Journal - Handwriting
The blurred part is nothing bad. It’s just something about them that I’m not sure whether they want shared publicly.

New Friends

 

New Friends

 

New Friends - Journal - Handwriting

 

New Friends

 

New Friends

New Bike

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

I traveled through West Yellowstone (again), Bozeman, Missoula, and others, arriving in Spokane. I’d been thinking about buying a new bike (well, used), and I found a good one in Spokane.

Driving to Spokane

After camping in Shoshone, I drove back to West Yellowstone. I had some mail there. I had also ordered a new micro SD card for my GoPro. When recording, the GoPro was often pausing on its own and putting gaps in the video. Although I think the card I was using has a high enough transfer speed for HD video, after making sure it wasn’t due to overheating, that was the next thing to try. 

New bike spokane bozeman missoula  

Once in West Yellowstone, I realized that the carrier for the SD card was UPS, and that they won’t/can’t deliver to the post office as General Delivery. (I assume now that the Post Office refuses since they would be rendering me service with no pay). So I drove up to Bozeman Friday evening to pick up the package before the UPS place closed for the weekend. Then I hung out in Bozeman a couple days. It’s a nice town. Next, I took the Interstate northwest to Missoula, and then continued along highway(?) 200. 

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

200 was a nice drive. Next summer I definitely want to spend more time around here, and also along the area between West Yellowstone and Bozeman. I stopped for a night in Noxon.

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

New bike spokane bozeman missoula 

New Bike

I brought a road bicycle along with me. I prefer riding outside of cities – out in rural areas on roads without much traffic. This results in me wanting to ride more while I’m outside of cities, in a camping spot, likely on Forest Service roads. I went for a ride from a camping spot in Colorado once. It was a wonderful area. The forest service roads weren’t that bad, and there was a gravel road that I wanted to explore. I’m used to riding road tires on crushed stone paths – which are generally very hard packed and have just a little bit of loose rock and only a few sections of what I’d call normal gravel. Riding on real gravel roads is another thing. The road I went down had a LOT of washboarding, and had some deep/soft gravel. I went too fast down some washboard sections which resulted in a flat tire and my saddlebag attachment breaking and the bag falling off. (The bag attachment part is plastic and it was already cracked). 

So, I need wider tires. My road frame could probably accept tires around 25mm or MAAYBE about 28. I want to use wider than that. I started looking at Cyclocross and Gravel bikes. I don’t want a full-on Mountain bike because I will still ride on paved roads and I don’t want to be limited by the gearing. This also meant that about half of the cyclocross bikes (which have only one chainring) wouldn’t work either. I searched the Craigslist postings for Bozeman, Spokane, Seattle, and Vancouver, and found some good options. Vancouver was a very real possibility because of the favorable exchange rate. I’d saw a bike I liked in Spokane and made plans to meet the guy to check it out…  

The bike looked good, and I bought it. It’s a Felt F65x Cyclocross bike. It’s a mid-level bike. I love buying things at prices that are near or at full depreciation, and that’s what I did here. New, the bike costs $1,500 or more. The guy had a $1,000 price on his ad. We agreed on $700. The bike was practically new. He got it a year or less ago. He has many bikes, and it appears he didn’t get around to riding this one much. 

New bike spokane bozeman missoulaHere, I’ve started moving components over from my road bike. I moved the seat, handlebars, stem, pedals, and bottle cages. Because of the angle, my road bike looks like it’s smaller than the new bike. It’s actually not, other than a slight different in the wheelbase. 

My 23mm road tires vs the 33mm tires on the new bike. The next set of tires I get may be 38mm. 

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

With everything moved over (except bottle cages) and the bars taped up. 

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

This bike has a lot of modern bike features I’ve never experienced: 11 speed drivetrain, disc brakes, internal cable routing, tubeless comparable wheels (though they don’t have tubeless tires on them now).

New bike spokane bozeman missoula

The frame is definitely not as nice as the old bike (it doesn’t smooth out the bumps nearly as well), but the wider tires with less air pressure will make up for some of that.

The van was a total mess inside while I had the two bikes. I got a cardboard bike box from a shop,  packed up the road bike, and mailed it to a family member to store in their basement. 

I’ve went for a few rides now on the new bike and it’s working great. My knees are giving me a bit of trouble – hurting after the riding. I think some of it is due to small differences with the new bike (probably some slight difference in bottom bracket and crank arm widths – which cause the pedals to be slightly closer or further apart), and some of it is because I’m just using them a lot more and differently than I have been over the last couple years. So I need to make sure I work up my use and intensity gradually.