Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Jack(Coconino Nat'l Forest) to Flagstaff April 23

April 23. 45.27 miles in 4:11. A quick look at my odometer today showed a total of 5,726 miles since departing North Carolina in October. Today started a little cooler than yesterday, and topped out in the sixties. The sun was nice, the cool headwind, not so nice. About five miles into the ride, I came to a Forest Rangers office, and I stopped in and asked their opinion about my animal experience yesterday. They say that it was almost definitely coyotes that I saw. They left the door open for the possibility of a wolf however. I guess they have a problem with wolves that have been bred with dogs, then released into the wild when the breeder can't get rid of them, or the owner figures out that he can't quite turn the animal into a lapdog. The one who followed me seems to fit the description of a crossbreed. I also spoke with some turkey hunters at the ranger station. When they found out I lived in Pennsylvania, they started telling me how legendary PA deer season is to the people here. It's about as legendary as elk hunting is out here to Pennsylvanians. After they pulled out and left, I saw a huge turkey run across the road with a smile on its face.
My ride on Lake Mary Road, or county forest road 3, was pleasant, with little traffic, and no animals. I was told by the ranger that this road is a famous motorcycle route, and I did see quite a few. It is also an alternate route, when they close I-40 for snow storms or dust storms, which happens more than you would think. Not today though. I spent the day rolling up and down between 6800 and 7500 ft in elevation. I dropped down out of the National Forest to a village called Mormon Lake. I went out my way about eight miles to loop around and check out the village and lake. The village had expensive log homes surrounded by ponderosa pines, probably all owned by rich Phoenix desert people. The lake was pretty big at one time, but it was dried up. It looked like a grass meadow with a creek running through it. From there it was a pretty flat shot for the final ten miles into Flagstaff. The road followed a long narrow lake, Lake Mary, that had water, even though it also looked low. There were a dozen or so boaters fishing, as well as some shore fishing going on.
The road also had bike lanes from Mormon Lake to Flagstaff, and there were quite a few serious looking bikers heading out if town as I was coming into town. I had a flat tire today, for the first time since Florida, I think. I noticed my tire going low very early in the ride, and I stopped and pumped it up. It lasted about eight miles with a very slow leak, then I pumped it up again. I really wanted to make it home to put a thorn proof tube in, but after stopping six or seven times to pump it up ( and admire the scenery ), I gave up and changed tubes. It was on the back tire, which is a pain in the butt to change on the side of the road. I never did find the cause of the leak, but it was smooth sailing from there.

This tree was split in the middle

Surprise!  Going up again!

Coconino Forest with the Ponderosa pines and grass.  We don't see much grass out here!
Across Lake Mary - quite a view!

Population varies from season to season.

Still going up!

View from the motor home.  Yes Daddy, I did  stop and pull over!

Our campground for the next few days - Woody Mtn.   Did we forget to mention that it is on the famous and historic Route 66????

So I finally found an easy way to publish Mike's travels! It shows his travels from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to today's arrival in Flagstaff, Arizona!

                            Mike took this video while he was riding today.  Enjoy the trip!

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