Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, June 22, 2013

JacobThis Lake, AZ to Kanab, Utah June 17

31.5 miles in 2:30. June 17. Today was a descent day, as I flew down US 89A on the north side of the mountain range that I climbed the other day to get to Jacob Lake. I had 900 ft of climbing mixed into the rolling mountain ridge before the big drop. I whizzed down 3000 ft of drop, all the time looking at the beautiful red, white, and grey cliffs on the opposite side of the valley that I was dropping into. What I was looking at was more of the Vermillion Cliffs of which I have spoken so fondly. As I dropped, the temperature soared. I went from cool mountain breezes to desert temps in the 90's....again. I began noticing trouble with the derailleur on my bike, as I no longer have some of my gears. Fortunately it is the speed gears, and not my climbing gears.
It wasn't a very long ride today because things got messed up by a polygamist sect of Mormons! Plans were to ride to a town called Colorado City, about a 60 mile ride. When Pam began searching for camping there, we found out that there were no accommodations for travelers, and she read some things that made her believe that they were a very guarded, suspicious, group, that really didn't want the outside world in their business. The next town was another 25 miles across the desert floor, so we decided to pull up early, rather than risk another cramping and dehydration event. We stopped in Kanab, which is a neat little town built on the area tourist industry. We still had to go to Colorado City, however, because Buddy had sent some mail, general delivery, to their post office. We Jeeped it, and got our mail, and also had our eyes opened to a very unique lifestyle in the town. We saw women and children dressed like we see Amish people dress, and we saw 12 year old boys driving huge tractors down the streets. We didn't see many men ( I think they were worn out). The lady at the post office was friendly, not wary of us at all. (She probably doesn't have to work too hard to take care of her one half of the husband). I probably shouldn't joke, but I am anyhow.
On the way back to Kanab, we stopped at the Pipe Spring National Monument, on the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, and took in a presentation on the local history. A Paiute ranger named Ben, gave us a brief story of the Mormon/Indian relations of the area. After sort of quizzing us to make sure we weren't Mormon, he told the history of the ranch we were on, and how the spring, and water determined the occupancy of the place throughout history. He really pussyfooted around some of the stories, trying not to offend, or say the wrong things, but he definitely hinted that the Mormans and the US government made mistakes as far as his people were concerned. It was all very interesting, and what he told us, along with stories that others have told us, make us both think that the Mormans aren't as holy as people think they are. Next time a white-shirted member of the Latter Day Saints comes on my porch and tries to convert me, I've got some questions for him! Or maybe I'll just run the other way.

Coming off the mountain from Jacob Lake

All this cycling is starting to age Mike!

A stand just inside Utah that was selling limestone items.  It was an honor  system - pick your item and put the money in the iron box!  And yes, Mike did buy a few items......

Ben, our Paiute ranger giving us a tour.

Pipe Spring was a farm with real animals!

Finally got him to pose!

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