As I squeezed the last few items into my backpack and forcefully tried to cinch the zipper closed I took one last look towards Willcox scanning the vast rolling plains and blowing yellow grass. The grassland stretched on as far as I could see, occasional trees were visible above the grass, like green buoys swaying in a vast yellow ocean. I guess that’s why they call it a sky island. As we began pedaling, the wind brutally pushed us backwards and sideways. It took a lot of strength to steady my loaded down bike. I focused on spinning, circle after circle, even though my legs were already aching from our seven mile hike that morning. We were less than a mile into our 64 mile trek and I wasn’t about to let negative thoughts creep in now. I smiled at Ryan and kept pedaling, but when a group of four cows stopped dead in their tracks and stared us down like we were lunatics on parade I started to wonder if maybe we were a little bit crazy for taking on a weekend trip through the Chiricahua Mountains.
Last weekend Ryan and I set out on our first bikepacking trip. Our plan was to leave Thursday evening and ride 118 miles (with around 13,000 feet of climbing) to Prescott, arriving on Saturday afternoon. For the past two months we planned our route, read about bikepacking and bought our gear. The week before our trip the forecast did not look great; Thursday was forecasted to be over 100°F, just like Ironman Coeur D’Alene! In hindsight we should have changed our plans when we saw the forecast, but we were too excited and forged ahead. (more…)
Ryan and I have been planning a new adventure for a few weeks now and its finally starting to take shape. Next month we will embark on our first bikepacking trip. For those that don’t know, bikepacking is essentially backpacking on a mountain bike. We have been doing a lot of research on different blogs and websites to find out what to expect, what gear to use and how to plan for a trip. Thus far, everything we have read suggests starting out with a short, low mileage, overnight bikepacking trip. So naturally, we planned a ride from our house in Cave Creek to Prescott, which will likely be around 105 miles, with just shy of 11,000 feet of climbing! I’m pretty sure that doesn’t qualify as a short, low mileage trip, but neither of us are known to shy away from a challenge. (more…)