Half a week, we haven’t yet done all the riding here that we want to, that wonderful kind of place. It’s taken serial afternoon bright sun to dry out this big loop to the north, and even still we reach a section with churning clinging mud, bail to the road to ride around it to protect the trails, carry on. Rob and I talk about his builds for the upcoming NAHBS, Oregon grey, the way cycling can lift and crush. Mostly we rail and sprint and spring in silence.
Sedona offers so much, endless traction sandstone, staircase drops through narrow canyon cuts, float across a wash, drift through mushy snowpatch. We’ll slalom switchbacks back and forth until the tap tap repetition is mantra.
One morning he introduces himself as “Thor,” I chuckle to cover a wince as he’s shaking my hand. Son in law of the hotel owner, helping out around the lodge for a few weeks, recently from Montana. I make a joke about his mother’s prescience in naming him, did she really know he turn out to be 6’5″, which he corrects to 6-7, 290 lbs., but he’s the “runt of the brothers, my dad was 6-11.” He’s jolly grin gregarious and might he join us tomorrow, sure, that’ll be fun, and it is as we wag our heads at how he dwarfs the XL bike.
Thor has roughneck stories, time spent as a photographer overseas, tales of playing tackle on the University of Idaho gridiron team. Grateful for his levity, when he peels off we promise to ride someday together again.
We continue on to a lookout to find some folks bending and genuflecting into the clefts and waves of the rock formations. Maybe these aren’t our poses, but the reverence makes sense.
Wake up and all there’s to do is ride more of these textures, the confine is the meditation of it. Tonight we’ll load up the bags and collect every last thing we brought in order to start the trip southward.