Colorado to California
Well, all good things must come to an end and so shall Bike & Build. I am currently in Brawley, California and only have three more days until the end of Bike & Build. Because of this fact, I am making my final blog two parts: part one, from Utah to here and part two, the last three days and some final reflections on the program. I will have them both up within the next week. I hope you enjoy them!
Our route since last blog:
Cortez, CO to Bluff Utah (89 miles, went to the four corner monument)
Bluff, UT to Kayenta, AZ (75 miles)
Kayenta, AZ to Tuba City, AZ (73 miles)
Tuba City, AZ to THE GRAND CANYON!!! (85 miles, 4,000 ft climbing)
Day off at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon to Williams, AZ (75 miles)
Williams, AZ to Prescott, AZ (73 miles)
2 Build Days
Prescott, AZ to Wickenburg, AZ (55 miles)
Wickenburg, AZ to Salome, AZ (60 miles)
Salome, AZ to Blythe CA (60 miles)
Blythe, CA to Brawley, CA (89 miles)
I mentioned this last blog, but I want to bring the issue up again because it turned out so well for me! I never got sick! Of the 33 people on the trip, I was one of 3 who never got sick. I blame my strong immune system for miles of travel through China and Brazil, but it was probably just luck. Either way, I rule.
Navajo Reservation (UT and AZ):
This is one of the most depressing places I have ever visited in my life. In Tuba City the unemployment rate is 63%, there is an incredibly high alcoholism percentage, high levels of obesity, and they can’t legally sell alcohol on the reservation! To be completely honest, this was probably the most eye-opening experience of the entire trip because it was reminiscent of a third world country. The only other place I have see so much abject poverty was deep in the Amazon – and this is in the heart of the America!
I finally got to go climbing! While everyone else was throwing up their toe nails, I went with a couple locals up into the bluffs and saw some old cave dwellings. It was some good climbing and really enjoyable watching Rachel crawl along ledges (she is scared of heights).
THE GRAND CANYON:
First, go see it. It is unbelievable. Second, We got a day off here, which meant that I recharged my body from days of lack of sleep and disease fighting. They also have a Grand Canyon Brewing company that makes a tasty “Starry Night Stout.”
Williams and Prescott, AZ:
Williams is a cute little town caught in the crossroads of historic Route 66 and the Grand Canyon. It is a lovely town but super touristy. The church we stayed in was great and all the shops were a lot of fun. This was the last night for one of the girls on the trip (the one who took me to the Sadie Hawkins dance) and so we got a little wild in this small town. It was too much fun – we hung out with locals and learned why the world was going to end while they bought us drinks. Williams also has one of the coolest coffee shops I have ever been too. It’s a touch expensive but it loves bikers.
Prescott is also gorgeous. It is a weird mixture between Wild West and hippie environmentalism and overall a fun place. They have a yummy brewery called “Prescott Brewing Company” and lots of places to buy fun little artifacts. My favorite part of this town was certainly my evening with Uncle Ray, Aunt Shirley, Heidi Bender and two friends of theirs. We had great conversations, they fed me steak, and then they let me take a steak back to the school site so I could enjoy a second day of deliciousness. Thanks for everything! It was a highlight of Arizona.
Wickenburg is a cute little town that really reminds you of the Wild West. It is at the bottom of 2,500 ft descent (in 4 miles) and was our first images of the desert. I learned that there are two types of deserts – hi and low – with one containing shrubs and greenery and the other very barren. We experienced the first in Wickenburg and the second in Eastern California. I also got to eat and chat with Bruce and Jodi Frazier and had a great time learning about Arizona and why they moved out here. Another awesome highlight of Arizona!
WE MADE IT!!!! Check out the sweet pictures I took with the state sign.
Blythe and Brawley:
It is great to be in California and really wild to see how quickly the topography changes between Arizona and California. For instance, California has three times the palm trees, has more plantations and also has more “traditional” deserts. The region between Blythe and Brawley is home to the dunes where Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi was filmed. I was so excited for these dunes that I made a video of myself in front of them that I am going to show my brothers because they will appreciate it. Also, Playboy was filming in these dunes as some of the riders went through the dunes – sadly, I rode fast that day and missed them by about 3 hours. I did not miss the pictures our riders took however.
I think I have rambled enough for now. Part II to come shortly. Miss you and love you all.
Live. Love. Ride.