20% More Tailgate Talk – Hawes Trail System

Fred & Emily & Luke


Evening, Peeps!

Fred’s neighbor, Luke, got wind of this little YouTube experiment of ours and asked us if he could take a crack at editing a new episode. It would seem he has some experience in that arena. So we handed over some six hours of 4k video from our last ride out a the Hawes Trail System here in the Phoenix area and Luke went to town.

Now behold, a totally new take on how an Airstream MTB video should be! Please watch it and tell us if the new format works better, the same or worse. Or don’t say anything and just enjoy. We have no pride ;o)

Peace out!

 

This Blows, Mountain Biking Hurricane UT

Emily & Silent Partner


Evening, Peeps!

Yesterday I mentioned we’re at a KOA in St. George Utah. Ok, so technically speaking, we’re actually in Hurricane, UT which is next to St. George.

I suspect Hurricane is called Hurricane because this place blows – literally.

Today it was 43°F (6°C) with 20mph (32kph) winds.  ; o

The Ride

I wasn’t sure what the wind would do to the ride, but today’s journey took us on White Reef Trail to Tipple Trail to Red Reef East Trail to Prospector Trail.

This Blows

My silent Partner bailed early on due to the face-freezing wind but not me, no siree bob, I was on a mission!

White Reef Trail

White Reef doesn’t offer much in the way of views, but it does offer a nice easy warm up. All trails were easy blues, nothing technical just a bit of fitness. Courtesy of our GoPro 7 you can see my POV.

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For me there’s no such thing as a bad day mountain biking, even when my face is frozen in place.

Tipple Trail

Next up, Tipple Trail offered a sweeping view of the surrounding terrain. By this point I was warmed up and the intense wind was at my back offering a nice little assist up the climbs.

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If you’ve ever been to Sedona or Moab this area very much has ‘that’ feel. Replete even with unexpected water crossings.

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Red Reef East Trail

Next in line, the Red Reef East trail takes you directly up against the red cliffs of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.

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Prospector Trail

The Red Reef East dumps you out into a campground so I took the road from the campground to Prospector Trail just to see what’s there.

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I found some hard climbs.

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And some sweet single track.

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I only rode Prospector for 45min or so, but it was a great trail with some pretty intense fitness.

A Followup On My Wölvhammer Boa Winter Cycling Boots

You may be wondering, how’d my winter MTB boots review in a previous post hold up in this cold?

Absolutely fantastic. Warm and lush. In short – perfect!

Tomorrow…

Tomorrow’s our last day here. The weather isn’t supposed to blow, at least not so hard, so I hope to bring back some great pics.

Peace out!

 

Riding the Lake Mountain Spur Trail – Airstreaming the White Mountains

Fred & Emily


Evening, Peeps!

Please join us on our final ride in the White Mountains, this time on the Lake Mountain Spur Trail.

This ride is interesting because that thumbnail above is where we rode in the caldera of an extinct volcano! It looks innocent enough until you realize it’s also at 8500′ (2590m) and the site of former magma flows.

Enjoy!

Riding the White Mountains – Land of the Pioneers Trail

 

Fred & Emily


Morning, Peeps!

As promised, we’re pumping out more content than political ads in October so please enjoy our next trail review for Land of the Pioneers. As before we’re experimenting with ways to make these videos more interesting including a preview during the cold open and split-screen riding.

With that, enjoy the format, see Fred endo and watch us get eaten alive by mosquitoes.

 

Riding the White Mountains – Los Burros Trail

Fred & Emily


Evening, Peeps!

I’ve been remiss – career and life have gotten away from me and the blog has gotten very little love. But fear not, Fred has been busy and we’ve put together a most excellent set of videos reviewing the Los Burros trail, which we rode on our firs day Airstreaming the White Mountains.

We’re having some fun experimenting with format so here’s a long-cut video in our usual style.

And a second video in a more contemporaneous form.

Enjoy our review and please punch the like button on your preferred version of this video!

Airstreaming Louisiana’s Indian Creek Recreation Area

Emily & Silent Partner


Morning, Peeps.

Amazingly, I still haven’t quite finished chronicling our journey across America in the Airstream. Our YouTube channel is keeping us very busy, and to say the least, our appetite to publish content is bigger than our stomachs. Still, I find myself with some time this morning so I thought I would weave together a quick post about another place that stands out in our memories as an extraordinary camping location: The Indian Creek Recreation Area, which sits in the middle of Louisiana’s Alexander Forest Wildlife Management Area.

Our stay-over in Louisiana was essentially accidental, we needed to get from Bentonville, Arkansas to Marianna, Florida – but I didn’t have enough PTO time at work to do the drive over multiple days straight. So we sat down, looked at a map and threw a dart. It landed on Indian Creek Recreation Area as a crude half-way point. Knowing nothing about what to expect we decided to drive from Bentonville, stay in Louisiana for the week, then get to Florida that next weekend. And oh what a lovely coincidence of serendipity that turned out to be.

Booking

Reservations at Indian Creek Recreation Area can be made on Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture & Forestry here. We stayed there in early December so the campground was largely empty. Rates that time a year were roughly around $20/day though incredibly they offered monthly rates, which we came to learn many retirees in the area took liberal advantage of.

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Pads were meticulously clean and in good repair, we had 50 amp service and city water. No sewer though, so we did the dump at one of multiple stations throughout the park on our departure day. Landry and bathroom facilities were available at a central building.

We also scored a clear view of the southern sky so satellite was ‘rockin. And as always, since I program computers for a living we needed good cell internet service and Verizon was clear as a bell.

Amenities & Activities

Indian Creek Lake

Indian Creek Recreation Area abuts Indian Creek Lake. We had an unbelievable view. Mornings were especially amazing.

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There are several pavilions located along the lake and boat launches as well.

Mountain Biking

While there are some hills in Louisiana along the the Arkansas border the terrain quickly flattens out and merges into low-lying forest and swamp as you move south. As such there weren’t any “mountains” to ride here, but there was a lovely nature trail running the perimeter of the recreation area. Speaking with the local rangers they said it was open for biking, though I must admit I did get a strange look when I asked.

As with my rides in Florida, I found this ride to be sublime.

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Certainly not technical but the ride gave me what I needed, which was peace and centering. Deer were a-plenty as was awesome lakeside views, especially in the evening.

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New Friends

By now if you follow our blog it’s clear one of the primary objectives of our cross-America trip was to “get away from it all”. I think our multitude of posts shows we accomplished that in spades, which routinely put us in remote quiet locations with few people. Neither of us are introverted, it’s just sometimes you just need to unplug.

In the case of the Indian Creek Recreation Area, though, we had one of those wonderful chance encounters. We happened across another couple while doing laundry of all things, and got to talking. Char and Danny if you’re out there, hi! Our conversation grew into a friendship and it taught us the true meaning of southern hospitality.

Char introduced me to boudin, which I practically gorged myself on, and Danny taught us about gumbo. Over a few short days we met our new friends for a southern style dinner that blew our socks off. Turned out Char and Danny are retired and kept a brand new trailer in the park for most of the winter and they commuted up from Lafayette during the week. What a great stroke of luck we should meet.

It’s an old trope, but people really are what make places special.

Recommendation

We found Louisiana’s Indian Creek Recreation Area has “it”. If you have the means by all means stay there!

Riding #9415 Wolverton Mountain Trail

Emily & Silent Partner


Afternoon, Peeps!

It’s 4th of July weekend and time to Airstream again! For the next few days we’re up here at Prescott’s White Spar Campground. We already did an extensive review of this area here, so instead we’re using this time to blog about what’s new – in this case, more mountain biking!

To that end, we we rode #9415 Wolverton Mountain Trail this morning.

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The Wolverton Mountain Trail is rated as a blue-black and after comparing notes on the ride we agree with this rating.

This 10-mile (16km) out-and-back begins across from the campground and immediately slaps you in the face with aggressive sustained climbing that meanders anywhere between 5% and 10%.

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I think the trail might be better named “Touched by Fire”, though. The climb takes you through dense scrub and evidence of a terrible forest fire sometime in the past.

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One thing that caught us off guard climbing here was the exposure – there is so little foliage, and so much dead-fall, the temperatures already hit low 90s (33C) by 9AM.

By the end of the ride we’d both worked our way through most of our water.

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The climb consists of moderately technical surface though much of the trail is steep off-camber single-track and crushed rock like this. It never occurred to me why the campground was named “White Spar” but it turns out the term “spar” refers to any bright crystalline substance.

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We only made it 4mi (6.4km) in before turning back, the altitude and heat was getting to us.

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On the descent you are greeted with an extraordinary view; San Francisco Peaks visible in the distance.

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Also we took some time to smell the flowers.

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And… enormous private telescopes?

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Conclusion

We’ll absolutely ride Wolverton Mountain Trail again, probably on Tuesday. By then we should be adjusted to the altitude and we’ll head out a little earlier. Seen you soon with more Airstream updates!