This post is WAY past due.  We’ll try to summarize, a lot!

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Our initial goal was Indian Creek for two days then off to Joshua Tree National Park for a month.  True to the “MaryGreg & Beth Misadventure” style, that didn’t pan out well.  We ended up in Southern Utah for a week and didn’t make it out of Arizona until just before Christmas!

Since we lacked a rigid agenda we were able to visit Mexican Hat, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon which were all unexpected detours.  Words do not describe these places, so I won’t try:

After our detours we were itching to climb again.  Well, the itching was mainly because we hadn’t showered in 4 or 5 days… and that was as distant as our last day of climbing!  To relieve both itches we went the climbing gym in Flagstaff. The routes weren’t that great but nothing compares to Movement Climbing and Fitness. Nonetheless we were itch free.

The next morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise, but the happiness soon subsided. We learned that our little Willow, the mouse, wasn’t feeling very well and is now no longer part of the petting zoo. So long little friend.

We made a stop in Phoenix to spend Thanksgiving with MB’s longest standing friend (see Random Tale I). They live near the base of South Mountain Park. Before the feast began I was able to get in a nice little mountain bike ride (Thanks Andy!).

Taking suggestions from our friends Erika & Robb (from Colorado) and Bob & Vera (from the UK) we headed for Tucson and Mt. Lemmon.  At a first glance Tucson is kind of a hole. Just concrete, cars, and strip malls. We had NO IDEA what Climbing magazine was talking about, “#1 Place to live for climbing”?!!! Even at second glance it’s, well kind of a hole.  However there were two exceptions: Café Poca Cosa and climbing on Mt. Lemmon are pretty fantastic!

Additionally, there happened to be several mountain bike trails around.  On our rest day we were able to ride right from our house (the camper duh!) through Tucson Mountain Park.  I have to say, whipping through pine trees at high speed is WAY different than Saguaro cactus. Note to self: keep elbows IN!

-G

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