A storm brought friends and and unforgettable holiday.

The news of our friends Nicholas Carmen and Lael Wilcox coming to town was very exciting news. Especially since the following week was Thanksgiving, and for the first time in what seems like forever I had the entire weekend off. An unsettling storm in Arizona had brought our favorite gypsy’s to our neck of the desert, for what was supposed to be just a few short days…Image

We were apparently having too much fun riding in the first snow of the season,Image

and eating New Mexican food, that those short days turned into almost a week.

With thanksgiving rapidly approaching and days off at the bike shop, unexpected, but welcome. The four of us devise a plan that would meet all our needs, camping for Thanksgiving, and getting our gypsy friends closer towards Arizona.Image

We headed for Grants, NM. To ride south towards Pie Town along the Continental Divide trail, and pitch tent along with such numerous possibilities as the BLM can offer.Image

Nick has ridden the whole dived twice now, but this is my first glimpse of it since only moving here last spring. Needles to say, I am very excited to ride any part of it!Image

Along the trail we find freshly grated dirt roads with little moisture, until we hit higher elevation.ImageImage

Some snow still around from the storm that our friends were trying to avoid. This was only true at 8200 feet or so and along the shadowy side of this peak.ImageImage

After a grand Thanksgiving feast over the fire, we pass out and awoke to beautiful sunshine.Image

Our dog pepper absolutely loves the snow.Image

Typical New Mexican Corral. looks intact mostly.Image

Ready for another day of riding!Image

Here we find what we kept calling cookies and cream. The volcanic rocks of El Malpais National forest covered in snow as far as the eye can see.Image

Nick doing what he does best.Image

The sign did warn us it would be impassable when wet, but we pressed on… ImageImage

For a while at least, till drive trains are clogged, and conditions get worse.Image

So we turn back, towards Zuni Canyon.Image

Lael still has some mud troubles… Meanwhile the two capable mechanics sit by and watch… so nice of us…Image

Freshly grated dirt roads, mean optimal speeds.Image

As well as breathtaking views. After were done, we load up the car and head for Flagstaff (which Nick and Lael had been boasting about for nigh the entire week). Arriving after dark, we grab some food and a quick beer at a local tap and camp just outside of town.Image

A view from inside our tent as Mel and I both thought the pup was being cute enough to be picture worthy… party grammin?Image

National forest just 10 Miles outside of Flagstaff, we awoke to no sunshine, but a breathtaking view nonetheless.Image Mel didn’t want to get out…

We part ways just after noon, Mel and I were exploring town a bit having never been there, and Nick and Lael were doing laundry, fixing bikes, and planning there next move. It was a sad day, we could have spent so much more time with those two. All in all, it was a fantastic week. Never have we made such quick friends in which we had such long involved conversations, and yet still able to enjoy the comfortable silence of the open road together. I adore our new friends, and very much wish that our paths will cross again.


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