Saturday, May 2, 2020

First ride to Flagstaff for 2020

Within the last week the temperature warmed up 10-15 degrees and it's finally great weather for a motorcycle ride to Flagstaff. At about 7000' elevation, Flagstaff is about 10 degrees cooler than our home in Prescott at 5400'. It was in the mid-70's when we left home about 10am and in the low 70's by the time we arrived in Flagstaff a little over 2 hours later.

Our original plan was to ride north on I-17 to Camp Verde where we would take AZ 260 east until we turned north to ride by Lake Mary. We were only about 10 miles outside Camp Verde when Mike saw the traffic stopped ahead of us, and then we noticed a medevac helicopter swoop in for a landing. We could potentially be stopped for a couple of hours, so we turned around and got back on I-17 north to Flagstaff. As Mike did a U-turn, I saw bright pink flowers on the cactus along the highway. To see flowers in the high desert, you have to slow down and look carefully.

I-17 is not as scenic, but we wanted to get to Flag around noon to eat lunch at our friends' BBQ food truck. Mike had the brisket sandwich and I chose the pulled pork. Both came with a choice of a side and chips. There was a steady line of people lined up to get their take-out lunch and as soon as we took the first bite of our sandwiches, we understood why - this is excellent BBQ! Be sure to check out their website to find out when they're open and stop by.

We decided to head home through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, hoping that it's too early in the season for crowds. It seems like every time we ride this way there is more traffic than we expect, and today was no exception. It's still a gorgeous ride on AZ 89 that twists and turns through switchbacks as dropped down through the Colorado Plateau.

Oak Creek is one of the rare Arizona streams that has water all year long, and especially during hot summer days people flock to the creek to sit in the cold water pools and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. It's not quite summer yet, but there were plenty of people playing in the water as we rode by.

We rode 250 miles and enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch - what better way to enjoy a sunny day in May?

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