As many of you know, I detoured up to North Texas to visit family. My intention had been to spend 3-4 days and relax, eat a ton of food, and catch up with loved ones. Much to my surprise, by day 3, the impending arctic blast was being predicted and by day 4 of my stay, the frigid temperatures were upon me, along with sleet and rain. It was a mess and only predicted to get worse. By mid week, Texas got up to 6 inches where I am staying and that insured that I was not getting back on the trail any time soon. Heck, I don't even have shoes or pants, just shorts and crocs, definitely not the appropriate clothing for single digit temps and 6 inches of wet snow.
Updates to the Daily Trail have been infrequent due to lack of internet and sparse cell phone coverage. I must also admit that because of the weather, I have not done much other than eat, sleep, and be a bum. Happily, the visit has been great and I am now preparing to head south and get back on the trail, just south and west of Austin.
On Monday I will hop a ride down to Austin, get some repairs done to the bike and then rejoin the southern tier route. My body is definitely ready, because going from 65 miles a day, to nothing is just plain hard. The first few days of rest are enjoyable and I think important to your long term success. However, after a few days the body seems to get terribly confused and nothing feels right. Now, compound that with being confined in a house and not even being able to go outside, and well, you have a recipe for pure restlessness.
I am axious to get back on the road, and move into west Texas and then New Mexico and Arizona. In a couple of weeks I will be at a point where I will detour north again, this time to visit the Grand Canyon and some other places that I have always wanted to see. If you are interested in joining me for this segement of the trip, please drop me a note. The detour from Tempe AZ to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon is about 250 miles, or a week of biking. I am confident that if you are simply interested in a one way route that we can arrange for some form of transport back to Tempe.
My current plan is to continue to the North Rim and some of the upper canyons surrounding Page AZ. From there I will decide if I am biking back down to join the route or if I will look for transport to get me back on route. I believe that I will be in position to meet up with folks in Tempe around the 10th of March, so if you are interested, just shoot me an email and we can discuss options.
One more day now of rest and then back on the bike, this time with a 1x9 setup. I chose this because it was the most affordable option out of the multitude of choices. I am really looking forward to not having to stand up on each and every incline and certainly for the more mountainous regions, it will be a huge benefit to my body. By adding gears I also think my overall performance, both distance and speed, should increase slightly since I won't be expending myself as much on those inclines.
The daily trail will officially pick back up on the 7th of February!