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May 20th 2009
Published: May 26th 2009
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Dawn at Yavapai Point 5:44 amDawn at Yavapai Point 5:44 amDawn at Yavapai Point 5:44 am

The River is down there...
I woke up with tourists whispering all around me. The first thing I did was check the alarm clock I'd set on the bench next to my head, thinking I had overslept my 5am alarm. 4:59 then Bleep bleep ble... and i shut it off. I knew i was going to need it after the night I'd had. I unzipped and slipped out of my sleeping bag, still dressed and still covered in desert grit. I stuffed away my bed and put my boots back on. A short, shy middle-aged woman tentatively looked up at me whilst she scurried by my Baby who was so rudely blocking the path around the ranger station. I groggily shuffled over to greet her (my bike not the tourist) and to strap my bed back on. "Hey, Baby. We better get you out of here before the ranger shows up. We'd had a fight the night before, but this early in the morning one can't help but feel tender towards loved ones.
I lazily threw a leg over and without firing up the engine just rolled down the hill from the Yavapai Point lookout to the parking lot below.
It was like this. Since
5:465:465:46

...about 1400 meters down there. (4,600 feet)
I had decided not to risk squatting in a designated campground for fear that I might get forced into paying, I'd spent the evening since sundown scoping a good spot to crash. This meant avoiding those pesky - friendly, informative and always helpful but still pesky in as much as their paycheck depends on fees collected - park rangers. I'd decided that Yavapai was going to be too heat-score in the morning, being the closest major viewpoint to the "town" so I headed back up the rim east. I tried Yaki point, but that was worse since only tour buses are allowed on the road, not mention no benches.
I was really looking forward to the bench. After spending weeks sleeping on gravel, rock and cold sand


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5:535:53
5:53

Its still got 750 meters to drop before it reaches the Gulf of California.
5:555:55
5:55

At this point you could tell that the temperature was going up. You couldn't feel it, but the bugs started buzzing.
6:046:04
6:04

Once the sun started to burn its way through the mist, you could really start to see the colour and strata.
6:076:07
6:07

... but it takes a while for the sun to reach down into the nooks and crevasses below.
7:117:11
7:11

I came back up after I'd gotten my battery re-connected.
One last regretful lookOne last regretful look
One last regretful look

I spoke with a group who had hiked that trail. I was quite tempted but I knew I had to make tracks south.
And here was my bed...And here was my bed...
And here was my bed...

That bench to the left in the trees was about the closest thing I'd had to a bed in weeks. Not a bad view either.
Saw this odd little chaple...Saw this odd little chaple...
Saw this odd little chaple...

on sr 180, about 30 miles north of flagstaff and figured I'd take a brake there. I decided that I'm going to build a cabin of the same design one day.
Not much room...Not much room...
Not much room...

There was no lock on the door, seating for 15 or so, and a view of Humphrey's Peak in the background. The walls were scrawled with graffiti but I guess the place made the same impression on everyone: they were all blessings.
Aw... look at the baby thunderstorm...Aw... look at the baby thunderstorm...
Aw... look at the baby thunderstorm...

It's hard to make out but you can kind of see the road - my road - heading straight for it. I tried to avoid it but i think i found this little tike's parents on the way.


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