Oct 18, 2008

Black Canyon Trail - North of Phoenix, AZ

What a beat down today. A huge group of us from MTBR did an epic ride out on the Black Canyon Trail. I knew the forecast was gonna be hot today, but I figured we'd have a few more hours than we got of coolness.
We were off like a herd of turtles from the Black Canyon City Trailhead parking lot at about 8:30, and it wasn't summertime hot, but it was plenty warm. And before long it got pretty uncomfortable. In the past, when I've ridden this trail, we started at Table Mesa Road Trailhead, and it was a nice change. The flow was so much better. Starts off with a nice decent, and then we get the hardest climb outta the way.

I don't know what it is, but this thing can be pretty harsh on tires. We had several flats today. Luckily, none for me. No real other mechanicals to speak of.

As the day wore on, the heat killed us and our pace was incredible slow. Lotsa people were hurting. I tried to keep a good mood despite my patience being tested, other than that I felt pretty good.

Here's a post ride discussion over on MTBR.com.

Here's a vid of the day:

A high res Quicktime version of the vid can be found here: Black Canyon Trail 10/18/08

Oct 13, 2008

Canyon Lake - Kayaking

Because of Columbus Day, I didn't have to got to work today, and I've been feeling the itch to get some kayak time in. I hadn't been in my boat since April, when I paddled the Blue Ridge Resevoir.

So I got up early, actually earlier than I planned (I had posted up on The Phoenix Kayaking Meetup Group, that I'd be at the marina at Canyon Lake, at 8:00. Since it was looking like a solo trip, I was on the water at 7:00, and the conditions were perfect. Nice and cool and calm.

I took my time heading up the lake to Horse Mesa Dam, and I pretty much had the lake to myself. One jet ski and one pontoon boat, was all I saw until 12:00. After that I saw about half dozen other boats (not including the few boats playing on the main part of the lake).

Not much wildlife to be found today; not one stinking eagle. Boo Hiss!

I am a practicing Catholic, and the few times I've been on Canyon Lake I never fully understood why they call one of the inlets Crucifix Canyon. I just kinda noticed a combination horizontal hole with black vertical water stain forming a cross, and figured that's what they were talking about. And on today's paddle that's all I saw, until I reviewed the video clips, that's when I noticed as a resemblance of the countenance of Jesus suffering during his passion. I could see this image just to the left of what appeared to be a the cross. I believe the image of God is all around, but lately I've been so self absorbed to even look for it. Some times things like this are dumbed down for me. Perhaps from this picture you might see what I'm talking about:

Of course if you look at these rock faces long enough you might see your long lost dog too.

Here's a vid of the day (with a few shot's for my own vanity):

A high res Quicktime Version can be found here: Canyon Lake Kayaking-