Snow in Arizona

Date: April 3rd, 2017

From/To: Monument Valley, UT to Page, AZ

Daily Mileage: 65 miles

Total Mileage: 1980 miles

Current Elevation: 4130 feet

Conditions: Overcast, rain all day that later turned to snow and subfreezing temperature.

I continue to tell myself I’m out of the bad weather as I head south. I first told myself this when I had to head south from Denver to Cañon City. I would at least be out of the snow, I thought to myself, then I got snowed in at Salida and had to drive over icy roads on Monarch Pass. Then from Salida I had to head south to Cortez to escape the snow once again. I had to be in the clear from there but no, more snow. Today I made it to Arizona, a land I’ve always considered to be dry, sunny, and anything but cold. Today I was biking through a snow storm in subfreezing temperature. I felt like I was back in Colorado riding over a pass at 11,000 feet. The weather felt the same and I’ve been the only crazy person out here trying to bike through it. I do claim my rightful place as the first tour biker of the season to pass through these parts. I’ve been told that by many people throughout Colorado and I’ve earned that title but not without a fight. Every local I ask tells me the weather is out of wack this year. I just had to pick this particular time to venture through these parts. Luckily tomorrow is supposed to be the first of several sunny days, bringing in average lows around 40 and highs of 70. I’ve learned not to hold my breath when waiting for the warm weather to kick in.

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MapMyRun crashed today unfortunately and I lost my data. To the best of my knowledge, here’s todays trek from Monument Valley, UT to Page AZ. The green shows my starting point, the blue is where mom picked me to to take me northwest to Page, and the red is our end location in Page.

Mom and I decided to take a detour to Page, Arizona to see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, two iconic places we want to see before she leaves for home this Thursday. It’s out of the way for me, but certainly worth stopping by, who knows when I’ll be back here.

I left Monument Valley around 9:30 this morning, the beautiful views I had yesterday were a thing of the past. It was raining, and by the looks of it that rain wasn’t letting up anytime soon. I have no problem riding in the rain however I could’ve done without the fog. There wasn’t much to see so I apologize for a lack of photos. Tomorrow will be different I can guarantee that.

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Snowfall in Arizona.
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The scenery was limited due to the foggy overcast.
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The 9th state I’ve biked through! 2 more to go!
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When we got to Page, we weren’t sure what to do with the afternoon. It was raining hard and considerably cold for Arizona. Mom found a museum commemorating John Wesley Powell, a teacher, soldier, scientist, and explorer of the American West. He served in the Civil War, losing his right arm in the Battle of Shiloh. He’s famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three month river trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers, including the first known passage by Europeans through the Grand Canyon. Powell had some interesting philosophies. He classified human societies into savagery, barbarism, and civilization based on the adoption of technology, family and social organization, property relations, and intellectual development. In his view all societies were to progress to civilization. Powell believed that the best societies should make the best use of their natural resources. His expeditions led to his belief that the arid west was not suited for agricultural developement. He proposed irrigation systems and state boundaries based on geographical watersheds to avoid disagreements among states regarding water rights. Unfortunately, the railroad companies expanding westward owned vast tracks of lands and aggressively lobbied Congress to reject Powell’s property proposals and encourage selling the land to individual pioneers to farm instead. The railroad companies wanted to cash in on their lands and had their way, selling the land to farmers without properly accounting for water distribution. The Dust Bowl of the 1920s and 1930s caused many pioneer farms to fail due to insufficient rain, contributing to the recession and a downward spiral in the agricultural economy in particular. Powell’s recommendations were taken seriously after that and agriculture started to flourish due to his insights for irrigation across the west. Powell was a man before his time. His forward thinking valued the use to natural resources and the agricultural limitations of the American West. He’s an icon for the brave, an inspiration to all who venture off and explore the unknown in search of the unknown.

Aside from the Powell Museum we didn’t do much this afternoon. The NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship was on at 6:20PM (Pacific) so we watched North Carolina defeat Gonzaga and went to bed soon after that. Tomorrow we’ll be exploring Antelope Canyon, a long anticipated stop!

Enjoy The Ride,

-Matt

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