The Painted Desert Loop

Arizona has some of the coolest scenery in the country. It’s definitely some of the most diverse. Yesterday afternoon I took the car for a spin along a route I’ve been wanting to check out, the Sunset Crater Loop. I can’t wait until I can get out there with a bike!

You drop from the old growth pine forests at 7k into the juniper forests at 6k, then into what I call the high desert plain (I’m sure that’s not it’s real name) at 5k, then climb back up. If you switch to the map mode, you’ll notice all of those little dirt roads going every which way. I’m thinking there are some opportunities to hook together some crazy long rides out there. And if you follow 89 north almost to Cameron, there’s the turn off to the Grand Canyon. If you ever wanted to do a big day on a road bike, that’d be a pretty sweet loop.

And I’ll leave you with a picture:

Looking East from the Wupatki Ruins at Sunset

If you’re let me wax sentimental for a minute. How many people go their whole lives and not see a sunset like that? Probably too many. The sun was setting beautifully in the west, but I turned to the east to snap that shot. How lucky am I that that’s a half hour from my front door? How lucky am I that that’s around an hour from my front door by bike?