January 2022: Braving the Arizona Winter

posted in: Arizona, Bikepacking | 0
Topographic Ice Patches

Weather Update

Another patch of topographic ice

Typically speaking, when one who is not from Arizona thinks about an Arizona winter, they muster up images of sunshine, an assortment of cacti, and desert views as far as the eye can see. May you now stand corrected, the diversity of Arizona’s terrain is vast and diverse. There may be plenty of desert scattered about, but there are equal parts high elevation and mountains to boot. Therefore, winter in Arizona can be temperate and warm, but it can also be windy and bitter cold. So this month, we’ve run the gamut going from shorts and T’s to heavy winter jackets and everything in between. It felt fitting that the word of the month should be: LAYERS!

Yes, we’re still in the general vicinity of Las Cienegas (same as December’s location). Click to read the December 2021 blog post here if you missed it). Eric and I have enjoyed sticking around some of our favorite spots for longer periods of time. Although we do follow the 14-16 day rule, moving spots every so often, we have found a way to stick around longer and explore these gems more thoroughly.

Mt. Wrightson

We absolutely can NOT complain. While there has been snow on the nearby Mt. Wrightson (standing approximately 5,500 feet above us) we have had nothing more than an ever so brief encounter with hail so minuscule it feels silly to even call it such. Oh, and shall I not forget, one-single-flurry on the very same day. Yes, just one. While it has been windy more days than not, it has by far been mild in comparison to the winter a majority of you have seen this year!

Despite a relatively mild winter, the wind is cold and just like all of you, we find ourselves eagerly awaiting spring! Until then, life must go on so wind or no wind, we continue to live our days to the fullest!

Hikes and Bikes

The weather is going to do what the weather is going to do and well, there’s no point in trying to stop it. All you can do is dress for success and hit the road with a smile on your face and a vat of chapstick in your bags. Plus, no matter what mother nature has in store, it’s never as grueling as being stuck inside an office weighted down by our self imposed shackles of wealth and consumerism. I would trade that $8 daily latte in for this level of freedom any day!

Nothing stops this guy!
Always time for lunch!
Cactus taller than me!
Find the border collie

Bikepacking Trips

One of my favorite rides in the area!

Although the weather hasn’t always been as cooperative as we wouldn’t liked, I have been able to tolerate a few trips this month. Eric, well, he could go out in sub zero temps and stay warm because he’s a mega-heat producing mammal. I on the other hand, well, I’m more like a reptile with a very low tolerance to those frigid nights! Anything below 24 degrees and I opt for staying home! Grizz thinks like I do, we enjoy our time in nature, but we have our limits. So when Eric traipses off on his own, my baby boy stays home with me and we send Daddy lots of warm thoughts and snuggles from the comfort of the van.

Here are a few photos from some of our trips:

Grizz is ready to hit the road!
Connector to the Arizona Trail
Not a bad stop for the night
There are no wrong turns, just side tracks!
A convenient tunnel to bypass the busy highway
Grizz hides in the tall grass
A nice night for camping
This is one spoiled dog
Grizz wills us with his famous stare to go back home and let him on the “comfy” bed
A lovely sunset

Home Sweet Home

Awe…how could you say no to that face?

Reflection

January was hit or miss on the adventure front, but despite the colder, windier conditions we were still able to get out there and move our bodies. Not everything has to be epic all of the time! As the weather slowly starts to get warmer and warmer we’re continuing to formulate ideas and map potential routes for spring and summer. Who knows what’s around the corner…only time will tell!

That concludes January 2022. Thanks for reading.

Until next time friends…

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