So without further fuss or expostulation, here are the Kaibab Plateau
and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This was another trip with
Magpie Adventures, run by Mike and Maggie. Magpie Adventures is a
mountain biking tour company. But they take a slightly different
approach from the larger operators out there. Where other companies
show up in multiple cargo vans with trailers and whatnot, they have a
4-cylinder Toyota truck and a VW vanagon. They take pride in the fact
that they can do a tour with two vehicles and eight cylinders, burning
just about a third of the gasoline that the larger outfits do, and
serve up organic food to boot. For those that missed it, here is a link
to a White Rim trip that I did with them earlier this year:
The White Rim
And here is a link to Magpie Adventures
We’ll start off with an abstract shot.
Heading up to the Kaibab Plateau. The drive up there represents a nice
scaffolding up through vegetational zones, out of a sea of sage, into
Pinon-Juniper woodlands, and then into the Aspen/Spruce-Fir/Ponderosa
forest. Kaibab means “Mountain Lying Down” in Paiute, which is an apt
descriptor as the plateau feels like a mountain lying on its side,
wherein you travel south to reach the peak, instead of up.
The first map talk of the trip, we started the riding at Crane Lake,
which is just south of the burn zone at Telephone Hill. It still smells
like smoke up in there, and at the time of our trip the forest service
had closed down that section of the trail.
Winding through the aspen groves on the Arizona Trail. This trail was
to be our home for the first two days of the trip. Currently there are
720 miles of it, cutting north south across Arizona from Utah to
Mexico. The section we did went from Crane Lake to the edge of the
One of the many ponds along the route. Storm clouds a’ building.
Lovely singletrack. Just lovely.
Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009