Arizona’s incredibly diverse climate and topography never cease to amaze. On any given day, it can be scorching in one part of the state while it is glacial in another. This is what happens when desert rather abruptly collides with mountains. According to USA Today, Arizona’s high and low temperatures since 1970 have ranged from a low of -40°F to +128°F. Wow!
Before doctors discovered that a lumbar fracture was causing my vertebrae column to dangerously tumble over my tailbone in 2008, I used to enjoy beating the heat by working up a sweat in the cool country. It’s just a couple of hour drive from Anthem to the base of the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort in Flagtaff, where you can climb more than 1,800 feet in elevation on a six mile road. It’s a lot of work, but it is an awesome experience for bike riders. Plus the adult beverages rarely taste better than at the base of the ski lift.
In late June, on a day that featured rapidly changing weather conditions, I traveled up to Snowbowl with my buddy Pete. It was the first time I made this trip since my three back surgeries.
While it is becoming increasing obvious there is little chance I’ll be riding a bike again in this lifetime, I didn’t have time to do anything other than enjoy the experience. While Pete was hustling up (and down, as shown above) the mountain on his bike, I was elevated in spirit with incredibly diverse mountain top photoremedy. And, at the end of the trail, Pete got his beer and I got my Bloody Mary. It was a remarkable day, and an extraordinary way to beat the desert heat.
All of the photos below, and the images that support the photo art, were taken during our June Snowbowl trip. Just click on one of the smaller individual photos below to view in slide show mode.