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As I desired, on the dawn of the first snow I got up, ate lots of bacon, packed my gear, and headed off on a mini-tour down to Sedona. Makenzie was excited to have a new Fargo and joined me - company is always good on a tour.
We set off in Flagstaff with the fresh snow on the mountain glimmering in dawn's early light. As the sun rose, the light powder on the ground began to melt quickly.
We turned off onto Old Munds Highway - an old dirt road with log cabins, old farms, and a whole lot of character.
After ten miles or so we turned off onto FS 700 - a forest service road full of nothing but gravel, pines, and old, shot-at T.V.'s and couches. We continued to gain in elevation, eventually hitting fairly deep melting snow - a major challenge for riding. We slipped, spun out, and balanced through deep pools to get to FS 240, where we finally began to descend a bit and caught a glimpse of the Mogollon Rim with blue skies beyond!
We descended through the extremely righteous community of old wooden mansions and ski yurts at Munds Park, getting even colder by the second, and decided to skip a large portion of the forest roads for sake of getting to the Rim in a more timely manner... so we rode on Interstate-17 for about 3 miles before reaching Schnebly Hill Road, from where we hoped it would be all downhill...
We continued down Schnebly Hill Road for a few miles and quickly realized we were not quite to the rim yet. In fact, the mud kept getting deeper and deeper. Finally, we got to the point that mud was getting stuck on my tires. The result was that the mud was getting jammed between the tire and the frame of the bicycle and subsequently freezing, rendering both tires and the crank of my bicycle virtually immovable. We stopped for several minutes chipping ice off of my bike and deciding what to do before a man in a truck drove by and told us that the snow line was just a ways down the road! I decided to carry my bike to get there!
Just as we set back off again, me with my bike slung over my back, Makenzie's rear derailleur got caught in the rear spokes and snapped off of her bike. We couldn't do anything but laugh at this point.
We decided that if I could carry my bike to the snow line, she could take the derailleur off and coast/run the rest of the way into Sedona - after all, we were supposed to be close to the Rim anyway!
So, we did just that. Before we knew it, we hit the rim and could see red rocks in front of us... and a BIG downhill on the road ahead! Perfect! We began to coast... and coast... and coast! And the weather was clearing, it was getting warmer!
We reached a beautiful overlook and were simply stunned by the landscape before us. After riding through snow all day, we were now surrounded by lush green trees and bright red rocks.
Yet, just as swiftly as the warm weather had come on, a huge storm of snow appeared on the horizon and began to consume vast swaths of the red rocks and trees by the second.
Within a matter of minutes the storm was upon us, and we were in the middle of a red rock blizzard.
We booked it back on down the road (well, as fast as Makenzie could 'book it' with no chain or rear derailleur), and after about 20 minutes of descending, the storm cleared again.
We made it into Sedona just as dusk was settling on the town. Believe it or not, we decided to call our friends for a ride back to Flagstaff the next day instead of camping and riding back with no chain/derailleur :)