Monsoon Season in Flag: July 25-29, 2017

Just so you know, no one refers to Flagstaff as Flagstaff.  It’s Flag.  And the WTF stickers on cars in the area mean Welcome To Flag.


Airstream living.


Well, maybe it’s because I’ve learned to lower the bar in my old age, so not to be so easily disappointed, but Flag exceeded my expectations.  We had a great boondocking spot on Shultz Creek Road, great biking trails just outside our door, we met a great guy, Matt, and biked with him for three days.  All that and my buddy, Acomb, came to Flag with his youngest son to visit us and his oldest son, that lives in Flag, recently graduated from NAU, and works at Mother Road Brewing.

We were able to ride every morning, albeit one day we got soaked at the end of the ride. The novelty of the monsoon season has worn off.  Rain, rain, go away.  Between Prescott and Flag we had rain for 11 straight days.  Amelia thinks one day it didn’t rain, but I think she’s nuts.

So who is Matt?  Here’s how we met him…

Once we got to the dispersed camping area, Amelia pulled the Airstream off to the side of the road and I got on my bike to scout for a proper boondock spot for our 25 foot Airstream.  That’s our routine when boondocking.  The last thing you want to do is get yourself into trouble trying to get to a spot.  It could be a rough road, not have enough sun for solar, or not enough room to turn around.

The first spot had a couple of tents and was difficult to access.  The next spot was perfect: wide open and like a cul de sac.  And that’s where Matt and his Vanagon were.  So I struck up a conversation with him and asked if he’d mind us horning in on his spot.  He said, “Not at all.”  I biked the half mile back down the road, told Amelia we have a choice spot, and to follow me.  We got in no problem and unhitched.  While Amelia was fiddling around in the Airstream, I went over to chat with Matt.  I instantly knew he was a good egg.  And totally out of character, I invited him to bike with us the next morning at 8 am, without even conferring with Amelia!  It’s always the other way around; in our group of biking friends Amelia is famous for inviting strangers on rides.  He seemed happy to have the invite.  The next morning it became quickly apparent that he was like Amelia’s cousin Forest, about one skill level above us, but still we rode together and shared meals and beers.

Matt is in his late 20’s, and has lived outside of Seattle his entire life.  He decided to roll the dice and move out to Tennessee to live with relatives and try something different.  He left the Seattle area in mid June and hopes to be in Tennessee by the end of August. Meanwhile he is mountain biking all the hot spots in the west and visiting friends along the way.  I have a hundred bucks that says he won’t make it to Tennessee by the end of August; he’s having too much fun!



Here’s the spot!  Elevation 7,461 ft.  It’s an optical illusion, the Airstream looks slanted but we are actually level.


Matt and I at the junction of Dogfood and the Arizona trail.


Amelia on the Arizona Trail.


Cutleaf Coneflower


Matt getting air.


Flat tire for the blogger.  That’s what happens when big guys try to get air on a hardtail!


Tachinid Fly on Amelia’s handlebar grip.


Day two, end of the ride it just poured on us.  Amelia was soaked, cold, and not happy.


I was feeling like a little boy splashing through puddles, getting muddy, and completely drenched.


Matt and Amelia, day three, we did a shuttle ride from the top of Elden Mountain, down Sunset to Little Bear to Schultz Creek to Arizona Trail, and down Dogfood to our campsite.


This part of the trail was faint, around the next corner we saw a herd of elk above us.




A rare pic of the Harris’ riding together.  Thanks Matt!


New Mexican Vervain


It was amazing riding through lush green flower filled meadows.


Yellow Salsify


Acomb’s oldest, Brent, and chubby Sara.  She always puts on a few ounces while vacationing, but then again who doesn’t?  We hosted dinner for six on Thursday night in the rain.  Somehow this was the only pic?


Acomb and I with his two boys, Tanner and Brent.


Downtown Flag


Saturday morning, saying good bye and good luck to Matt.


Sweet curtains in his Vanagon!







3 thoughts on “Monsoon Season in Flag: July 25-29, 2017

  1. Hey! I finally got on the internet for long enough to read the blog. This is a real awesome way to document and remember all of the good times and places! I loved the photos and words. Can’t wait to see and hear some Grand Canyon stories! Hope you guys had safe travels for the rest of your adventure.

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