Bike day 35

After dark and before going to bed on day 34, at the scary convenience store where “the drug dealers hang out”, a dude approached our tent and asked “whooooah,, so you’re just gonna sleep right there, huh?”. I said “Yup!”. Then he offered us candy bars and held out an Almond Joy and a Snickers. I wasn’t really sure what to do, as I didn’t want to offend him (and not sure if this was going to lead to a potential drug deal transaction)… so I tried to be as polite as possible as I refused the candy. “No thank you, man”. He left us alone.
It was very windy overnight. From inside our tent we heard the tarp over the bikes swaying back and forth. It really sounded like someone was out there messing with our stuff, but it was just the wind. I still kept the mace within reach all night. 
The convenience store cashier, Justin, had told me they opened at 7a. Time is weird in AZ on the reservation. They use standard mountain time but the state of AZ doesn’t recognize daylight savings so really no one knows what time it actually is. Basically they opened one hour later than what Jacob and I planned for. So we waited for bathrooms and breakfast. 
As we waited we met Tom and Ruth, high school age kids who live on the reservation. They also arrived at the store an hour early. Tom wants to be a motorcycle mechanic and Ruth likes to ride her mountain bike about 12 miles for fun with her daughter in a child’s seat and her mom following in a car. When we asked what they were doing that day, Ruth replied “Getting some money so we can be rich for a while”. Apparently this convenience store will cash whatever check she had that other stores had refused.
We got a late start, 8:30, and had over 100 miles to go to reach Flagstaff AZ and a “vacation from the bikes”. Please no headwind!
The morning wind was gentle and we rode an easy 20 miles to Tuba City where we stopped for cold beverages. 80 left.
Our next stop was Cameron trading post with all the tourists. We ate a leisurely lunch at the restaurant. Fry bread galore. It’s like pizza dough and funnel cake.  A German motorcycle gang was seated next to us. They tried to order beer but, alas, no alcohol on the res. 
Jacob bought some cactus candy for the road and we got back to work. We did a lot of climbing. I channeled Will Ferrell’s Elf: “I love climbing (smiling)! Climbing’s (smiling’s) my favorite!”
We passed the 5000, 6000 and 7000ft elevation signs. Jacob pointed out the first pine tree and told me that we made it to the alpine zone. When two white vans passed us going the opposite direction, Jacob kept turning his head to look at them. “What is it?!?” I asked. “I think that was my old professor Nancy!”. “Cool! Keep climbing though, ok?”
We made it up and over the summit and had a nice downhill to Flagstaff. Jacob said we had about five miles left to go and we got on a bumpy bike trail. It was a loooong five miles if you ask me. But we made it. 
We got to Abe’s  (Jacob’s professor from NAU) house, found the key, dropped our stuff, ate about five pounds of Abe’s trail mix, showered and hit the town for a “real” dinner. We decided to get burgers at Diablo Burger and were undecided whether to go out for drinks or go back and crash. “Flip a coin?” It ended up “tails go home”. Fine by me. Exhausted, goodnight!

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