We were in Flagstaff AZ for 4 glorious “vacation-from-biking” days.
Before we left Arlington in August, Jacob had shipped a package to Abe, his professor from NAU and our fabulous host in flag. This package included my running shoes. RUNNING shoes! Oh, how I have missed you! I hugged and almost kissed them.
So, first thing Friday morning I went for a slow 5mi jog around the NAU campus. Flag is at 7000ft altitude, plus I hadn’t run for 5 weeks, so it was a slow slog…but it felt wonderful!
I watched the Today Show and tried to watch the 4th hour with Hoda and Kathie Lee (guilty pleasure!), but the times out west were weird. They delay the news! The “new”s is delayed. I caught them a few hours later.
Jacob drove me to Macy’s, the “coolest coffee shop in town”, and he went on a tour of bike shops in order to pick up a new hard-to-find tire.
In the afternoon, Jacob and I met up for a drink at Beaver Street bar. A couple sips in to a giant beer, Jacob notices (on Facebook) one of his buddies was, at that moment, in Flagstaff around the corner. Jacob got jittery and anxious “he’s right there that’s so cool!”. I said “go get him!”. Jacob slugged the rest of his beer in under 30 seconds and ran off, leaving his backpack and, as the bartender kindly pointed out, leaving me with the bill. No worries, I finished my beer at a more leisurely pace (while guys kept coming up to the bar for shots of moonshine all around me…I did not partake since I only do shots of moonshine via ice luge at Judah’s crab feasts), I paid the bill and left to met Jacob.
We had another beer with Jacob’s friends Ben and Elena who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Ben works as a cop in Page, AZ, and he told us about the numerous stabbings that have occurred at the Red Lake convenience store.
After drinking, chatting and saying goodbye, Jacob and I left to pick up Abe, our host, who had been on a business trip.
We ate dinner at Fratellis, a yummy pizza place and for dessert Abe surprised Jacob with an apple crum pie from Jacob’s favorite pie shop.
Saturday morning started with breakfast at Crown Railroad Cafe with Jacob’s NAU friend Rob and their former professor, Nancy. They reminisced about college days and geology trips. It was cool to hear stories. They call Jacob “Cubby”.
We waited for Jacob’s friend Ryan who had tried to meet us for breakfast but had driven to the wrong end of town. The restaurant was “next to Walmart” but there are two Walmarts in flag. Oops!
He finally made it and we headed to the grand canyon for a hike. First stop was the taxidermy shop to check on the status of Ryan’s elk head. Not done quite yet, but he did give Jacob a big bag of elk jerky and a few elk steaks.
Rob, Ryan, Jacob and I had a great time on the hike. As we strolled down three Bright Angel Trail, Rob (who’s a HS science teacher) shared some of his original “science-paleo raps”. He reminded me of Mr Zito from yhs and Mr Carroll from wms. The “cool mad scientist teacher”. Jacob told me all about the rock layers of the grand canyon and showed me exactly which layer we were looking at as compared to his forearm tattoo.
After the hike we met up with Abe at the NAU Lumberjacks football game. They were up big time when we arrived, but almost lost it at the end.
We ate pie for dinner. Mmmm.
Abe took me for a mountainous trail run at 8000ft elevation on Sunday morning with one of his running buddies. I will butcher his name if I try to spell it so I will refer to him as Dutchman. Flying Dutchman too since he is speedy! We ran a beautiful but technical trail called “sunset” and “little gnarly”. It felt like I was trying to blow up a balloon the entire run, but my legs felt ok. It was chilly and almost looked like it could start snowing at any time.
After the run we hit a farmers’ market for fresh veggies and organic beef. Back at the house we ate breakfast burritos and Jacob drove me to Buffalo Wild Wings so I could catch the redskins game. I was the only one in the bar watching the Skins. When RG3 threw the deep completion for a TD (before the call was reversed) I stood up in my bar stool, hands raised in celebration, looked around for high fives…and everyone pointed and chuckled at me… the lone skins fan.
After the game a guy came into the bat, sat down next to me and said “Wow, it’s a miracle that the lions beat the redskins!”. I have him an ugly look and didn’t talk much after that.
On my walk back to Abe’s I saw a lady taken away from Walmart in handcuffs.
We ate hamburgers and pie with Abe and his son Ike before hitting the sack.
I really enjoyed playing around in Jacob’s adopted home of Flagstaff. Abe, thank you so much for the hospitality. You rock!