It’s March and the days are getting longer and warmer. The recent epic snow in Sedona has melted and most of the mud is gone to be replaced by perfect trail conditions. Melting snow from the higher terrain continues to flow down Dry Creek and Oak Creek and the runoff in the creeks is impressive.
If you have been following along you already know that it has been a warm and very dry Autumn and Winter around these parts. As a result of the dryness, most trails deteriorated and became “moon dust” that fills the air as you walk or ride on the trail.
We’ve avoided mountain biking during the dry periods because of the excessive dust and loose soils on the trails—believing that riding under these conditions accelerates the deterioration of the trails. But now that we’ve had some rain—and high-country snow—we’re back out on the trails.
Here are a few photographs from some recent mountain bike rides.
Some years it’s easy to get great photographs of the changing colors of aspen leaves in northern Arizona. The weather is good, the timing is right, you’re in the perfect place. It all comes together.
That wasn’t this year.
We set out several times on the mountain bikes to see and enjoy the color. First we were too early; then we were too late. We were out of town on a long-planned trip and the peak color season occurred while we were gone. It happens.
Not that I’m complaining. I’ve been able to get good photographs many times in the past and there will be opportunities again in coming years.
So here is a collection of pre-season photos, post-season photos, and a few from several years ago comparing colors in the Inner Basin on similar dates but different years.
Based on previous years, I thought we might still find some great color in the Inner Basin this late in the season. We certainly did in 2014—but not 2017.
And here are a couple from 2015—another good year for aspen photography.
An early snowfall on the higher summits juxtaposed with the aspen almost at their peak made an interesting composition. Getting this view required more hiking and climbing that anticipated—but ultimately worth it.
It has been a wet December and January with rainfall amounts running well above average across much of Arizona—including Sedona. So we haven’t been riding quite as much as we would like as trail etiquette is to not ride wet and muddy trails because of the potential trail damage.
Still, we’ve managed to get in a few good days with only a bit of mud and snow on the trails.
Another round of wet weather has arrived and trails will be getting rain and snow over the next few days. It may take awhile before we have dry trails again!