Payson, AZ to Cottonwood, AZ
Today was unreal. There's no other way to describe it. I set off in the morning with my friend Shane and we stuck together the whole day. We had heard from locals that we would be riding the rim of the mountain range for most of the morning and that we were. Most of the morning was spent gradually climbing and taking switchback after switchback. However, Shane was a really fun person to ride with and we got through the hills laughing and quoting YouTube videos the whole way up! We also took a couple breaks because the higher we got the better the views got.
One of our favorite quotes was altered from a Jimmy Fallon YouTube. He asked parents to tell their children that they ate all of the Halloween candy they had collected and film their reactions. We have watched this video on the trip a few times, and the last two boys in the video are the best! The last line, spoken by a 4 year old, goes like this--"You sneeeeaky Mom!!" Shane and I altered the phrase to be "You sneeeeeaky hill!" since every time we came around a corner and thought we were done climbing there was another hill waiting for us! Finally, to our surprise, we saw the BEST sign you could see as a biker--9 mile downhill!!
I don't think we could have been happier! We flew down the mountain and only had one car pass us the entire time! The views were unbelievable over the city of Camp Verde with mountains all around us.
The Habitat of Verde Valley that we will be working with tomorrow arranged a police escort for our group into the town to the Habitat ReStore! We all met up at the WalMart and hung out in the McDonald's while we waited for the rest of the group and the police to arrive. Sitting in the McDonald's, a man came up to us and said, "Wow, you guys are here early!" We had no clue who he was. He kept talking, knowing more details than we even did about our stay in Cottonwood! Turns out, the Habitat had written a few articles about us in the local newspaper saying what time we would be arriving, where we were staying, and what we would be working on the next day. To our leaders dissapointment, he spoiled one of the biggest surprises of the trip so far by accident. Tonight we are staying at a RETREAT!! Mago Retreat is in the middle of the desert and absolutely gorgeous. I was the first one to get there because I went in the car with Gail from Habitat (she's awesome!). Once there, I was showed the rooms that we were staying in and my first reaction was, "Wait, there's only TWO people per room?!" After everyone arrived we got a private tour of the grounds and the schedule for mediation and yoga the next day. That night Casey and I walked around the grounds being very contemplative until we found our way to the pool/jaccuzi for some night swimming. After swimming, we put on some warmer clothes and went to the Red Healing Rock with Jeff to star gaze. We saw multiple shooting stars and comets with tails--an unbelievable end to and unbelievable day.