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Discovery by Sketch:  Deep Patagonia

Discovery by Sketch
Arizona/Mexico Border to Utah's Grand Staircase
Art on a Fatbike 2023

In late March, we left for sixty-two days of off-road bikepacking on a combination of the Arizona Trail, the Western Wildlands Route, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante Route. In the Sonoran Desert, the challenge was the heat, the rocky single-track, the distances between water sources, and climbing and descending the 9000-foot Sky Islands. Meanwhile, Central and Northern Arizona were still buried under an unusually late spring's deep snow — which meant pushing through snow-covered jeep roads and carrying the bikes across thigh-deep "intermittant streams." Then we were back in the heat on the Navajo Reservation. We arrived in May at the Grand Staircase National Monument — to find late summer thunderstorms and glue-like mud. I kept complaining that I never had time or energy to paint. Until I looked through my sketchbook . . . when did I do all this?

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