Discovery by Sketch
Arizona/Mexico Border to Moab, UT
Art on a Fatbike 2021 and 2023
In May of 2021, we tackled the Bears Ears Loop, a route by Bikepacking Roots which took us from Moab, Utah to St. George. I was recovering from ACL reconstruction; my physical therapist said a bikepacking trip would be great therapy — and the frequent art breaks were medically required.
Two years later, we returned in late March, this time to the Arizona-Mexico border. Our 62-day route led us through a combination of the Arizona Trail, the Western Wildlands Route, the Grand Staircase-Escalante Route, and back to St. George, thereby linking up with the previous trip. This time I was at full strength and had to lobby harder for my art time.
The second trip covered a huge range of environments. 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?
For the sake of continuity, the sketches on this page begin at the border and end in Moab.