Desert Dreams

The road from Flagstaff to Cameron took me back into the the land of little rain and endless desolate expanses. However, this time, I was neither anxious or afraid. I gradually lost 3,000 feet in elevation while traveling north on route 89, eventually descending into the dry heat of the Painted Desert. It wasn’t until today that I finally learned to appreciate the peaceful simplicity of what I feel is most accurately described as desolation. Wind-worn rock formations of red and multi-colorings creep up out of endless plains of sand. Riding through, the air is like a dry sauna and there hardly seem to be any shadows except for when the sun has nearly set. For about 45 miles, I zoned out and focused on my ride.

Less than 10 miles before Cameron, I found what looked to be an abandoned pink convenient store. I wheeled my bike into the shade of it’s north side and sat down for a light lunch: water, a tomato, and a slice of molasses wheat bread. When I was through, I met Chip, a doctor who has been working on the reservation for about 24 years and is a member of the area’s small art community. At the time I met him, he was prepping two old silos for some artistic work. Back in ’92, Chip bicycled 12,000 miles down the length of Africa. Wow. Dwarfs my journey by comparison. Chip was a member of the great and offered me a place to stay halfway between Tuba City and Kayenta. Very cool.

After arriving in Cameron ahead of schedule, I booked it the last 24 miles to Tuba and got permission to pitch my tent on the backlot of the local Assembly of Jesus Christ.

It’s really peaceful. The nights will be much warmer here than in Flagstaff.

American flag in desert near Tuba City

3 Responses to “Desert Dreams”
  1. jetsonorama says:


    it was a treat meeting you. i’m sure you’ll continue to meet good people. it’s the energy you’re putting out that draws those people to you. safe travels.

    and by the way, i’ don’t think i’m on i’m on; however, and need to join warmshowers.


    • driadia says:

      The honor was all mine, Prince Chip,

      Thank you again for the knowledge and hospitality. I hope I’ll find my way through the Reservation again sometime in the future. The high plains desert is really a beautiful place.

  2. Mowgli says:

    keep on chooglin 🙂

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