I head back down the mountains from Schultz Tank and into the tight knit community of Flagstaff. I haven’t eaten all day, and am famished. Flagstaff is very Covid aware, and has strict social distancing and mask wearing guidelines while in public. It’s something I can get behind.

Flagstaff offers free downtown parking during the pandemic, most likely to try and entice people to visit the area and support those businesses that feel safe enough to stay open. A few of my favorite restaurants are remaining closed though, but after wandering around for a bit I find a lovely Indian place that is empty and open. I feed the beast well as I watch the masked world go by from large street windows.

Muscles are sore and legs are cramping. I need to keep hydrating, as I hope to get back up to the mountains again in the morning. I head on over to the Ski Lift Lodge cabins, a little cluster of old cabins at the base of the road leading up to the ski resort.

The place is unassuming, but has a friendly air to it. A gathering of folks are outside the restaurant enjoying beers in the cool weather. The cabin is a no frills one room accommodation, but all I need is a bed and a bathroom. I sleep well.

I rise early to the start of an exquisite sunrise. I’m still feeling stiff and sore, but after a quick breakfast and a large coffee, I head back up to the mountains to try and tackle the Weatherford trail.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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