I arrive at the car dealership ready to pack my bike into a compact car like the one I reserved the previous night online. It’s a three hour drive to Sedona from Tucson and I should be able to fit my bike in the back with the seats down, just like I do at home. I pull up in the enterprise lot and see two compact cars and one big truck. The clerk flirts with me, trying to get me to take the truck, a shiny white F150. “It’s going to guzzle gas.” I am pretty bad at flirting back, but I smile anyways and we walk over to the little sedans. I wheel my bike over to it and open up the back seat of the first one.
“Do the seats fold down?”
“What about in that one?” I point to the other sedan.
He checks inside the back. “Nope.”
“I guess I’ll take the truck.”
With a full cab, my bike (now named Negu after the fluffy gray cat from my Air BnB) can fit inside and throw my panniers in the back. I planned to have time to ride the red dirt that Sedona’s known for but I get horribly lost somewhere in Cococino National Forest.
It’s a good thing I have the truck because I accidentally turn down a closed dirt road and end up descending into a canyon. I drive in a circle, up and over craggy mountains covered in dark pine trees, back down, through a town where the only thing the gas stations sells besides gas is beer. Eight hours pass in stunning monotony despite the dramatic landscape. My eyes feel tired from moving so quickly through everything. I miss my bike, my back aches, driving is lonely, and the cost of gas guzzling is stressing me out!
I fly by the red rock formations of Sedona at dusk as I pull into town, and resolve to return to Tucson early the next morning after spending the night here. Back to the land of cacti, friendly hipsters, and bikes!
What to do on the final day of the tour??