The Southwest. When Jeff and I were planning the trip, those two words conjured up images of red rock canyons, barren desert, towering cacti, and the colorful sandstone formations you see on the covers of guidebooks. We had only AAA state maps during the planning process, so we sort of had to squint to see Zion and Bryce National Parks. Also, the distances between populated areas seemed a lot shorter on the map than they turned out to be while riding. But a bicycle journey through America’s southwest promised so much—a desert or two that neither of us had ever seen, scenery beyond words, and of course—like on all bike trips—wonderful people. So practicality be damned (we were seasoned cycletourists, after all), we formed a vague list of destinations that caught our fancy.