Colin Schindler
Photography, cycling, wandering, wondering...

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The Kings of Phoenix

Michelle and I have really fallen in love with Phoenix. We knew the weather would be awesome but expected a flat, barren desert. Turns out there are mountains scattered throughout the city for hiking and mountain biking, national parks in all directions to escape the city, and all the good food, events, music that comes with a city. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon are also within a reasonable driving range. But the people have been the best feature. They are so nice, and sincerely so. Our first day here we were invited to two dinners walking through downtown. We met Jacque at one of Michelle's shows and she lead us on a bike tour the following day. Such cool people.

But the coolest people have been Sky & Regina King. They welcomed us to park the van in their backyard and have shown us Phoenix from a local's perspective. We also got to try yoga for the first time with Regina, which was much cooler than I expected, and have already gone again since then.

Backyard Chickens!

Backyard Chickens!

Parking in the backyard.

Parking in the backyard.

Asia learning to ride bicycle without training wheels.

Asia learning to ride bicycle without training wheels.

Sky demonstrating proper technique.

Sky demonstrating proper technique.

Asia aiming? at Michelle and Regina.

Asia aiming? at Michelle and Regina.

Michelle playing downtown at The Lost Leaf.

We also got to meet up with Aunt Kathy and Bob for lunch and a discussion on politics, which was pretty funny as always. Later on we picked up Katrina and made the trip south to meet Sky's father Bob and Margaret. Katrina had an awesome wedding video of Tami and Bret McClanahan from 1986 that included my mother when she was pregnant with me. So crazy to see all my aunts and uncles when they were younger than I am now. And also makes for good snapchats to tease everyone with, haha.

Michelle played her first Phoenix show at the Lost Leaf in downtown Phoenix. A few beers with Sky and Regina there led us to some fried green tomato sandwiches and donuts with "extra" powdered sugar on top.

Michelle playing downtown at The Lost Leaf.

Michelle Wolf of 'Fort Collins'.

Michelle Wolf of "Fort Collins".

Regina & Sky at Michelle's show.

Regina & Sky at Michelle's show.

Michelle playing in background.

Michelle playing in background.

Interesting artwork at The Lost Leaf.

Interesting artwork at The Lost Leaf.

At her show Michelle met Jacque Orr (@jacqueorr1) who led us on a bike ride the next day. We went on a ride along the Salt river near Tempe starting at Papago Park.

Biking with Jacque.

Biking with Jacque.

More biking.

More biking.

Even more biking.

Even more biking.

The Salt River with Tempe in the distance.

The Salt River with Tempe in the distance.

The following day Sky took us on a hike up Camelback Moutain which juts up from Phoenix and gives a nice view of the urban surroundings. Interestingly, the smog from the city shrouds the surrounding mountains which is kind of beautiful, in a toxic kind of way I guess.

Hiking Camelback with Sky & Jaquie.

Hiking Camelback with Sky & Jacque.

Part way up.

Part way up.

Scenic detour along the route.

Scenic detour along the route.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

Phoenix is cool.

Phoenix is cool.