Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pilgrimage Begins

Over the years I have taken many mid-winter road trips to the south and the west to satisfy my cravings: Singletrack, cactus, mexican food, sunsets and warmth! Often, actually very often, weather puts up obstacles to my pilgrimage.

My schedule was suitably clear of commitments to allow me to leave Tuesday, February 2. But Mother Nature, as interpreted by the National Weather Service, told me not to bother showing up until Thursday since she was planning to pour water all over Pima County on Wednesday.

So I left Wednesday morning. The weather that was working overtime in Tucson smacked me in the face right on the south side of Española, NM. I was in heavy snow on very slick roads as I climbed past the opera toward Santa Fe. The wintery weather was hardcore until I got about halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Past there it was rain. Just rain. Buckets of rain.

I had planned to pull off somewhere near Deming, NM to pop up the tPOD and sleep. Everyplace I looked off the road, I saw mud. I didn't want to wake up stuck, and wondered if the sound of hard rain drumming on the camper would be very restful. So I got dinner at Irma's in Deming and then I was back onto I-10 to drive into the evening with my wipers running the whole time.

I finally drove more or less out of the rain as I neared Tucson. I went up onto Pistol Hill and found a fairly quiet place to crash in the tPOD.

I woke up in a moist desert under clear skies on Thursday morning. My travelling companion Gary from Del Norte, CO, was due to arrive in Tucson a bit after lunchtime. So I decided to suit up and take a ride. I went on into Colossal Cave Park to get a camp spot. Then I suited up and headed north out of La Sevilla to Rincon Creek. That section is about 8 miles long, and it's just fun. Fast and swoopy, with lots of stickery cactus and scrubby trees to keep you honest.

Smooth and fast singletrack

One of many beautiful Mark Flint turns

After I rode it, I ate some lunch, met Gary, and rode it again with him.

Ah yes, the journey has begun to bear fruit.

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