Sunday, June 15, 2008

"A" Mountain -- Tucson Icon

Today we do the short climb up "A" Mountain.

Actually, just getting to the base of the mountain is quite a climb. The high today is forecast for 107 degrees. We started at 6 a.m. Maybe we should have started at 5 a.m.

No cars for the morning. This keeps the riff-raff out.

City of Tucson.

John and I climbing--almost there!

Camera man.

Shot of the climb we've been making thus far.

The city and the valley come into view. For several thousand years, and to the Spanish Settlers in the 1600's, where we're at was known as "Sentinel Peak" The Indians who lived near by called the area the place where the people live at the base of the Black Mountain. The Spanish adapted the native word, which sounded something like "Tucson"

By 1915, Sentinel Peak was known as "A" Mountain. This is the result of youth and alcohol no doubt. Thanks to the University of Arizona student body, probably after, or even during a drunken orgy and pep rally--made this huge "A" and then painted it white.

Every year, ASU students from Tempe would come down to Tucson when the football teams played, and they would, as a prank, paint the "A" yellow and red. UofA students were supposed to prevent this, but were too drunk and passed out to catch the culprits.

A few years ago, some proud Americans painted the white "A" red, white, and blue--to show their support for the War in Iraq. This didn't sit well with a lot of people here in Tucson who were against the war--so another group of proud Americans went and painted it white again.

Then on St. Patrick's Day some proud intoxicated Americans went and painted the white "A" green. You can still see some of the green paint on the rock there. Being a bit drunk, they didn't stay in the lines very well--shame on them!

Now get this: some self-righteous, god fearin', Tucson business man dug deep in his wallet, and paid some Mexicans to re-paint the "A" red white and blue once more--blue, white, red--white blue, red--whatever. Maybe something got lost in the translation?

Kind of a cool view of the city from up here, ne' est ce pas?

Old post card image.

John and I are about to go back down. You can see the parking lot for a trail head here in the right hand corner.

View of the Northwest side where we rode from this morning.

A last look at Down Town Tucson before we head for breakfast.

This is what you see on the last few miles of El Tour de Tucson--heading into the heart of down town to the finish line.

We are early and we'll beat the sunday crowd.

Patti and Robert recognize me as we're leaving IHOP and they're coming in for breakfast. Patti has toured Spain, France, Italy, and Hungary by bicycle!

On the way back home, we take a detour to see these fellows fly these cool planes.

Umm... John says he knows a short cut--our 'lil adventure deserves a post unto itself, Gentle Reader of This Blog.

This sign is posted where no one will ever see it--or ride their bike--except us on John's cyclo-cross short cut.

Where are we, John?

I'm taking care of my friend's dogs this weekend. After the ride, I check in on them, and we chill.


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