Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hobo Wash

I'm in Hobo Wash, y'all!

Commuting on bike gives one a perspective on how things are layed-out. I noticed a long time ago that the washes in Tucson seem to connect and run through the city. These were runoff washes from the rain and snow in the Catalina Mtns. Looks like a long time ago they go cemented over. I drive and bike and walk over these washes all the time. I've always had this burning desire to see what would happen if I biked down one of 'em.

This is the wash as I'm walking over the foot bridge from the San's parking garage (taken after work). How do I get down there and how far can I ride, mes amis?

I'm meeting Le Tigre for lunch and on the campus bike.

Le Tigre and I have to weave in and out of businesses and such, and along busy Grant Rd along the sidewalk.

I've always noticed this dirt ramp just off Grant Rd as I've ridden by--and hey the gate is open!

I would never go down into the wash by myself--for fear of Taliban or North Korean Commandos--but with my school chum Ryan, I expect we can handle mutant alligators, anacondas, and hobo attacks. If one of us can escape these perils and survive, then the tale can be recounted for next of kin...

At lease one of us is wearing a helmet, so that betters our chances of skirting around Death a bit better.

Freedom from the office and desk chair and the bullshit, wind blowin' through my hair, Gentle Readers of This Blog!

I can't believe we're doing this! What an adventure--and Le Tigre's bike is an old Sears 3 Speed he bought on Craig's List--perfect for recklessly following me on a whim down into Hobo Wash!

Whoa--the wash is like some other world, wide and deep--and people have planted shrubs and trees to block the plain slabs of concrete. Now those shrubs and trees are growing wild--kind of cool I think.

No dead bodies or abandoned cars--just some juvenile graffiti in spots.

This bridge is Glenn Ave and right before one of the back entrances to the Desert San. We've come down about half a mile riding on the right side, and now I believe if we go the opposite direction on the left side, we will cut right through and ride on the Northern border of the San's campus.

I'm on my lunch hour. By bike, we had time to ride to the eatery, and then have 20 or so minutes to go exploring.

To the left is the parking garage, and this is the foot bridge I take over to walk to my office. The bridge further back is for cars, and I ride over it on my bike as I'm coming into the San from Craycroft.

We've ridden a very quick mile just about--that ramp up is right near the corner of Grant and Craycroft. We entered the wash from about Grant and Swan, a mile West from here.

This petroglyph's probable meaning is that this is the way to exit the wash.

But we decide to ignore the sign and go just a bit further--we cross underneath the intersection of Grant and Craycroft! This is cool because it is one of the busiest intersections in Tucson. Who could imagine that there's this whole other underground network of washes?

We could probably go further, but lunch hour is about over. We turn around and look for a way to get out back on the Desert San campus.

Le Tigre checks it out. This would be difficult to carry a bike up, but you could if you had too. Still, the wash is deep as you can see by the ladder he's going up.

Looks like the best way is to use the exit ramp as suggested by the petroglyph. There's a great deal of construction on this side of the campus, and lots of heavy machinery are just over the top of the wash.

Bikes can save the World.

Le Tigre is the consummate roadie, Gentle Readers of this Blog--just look at that form!

Back at the Desert San in no time by biking across campus.

Recon of Hobo Wash was a success, mes amis!

More adventure to come, Gentle Readers!

Cheers! Bruce


Sir Bikesalot said...

Sweet! A lunchtime urban assault. I wish the accessible floodways up here were paved. Although I guess we have canals but most of the banks aren't paved and not too many of them go under or over the roads and intersections.

Red Bike said...

We have nothing like that here in England. The closest we have are dis-used railway lines and canals.

Big Oak said...

Wow, you've discovered a whole new world. I wonder why others don't ride there, besides the juvies with their spray cans. We just have ditches and natural streams usually filled with water around here.