Sunday, September 07, 2014

Post Card from Tucson

Le Tigre on McCain Loop
Over the Labor Day Weekend, I made a trip down to Tucson, Gentle Readers of This Blog.  I want to let you know that Triple B Ranch was dark for about 10 days due to technical considerations - but that is no longer the case!  Work, as you know all to well, keeps me busy and I'm just getting to this post - gosh!  a week later!  

Anyway, went to Dog Mtn and stayed in my house there.  I still have, and will continue to have ties to Tucson and plan to keep the place there up and ready for my use and Little Egypt too.  I got lots of yard work done, bought a few things, like a bed for me to sleep on rather than show up at midnight to stay with my neighbors!  

Yeah, it's a eight hour drive down from the Rez to Tucson.  I was lucky as I had a ton of comp-time built up, and then a colleague said she'd cover for me for my shift - so I was able to leave The College at 3pm and get a good start Thursday afternoon.  That gave me Friday to work at my place, Saturday too, and then Sunday to ride with Le Tigre!

Old Main renovations are done!  
We start at 6am and wish we could have started earlier even!  Expected temps would be 104, so you got to ride early and get done before you get cooked!  Le T and I met up and soon we were on our beloved U of A Campus - cool and quiet and a chance for my Old School Chum and I to catch up on things!

Corner of University Ave and Euclid
We're on University Ave, just through the Main Gate and on our way soon out of town.

UV arm protection - white is the new black?
So now all the Cool Kids wear these UV arm protectors - need one for my head because I get sunburned through the vents in my helmet - also the sunscreen starts to run down and into my eyes.  A very thin UV beanie might actually do me some good, mes amis!   

Sporting my Team Mooney Jersey!  
Hard to believe it has been ten years since school, riding with Stef, Le Tigre, John, Cathy, Dave...  I wanted to wear my Team Mooney Jersey once again in the old haunts.  It still fits, and I can still ride these mountain roads with the likes of young and ever-so-strong  Le Tigre!

Gates Pass
So here we go up Gates Pass.  I have to say I can still do this route - maybe even a bit better because I'm thinner, and I've been living at 7200 feet.  But I have to tell you, I'm accustom to much cooler mountain weather - it is HOT even at 6:30 a.m.  

Pull-out at top of Gates Pass
Had good times with all my friends here, Gentle Readers of This Blog.  We see other riders and it's all smiles and waves!  This is the place to ride, and like Ryan said, this is really the most beautiful part of Tucson.

What a great visit!
Le Tigre makes quick work of Gates Pass.  I enjoy the ride too, and I am struck by the beauty of  this place.  It really is remarkable, mes amis!  The land and the view and the plants are magical - I hope you get a chance to feel it for yourself one day.  

I think that's why cyclists are drawn out here - this is really a most sacred and special place.

Sand and gravel on McCain Loop
As you know, McCain Loop is the best place for fast rollers in Saguaro Nat'l Park, West, and Tucson Mtn Park.  Lots of rain so sand and gravel are on the road.  You have to be careful - lucky for us most of the sand and gravel were swept off.  You could be going really fast here, and other places on the Loop, and run across unseen sand - don't want to crash out here!  Just take in the air and sun and sights!

Le Tigre, Old College Chum from University Days
I had my camera ready for The Wolf.  If you know my blog and my Tucson Days, you know The Wolf is a legend - the Guardian of the Park.  The Spirit of the Road.  The One Who Rides Forever so the World is Right.

Le Tigre had told me that he had not seen him for quite some time, and I was worried.  As always, he "appears" and I get that quick photo.

This time on McCain Look he did not.  I was a bit heartbroken.  I really needed him to be on the road today, after everything that had happened to me -  all the strife and pain we went through to make things right again.  Little Egypt and I had to face some real nasty people who tried to cheat us - but we prevailed, Gentle Readers of This Blog!

We did not see The Wolf
Le Tigre, always watching out for the Old Dude (me?) got me talked into stopping at the Visitor Center (on the West side of Saguaro Nat'l Park) to get water.  They put in a new fountain for hikers and cyclists, and it was ice cold!  

As we pulled out and went on our way for the Home Stretch of our ride - THE WOLF APPEARED!!!  Oh I was so happy!  I waved and said hello, as did The Wolf with a bright smile and friendly way!  

All is Right in the World...  Thank God that The Wolf Rides in Saguaro National Park.

Picture Rocks Rd, in Saguaro National Park, West
Le Tiger took me on Picture Rocks Road - a road I loathe.  It is narrow and dangerous, and the people that live out here on the margins of the Park are red necks and haters.  I couldn't believe we were out here, and I have to say I was just wanting to pedal hard and get the few miles over with.

This is a road for the Brave at Heart - and really that is not me, not here.  But traffic was light, and drivers courteous and they gave us room.  Le Tiger took off while I fumble for my camera to try to get a photo of 'em on this little black ribbon of Hell and Heaven in Saguaro Nat'l Park.

Afterward, my old friend and I were cruising down the bike path back to car - laughing, talking about our lives and hopes and how much our boys have grown.  I am certainly older - Le Tigre, as always, slim and healthy (Vegetarian Beer Drinking Tucson Cat) ha ha ha

Hey I'm glad you checked-out my blog.  I hope you enjoyed your time off and got to ride!

Cheers!  Bruce

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