We are riding towards El Paso to get end the tour. We need a bike shop to ship bikes and a major airport. Half the riders opted to backtrack to Tucson and disperse from there. The staff handled the logistics for both groups. The weather was blustery and gray.
In downtown Tombstone which was empty a tumbleweed blew across the dirt road.
We had fierce headwind for a hard uphill 23 mile ride to the Continental Divide. The rain started, it was cold. The riding was hard and slow.
The downhill to Bisbee for lunch was really torrential rain. After a lengthy stop at a great Vietnamese place 4 of us took off for Douglas.
The overnight was a restored hotel from 1907. we got hot baths and a delicious dinner and a tour of the hotel. The basement has tunnels to Mexico a speakeasy and upstairs a ghost.
Our adventure will end Sunday in El Paso. It not possible to move forward. Overnights are not open and many restaurants are not open. 3/17 started with a sign that the good times had already rolled through.
Thanks for following this journey that defies words.
Here is 3/17 recap. 73 miles Tucson to Tombstone. I am a bit numb and will cherish these last miles and every precious soul on this trip. The day was climb all morning have lunch and down/flat to Tombstone. We had headwind AM and tailwind PM. Lunch was fabulous.
The current plan is to ride Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and depart El Paso. Plans change by the day. We are at significant elevation (I am a TOTAL sea level girl) and climbing 3800 feet which takes me all day. My goal today is to ride consistently for another year and if the world /this ride still exists try this next year with a goal to have more down time.
The staff have been extraordinary and every 15 minutes there is a wonder of our country around the bend.
Feel my blessings for your continued health and peace.
Here is info on Tombstone from the beloved staff Frances:
Day 11. Welcome to Tombstone, The Town Too Tough to Die!!
That was a sloppy copy from screenshots. It is 3 am I am still on EST and do not know my way around files on the iPhone. Sorry.
Today is 73 miles with 3800 feet climbing. This will take me ALL day. My photos and sag stops and sprinkling the bushes add up to a long day. I hope I get to the fun sights, Main St and Boothill cemetery before our rib eye dinner. I know. Here are glamour shots from Catalina with my eating partner Larry B.
Here are the hardest working kids in bike touring The Wolf Pack. They do a tremendous amount of heavy lifting, tent city up and down, luggage, air mattress filling, top offs etc etc etc. They sleep in the uhaul.
This is Joanne a staff member from Canada. She must go home now and hopefully not quarantine, her border is closing.
Do you think she is my beloved D’s doppelgänger ?
Thinking of all of you, feel the Bubba love and be safe.
At lunch there was a speaker from a non profit that is harvesting back yard fruit and surplus and educating/ assimilating immigrants from Africa. We tried cactus buds, pomelo, Meyer lemon and on and on.
Chef Ann is to the right. New Mexico and Texas we are headed your way and are hungry all day please leave something on the shelf for Ms. Ann.
Here are some shots of the view, I believe that is the waterfall. It’s too hot to walk there now but I had great intentions.
Is this heaven ? No it’s Iowa, oooops Arizona.
Almost time to eat again. Getting a massage, buying butt powder and cleaning a chain is hard work. Look at Flo Rida in her Sunday best.
Today we left Casa Grande and rode 63 miles to Catalina State Park in Oro Valley AZ. The scenery was stunning. Most of the morning we headed towards Picacho Peak. There was some locally grown Pima cotton on the side of the road:
The depth and detail of the mountains just doesn’t capture in a photo. It is so fun to see a shape on the horizon and pedal for 2-3 hours and get up right next to it and see the details.
The sag stop was at a travel plaza with snacks and gifts and gourmet treats. This is NOT a joke.
The season and/or the heavy rain had things popping.
From the second sag stop it was a great ride toward the Catalina mountains and a bike path with blooms everywhere.
This lonely little water tower was a leg stretch break. It has a stories to tell I bet.
Did you know they did a second biosphere ? Is that a good virus hunker place ? We are continuing East self contained spending almost all time outside and are healthy. Anyone with a symptom is taken for a check. Fresh air sunshine and lots of sanitizer.
How about this blooming desert !!! Terry Lisa recently passed too soon is with me every mile in spirit.
The bike path to the camp was breathtaking.
The campground is right next to the mountains with trails and views everywhere. Today I hope to hike to the waterfall, after a Chiro visit and massage.
Hey this mileage is courtesy of Dr C and Ms Dana, my structural engineers back home.
Ann the chef continues to provide a feast all day. Last night was Middle Eastern with ice cream sundaes with a 5 gallon bucket of real whipped cream. Today a rest day is rumored to be over the top. I am posting this a bit late there is very little signal here.
Life is good however I will pass on the scorpion candy. This post has taken 14 hours to upload sooooo here is a sample of brunch. No worries lunch is in 2 hours.
All is well here, love to all, Thank you for following.
Here is the 411 on the Tucson area from Professor Frances our wonderful staff member. Thank you Frances.
The Tucson Rodeo Parade is the largest non-motorized parade in the world. 2. With 350 days of sunshine a year, Tucson is literally the sunniest city in the United States. 3. Tucsonans dream of Genie: Barbara Eden was born here in 1931. 4. Aside from the Amazon Rainforest, Tucson is home to more bird species than any other region on earth. 5. American Quarter Horse Racing as we know it in the United States began at Rillito Downs in the 1940s. 6. A 1970 article in “Life Magazine” referred to Speedway Blvd. as the ugliest street in America due to the prevalence of large signage there. 7. Since the “Life Magazine” article led to the loss of a great many classic local neon signs, the Tucson Sign Code was amended in 2011 to incentivize the preservation of the same signs Tucson sought to be rid of four decades earlier. 8. The University of Arizona allowed female students to study medicine in the 1890s, long before it was common practice to do so. 9. Though you won’t see him wandering Fourth Ave., Justin Beiber is said to own several acres of land near Marana, AZ. 10. The Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona Campus is home to the world’s largest and most well-documented collection of Southwest Indian pottery.
Good lord willing and the creek don’t rise it sounds fabulous.
It was a beautiful ride through the Sonora Desert. The suguaro cactus is enchanting. I want to hug one and bring one home.
I had a slow slog to sag 1. After a PB pickle with chips my pep picked up. The long downhill and authentic Mexican lunch helped put the burners on to finish in Casa Grande. Our campground is flooded so we are at a hotel 3 to a room in Casa Grande. Since I was bringing up the rear today not too many pics.
Sad face Beth got a flat. Her pal Shannon has had 3. Well it is Friday the 13th.
Coming into town the rain picked up to the point of cars making 6 foot waves in the puddles over our heads. Then the hail started. Our little gang of 3 Larry electric B, Tom Vermont and I have memories that will last a lifetime. There were hugs and tears by me. Men on e bikes do not cry.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. This rain and the virus has us inside out.
Here are the local facts from staff info expert Frances :
According to historian David Leighton, during World War II, from 1942 to 1945, a Japanese-American relocation camp was set up outside of Casa Grande, known as the Gila River War Relocation Center. Two notable people that were interned there were future actor Pat Morita and baseball player Kenichi Zenimura, who constructed a baseball field and set up a league in the relocation camp.
The economy of Casa Grande was historically based on rural, agricultural industries such as cotton and dairy farms. Over time, the city has become home to many Phoenix or Tucson urbanites who own homes in Casa Grande. Most residents either commute north to work in the Phoenix metropolitan area, or to the south, to work in Tucson. This trend has contributed to growth in the service industry of Casa Grande. Many new businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, and retail outlets are opening throughout the city in order to keep up with demand from the growing population.– Frances