9 February 2012 - 10:10Adventurneering
It’s a new term I came up with.
Moving slowly on Monday, Dough, Ginger and I checked out of the hotel, and rallied over to Dejay’s for the third leg of the trip. We were going to head up to Oro Valley to stay at the truly amazing WOW Arizona retreat, owned and operated by one of Dejay’s friends, CJ. Dough and Ginger took off to do some Tucson sightseeing before they had to leave town, so we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Michele was also leaving, and needed a ride to the airport, so we dropped her off before heading north. Our numbers were diminishing.
We were treated with a feast when we got there, and we just sort of hung out and swapped stories about what happened over the last year. We all retired relatively early, so we could get our acts together to go for a ride the next day. CJ’s place is right at the base of the Chutes of the 50 Year Trail. What a fun place to ride.
We rode all the way to Catalina State Park, before we decided we would press on and try and find some more trail.
After a quick stop to eat some space food and admire the trickling stream of water at a wash, we decided that rather than go back the way we came, we would go out in search of adventure. I know, I know, a Jedi craves not these things… but we wanted more of a ride. Having somewhat of an idea of where we were going, we set off onto some “uncharted” trail. There was a little bit of hike a bike, but there were these pretty yellow poppies to admire.
Then the trail got pretty technical, and the higher up we got, the more rocky it became. And inevitably, more hiking was required to keep going. There was a weather front moving through, so there were some clouds, which made it less blisteringly hot during our hike, but almost magically, the sun popped out just as we reached this giant exposed slab of granite in the middle of a dry creek bed. This was another good spot to stop, and wouldn’t you know it, a tiny creek was flowing. Helmets off, heads dunked we sat like lizards on the big rock, taking in the view.
We were still pretty far out, but someone said “beer” so we knew it was time to go. We got back on our bikes and ended up taking the Sutherland Trail, a gnarly rubble strewn access road back towards the 50. It was hard. Nothing but rocks, some big, some small, many that moved. I highly recommend avoiding it. A game was necessary to clean it, but there was not a lot of A game to go around. Fortunately there was only minimal calamity.
Eventually we got back to the 50, and headed back. Some of us were on the verge of bonking, but we knew that we were close to home. You could tell, because we only did one lap on the Chutes. Bonking or not, the Chutes were run at full speed and we got back to CJs in record time. A huge bowl of queso awaited us, and we made it disappear at a horrifying rate.