Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year on the Border

We celebrated family time and food with Mikes ever-welcoming family before beginning the journey south to the sun.

The destination was Southern Arizona, with a couple of stops along the way. 

The Benson family hosted us in Albuquerque with more food, beer and photos  and armed us with knowledge and a map for the journey. Next stop was Globe, AZ. where we opened a cheap bottle of wine and spent a chilly night.

Mike had spent some time investigating riding options and we started in the Coronado Forest between Sonoita and the little town of Patagonia; low, low in Arizona.

Mamasita enjoying no-where.
Driving down we drove through an immigration check-point and were later informed that every road 500 miles to the east and west had controls, a second border almost. It felt not scary but disconcerting, especially as I didn’t bring my papers. But I also felt intimidated out in this desert, perhaps due to the number of hunters that quietly moved through our camp at odd times. It made me wonder what they were hunting. It made me wonder about  the people who are constantly moving through the area in hiding. It made me think.

Patagonia, is a little gem of a town, with some of the friendliest people I’ve experienced, we got more waves in one morning  than a surfing camp.  The cycling routes were beautiful on dirt roads through golden meadows, amazing colours.

Beautiful old trees

Successfully moving north past the border patrol was the balmy temperatures of Tucson. We based in Catalina State Park and enjoyed a little road biking.  I connect with living on the bike; doing everyday tasks but at the pace of the road and your legs. It was enjoyable to mix the urban with the wilderness; we went to Trader Jos and bought great food, visited a museum, let our shoulders see the sun, took a lot of cactus photos.

A rainforest of cacti
Not a cactus, but an version of cauliflower I've never seen!

Always a shadow

This south piece of America’s border demands another look, more time to build understanding, comfort and appreciation. But for now we return to the brutality of Leadville and some of the realities.

Tucson weather for Saturday  high of 70F/ 21C , Leadville low of 1F/ -17C.