Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon and back

Saturday May 11--- 65 miles in 5:00. The day started out hot, it may have hit 100, but I think the humidity was about 5%. That type of heat really doesn't seem to bother me, or affect my riding until I am totally dehydrated, without even knowing it. You just cannot drink enough water, no matter how hard you try. When Buddy was here running a track meet a few years ago, he told us about how beautiful Red Rock Canyon was. He was right, it is definitely a "must see". The riding in the area is as good as anywhere I've ever been. The elevation changes are sometimes severe, but gradual. The roads around Las Vegas, and out to the canyon are smooth and the shoulders wide. Bikers can ride in bus lanes on the main roads with few conflicts, even though the roads are busy, cars stay out of them. My trip started on the east end of Vegas, at Arizona Charlie's RV park, and I followed Flamingo Ave. all the way across town, including across Vegas Blvd, with heavy traffic, but no problems. I was told half of the drivers in Vegas are drunk by several people, but so far no signs of that at all. I think we are camping at the lowest elevation in the valley, because I climbed steadily all through town, and especially out through the suburbs towards the mountains to the west of town. I had climbed 2000 ft before I even got to the real mountains. The suburbs of Vegas are beautiful, their newness speaking to how fast the area is growing. There are some manicured grass lawns, but decorative stone lawns seem to be the rule. Every single shrub and tree is irrigated however, or it would fry, because we are on the edge of the Mojave Desert. Once I got out of the furthest suburbs, it was about five miles to the park, then another three to the visitors center. It was a 23 miles ride to the visitor center, where a beautiful 13 mile loop begins. The loop is pretty heavily traveled by cars, but it is all one way, two lane road, which makes it plenty wide enough for the bikers, of which I saw plenty. The first five miles of the loop climbs about 1800 feet to a total of about 4850, then it really drops fast. The red and white colored mountains on the beginning of the loop, are totally different from the mountains on the back side of the loop. The red rocks are some of the most popular climbing walls in the world. The other mountains are creviced, and Pam said some of the formations reminded her if a pipe organ. The colors were totally different also. After I rode the loop, I met Pam, who came out in the Jeep, and we drove the loop, stopping at several areas to hike. We hiked the Lost Creek Trail, which Buddy had told us about. When he was there in the month of March, a waterfall was one of his favorite sights. When we were there, the waterfall was totally dried up. After hiking and checking out the visitor center, Pam dropped me off for the downhill ride back to the campground. The ride back was quick as promised, on a different route, Charleston Blvd. The day ended with a meal and some slot play at Arizona Charlie's, and a totally debilitating, drop to my knees groin cramp, from the dehydration.

Before going for a ride, Mike had to change a flat.  Guess what caused it?  A goat's head thorn!

Entrance to Red Rock Canyon

The views are spectacular that words can not capture.

Hiking back to the waterfall that Buddy told us about.  

Unfortunately, it wasn't there!

Barrel cactus

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