Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Biking from Tucson to Tombstone,AZ March 21

Friday, March 21.....70.43 miles in 5:26.....first day of spring.....another great day to roll on down the highway. Well, actually the bike path, at first. As I headed southeast, out of town, past the huge international airport and the Air Force base, the roads were pretty beat up, and my legs were the same, thanks to my visit to the top of Mt. Lemmon two days ago. Mild tightness and fatigue mixed with a slight uphill grade as I left the Tuscon Valley, and a swirling wind, combined to make me work a little on this ride. I eventually was directed by my GPS girl onto the Julian Wash. The Wash Trail is part of a 55 mile loop that is in various stages of completion, around metro Tucson. This section was done, and it was a very nice bike trail with information stops and historical markers along the way. I also passed a huge solar farm, with acres of different sized solar panels, some the size of half a football field. There must have been two dozen big ones, and a hundred smaller ones. The Julian Wash Trail emptied me out onto a road that took me to Interstate 10, at the 16 mile mark of my ride. The next 30 miles were spent dodging steel belt and tire shrapnel along the shoulder of I-10. The scenery was nice, with mountains all around, but the types of cactus changed as I rolled uphill to get through a small mountain pass, then it was a quick roll down into the San Pedro Valley, to get off the interstate at Benson, AZ. I stopped at a Subway there for lunch, then began the rolling climb back out of the valley to Tombstone on AZ 80. I ended up climbing over 3000 ft for the day, with no serious climbs, just a lot of rollers. AZ 80 was a decent enough road, with sufficient shoulders, and some different colored dirt and rocks to look at as I rode.
Tombstone is built on a hill, with silver mines catacombing everything under the town. The silver mines are the reason the town is here, and all the crazy western stuff that happened here was a result of a huge population explosion that the law couldn't keep up with. Tombstone was the biggest town between New Orleans and Los Angeles for a time during the boom times. I rode into town, and somehow Pam had found a campground within walking distance of everything, on what would turn out to be a very busy weekend. We walked uptown, had a drink at one of the saloons, and familiarized ourselves with what we wanted to see tomorrow.

Decoration over the Julian Wash bike trail

Solar farm - they are definitely bigger than the ones on our motor home!!!

I guess there are going to be big cracks in the road!!

Mike knew he was headed towards Tombstone when he passed a pile of bones alongside the road!

AZ 80 on the way to Tombstone


Sunset in Tombstone

Crystal Palace Saloon

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