Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Biking from Douglas AZ to Rodeo, New Mexico March 25

March 25.....58.09 miles in 4:13.....All the time I was riding, I kept having the recurring thought that 'This is beautiful, and this is a great ride!' The mountains were nice to look at, but to not have to climb over, and the long ribbons of highway cut through flat plains that were almost golden, with dry grasses. The stiff wind was, fortunately, a tail wind most of the time. The road was in great shape, and after the first ten miles out of Douglas, I didn't have a shoulder, but I didn't need one. Traffic was practically non existent. There were 3-4 mile stretches where I never touched the handlebars, just sat up, let the wind catch my back, and pedaled no handed. I had to climb about 500 ft to get out of the valley that contained Douglas, but it was a very gradual climb, and I hardly noticed it. AZ 80 then wound around a pretty big mountain, but after that, the road seemed to be straight as an arrow, with a gradual descent, all the way to New Mexico. There were no towns, unless you count the two houses that had a green sign that said it was the town of Apache. Right outside of that town was a monument built to commemorate the nearby surrender of Geronimo, thereby ending the war between the Indians and the US government. The town of Rodeo, just inside the New Mexico border, only had about twenty houses, a store, a bar and a church, with two picnic tables that they called a town park. There was, however, always a ranch building or two in sight, often far off in the distance. As I began my descent on the second half of the ride, I was always accompanied by a few scattered cattle, taking advantage of the grasslands, including one stud cow with the biggest horns I've ever seen, still out in a field, not in captivity or hanging on a wall somewhere.
As I rode, I was almost always in sunshine, even though I could see ominous grey rain clouds off to my left, and out in front of me. I got a few drops of rain as I stopped to take a picture at the Geronimo monument, so I knew rain was around me. As I crossed into New Mexico, I was swallowed up by the cloud cover, and the tailwind that I had been enjoying turned to a chilly headwind. The last eight miles, through Rodeo, to Rusty's RV ranch were pretty miserable, ending a great ride on a not so great note. The wind continued throughout the evening, and it was sometimes accompanied by rain. The symbolism was not lost on me, that the weather changed just as I crossed into New Mexico. It signified that we are out of the Sonoran Desert and its dry, warm temperatures, and we are heading east for real now, into the higher elevations and volatile spring weather that we are bound to encounter until we are home.  It made me feel a little better that the Phoenix / Tucson area had a haboob that was 5000 ft tall and thirty miles wide blow through today, that we may have been caught in if we were still there. The forecast around here for the next two days is for high winds and dust storms, so I am going to try to advance a little bit each morning, before the predicted 30-40 mph winds kick up. We'll see how that goes.
As Pam and I strolled around Rusty's RV Ranch in the early evening, we were attacked by two geese, who must have had a nest by a pond we were walking by. After making a ton of noise as we approached, one goose actually charged me, and I kicked him gently in the beak two times to hold him off. As we walked away, he charged me again, and this time I spooked him with a rock that I threw his way, and he backed off before I had to punt him. They did a very aggressive job of protecting their brood, but I have to say, I've never been attacked by a goose before, and I did a good job of protecting Pam.

Free speech out on the range.....

Flat road, nice shoulder and mountains in the future

The clouds are moving in

Unusual mountain formation
Just beautiful

Spring has come to Arizona

Big stud cow!

This is where Geronimo surrendered

Geronimo monument

Welcome with dark clouds

There was a neat koi pond at our campground with many frogs - can you find him????

The attack geese

Across the road from our campground we found.......soda machines!  Go figure?!

The campground also had these birds

Our campsite at Rusty's RV Ranch

Footage from our TV regarding the Phoenix haboob

Thank goodness we missed this!!!

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