72.16 miles in about 6:45...total ascent 1158 ft....without ever going up a hill!!! The most unique factoid about today's ride was the steady, unnoticable, rise in elevation from beginning to end, as I began to rise out of the Valley of the Sun. Another unique thing was the total lack of sun....all day long. Cloud cover prevailed ( thank God again), as a front is bringing in potential rain tonight. I have not seen a drop of rain since January 30, which is nine weeks. That's alot of ' dry', even in the desert. I once again pretty much paralleled Interstate 10, on frontage roads which I had to myself, even though I longed for the smoother Interstate shoulder and the slipstream created by the trucks. I was a good boy though, and bounced along the deteriorated roads into a headwind that wasn't as subtle as the ascent. Highlights of the trip were Picacho Peak, a uniquely shaped mountain, which was visible for 30 miles, hundreds of prairie dogs, two close brushes with road runners, a dead horse next to the road, and 'The Loop.' The loop is a bike trail that took me from about 20 miles north of Tucson, past the downtown area, and popped me out pretty close to my motel. And tomorrow I'll be getting back on it to head east. The trail basically followed the Santa Cruz River, which started as a briskly flowing 10-20 wide stream, and gradually deteriorated into a wide, sandy wash that was surrounded by industrial parks, recreational area, and quarries. I saw the tops of the buildings in downtown Tucson, but really bypassed an area that I was looking forward to riding through. Shacked up in a motel 6, very close to I 10.