Been doing lots of riding, and mostly camping in remote areas so it's taken awhile to do an update. Let's see, where were we?
We headed to Eloy to pick up my buddy, then drove right back to Tucson to celebrate New Year's. After our raging festivities around a campfire in the Catalina Mountains, we drove on back over to Eloy so my buddy could jump and we could make use of the nice camping facilities including HOT SHOWERS and laundry. Wow, luxury. Neither of us had had a "real" shower in a long time, so this was a real treat. Clean and fresh, we headed to bed ready to see what the area had to offer in regards to riding. Our first ride was exploring the area to the east of town, making it as far as the north end of the Picacho Mountains. We followed the irrigation canal for quite awhile, then crossed on this bridge:
Andie wasn't too happy about the loose conditions thus far on the ride, so was happy to see this concrete bridge
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse and the road turned to pretty deep sand:
Andie wasn't too stoked at this point, so she decided to let me go play for a little bit while she enjoyed the scenery. She climbed up on this nice pile of boulders and enjoyed the evening light:
I rode on and the road surface actually got better a little further on. Since it was already getting to be late afternoon it was time to head back to camp, but we found a more direct (paved) route back and decided to explore this are some more another day. We could get here quick on the paved route, plow through the sand knowing it wouldn't last forever, then check out the rest of the area. Good plan, but first we wanted to ride up to Florence and check out the trails up there!
We got up early the next day, dressed warm for a long pavement pounding session, and headed out towards Florence. We made it there with no drama and headed out the Price road east of town along the Gila River. Our goal was the Box Canyon road and then we'd decide if we wanted to ride anything more. It's a beautiful ride, but was a bit challenging in spots for Andie. She got over her fears though and managed to ride all of the obstacles on the trail. Very proud
Start of the Box Canyon:
Entering the canyon:
More canyon scenery:
It really is a beautiful ride:
We through the whole "normal" section of the ride. When we got to the super technical section Andie took a break and I rode on to check it out. A lot of it looked like this:
I rode those parts. What I did not ride was this part:
I took the sissy path around that looked like this:
I made it back to Andie in one piece and we headed back. The ride was longer than we had thought, and we had a lot of pavement to ride back, so we didn't explore any of the side roads. There's a ton of super technical stuff on the side trails I think, so it would be a cool area to explore some other time.
We got back to Eloy just in time to enjoy a gorgeous sunset and crack open a beer with my buddy who'd had a boring day jumping out of airplanes.
Our final day we decided to head back to the area north of Picacho Mountains we'd gone the first day. We cruised over there quickly on the pavement, Andie braved the sandy section, and we started exploring the small tracks in the area. There was a bit more sand, but not too bad, and a whole lot of cactus. At one point we saw a cow whose whole face was covered in jumping cholla. Ouch!!! So much for "free-range" beef being humane! Luckily neither of us had a run-in with any of the spiky bastards and we enjoyed our ride. Found more of these really cool boulder piles that reminded us of the desert in Namibia:
We climbed up a ways and had a snack. The view towards Tucson:
That concluded our riding around the Eloy area. I'd been waiting for a package to come with the parts for my clutch. It showed up and it was time to go do some wrenching. I made arrangements with MAXVERT to do the clutch install and we headed back to the Tucson area. Had a great time catching up with my buddy and exploring the area. And we got HOT SHOWERS! Did I mention that?