Douglas - Sierra Vista - I'm Happy To Be Here - CycleBlaze

November 26, 2021

Douglas - Sierra Vista

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Today should have been a rest day. Because Jacinto talked me into going to Douglas, it would now be the longest riding day of the trip.  I would say it's a chance to work off the turkey. We didn't eat turkey. 

Breakfast was egg and bacon sandwiches that the attendant made for us. I asked her to skip the bread on mine and put the ingredients on a plate. I ate four of the prefab eggs. I don't eat four eggs at home, but they didn't seem as large here. Bacon, and yogurt rounded out my breakfast. I took a couple of small apples for later. I hoped that would be good enough to get me down the road. I had my complete dinner to go from last night. We never did eat dinner. I could stop somewhere and have a picnic!

I was aiming to leave at 8 AM, in concession to the long miles. Somehow that didn't happen and I was out the door at 8:40. Jacinto planned to lift weights before going the climbing route over Mule Pass. Who doesn't need a little exercise before their exercise?

Jacinto secondary reason for waiting was there should be a strong tailwind today. He felt payback was necessary for yesterday. I'd like a tailwind, but I sure wasn't going to sit around waiting for it!

The temperature was 48 when I left, and gradually increased to 60. This isn't our usual Arizona November weather. The sky was blue. That was a relief! 

It took only a couple of miles to get out of town. I was happy that the shoulder was better than yesterday. At least my mirror didn't get shaken loose! I still stayed to the left of the white line when possible, but at least the shoulder was mostly ridable, if bumpy. 

I enjoyed looking around at the vistas. I occasionally glanced at my computer and confirmed the numbers were going up in  a pleasing manner. 

I had a 22 mile gradual uphill until the moment of truth. That was the point where I had to decide if I wanted to ride the short route with more climbing (over Mule Pass), or take a ten mile longer route with 800 feet less climbing. My plan was to go for the miles, and that's what I ended up doing. 

I noted the turn at Double Adobe Road for Elfrida. We turned there in 2020. My memory to that point was that the downhill was enjoyable. Translation - the uphill right now will be a slog. I stopped and ate a little apple, and half a bar in preparation. The joke was on me. It was a middle chain ring climb all the way to the roundabout. 

From the intersection to the roundabout was four miles. That area is called Grace's Corner and goes through a canyon. There are all sorts of plants in the area. Most of the plant photos today are from that short section. I looked around to see if anything was recognizable from that 2020 trip. We had stayed in an airbnb house with Tom. There's the Safeway, where Jacinto bought us the most dry, tasteless chicken ever. That I definitely remember.

I started a long downhill. It was cold. I had done just enough climbing to get sweaty. 60 degrees with a sweaty downhill isn't too fun. I saw two cyclists on this section. I had a downhill with a slight tailwind. Which means the cyclist whom I think gave me the finger (!) was going uphill into a headwind. That certainly wasn't my fault! I'm not positive what the hand gesture was, but it didn't look friendly. 

I was watching for the Hereford Road turn. That would be a good time to find a spot to eat some of my lunch to fuel me for the remaining 20 miles. The day had been good. I had traveled the highway all day long without concern. I was still ready to ride some back roads. 

When I turned onto Hereford, the road continued downhill. It's a shame to stop on a downhill. Every mile I get down the road is one more mile in the bank. Finally I saw a short piece of guard rail over a culvert. I stopped and parked the bike. There was just enough room to step over the guard rail for a potty break. It would have been ironic if I had lost my balance and fallen the five feet down into the wash. Luckily, I didn't! I ate some of my breakfast ranchero Mexican food, and took a little break. OK - let's knock this out! I was feeling good, considering the mileage, and the lack of training this fall.

I called Jacinto to check in. He was way back, having done weights. He bemoaned the lack of tailwind, but was still planning on riding the pass. Jacinto said I would get to town way before him. I wasn't so certain. Jacinto would get a nice downhill after the pass. 

There were a number of paved roads crisscrossing the valley. Going towards the mountains, I was going uphill. Take a cross road, and I'd go downhill. Soon enough I reached Highway 90. I girded my loins for high traffic. It was five miles to the motel. I can do this. Just when the traffic got uncomfortable, a bike path appeared. Jacinto says there was one on both sides of the road. He crossed the road early, and it sounds like had a faster/easier trip to the motel. I stayed on my side and ended up having to ride a narrow sidewalk with many driveway cut outs. I got there. It was fine. Just busy. 

Tomorrow we have a choice of two routes. We can go around, back to Whetstone, and ride busy 82 again, heading west. Or, we can get a pass to ride through the fort, and over Canelo Pass. It is five miles to the fort visitor center where we get our passes. That is too far to go and come back without adding too many miles to the already long day today. We will have to get it on the way in the morning.  I hope that there isn't a big wait. The last time we got a pass, we waited more than an hour. We can always go around, but we would much rather take the quiet road over the pass. 

Later - We finished my leftovers and weren’t hungry for dinner. We discussed food needs for tomorrow. I’ve been trying to eat more real food, and fewer bars. I always include an apple. That helps. Jacinto had two days of leftovers, but his food has no expiration date. I didn’t dare take any of his food. 

It was a very, very pleasant surprise to find that Chili’s restaurant was .4 miles from our motel. We agreed to watch a movie and walk to Chili’s. 

We had a ten minute wait to be seated. They had only two servers. We got one of three booths in the bar area, waited on by the bar tender. I warned her that we had bicycled from Douglas today and would be ordering a lot of food. She was quite confused when we ordered three meals! By the time we ate salad and chips and salsa, I had just a few bites of my food and asked for a to go box. I would have plenty of food to eat at the top of the pass!

I overheard the bar tender saying that she had ‘released all of her shifts’. I translated that to she was quitting. She said that they didn’t need a bar tender, they weren’t busy. We were there at 8 PM. There was no one drinking at the bar and only a few drink orders coming in. We had great service at our table, being one of three. 

Jacinto and I spent some time negotiating tomorrow. I wanted to ride together through busy Sierra Vista to the fort. After that, I didn’t care. That means we need to depart the same time. Not too early, not too late. I told Jacinto if we don’t leave after breakfast, I would have to eat again before leaving the room! He looked puzzled, and said that’s what he does. Jacinto seldom snacks while riding. If he does, it’s been a long, hard day.   maybe I need to eat MORE in the morning. I never thought I would feel like I don’t eat enough. How ironic. 

We ended up agreeing to sleep in, and go to breakfast late the better to leave the room late. 

I feel good. My legs are not complaining. It was a long mile day, under favorable conditions. The strong tailwind never materialized, which was a shame. The day was a success anyway. 

Downtown Bisbee. Jacinto’s photo.
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Jonquil Motel, where we stayed with Spoon and friends.
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View from the top of the pass.
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Jacinto arrived straight into the room!
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An irrigated field with cows has been a rarity this trip.
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The grass on the shoulder and the raised, repaired areas make the shoulder difficult to use.
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An interesting ranch gate.
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Bill, I have plenty of specimens today!
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Bill ShaneyfeltProbably Palmer's Agave.

https://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=3061
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7 months ago
Here’s another.
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This hillside was covered in ocotillos. Perfect for fence harvesting.
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Two for one.
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Bill ShaneyfeltAnother Palmer's and the yucca might be soaptree yucca... Might, because it is a bit south of its range, however close enough that it could be. Other look-alikes do not have spikes on the leaves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_elata
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7 months ago
On the climb to Bisbee, there were quite a few with fruit.
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Bill ShaneyfeltGood ol' cane cholla.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylindropuntia_imbricata
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7 months ago
I liked this sign detail in Lowell, outside of Bisbee.
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Image not found :(
There were a number of small train tressles in this area. To my untrained area, they all looked old. I wonder if their replacement is in the transportation bill?
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My favorite scenery photo today.
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More fruit. This was in landscaping in Sierra Vista.
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Bill ShaneyfeltThe highly variable cactus apple prickly pear.

https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query
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7 months ago
The Sierra Inn. $89. Based on the signs on the door, I think it was a Days Inn until recently. Two sink areas, one by the tub. The other in the room.
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Today's ride: 57 miles (92 km)
Total: 249 miles (401 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 4
Rachael AndersonGood choice on doing more miles and less climbing.
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7 months ago
Suzanne GibsonGreat pictures, looks like a beautiful ride!
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Rachael AndersonJacinto said only the last 1.5 miles was steep and he didn’t use all of his gears. He’s not a real good source of information. He’s too strong. I like mere mortal opinions!
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7 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Suzanne GibsonWe both had good, if different, days. I wasn’t planning on big miles, being a winter tour. But we’ve had a couple of 50+ mile days. I’m thankful they have gone well.
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7 months ago