It feels good to be lost in the right direction - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

January 23, 2022

It feels good to be lost in the right direction

Mesa bike day #2

After a rainy night with winds strong enough to blow over our LED palm tree, the clouds had moved on by the time the sun rose. It was forecast to be warmer which sounded ideal for a ride. 

Don was improving but wanted another rest day so he mapped out a ride for me that would take me north on some bike routes. I could do a loop ride on a different canal trail that ran roughly north/south. 

I headed out after lunch, happy to be on a ride and looking for adventure. Well, I definitely found plenty of that!

For the first part of my ride I got on a canal trail that ran behind our park and went north. It actually was paved and nice to ride, except for the annoying access points as I crossed each street at grade. I had to go through a small open section next to a gate, go around a bollard to get back on the trail. Those I chose to walk as there were piles of loose gravel at each spot. 

The trail was only paved for a little more than a mile then reverted to gravel/dirt. As it was rideable, I kept going. I was looking for a specific street that went west, but none of the streets I crossed had signs. 

I kept going and going and going. Hmmmm, where the heck is this street? There were nice views of the mountains and in one section I passed large groves of oranges. But the trail had deteriorated to really rough gravel and was tough to ride.

I stopped by one grove as I needed a bathroom and the trees provided good cover. It was also time to pull out my map and figure out where I was. Well, that didn't help much so I decided that when I got to the next street, I would turn west on it and hope that I could find a sign.

As I headed west on that street, I was shocked to see that it was McDowell Rd.! Good grief!! That was WAY further north than the other road I had been searching for. 

Well, since there was a good bike lane on this road and not too much traffic, I kept going west. In general I knew the direction I needed to go but wasn't sure about the streets I needed to be take to get to the next canal.

I continued to stop and get out my map which wasn't much help as many of the smaller streets weren't labeled. When I came to a green bike route sign heading south, I decided to take that for awhile. 

As that ended at a busy road which was on my bike map, I saw that I needed to go further west and do some more jogging around. At one point I crossed the Eastern Canal which had a paved trail so I opted to take that south. 

Typically, the pavement turned to gravel after a mile or so. I didn't need to ride any more gravel today, so got on the next road I crossed which had a bike lane and lots of traffic. 

A little more jogging took me to the Consolidated Canal which was my destination. The bike map had indicated it had a paved trail which it did. Yeah! A very nice wide trail. 

Too bad there were so many at-grade crossings every time it crossed a street. But at least each street had a sign and pedestrian light (even though the buttons were difficult for me to reach on my bike). Most of the time I would just wait for a gap in the traffic and go all the way across or pause in the safety zone in the middle of the street. It was too bad there weren't underpasses on this trail which would have made it perfect. 

Now I was really enjoying my ride, but it would have helped a lot if there had been a few parks that had bathrooms. A bush next to a brick wall worked as there weren't very many people out. 

I really couldn't figure out why there weren't more people on the trail as it was a beautiful day. If this trail had been in Tucson it would have been crowded with all types of users on a Sunday. 

I kept going underneath Highway 60 and decided to turn around. I could see the pavement continued further south but it was already 3:30. Time to make my way home before the sun set.

Now it was easy to find my way. I stayed on the trail onto I reached a bike route 1 sign then turned east to follow that. I was on that route yesterday and knew exactly where it went.

It was pleasant riding past the homes and several schools. Eventually I reached the Greenfield Park where I rode around the small fishing pond, hoping to see some different waterfowl. There were a group of widgeons on the water but they kept swimming away from me every time I tried to take a picture. 

I kept going east across Greenfield Rd and then just followed the route through the next neighborhood that I did yesterday. Only a couple of missed streets and a dead end to frustrate me a little. But I was finally able to find my way north now as I crossed the last two busy streets to reach the gate to the park. 

It was 4:30 when I pulled into our site. I was a bit tired and quite hungry by now but happy with my day which despite getting a bit lost, was more successful than yesterday's ride. 

Time for dinner and a glass of wine!

Nice views of the mountains today looking toward the north.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The paved section of this canal trail near us had these annoying access points. While the trail itself was paved, you had to navigate around this bollard in loose gravel to get to the pavement which also had a ridge. Too precarious to ride so I walked each spot.
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These are wild peach faced lovebirds. There must be thousands of these little parrots throughout the Valley.
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Scott AndersonPeach-faced lovebirds. What an appealing name.
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3 months ago
On the first canal trail I was on took me past several orange groves with trees laden with fruit.
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A thumb's up to the Consolidated Canal trail!
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These metal buffalo sculptures reminded me of Borrego Springs.
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Check out these cool "low rider" bikes!
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It's Christmas at the Swett's house! Checking out our latest Amazon delivery. All kinds of goodies including new knives and pillow covers in colorful SW patterns.
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Today's ride: 23 miles (37 km)
Total: 844 miles (1,358 km)

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