Another Ride Down South - Ascaping Covid and Winter in Arizona - CycleBlaze

December 23, 2020

Another Ride Down South

The desert near Sierra Vista appears quite drab to me.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Today we chose to ride Moson Rd again, but further south. The traffic was much heavier and likely due to the hundreds of people living along our route. Not pleasant riding.
Heart 0 Comment 0
This was the first time I had seen the Santa Rita prickly pear growing somewhat wild. Normally I had only spotted it growing as landscaping in people's yards or along a residential road. I love the purple color of the leaves!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Away from the busy highways in Sierra Vista, we were able to ride quiet residential roads past many nice homes. I think I could live in this one!
Heart 0 Comment 0
I'm thinking this is a Cane Cholla? The yellow pods are the fruit. My book shows that it has pretty magenta flowers.
Heart 0 Comment 4
Bill ShaneyfeltYes, you are correct!

https://www.americansouthwest.net/plants/cacti/cylindropuntia-spinosior.html

Also notice the cow's tongue prickly pear cactus in the lower left.

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/44880/
Reply to this comment
6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks again Bill. I missed seeing the cow's tongue in this photo, although I have been seening here and there on our rides. It doesn't appear to be as widespread as other varieties of prickly pear. I wonder why?
Reply to this comment
6 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo marilyn swettFrom what I read, Engelmann's prickly pear has several varieties. That particular one with long pads (cow tongue) is from central TX, so what you see of it in AZ is introduced.
Reply to this comment
6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Bill ShaneyfeltInteresting!
Reply to this comment
6 months ago
This is a border patrol surveillance balloon that is tethered above Sierra Vista. It is filled with radar equipment used to detect aircraft flown by drug smugglers. Apparently there are 8 of these blimps positioned along the southern border of the US and Mexico. I hope it doesn't have any cameras pointed toward Sierra Vista as they could have filmed me dropping my pants for a roadside pee!
Heart 0 Comment 2
Kelly IniguezYour thoughts about being seen dropping your pants mirror my own thoughts! We rode one year with Sierra Vista resident, David Bain, who said the blimps have infra red and can see people moving about at night. Basically, anytime you are outside, you are being tracked by the blimp.
Reply to this comment
6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Kelly IniguezNow there's a scary thought!
Reply to this comment
6 months ago
Okay, just one more!
Heart 0 Comment 0

It was sunny this morning, so by 10 were heading back south to Sierra Vista to try another ride. This time we parked at the local hospital on Highway 90. 

A cold NW wind was already blowing (I sound like a broken record!) as we rode east to Moson Rd and then turned south. We thought it was be a similar low traffic road like we had been on to the north but it wasn't very fun at all. 

There was lots of traffic on a road with no shoulders and a few little hills. We got our first nasty "get off the road" honk from one driver - our first in Arizona. We couldn't figure out where everyone was going but we seemed to have moved away from open ranch land and back to lots of country homes. It seemed like hundreds of people lived out here. I guess they haven't gotten around to upgrading the road to match the traffic load.

When we reached Ramsey Rd, we decided to bail and not continue further south to Hereford Rd. I had read about that valley and wanted to see it, but the heavy traffic looked as if it continued south. 

Ramsey Rd was a little wider with a bit of a shoulder although the traffic was still high. It took us toward Sierra Vista. Eventually we reached Highway 92 where we continued further west on now Ramsey Canyon Rd. We now had a bike lane and hardly any traffic.

For the rest of the ride we meandered around quiet subdivisions and a country club on streets that all had bike lanes. We did get a little turned around but managed to find our way through the maze of homes. We think we saw a flock of Caracaras but they flew away before I could take a picture. 

It was still cold and very windy so we were happy to find a potty spot with some trees in an undeveloped gulch. It was sheltered from the wind by a tall wall, so we were able to eat some of our lunch. 

I was more than happy when we finally got back to the van and I could turn on the heater! While we enjoyed riding around the nicer homes in town, the rest of the ride had been a cold, miserable, and exhausting. We can't believe how cold Arizona can be in December!

It was a relief to return to camp where we could get hot showers - in a heated bathhouse, no less, and relax in a warm trailer. 

Today's ride: 22 miles (35 km)
Total: 240 miles (386 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0