Back to the Caverns - Ascaping Covid and Winter in Arizona - CycleBlaze

January 5, 2021

Back to the Caverns

Kartchner State Park

Today's ride took us north of Benson on Ocotilla Rd. Once we were beyond town, we had little traffic as we traveled past ranches and occasional homes. Great views!
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Okay - the quiz for today. Is this a wash, a gully, a dry streambed, or an arroyo?
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Bill ShaneyfeltYes!
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6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Bill ShaneyfeltJust another one of my musings when sitting on the back of a tandem!
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6 months ago
One obstacle on our road were some cattle guards. From the sign, we could see that they expect cyclists out here.
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We had a skunk visit us during the night. I wouldn't have wanted to encounter that while outside doing a night time bathroom run!

It was really too bad that we couldn't stay in this park any longer as the week is predicted to be in the 70's and sunny. We also had a great site that backed up to open space. 

But the park was full with no sites available at all. The only state park that we could get a few nights in was Kartchner Caverns so that's where we are headed.

We quickly got everything loaded up (we're getting to be pros at this!) and by noon we had arrived in Benson where we parked in the Walmart lot. 

The park is pretty rigid about not letting you check in until 2:00 and as we didn't want to waste such a nice day.  We had a couple of hours to kill,  so decided to do a ride on one of the roads we had discovered going north from Benson.

We cycled north of town on Ocotillo Rd. The pavement was a bit rough for awhile but once we had gone past I-10, it improved. There were occasional cars and a small shoulder. Mostly it was flat with a few rollers, although one climb was steep enough to force us to downshift into our granny.

This route took us out into the desert past some ranches and a few homes. We did go by a small orchard. The trees were younger and we couldn't figure out if they were pecans or pistachios. Definately not apples.

We enjoyed the ride and desert scenery with its sweeping views of mountains to the west and east of us. It felt great to finally have warm temps! 

When the road deadended at Tres Alamos Rd, we turned around. Although it looked like you could still continue north on this other road. 

After loading up the bike, we stopped in Walmart for a few things that would last us until we have to leave for home. It was quite stressful shopping in the busy store with many unmasked customers not even trying to distance themselves. That was sure different than our experience at the store in Oro Valley! 

You could tell sure this was a ranching community with lots of guys wearing cowboy hats and boots. Plus we've noticed plenty of Trump signs hung on people's gates. 

By the time we got to the state park it was after 3:00 and it took us until dinnertime to get reset up. We're only staying here 2 more nights before we go home on Friday. It's time to end this trip and head back to the world of snow! At least it looks like good weather for the remainder of our time in Arizona so we can get in a couple more rides.

Today's ride: 17 miles (27 km)
Total: 411 miles (661 km)

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