Disaster Strikes! - Ascaping Covid and Winter in Arizona - CycleBlaze

December 21, 2020

Disaster Strikes!

This is our site at Kartchner SP. It was much more open than at Lost Dutchman with a few mesquite trees scattered here and there. Can you believe we've now hauled this saguaro to 2 campgrounds?! Luckliy it's very light-weight and with a blanket wrapped around it, can be stored in the trailer or van for travel.
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In addition to our cactus, we also have rope lights under the trailer that we turn on at night to keep pack rats from crawling up into things. You can select different colors every night depending on your mood!
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The sunrises at Kartchner were always amazing with views to the east across the valley.
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Today's ride took us onto Moson Rd where there was a huge ranch on one side. This handy gate was great for propping up Garfield so we could eat and take a break.
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Moson Rd. had no shoulder, but there was very little traffic.
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We enjoyed another pretty sunrise again and watched a few dance videos while eating our oatmeal. It looked to be another sunny day and by 10 am it had warmed up enough to consider a ride.

Today we decided to drive to Sonoita to do a loop of the wine country. But when Don turned the key in the van all he got was some clicking. Oh no..........it looked as if we had a dead battery!! What the heck!!!! We wondered how that happened because we hadn't had any indication of problems at all.

Luckily we carry jumper cables so Don went over to the campground host to see if we could get some help with a jump. The host called one of the rangers and they soon came over to help us. It didn't take long before we had a running van again. Yeah!!!!!

However, we decided that we had better get to an automotive place to possibly replace the battery. That meant that our planned ride was out the window as we needed to drive to Sierra Vista as there was a Big O Tire store there that would be able to do what we needed. 

Sierra Vista is not too far south of the campground and it wasn't long before we had reached the tire place. A guy came out and tested the battery, and surprisingly he said that the battery was fine. 

He thought that maybe something might have drained the battery like a phone charger? We don't know. It might have happened because we had left the doors open on the van for a long time during loading/unloading combined with really cold overnight temps.  Who knows? We were just happy that we didn't need a new battery or more serious repairs! I guess we had better start it daily and watch the doors being left open for long periods of time. 

Since it was a really nice day for a change, we decided not to waste it, so opted to do a ride right out of Sierra Vista. They let us park in the lot at the tire place so we left from there heading toward Charleston Road which runs between Sierra Vista and Tombstone to the east. 

But as we were getting ready to ride and I was putting on my bike sunglasses, the arm on my regular glasses fell off. Oh for goodness sake!! I thought that I had just lost a screw but Don took a look at them and said that the arm was broken. This was really turning into an "adventurous" day!

Well, since there wasn't anything we could do about it right now, we continued to get ready to ride. Once on the bike, we wound our way around on some quiet residential roads that had nice bike lanes until we could access Charleston Rd. 

For a few miles down this road, I kept hearing a weird rattling noise coming from the bike. Now what?! This day was really challenging us.

We stopped along the road and Don took a look. It ended up being an easy fix. When he took the bike out of the van, he hadn't tightened up the clamp under my seat so the clamp was dangling down and rubbing on the chain. At least it wasn't a big issue but I guess it might have been if my seat had fallen off of the frame! That might have been a little exciting!

Back on the road we found that we really didn't care for this route. There was only a tiny, rough shoulder and there was a lot of fast traffic. Don didn't feel comfortable at all.

We continued a few more miles until we reached Moson Rd which we decided to take to the south. Don saw on his GPS that it would take us back to town. Ahhhh..this was much more to our liking! The pavement improved and traffic was light

We now could relax and enjoy our surroundings. This was ranching country even though it was still desert. I can't imagine how this land could support a herd of cattle. There was no grass, no ocatillo, no century plants and few other cactus. It was much drabber than by camp with mostly creosote bushes and scrubby mesquite trees.

After a couple of miles, we stopped at a ranch gate where we could prop up the bike and eat our lunch. Once again we had no place to sit except on prickly plants. No thanks! It's hard enough for me to find a safe place to pee.

We continued on down the road after eating where we passed by a large fenced off area that was posted with signs statting "polluted water, stay out". We wondered what that was all about as we couldn't see anything but we did eventually go by a trash/transfer station so maybe it was an old landfill?

When Monson Rd. intersected with Highway 90 we turned west back to Sierra Vista. The shoulder here was was very rough and narrow, and with lots of traffic it wasn't very pleasant to ride. 

We were glad when we finally reached a quieter residential road with a bike lane that we took back to the van. Overall, it had been a nice ride out in the country and we were happy to have salvaged something today. 

On our way back to camp we stopped at a Dollar Store and picked up some super glue to repair my glasses. I just need to make them last until we get home when I can actually replace them.

It was 3 pm by the time we got to the trailer so we still had time for showers and dancing for a bit before dinner. Tonight, grilled lamb and veggies were on the menu. Yum! 

Our campground is looking quite holidayish with a number of RV'ers decorating their RV's and campsites. One even had wreaths hung outside on all of their windows and had hung Xmas lights on a tree. 

This park is supposed to be a "Dark Sky" location which means no exterior lights at night are approved except for under-trailer lighting. It's for star gazing. The stars have been amazing but not as good as at Homolovi State Park. 

Today's ride: 15 miles (24 km)
Total: 197 miles (317 km)

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