Exploring More of Oro Valley - Ascaping Covid and Winter in Arizona - CycleBlaze

December 30, 2020

Exploring More of Oro Valley

That's frost on our rain seat covers! It got quite cold last night.
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I think this is a Anna's hummingbird. Hummers are difficult to ID since they rarely stay still for long and the feathers may look different depending on how the sun hits them.
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The Lesser Goldfinches sure enjoy our mesh niger seed bag!
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This was a nice find - an underpass that took us under Highway 77 from the park to access the Canada Trail.
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I found the west bank of the La Canada del Oro wash to be quite interesting with the almost hoodoo looking formations.
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Part of our route today took us through this pleasant golf course community.
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It was so cold overnight that there was frost on the seats of bike! We had left it outside, locked to the hitch, for easier access. But sheesh! We sure hadn't expected that!

Since the hourly forecast said it wouldn't get to 50 degrees until nearly 11:00, we decided to go over to ACE Hardware to buy a bird feeder for the gold finches we've seen in camp. It's a hanging mesh bag full of niger seed. We hung it in a nearby tree and those birds found it within minutes!

It's fun watching the birds through our trailer window. I've been amazed at the diversity of birds here in the Tucson area during the winter, as well as, year round. We've already seen a mockingbird at the water dish and different woodpeckers.

Finally out on our ride, we accessed the La Canada del Oro Trail. This time we went south. Despite a cold headwind, there were plenty of other cyclists and walkers out on the trail. This trail follows a wide dry wash that flows downhill toward Tucson. 

We were doing a loop today so got off the trail onto La Canada Dr. which was a very busy road that fortunately had a bike lane. We're actually in the city of Oro Valley and all of the streets we've been on were designed to have bike lanes. 

It was a long steep climb as we went north to Canada Hills Rd which we took west through a nice golf course community. While we were still climbing, there wasn't much traffic. That took us to La Cholla Blvd where we turned north again. Although this was a 4-lane road, there wasn't much traffic as this area didn't seem to have been built out yet. I was happy when I spotted a convenient porta potty located at a new housing development! Since we had a good spot to stop, we went ahead and ate our lunch.

Continuing to climb, when we reached Tangerine Rd, the road became 2 lanes with no separate bike lane. Now we were really out in the open desert where we passed nice country homes on large lots. 

At Moore Rd, we turned east where there still wasn't a bike lane and had more traffic. We were now at the apex of our climb and we enjoyed the sweeping view of the rugged Catalina Mountains, included a dusting of snow on Mt. Lemmon!

Eventually we reached Sun City where we were able to take a side road that took us downhill to Rancho Vistoso, Tangerine Rd and the trail back to camp. 

We were both happy today to be warm again, although the campground's showers weren't quite hot enought to suit either of us and you had to keep pushing an annoying button to keep the water going. Plus the bathhouse was NOT heated. Suffice to say, we showered as fast as we could so we could get back to our warm trailer!

Overall, it had been an enjoyable ride with different things to see. The rest of the day was spent inside watching our birdies until the sun set. 

Today's ride: 20 miles (32 km)
Total: 320 miles (515 km)

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Kathleen JonesI think your bird feeders are brilliant. What a great addition to the RV. Never would have thought of that myself.
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6 months ago
marilyn swettTo Kathleen JonesWe got the idea from other campers, although it started when we were at Kartchner and had put out a small plastic dish to collect the water as it dripped from the faucet. We had no idea that it would attract the bluebirds. Watching the birds everyday turned out to be a fun pastime! At first we just had the hummingbird feeder but noticed the it was attracting goldfinches. So it was back to ACE Hardware for buy seed for them. I learned quite a bit on-line about the birds that winter in the Tucson area which was more varied than I thought. Some live there year round. We actually came home with several types of feeders and seed that we'll be putting out at visits to future parks.
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6 months ago