In Sonoita: the ride to Elgin - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

January 3, 2021

In Sonoita: the ride to Elgin

Another 42 miler, making us 3 for 3 this year.  Stuck in a rut; but a very nice rut to be stuck in, we agree as we enjoy a much better than expected dinner this evening at the Steak Out Restaurant and Saloon in Sonoita.

We’ve dined at the Steak Out before, four years ago when we overnighted in Sonoita on our ride from Tucson to Silver City - the ride that ended in horror in a tavern in Silver City watching the 2016 presidential returns roll in.  Also, like four years ago, we’re staying here at the Sonoita Inn, the improbably spacious inn built in the shape of a large barn by the owner of triple crown winner Secretariat, one of the greatest racehorses in American history.  It’s an interesting space indoors, the walls lined with racehorse memorabilia and photos on an old west theme, the chandeliers suspended from the lofty ceiling by long braids of black horseshoes.

We’re here on a short road trip, having driven over from Tucson for an overnighter with a pair of day rides.  We may be stuck in a rut of sunny days and 42 milers, but we can at least break up these doldrums with a change of scene.

It’s 24 degrees in Sonoita when we check the weather this morning, but heating up fast.  We wait to leave ‘home’ until 10, and by the time we pull up to the Sonoita Inn it feels quite rideable.  We check in at the inn, leave our few belongings in the room, and start biking east for Elgin.

East of Sonoita, on Route 83.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today’s ride is an out and back, to no place in particular on Route 83, 21 miles away.  You can keep going on this road all the way to Sierra Vista on the other side of Fort Huachuca, as we attempted to do after our previous stay here on our ill-fated ride to Tombstone.   We took this route as a quiet alternative to the more direct Highway 82, planning to bike across Fort Huachuca and then ride up Charleston Road on the other side.  It looked like an enjoyable 50 mile ride, but turned into a grueling 75 miler when we were turned back at the gates of the fort and had to backtrack to Elgin.  Fittingly, it was Halloween.

Just for your own future reference in case you come this way, you actually can bike across Fort Huachuca.  But you need to get a permit, and there’s only one place to obtain one - at the Sierra Vista entrance, on the other side of the fort.  It looks like it should be a great ride if you plan ahead.  One of these days we’ll test it out ourselves.

So, we’ve ridden this country once before.  My memory of the ride before we were turned back is that it was across beautiful country, well worth visiting again.  Rachael’s is less clear, and not as positive.  It took a bit of convincing to talk her into coming over today, but it was the right plan.  A great ride, maybe the best since we arrived in Tucson.  It’s got me thinking of coming back a second time before we leave the region.

There’s video, btw, but it’s a slow time coming’.  The WiFi here in the Sonoita Inn just doesn’t have the oomph to pull a video up into the clouds, so we’ll come back and post it after we return to our casita in Tucson.

Isn’t it about time to put those holiday decorations away?
Heart 1 Comment 1
Gregory GarceauThose of us from the north country know
This flake is a huge monument to snow
The wagon's from Minnesota
Or maybe North Dakota
Some heavenly place where the cold winds blow.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Looking back at Mount Wrightson and the Santa Rita Mountains.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Windmill with kestrel, west of Elgin.
Heart 1 Comment 0
With more patience, I’d have waited for a gust of wind to see what happens when the blades turn. Do you suppose he’ll ride it 360 degrees, like a Ferris wheel ride?
Heart 4 Comment 3
Bill ShaneyfeltKestrel?

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel/id
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltYup. This is the bird I mentioned in the previous photo. Thought it deserved a closer look.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Jen GrumbyWhen the wind blows, the kestrel hops blades
So quickly his shape blurs and fades
If you squint tightly you'll see
He's being chased by a flea!
But he runs so fast that he evades.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
The brand.
Heart 1 Comment 0
In the Elgin wine district. There are four or five vineyards here with small acreage. It doesn’t look like they’ll be competing with the Willamette Valley any time soon.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Great name. Very tempting.
Heart 0 Comment 1
Gregory GarceauOh, take me to the place named Flying Leap Wines
Purveyors of intoxicating fruit from the vines
But please make me stop
Before I get stopped by a cop
And I'm subjected to drunken-cycling fines.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Yike, a shrike!
Heart 0 Comment 1
Gregory GarceauA guy on a bike exclaimed "Yike, a shrike!"
A tyke on a trike might like a shrike.
A dude on a dike fishing for pike might like a shrike,
And what if the shrike shrieked "I like Ike!"
PSYCH!!!
I'll end this song now with a drop of my mic.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Southbound on Elgin-Canelo Road.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Wide open rangeland, south of Elgin.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Another manufacturer heard from. I’ll have to start keeping an inventory.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The tasting room is open today. If only I could taste, I might be tempted.
Heart 1 Comment 1
Gregory GarceauHe went in for a taste and he tasted,
But before too long he was wasted,
Then he couldn't pedal,
And the wine didn't settle,
Next, he was incarcer-asted. (sic)
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
More horseshoe art. There can never be too much of this medium.
Heart 1 Comment 3
Bruce LellmanWithout the chain and padlock would it still be defined as art? That's the big question I have.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanArt is in the eye of the beholder, so they say. This eye says aye, so there’s one vote. It does raise the question though - if there is no beholder, is there art? Sort of like asking about trees falling in the woods with no one around to hear it. Good thing we biked along to give it artistic merit.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonMy very first class in college was an art class and the professor asked the question, "What is art?" Maybe I had already decided in high school that art was whatever someone thought was art so I thought the discussion was ridiculous and I walked out! My very first college class and I was an art major too! Later that evening my professor called me at my dorm and said I might want to reconsider my major! His words were, "Nip it in the bud." I figured he didn't know what art was so I remained an art major.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Looking east toward the Huachuca Mountains.
Heart 2 Comment 0
After a picnic on the shoulder of the road, we backtrack north toward Elgin again.
Heart 0 Comment 0
A wine estate, a mountain, and a biker.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Some agaves.
Heart 0 Comment 1
Bill ShaneyfeltMight be soaptree yucca.
https://www.desertusa.com/flora/soaptree-yucca.html
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
A last look back at the Huachuca Mountains.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Fives and sixes: hitting the polygon jackpot.
Heart 3 Comment 2
Gregory GarceauQuite an amazing example of polygony. I assume you'll be linking this to Cycle365 . . . I only hope my friends over there don't find the incomprehensibly silly poems I just posted in your comments sections.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauOf course it’s 365-bound. It’s its manifest destiny, once I get caught up. And I’ll be sure to warn people to ignore the comments.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Heart 0 Comment 2
Kelly IniguezIf I"m not too late with the suggestion, try eating at the Brewery in Sonoita. We had excellent food there on our Thanksgiving tour.

I enjoyed the area, in general. I'm glad you made it over there.

Kelly
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Kelly IniguezYou are too late through no fault of your own, but we’ll make a note for next time. Also we wondered about Tia Nita’s Cantina. It looked attractive from the outside, but was closed.

Didn’t you bike from Sonoita back to Tucson on 83? That looks like a terrible biking road. How was it?
Reply to this comment
1 week ago

Ride stats today: 42 miles, 1,300’; for the tour: 1,598 miles, 54,600’; for the year: 3 riding days, 126 miles, 3,600’

Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 1,537 miles (2,474 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 9
Comment on this entry Comment 0