Julian Wash / Mission Road - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

January 16, 2021 to January 17, 2021

Julian Wash / Mission Road

Yesterday’s ride: Julian Wash

Not too much to say about this ride southeast to the end of the Julian Wash bike path, except that we discovered a couple more miles at the end, where it bends south to follow Houghton Road nearly to the I-10 freeway before just ending in the dust.  An odd patch of trail, but a nice addition if you just want to put in some enjoyable riding miles.  Starting from our new home for the month, it’s just over 40 miles round trip to this point; but of course we found ways to add enough more to make our quota.

The weather, by the way, was fabulous.  Light winds, fair, and a high that neared 80.  It would have made a very pleasant midsummer day back in Portland.

Looking north along Houghton from the end of the pavement, just north of the freeway. I wonder what the long term vision for this spur is. It’s such an odd spot to end, with no obvious goal further south.
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Bruce LellmanI don't think the sky could be any bluer.
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1 month ago
Crossing under the Houghton Overpass to the Julian Wash bikeway.
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A black phoebe in a thorny situation.
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Gregory GarceauOrnithologists are a little dweeby
When they make puns about a phoebe
It can't help it was born
With a beak like a thorn
(No charge for this poem--it's a freebie.)
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauThanks, Greg. You’ve got both halves of Team Anderson in stitches this morning.
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyTo Gregory GarceauI'm in stitches too!

Great way to start the morning.
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1 month ago
Tucson has dozens of striking, colorful murals. Now that we’ll be biking through the core more regularly I’ll start watching for them.
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Playing it safe at 47 Scott Restaurant, we’re the only diners in the open back patio.
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Bruce LellmanToo bad it's not 74 Scott Restaurant or you might have had dinner for free.
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1 month ago
It took us long enough to discover this place, but I’m sure we’ll be back. Today’s menu: kale Caesar salad; roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta, carrots, almonds and sour cherries; wild mushroom risotto with scallops, green apples and fennel; and salmon with asparagus, roasted potatoes and Bearnaise sauce.
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Today’s ride: Mission Road

Another ride that begins right from home, which is always nice.  And another day of fantastic, unseasonably warm weather.  By the time we make it back home it’s pushing 80 and bordering on too warm for comfort by the likes of us.

Today’s ride cuts across town to the Santa Cruz River, and then follows the bike path south to its end at Valencia Road.  After a mile on busy but broad shouldered Valencia we turn south again on Mission Road.

The first two miles on Mission carry a fair amount of traffic, much of it bound to or returning from the San Xavier Mission.  There’s no shoulder, and if it continued on this way for long we wouldn’t care for the ride much.  Virtually all traffic ceases once we pass the mission though, and the next ten are a thoroughly enjoyable gradual climb as we continue south.

We have our miles in by the time we reach Pima Mine Road, but this spur looks worth checking out for a possible future ride so we branch off onto it and continue climbing for another two miles before calling it a ride.  We find a patch in the shade for our roadside lunch, and then turn back for a fast, mostly downhill ride home again.

A final note: at this hour, there are only 61 hours left before the swearing in of the new administration.  Hope for the best.

Tucson wall art for the day. I particularly like the sea turtle.
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In the Dunbar neighborhood. An example of steampunk art?
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In the Dunbar neighborhood. I like here how well the palo verde compliments the colors in the mural.
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After slowly climbing up Mission Road for about 10 miles, we branch off onto Pima mine Road and continue climbing.
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A prickly pear pair, Pima Mine Road.
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Lunch stop, Pima Mine Road. It’s almost 80 degrees today - practically a midsummer day back home - and we’re happy to find a bit of shade beneath the mesquite on the shoulder of the road.
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Back on Mission Road, looking forward to a fast coast back north to Valencia Road.
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Video sound track: Peaceful Easy Feeling, by the Eagles

Some mine waste, along Mission Road.
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A frustrating encounter on Mission Road. This red tail was feasting on a squished ground squirrel in the middle of the road when we biked up. He alit in this snag not 40 feet from the road - close enough that I could get a good shot of him taking flight, if he’d just cooperate. He didn’t.
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A second treed bird in the same ride! We’re definitely stopping for this roadrunner, perhaps 20 feet above the ground. I’ve never seen one up a tree before.
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Jen GrumbyA roadrunner up in a tree
Eating triscuits with apples and brie
His friends run below
With a silly old crow
Whose chirp sounds like hee hee hee hee!
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1 month ago
marilyn swettType your comment here
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1 month ago
Found in the Lost Barrio.
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Ride stats this post: 88 miles, 2,800’; for the tour: 2,114 miles, 72,100’; for the year: 15 riding days, 664 miles, 20,100’, and 1 flat tire

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