After the rain - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

December 24, 2021

After the rain

It’s raining this morning - real rain, the kind that we can hear rattling on the fiberglass roof of the awning of our neighbor’s casita.  We don’t mind a bit.  After four strenuous rides in a row we both appreciate an excuse to take the day off.  Activities this morning consist of eating, reading, blogging, route planning, and making an errand run to fill the Raven and pick out our selections for a microwaved eat-in Christmas dinner tomorrow.

And, we don’t mind a splash of rain because it lets us feel in solidarity with our friends and family back north as they look ahead to a week or more of foul weather and possible snow.

By midday though the rains start tapering off to showers; and by two they cease and it looks like things may stay that way.  I’m antsy to move around and curious to see what a little rain has done to the look of the city, so I hop on the Rodriguez for an easy cruise while Rachael continues plowing through her latest read.

I end up with a pretty themeless ramble that starts with a swing through the Lost Barrio, the neighborhood we stayed in for a month last winter.  It’s an interesting area, within walking distance of the center of town but a bit isolated by arterials.  I enjoy just reacquainting myself with it today, but the biggest surprise is Arroyo Chico, the normally dry wash that splits it as well as downtown.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen moving water in it, and there’s actually quite a bit rushing through.  

A grey day in the Lost Barrio.
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In the Lost Barrio.
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Rake.
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Jen GrumbyWhat a photo!

I would call it "An Invitation to Rake".

An inviting rake
Beckons inside open gate
"Clear the patio!"
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbySo what do you think? Is this the first entry in a beckoning rake series, or one for beckoning gates?
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyOh, I think both would be interesting series!!

And beckoning rakes could be especially challenging, ¿no?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYes, but it could be easier to find subjects if I adopted a strictly literal interpretation. Casanova, por ejemplo.
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1 month ago
Should hold things together for another year.
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In the Lost Barrio.
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Arroyo Chico, normally dry but recharged by this morning’s rain. I wonder how soon it will be dry again. Maybe tomorrow?
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From here I turn north and cut through the university campus and then work my way west, eventually landing on the Loop alongside the Santa Cruz.  I take a pretty meandering route getting there, first biking past another of our stays here on Mabel street, and then staggering my way northeast through scruffy, rundown neighborhoods that eventually lead me to Grant Avenue.  I have two takeaways from this: there’s a lot of standing and rushing water around here this afternoon, and Grant Avenue is a pretty terrible access point for the Loop.  Nice to know, as a future reference so I don’t make that mistake again.

On Mabel Street.
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On Mabel Street.
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Some street art, I forget where exactly.
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Pomegranate rinds.
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Finally, I’m at the Loop again.  I’m time boxed by dinner plans and have about an hour and a half left so I consider what’s possible.  I decide to ride the east side of the river north past Sweetwater Wetlands and then cross over to the west side to return south.  And today, for maybe the first time ever while we’ve been down here the Santa Cruz almost looks like an actual river rather than just a sandy ditch littered with plastic and grocery carts.  There’s quite a bit of water today actually, flowing fairly quickly for a stretch but then disappearing a few hundred yards downstream, apparently just soaking into the parched land as quickly as it flows in from the various arroyos feeding it.

Not much of a ride, but that was exactly the plan.  It felt good to get out and stretch the legs for awhile under interesting conditions. 

The Santa Cruz. It’s the first time we’ve seen any water in this stretch of it since we arrived.
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The Catalina Mountains, gloomy today.
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Railbirds.
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Silverbell Lake.
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Pied-billed grebe.
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Mallards.
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Today's ride: 21 miles (34 km)
Total: 940 miles (1,513 km)

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