I just got back from a majorly amazing and sweaty bike ride. Seven miles up, up, up a road with gorgeous scenery in the Catalina mountains just outside of Tucson. I never imagined this area to be so beautiful – dramatic rock formations, oceans of golden grass, Junipers with alligator bark, yucca stalks twice as tall as Steve.
It's seems to be a popular road for type A, male bike riders. They kept passing me on top of high-tech racing bikes, with fancy bike jerseys, heavily muscled calves, and serious demeanor. None of them acknowledged me – this strange middle-aged, high-on-endorphins, sweaty woman, huffing and puffing on her ghetto mountain bike. They must have seen my huge smile, the byproduct of exercise, alone-time and nature, but nobody smiled back. Huh. They must have been too busy being professional bikers. It's serious business, that.
Steve and the kids met me in the RV at a trailhead where the boys will mountain bike down the Bug creek trail back to our campsite. They are not back yet, but I bet they will wear huge smiles and maybe some bloody scrapes. (Last time they went mountain biking, Steve crashed and scraped up his hand, which now looks like something out of a vampire movie).
These are the only pictures I have of my bike ride: on the way down in the RV.
This morning, we saw a tarantula on a hike. Since I was little I've had a recurring nightmare of being locked in a public toilet stall filled with big, black spiders. (I wonder what this dream reveals about my psyche. Dream interpreters, anyone?). When the kids bring home books from the library about wildlife, including gargantuan spiders, I can't even touch the book, knowing a spider lurks in there, even if it's not alive.
So you can imagine how I reacted when we came across this fine specimen. The only reason I even got near it was to take a picture for the blog. If you don't like spiders, please skip this photo. I won't blame you.
The hike led us to an abandoned prison camp, where Americans locked up conscientious objectors to World War II. They made them build the road that now leads up to Mount Lemmon.
Here are some highlights of the hike, minus the prison camp, because there was not much to see.
This trip will be dubbed “the trip of skirts”, knitting wise. I am knitting my second “Little Flirt Skirt” - a fun, wooly, bouncy skirt. It's perfect for this weather – worn over some black leggings, or just by itself when it's warmer. I finished one with blue alpaca and wool, with yarn from my amazing mother-in-law Donna, who sent me a huge box of yarn for Christmas. The second skirt will be hot pink. I'm indulging my inner Diva.
We've been hanging out with our friends Brandie and Bradley (they got married at our homestead five months ago). Good times, good times!
And here are some pictures of leaving Sedona, driving up the Colorado Plateau, and hiking in a secluded canyon somewhere.