Friday, October 26, 2012

No Bikes Just Butterflies

Well at least almost no bikes. Since getting taken out on my commute home a week ago things have been kinda slow. Gives me a chance to get some garden pics though. Most aren't very good since movement in one arm is not great. Makes camera work a little tougher.

Had a pretty amazing last ride though before the injury. Couldn't have asked for a more perfect night to ride 40 miles.

Now onto the butterflies. Hope these are I.D. right. 

 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki)

Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

 Monarch (Danaus p. plexippus)

Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)

Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maiden Bikepacking Adventure Day2

Day1 went off almost perfect which set the mood great for Day2. Right off the bat Day2 didn't start off as planned. I had forgot to turn off my phone which has my alarm clock turned on, so right at 6am it went off. Of course it also had to be hanging up in the near by tree with my bag off food so it was a scramble out of my warm cocoon to turn it off. Well I guess im up now. No going back to sleep. I just laid back in my bag for a bit trying to stay warm and keep looking at the ridge to see where the sun was at. Now that I was up figured why wait any longer might as well get things moving around camp and get some food in me. Its still gonna be a great day and you can see when the sun comes all the way up its gonna be perfect.  Eat my morning bagel and almond butter plus the other half of my cherry pie. Start slowing packing since I am still trying to wait out the sun. Go wonder around a bit with Joe and get a quick lesson in Geology. Find some bear signs very close to the camp but decide they are not super fresh. Get the rest of the bags packed and hit the trail. Its a pretty great start and the sun is nicely over the ridge when we spin out and head up to Kentucy Camp to fill our water. We spend a few minutes there filling up getting the food bags sorted and Joe starts already snacking on some liquorish. As we shoot up the road from KC we see a few riders up on top of the hill and as we approach one yells my name.

Its Cassi and she is out for a spin with the Tucson MTB Addicts. We chat for awhile and since they are headed at least for a bit the same way as us we join in with the group.

Im loving the day and just out enjoying the flowers. 

Taking our time and taking it easy since we know we have a hefty climb on the day. 

The hills around us were just covered in gold as far as you could see. 

The first few little climbs to warm us up for what is store. 

Little dude enjoying the craftsmanship of  Jeremy's bags

Some great singletrack with the looming climb a little off center to the left. 

They had been going by great we were enjoying the trails and the sun but then we hit the base of the climb. Once you peel off the AZT onto the Rosemont Ranch area you are greeted with a series of sandy roads. They are not the worst thing in the world but when you have a full bike and you know there is a big climb ahead of you they are blood suckers. We plugged away at the sandy roads for a bit I took a wrong turn but corrected before we went maybe a 1/4 mile. I think by now Joe was starting to feel a bit tired so we took a break in the shade before we started up the main section that climbed up outta the wash roads. For the most part I didn't think it was all that bad and was feeling pretty strong I think only pushing my bike up two small steep sections to save my legs. As the road kept winding around we thought we kept maybe seeing where the summit was but it wasn't until we had a nice downhill after a steep climb did it show itself. I guess it had to be after a small decent to really show you it didn't like you.

 After seeing the final pass I had a small snack and then plugged away to the top. Made the pass still feeling pretty good but knowing Joe was not having the most amazing day. Here though is were I really made my first big mistake or at least now that I look back. We just took a small break at the top of the pass and had a small snack. By this point we were about 19 miles into our day and the only substantial thing I had eaten all the was a bagel. The route I had made in Topofuion which we had been following pretty much perfect all day said this day was gonna be 25 miles. We are already at 19 so not much more to go and we are at the top of a mountain. Its all downhill. Ha!. We proceeded to ride the next few miles of the jeep road decent off the mountain in what I like to call ANIMAL STYLE. Its all just crazy loose rocks, small drops, and loaded bikes. You just have to ride it like Animal plays drums.

After a few sketchy moments we make it down to more civilized roads and continue our onward drive. 
 The route has us basically just riding back now on a flat jeep road back to the car. Sweet! We have made it off the mountain Im still feeling good and Joe is still alive and plugging along as well. We press on. The gps shows we are at like 23 or so miles and by then I am realizing that maybe when you hand draw a track into topofusion the mileage it gives you is probably a guesstimation. I can see way off in the distance where we have the car or the mountain at least that it is sitting next to and it is more then two miles away. We keep plugging away down the road. Its not the best road since it is filled with sand crossings and low spots and each one just zaps you a bit more each time you ride a loaded bike thru it. Buy now we are 5-6hrs in I still have not eaten any real food in forever but I still think I am feeling pretty good and even make a stupid comment to Joe that I have 15 miles or more still in me while we are riding that jeep road. Joe is cooked and I don't think I am helping by trying to figure out how many miles we stall have left to go and I am sure he hates my guts by this point in the trip. At least I have one redeeming quality left. I have a cooler in the truck with two ice cold chocolate milks sitting there waiting.  As the endless jeep road continues we can do nothing but keep riding and dreaming about chocolate milk.

Well and maybe about not getting shot.

FINALLY!!!!!!! After what seems like the worlds longest sandiest road every mad ewe hit the pavement. That means the car is just up that hill. Wait shit did you say up that hill. FRACK ME! I should have never parked the damn car up a hill. I thought it would be safer there. Right now I don't care. If it had been at the bottom of the hill we would be done and we would have cold chocolate milk. If it hadn't been safe and was stolen we could have had the police give us a ride. At least we wouldn't have to climb a god damn hill. Stupid. I told myself no worries you are still feeling good and we just have to get Joe up the hill its only a few miles. 

The sign says Madera B&B 4 miles and we are not even close to as far away as it so we only have 2 maybe. Lets get Joe up the hill and we are good. Hey wait why is Joe pulling away from me. My feet hurt, my stomach hurts, my fingers hurt, I want to stop pedaling, I can't pedal, I can't sit down, I need to sit down. I was bonking in a bad way and it was hitting me like a ton of bricks. I looked down at my food i knew nothing in there could help. I screwed up in a bad way and now I was gonna have to survive a few more miles. Sitting and spinning was just not gonna cut it since I was on E so I switched into my big ring and just stood up and pedaled. I stared straight down at my front tire and just pushed with my body weight to get my legs to make the pedals work.  I didn't want to look up and see how far I had to go I just wanted to get there. I caught Joe for a second and as soon as I did I tried to get into his rhythm and take it slow, bam he was gone again and this time I was done. I had to stop. I had to just stand on the side of the road for a minute and collect myself. I had to think about chocolate milk for a second. Back on the bike, back in the big ring, and back staring at my front tire. Final push to the car. Joe is there in the shade of the Xterra sitting on the ground. It looks so comfy on the ground I need to lay down. I tear into the truck for our treasure chest. I had Joe I cold one sit down next to him on the ground and smile. Time to enjoy. FRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who put this trap on the lid of this milk? Why is it so hard to open? Am I bonking so bad I can't get it open? Do I have enough energy to go get my knife and hack into it? One more push thats all I need and its open. We just rode 35miles today in 7.5hrs. Way more then I had planned. It can't defeat me. Its a simple piece of foil. One thing tiny thing standing in my way.   

I did it!!! I got it open!!!!!!!! 
We are done, we are alive, and we have amazing chocolate milk mustaches.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Maiden Bikepacking Adventure Day1

I have been saying for the past 3 years that I wanted to start bikepacking and yet never  pulled the trigger on it. I was always worried I was to outta shape to ride a loaded bike for any number of miles and live to tell about it. This year I finally got my shit together got in way better riding shape, purchased my BPing bags, and did it. My buddy Joe had also been wanted to try his hand at the whole BPing thing so we decided that we would go on our maiden voyages together and made a packed that if one or the other didn't make it out alive the other would have to raise his pack at home. I drew us up what appeared to be a nice 45 mile two day adventure Joe looked it over and approved so it was decided. Saturday mid-day we embarked. The plan was to ride over the Santa Ritas on Box Canyon from the west over to the east and camp near Kentucky camp.

The ride started out great. All the gear seemed like it was packed great and the nice jeeps roads where easy enough to get use to have a loaded bike.

We had 25 miles to kill which gave me time to take some vanity shots. 

Joe scoping out the climb ahead. Plan was to have a mellow day the first day on the bike. 

Views were great. Bikes where working out well. Day was was going very good. 

The road thru Box Canyon is a very pretty. The whole area really is. 

After we made it over and thru Box Canyon we hit the rolling hills near Kentucky Camp where we spotted a Gator. It did attack when I got close and I think Joe has a picture of it before he had to pry it off my back right before it dug its jaws into me.

The sun was out the fields were full of flowers and we were having a great day on our bikes. 

After we made it to Kentucky Camp and chatted up a few hippies we headed out on the first singletrack of the day in search of a good spot to call home for the night. 

We spun around for a bit looking for the perfect spot. 

And then we found it. There was nothing about this place that didn't appeal to us right away. We knew as soon as we seen it we were home. Found a great creaky old awing to camp under and it it had a carport for the bikes. The only thing that worried us was the herd or turkeys that was passing thru. They had decided to roost in a near by tree I think to ponder eating us in the middle of the night. 

We got over our fears though of death buy turkey and took one token shot of the bikes before we unloaded them for the night. 

Day 1 was a success and the only was to celebrate was to eat my 3lb Chipotle Burrito next to a warm campfire capped with a half cherry pie from Circle K for dessert. Joe didn't appreciate the burrito throughout the night but it filled me up and kept my sleeping bag extra warm all night. My eyes did burn a little in the morning but thats probably a coincidence.
There is no way tomorrow can't be even more amazing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Don't really have words to describe how much I had. Here are a bunch of pictures instead.