Exploring Tucson Mountain Park

It has definitely been a chill few days since the race. After playing tourist on Monday, we headed back down to Cactus Country RV for two nights so we could relax, sleep in and get some chores done. After racing for 24 hours in wind, rain and mud, we desperately needed to do some laundry. Three loads of clothes later and all the cycling gear from the race was was clean. Although I am still not sure all the mud is out of one set of bibs... Next order of business was showers! Talk about a much needed treat! We had a basic plan - ride easy at Fantasy Island on Tuesday, then head west to Tucson Mountain park for the rest of the stay in Tucson. The ride on Tuesday was very easy - we were both tired so the pace was pretty slow. The good news is it is harder to get lost when you are riding slow!

Then Wednesday, we met up with fellow Xterra racer, Christine J. She was happy to take us for a ride on some of the trails in east TMP. There was some fun, technical riding there - all shadowed by giant saguaros.I had to keep reminding myself to keep my eyes on the trail so I didn't end up in a cacti! Nick even got buzzed by a hummingbird! We rode about two and half hours, meandering around the east section of the park. I am sure I would have gotten lost without her guidance! It was a nice change from the fast, flowy riding of Fantasy Island. It was also really fun to be able to ride with Chris and chat with her outside a race environment. There is so much riding on the east half of the park - I think we might have hit about half of it.

Our home for the next two nights was the Gilbert Ray CG, inside the park. It was perfect - away from town, campsites separated by cacti so it was quiet. Well, mostly quiet.. The coyotes were going crazy last night, yipping up a storm several times. They were pretty close to camp too. We did get another good ride in on Thursday, attempting to follow the trail map the campground host handed out. Not so successful with that one - we did get lost a few times. Nick tried following a jeep/ATV trail and that turned out to not go anywhere. But we also found a few really fun sections of single track. I think it might have been more fun had we been going the other direction - downhill with rocks is always better then uphill - just ask Nick! Finally, after following some unmarked horse trails, we made it back to camp. With nothing else on the agenda, it was time to sit down, relax, read a book and eat some veggies. There is plenty more exploring to do in TMP, but that will have to wait until next year....

I will post some pics as soon as I get power back to my computer.

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