Following Tracy Thelen's journey exploring the limits, pushing the boundaries and testing her endurance. It's about seeking out new adventures on the trail and reaching into the unknown, not just stopping at edge!
Okay, so I had a different title for this post, but it wasn't quite proper. So I settled on a more mundane description. But Fantasy Island, in the South East section of Tuscon was lots of fun over the last few days. We rode pretty much every trail and did a half decent job of not getting lost. We also manage to avoid most of the cacti, with only a few spines getting into my wrist. Nick's arms were sliced up from all the friendly trees surrounding the trails and we both have done a great job of working on the tan lines!
The long sleeves help with avoiding the thorns...
The first day, we parked at the southern entrance and tried to get to the north entrance. At that point, we had no clue as to the names of the trails or the general layout of the park. We just knew that most of the trails were one way. Full of enthusiasm to be riding in the sun, on dry trails, we set off into the cacti. Fantasy Island south is made up of fast, flowing trails with gentle banking on most corners. There are plenty of dips and dives through washes and around cholla. A perfect introduction to desert riding. We took a few detours off the main trail, then things started getting loopy. We had gotten into the rockier, hilly start of the north half of the park, but the trails were crazy. Without knowing names or land marks (oh look, another cactus!) we got totally turned around. In more then a few places, we were going the wrong way on accident - although the annoyed stares of other riders might have been a tip off. Eventually, we found our way back to the Turtle and to safety.
Nick and Nate discussing the next trail choice
The next day, we made plans to meet up with Nate from CTS for another fun filled day of avoiding cacti. We rode from the RV resort to the south entrance and managed to not get lost riding to the north entrance. I had spent a while studying the online maps before we left so felt a little more familiar with the park. Nate showed up ready to roll and we plunged into the desert. The goal was to have fun and not get lost. Well, we definitely had a lot of fun, but still got a little lost. This time we didn't ride any trails the wrong way, just got a little turned around on the outer sections. But fun - just dodging through the cacti, enjoying the banked turns, fast short descents and carefully switch backed climbs. We met a couple of other groups out enjoying the perfect weather and everyone was cool.
Nick studying the map - it helps a little
Finally, today, Nick rode and I ran. I just did the main loop, named "Lone Cactus." By the end of the run, I was wondering why they called it Lone Cactus - after all, there were plenty of the plants to go around. That and other sharp vegetation. Everything has thorns or spikes or something sharp in Arizona - that is my opinion! I also got more scratches on my arms running then I did riding! After the run, it was time to head up north. We will behave and wait. After all, 24 Hour Town doesn't open until tomorrow. We found an nice, "high class" RV resort to call home for the night and will make the trek to town in the morning.