Saturday, January 26, 2008

Desert Geodes

Well, I admit I was not to enthusiastic about this morning's ride. I had a late night, I didn't want to get out of bed, and it was cold outside. In fact it was cold down the road, and there was a bit of a headwind. Today was planned as a bit of a flat ride and it ended up being fairly flat in the end. I kept pressing on not too excited about doing the whole Mesa, Cooldige Mesa thing. I soldiered on through queen creek not really having any get up and go. So, by the time I got to the hunt highway to go around the San Tan's I was thinking of turning around. That is why when I rode around the nw side of the San Tans and saw the sign for Maricopa County Regional Park (Santan regional park), I thought "What the heck, the road looks good and if I hit a dead end I can always turn around huh?". It was a dead end but that is not the whole story. It was actually a fairly good climb heading up to the park, gradual but steady. When I got to the park road (into a pretty stiff headwind I might add, I noticed a little nondescript road going on heading into some hills. Well, it sucked me in fair readers, I had to see where it went. So off I went on a wild desert goose chase. A rather beautiful desert goose chase. This little road kept weaving in and out of passes and was very scening, the reason being is much of the way it was in the park, every once in awhile it would poke out of park boundaries and there would be a house here and there. Then, over the last pass I had to rub my eyes as I could have sworn I was looking at a miniature version of the superstition mountains before me. The pavement ended but the road was really good so I went on a half mile to get a better look at the little valley. It was gorgeous, there were a few houses back there but not too many. Looking back at my maps it is clear why this place had eluded my attention before. The topo maps don't show all the cliffs well so they just look like little mounds. There are not a lot of roads or signs poking back here because this little nook is bordered on 3 sides by the regional park and on the 4th by the gila indian reservation so it is quite literally a dead end culdesac. In my opinion though this little spot is prettier than anything I saw over near the main entrance to the park where all the trails are. Anyway, it truly was a little Geode out in the desert. You never know what is inside the dull rock you pick up until you crack it open. The ride back after that was much cheerier. I found myself riding through Williams gateway airport on the way back and checking out what look like F4 Phantoms sitting out on the tarmac. I ended up with 50 miles. A lot shorter than the original 84 I had planned on but hey, I had fun, isn't that what it is really about?

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