Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tour de Chiracahua

What a title huh? Yesterday I took a little tour on the mountain bike over the back forest roads.
up by the Research Station
up by the Research Station
I headed west out of Sunny Flat Campground up past the reasearch station where the road turned to "gravel, rock and dirt".
I stop for a breather up the trail at about mile 5
I stop for a breather up the trail at about mile 5
I figured the junction to Paradise was about 4-5 miles. Turns out it was 6 miles and 1500 feet elevation. I had thought it was more but did to almost 2500 ft total over course.
Looking back down on Cave Creek Canyon from junction
Looking back down on Cave Creek Canyon from junction

Not bad but I started at 5000 ft. Had I known, I might not have done it but in hindsite am glad i did. I will put the map, and all the gory details at the end for those of you who like to see that sort of thing.

Looking north to the Paradise from the junction
Looking north to the Paradise from the junction

So I finally get to the junction after about 1 hour 20 minutes of huffing and puffing ascent. Managed to stay on the bike and not fall off too. No downhill photos as it was all i could do to stay slow enough not to crash. Bone jarring is the words which come to mind.

George Walker House where hummingbird banding happens
George Walker House where hummingbird banding happens

About 3 miles down the road I enter Paradise. Not because i fell off but because that is the town's name. This is where we went the other day to witness the hummingbird banding at George Walker house.

I stop to take a couple photos of the house and the old truck across the street. Not much here anymore. A few homes still occupied. A couple of ancient dwellings. 6 miles to Portal.

A mile up the road towards Portal is the cemetary. Ever wanted to be buried in Paradise?

Well you have to get permission from the Cemetary Cemetary Association. Don't think that will happen soon.

Onward to Portal
Onward to Portal

Most of the 6 miles was gradual downhill but I still had to ride the breaks to keep from going too fast. Not exactly paved road and, did I say "bone jarring" already? I stop in Portal at the library to briefly check email (only place with internet in area). Then head back up the PAVED road 3 more miles to Sunny Flat Campground.

Back at Ye Old Campsite.  Still standing
Back at Ye Old Campsite. Still standing

Fortunately I had slathered up with sunscreen so didn't get too burned. It was in the 80's and a little wind. Took me about 3 hours total with stops. Not bad for a certified old fart, right?

The Route
The Route
 

My legs were not as tired as I thought. Had been riding in Tucson. Might go again tomorrow.

Gory details below:

 

Elevation gain and loss
Elevation gain and loss

 

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