Colin's Journal

2 January, 2006
60 miles
Tubac --> Tucson
13mi run, 47 biked

Woke up at 6am at Lee's (slept on floor in main house). Slept badly again, woke up clammy and cold, 2nd night in a row. Made some eggs with lots of cheddar cheese for breakfast, then said goodbye to Lee and Joan and hit the road around 7:30am. Pretty chilly all morning, Corey started off with a solid twelve miles, then Stephen put in a quick couple to get to a grocery store in Green Valley for second breakfast: bagels and granola bars. I rode ahead with Bill to start the next leg, which was through a very intimidating section of desert, going gradually uphill. It was so desolate we thought we had taken a wrong turn somewhere. It didn't help that the walkie-talkies were only picking up occasional chatter from truckers or planes or something. I struggled a little through the long climbs, then got switched to my running gear while the others were behind. We started going like this today: the runner gets a headstart, then the next runner rides hard to get ahead, then leaves his bike and gets his headstart.

There were mile markers on the road, a long, slightly downhill section of Mission Road that ran through the desert. It was mostly straight with very few curves. Mile splits were as follows (first and last were fractions of a mile, but the odometer said the run was 11.0 miles): (4:03)-6:38-6:33-6:28-6:05-6:13-6:09-5:58-5:58-6:04-5:56-(1:52), so the leftover mile was ~5:55.

Picked up a bike with Rogo, Corey and Bill waiting, refuled, and we were about to go on our way when a car stopped (there was one going by every five minutes or so). We figured they would think we needed help, since we were all standing around a bike on the side of the road. Instead they said "You'd better move off the road, there are cars coming around the turn." We look back on the road, and can see for nearly a mile, and ahead on the road there was just a bit of a turn about a quarter mile away. After a suitably awkward pause we looked at them and said "...um, thanks for the consideration." They considered their good Samaritan trip done and drove off.

Me and Bill started rolling really fast trying to catch Grant and Stephen, but running over a cattle guard (a metal grating over a road that messes up a cow's vision, so it won't walk there) knocked one of my panniers loose into the middle of the other lane on the road. We reset it on the bike, but turning onto the road to San Xavier Mission, it fell off again.

We made it to San Xavier at about 40miles, and stopped for lunch. We ate more bagels from Green Valley, plus fry bread they were making next door. I watched the bikes outside the mission while the others toured the inside. They came back to find me resting on my sleeping pad, and woke me by spraying some water, possibly holy, they had gotten from the church on me. David: "I filled up a water bottle from a silver water cooler inside the church that said "Holy Water" on it. I saw a woman filling up a small bottle, so I figured there was plenty for us to take too. I rubbed some on my knee in the hopes that it would help heal my injury, and then we squirted some on Colin." Soon Grant left on his run, and I left about ten minutes after him on my bike, while the others climbed a hill next to the mission. We had some obnoxious miles coming up through Tucson, but eventually hit a nice bike path next to the Santa Cruz "River" (saw no water in any of the sandy ditches that were labelled "rivers" today). I took the last fifteen minutes of running from Stephen through the University of Arizona, to Lyle's house. We walked to a nearby Chipolte restaurant, for lots of carbs. Grant wasn't feeling very well, and on our way to the grocery store, he threw up in a dumpster, but was in good spirits afterwards. At the grocery store, we bought food for a few nights of camping.

Three nice people we met today: one guy in Green River recognized Williams from my biking shorts, said he was a textbook salesman, and that we should have publicized our trip, because he would love to host us. Another talked to Corey at the Mission and offered to let us stay with them. The last was a guy we met on the Tucson bike path, riding one bike and rolling another next to him, who led us near to Lyle's house. He said he would love to invite us to dinner, but he was staying at a friend's house.

David: The weather was absolutely beautiful today: sunny and 70+ degrees at midday. The mountains surrounding us looked rugged but pristine, covered in cacti. Of course, it was extremely dry, and the Santa Cruz River, which runs through Tucson, was a sandy ditch without a trickle of water.

My knee is responding well to Aspirin.

Day 3 Pictures

Day 3 Journal