There’s a thru-hiking adage that one should never quit on a bad day. I’m assuming it’s a transferable saying which is why, despite a couple of rough first days, we absolutely had no intention of quitting.
After Patagonia, there’s a 12-mile road ride into Sonoita and then onto some gravel… and then rougher ATV routes before some beautifully sublime singletrack that nearly made us forget the last couple of days (nearly…!). This was the riding we had been expecting: a little bit of road and gravel to put some miles in followed by sweet, sweet singletrack. Basically, that’s what it has been since we left and into Tuscon. Sure, we’ve had some pushing but none of the massive climbs if the Canelo Hills. We’re actually riding our bikes and *gasp* passing hikers!
Clearly our spirits are lifted (but we anticipate more hardship). We’ve continued to meet thru-hikers and bikepackers, although few bikers appear to be attempting the full ride. Meeting the other riders out here has been great as they all have a ton more experience than us. One man told us that bikepacking is either sublime or shit. There’s no middle: you haul your bike around and then find the sweet spot of downhill. There is definitely a general consensus that this trail is tough and not reflective of other bikepacking routes (two separate riders have done the Great Divide). So… yeah we may have chosen the hardest route as our first bikepacking trip!
A Gila Monster 😁
The heat had also been brutal. In fact, it’s been so bad, that when we arrived at Kentucky Camp (heritage site with water and large covered porch that welcomes hikers/bikers) at 10am, we just decided to wait out the heat and had a 6 hour mid-day rest, chatting with all the others that came through. It was marvelous! The weather has now turned so that we may actually run into snow at higher elevations in the next couple of days! Ack!
My queasiness has seemed to finally pass and has now been replaced with a voracious hunger. Which is reassuring.
In another bad stroke of luck, Adam’s dropper post has seized working. This is not good on a trail that really has a ton of constant up & down. With no post in Tucson, he’s found one online and has ordered it to be shipped ahead.
Up next: Mt. Lemmon!
We made it to Tuscon!