Saturday, March 13, 2010

Riding Solo

I enjoy taking long rides on my scooters. As a nurse, I have an unusual schedule with days off frequently falling in the middle of the week. Most of my scooter riding friends have more traditional Monday through Friday kinds of jobs. Additionally, week days tend to have a bit less traffic out on the roads that lead to lakes, mountains etc. So, when the mood struck me a few days back to go to Parker Canyon Lake, I had to go it alone.
Arizona in an amazing place. (I suppose all states are in their own right.) If it weren't for the mountains in the background, wouldn't this look a lot like Kansas? A few posts back, i mentioned the Iron Butt Ride. well, I'm still planning on making a run at it, so, I have tried to start fitting in a few "training" rides. Then only way your butt gets used to sitting on a scooter for hours on end, is to sit on the scooter for .... you got...."hours on end." Hence this ride to Parker Canyon.
I picked Parker Canyon because a. it would give 160 miles round trip and b. I couldn't remember ever going there before. Now I'm sure that my mother will say that I've been there "lots of times." but the fact is, I have no recollection of ever having been there. Even now, after the fact, I'm sure I've never been there.

As you leave Tucson and head south, southeast on AZ highway 83, you climb slowly, but steadily. Once you leave Sonoita, the climb steepens and soon you are in mountains, the vegetation changes and it begins to get cooler. You can see the first part of the mountains in the pic above.
Eventually, the road steepens and gets twisty. The photo above shows one of the many signs. You probably can't tell from the picture, but there is a significant downhill grade (I was looking behind me) and I had just passed through a series of five 180 degree switchbacks. Very fun, both ways. The road isn't in very good condition and dodging potholes adds another level of difficulty to the ride, as does dodging cows, since much of the last 30 miles is open range.
I was rewarded with the sight of water. If you're not from the desert, this probably doesn't mean alot to you. But around here, standing water always attracts a crowd, even if it's a puddle left over from a brief rain. In the background, you can see the dam. That's about all there is to Parker Canyon Lake. There was what appeared to be a Jeep Club in the parking lot when I got there. Six or seven Jeeps and their occupants visiting and having a little picnic.
I don't know if you see it, but I turned over 14,000 miles on my 2008 Buddy on the way home. Far the highest mileage on a Buddy, but far from the lowest. I think I have the highest mileage on a Buddy in the Tucson metro area, anyway.

This was a great ride. The scenery was beautiful and the scooter ran great. My butt tolerated the ride well. More butt training rides are in the works. I'm hoping to do the Butt-Burning around the end of the month.

Ride on,