Day 81 – Heading for Elevation and Cold (February 1, 2021)

Night 81- Tucson, Arizona

There are ups and downs. Some all arounds. Some wind, some rain, and hotter days. We have been through quite a few of these and combinations to boot. Now we are heading into a new chapter. Pure elevation and cold.

This day would be our last decent descent before we begin our constant climb. I’m glad the wind didn’t stop us.

With that, we flew into Tucson. Downhill and with a bit of a breeze on our backs, we hit the outer limits of the town by noon. Just 15 miles left, but we would extend that with some exploring.

First thing is first, we met up with Curt. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my cousin and unfortunately we would have to wait a bit longer before we could actually hang out because he was having his own home owner issues. Something along the lines of shoddy roofing and black mold. So while he and his wife were ready to host us a week before, now they were in an Air bnb themselves because of all these issues. No worries. Other than a quick “hey, how ya doin?” Our gathering had another purpose. He had my camera. Fixed by Addison, it arrived a week late and was shipped to Curt. Package received. Time to sort it out again.

Next on the ride was a stop by an iconic bike shop, Campfire Cycling. This place specializes in touring and bike packing. It has made an appearance in a few YouTube channels we used during our early research for the trip, but it was also acted as the “theatre” that debuted “I just want to ride”, which I mentioned in the previous post. It was pretty weird seeing this place in person. It is just a bike shop, but they have this look to their showroom that I really enjoy. It’s all practical and easily moved around so they can use the space for whatever they need outside of normal shop use.
So we spent some time picking their brains and got some critical info from another tourist that happened to overhear our plans.

The next stop was REI. We have a few things to look into in regards to fending off the cold. Some of the routes we discussed have gotten slammed with snow because of this most recent dump of “two years worth of rain” in the south west. So we are preparing for some hurdles to come our way and hope to make it past them. REI might help us, but unfortunately this one did not have what we needed.

For the night we have come back around to family of The Bicycle Recycle in Williamsport. The Stones have a few family members all in the same spot here in the Catalina foothills, so this is where we will stay. A big welcome and plenty of excellent food.

The Stones were excellent. They wanted to show us a bunch of Tucson and offered up their guest room for a few nights. I’m not sure how long we will stay here, but we have to plan around some snow, or out wait it as it thaws. So we were offered a room as long as we like and we took another day to wander around town and then go sight seeing. So really it’s been a few nights, but I’m going to stick with counting the travel nights.

So I’m here eating my oatmeal and drinking coffee. It’s supposed to be a kind day of weather as we make our way to another host just shy of Phoenix. We think we have a battle strategy for dealing with the sub 20 temperatures. Here is hoping we don’t have to test it too soon. I’ll catch back up tomorrow. Meanwhile, the GoPro is back and I’ll probably film too much. Have a great day everyone! Don’t let a Nor’easter get you down. Here is a lot of pictures.

As usual-

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@rlmichaud

And for those who want to help but can’t host us, we take donations through PayPal at the moment, but are looking for suggestions for other funding channels.

Buy us dinner, help us find a host, or help pass along our story. Everything and anything is appreciated.

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