Day 0 (Saturday, March 26): Mary and I drive to Tucson for the start of the six-day Trail of the Apaches bike tour with Lizard Head. To break up the drive, we do a 27-mile warmup ride in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California.
Day 1 (Sunday, March 27): Mary and I are joined by my brother Jay for the start of the tour near Tucson. We bike a 25-mile loop in Saguaro National Park and do a 7-mile round-trip hike up Wasson Peak.
Day 2 (Monday, March 28): We bike up Kitt Peak and finish with another ride through Saguaro National Park for 49 miles total. We again spend the night near Tucson.
Day 3 (Tuesday, March 29): We shuttle to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and bike 46 miles through Arivaca to Arivaca Junction. After another shuttle over a busy stretch of road, Mary and I, along with guide Emily, get on our bikes again for the last 18 miles and finish in Patagonia with 64 miles overall.
Day 4 (Wednesday, March 30): We bike 62 miles from Patagonia to Parker Canyon Lake and then back to a winery near Sonoita. After that we shuttle to Bisbee, an old mining town. During the bike ride, Jay sees a herd of pronghorns, and Mary sees a javelina. Along the way the cable breaks for the rear derailleur on Mary’s bike. Mitch, our second guide and mechanic, is unable to repair the cable, but sets the derailleur so that Mary has three reasonable gears in front to continue riding.
Day 5 (Thursday, March 31): We bike 77 miles from Bisbee in Arizona to Rodeo, just across the state line in New Mexico. The weather is cool but sunny at the start. As the day wears on, the skies become more ominous, and we are treated to rain and sleet just before we finish our ride. After the clouds depart that night, we view the Milky Way in all its glory.
Day 6 (Friday, April 1): We abandon our original plan to bike up Mount Graham because its summit of over 10,000 ft is predicted to have a high temperature in the 30s with a chance of snow. Instead, all of the guests do a short 16-mile bike ride into beautiful Cave Creek Canyon, and some of us follow that with a strenuous 9-mile round-trip hike up 8,000-ft Silver Peak.
Photos follow, and the captions include the names of a few of the many mountain ranges in Arizona.