Saturday, January 26, 2013

Phoenix Into the Mountains

After relaxing off the bike on Sunday, Jan. 20, on
Mountains East of Phoenix
Monday we rode across Phoenix and headed toward the mountains east of Phoenix.  The weather was much warmer after the record cold spell the week before.  The ride began along the Arizona Canal trail, which runs through the center of the city, and then along residential streets in Scottsdale, and Tempe, past the Arizona State University campus, through Mesa and into Apache Junction.  In the residential area of Mesa we found front yards focused on orange, lemon, grapefruit trees and cactus, needless to say – no grass.  The roads were excellent, with wide shoulders, except in Apache Junction, where the road narrowed and traffic was heavy.  Fortunately, it was MLK Day so rush hour traffic may have been lighter than usual.  We spent the night at Gold Canyon Resort, a very nice hotel with Southwestern architectural flair.
Superstition Mountain
Tuesday we had some climbing into the mountains but the mileage was fairly short, the shoulders wide and the slope gradual.   We toured the Boyce Thompson Arboretum just outside Superior, AZ.  It had a large collection of desert plants from all over the world set in a very scenic location.  The Seguaro Cactus, which is native only to this area, was prominently featured.  The arboretum even had its own man made lake.

Descent from Gonzales with Copper Mountain in the distance

Cactus at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Lake at Boyce Thompson Arboretum
After checking into the Copper Mountain Motel, we rode into the historic section of the Superior.
Clearly this town had seen better days.  The area was quite depressed.  Copper mining is the main business in the area, providing a quarter of the USA copper production. 

Superior at dusk
In Superior, we talked with a Category 2 racer who advised us that the road from Superior to Globe passed through a tunnel, had no shoulder and had heavy truck traffic.  After listening to the truck traffic rumble past the hotel all night, we decided to rent a U-Haul and drive forward to Globe.  (We were planning to find alternate transportation for the following day, which was too far with too much climbing for us to attempt in the winter.) In Globe we visited the Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park, the 700 year old site of a Pueblo community of Solado Indians .  We enjoyed the short video, the exhibits of pottery and other artifacts, and walking the partially restored pueblo.  We spent the night at the Apache Gold Casino Hotel and enjoyed the opportunity to swim and sit in the spa while admiring the snow in the mountains above us.  

Pueblo at Besh Ba Gowah


  1. WOW. I remember Globe well rain, sleet limited visibility I rode into Apache Gold Casino called my son and had him pick us up. I wish we had had time to explore Besh Ba Gowah. The best is yet to come. I sent you some info on email. Keep peddling. The more I read I really want to join you two.

  2. Oh, how I feel for your fingers changing tubes in near freezing temps. Think that I will stay on my trainer for another month, though you make me yearn for some open road. Love your blog.