Saturday, April 4, 2009

Riding, hiking and high winds

I was going to blog this last night, but we ended up making risotto, which takes the better part of an hour, so I didn't. Anyway, if I had written last night, my opening line would have been, "I have dirt in my teeth." I thought that had gravitas and would capture one's attention. However, that's no longer the case. More on that later.
Tuesday (3/31) was just delightful. We rode the bikes out to the Aviation Highway bike trail. Getting to the trail takes us through the Lost Barrio which is a shopping area full of really cool stuff from Mexico and other places. I was hungry so we stopped at a cafe called Tooleys. It was very nice.

These are pictures of a house next door to the restaurant. They've done a nice job of paint and landscaping. This is a part of Tucson that probably won't survive. Growth has pushed out into the suburbs which are full of the chain stores. Old areas that give Tucson its character are being ignored and are dying out. This street is an example of that process, sales are down, stores are empty, shop keepers are suffering. After awhile, anywhere just looks like everywhere else.

Jim on the deck with the Wall Street Journal. We had eggs, toast, and sauteed vegetables. Thus fortified, we got back on our bikes and out the parkway.

This is an A-10 Warthog preparing to land at Davis-Monthan. It's tough to get good pictures because they are moving so fast. Notice that the nose gear is off center, that's because of the huge cannon mounted on centerline in the fuselage.

For the first time, we rode the parkway to the end. It takes you by the bone yard. These are C1-130 Hercules transports.

We came back through downtown Tucson. This is taken in the Iron Horse Neighborhood, called that due to its proximity to the old railroad station. The bougainvillea is robust.

More cactus in the park.

Wednesday was a hiking day. Weight bearing exercise is always important.

Thursday we rode up to Geronimo Square with friends from the park. The pigeons are just savages when there is an abandoned plate with scraps. Afterwards we rode up to the U and up Mountain avenue to see if the construction was done, it's not. We made our way on up to the Trader Joe's on River and then rode back to the park via A mountain.

This is why my allergies are in full cry. These trees are EVERYWHERE, shedding pollen in the wind and making my contacts feel like sandpaper.

A buckhorn cholla in the parking lot of an abandoned building.

Still Thursday. Look out the window at the car moving from right to left. The car has made a 180 degree turn, and is now going the wrong way down the on-ramp to I-19. He's doing that because traffic on the freeway has come to a complete stop and hasn't moved for a long time.

We're on the frontage road, heading for the over land route to Costco, looking up at the freeway. It's never good when people are out of their cars. We assume there must have been an accident, but we never heard about it. What makes it interesting is the fact that all of the Tucson ramps on and off the freeway are closed for construction until 2010. So if there is an accident, how do they clear it? There's no shoulder for tow trucks, there is a huge barrier between north and south traffic, there are no open ramps, what? How does this get fixed?

Shop window on 6th Avenue, part of the over land route to Costco.

This is yesterday, when I had dirt in my teeth. April is windy. The jet stream dips south, while the desert is heating. Hot air rises, which then pulls cold air down from the faster moving troposphere. All this air movement causes high winds. Yesterday was extremely obnoxious. Today is not as bad. Anyway, the parking lot at Target was full of blowing dust from the large area of the behind the shopping center that has been scraped and not replanted.

Well, time to get up, sunscreen up, and go for a hike. We're burning daylight!

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