Thursday, April 29, 2010

McDowell Mountain Park

Behold! The next wave of blooming cactus. This is a Buckhorn Cholla, a relative of those nasty chollas that have been puncturing our tires and flesh out at Fantasy Island. They seem to bloom later in the season than anyone else.

This is McDowell Mountain park. It's one of our favorite places. The first two days we were here it was HOT! Lower 90's. Even though we were getting up and out early, we felt like we were baking when climbing up some of the hills. We may have to rethink spending the last week of April here, it's too dang hot!

Here is Jim at the end of a ride at one of the ramadas. We split a candy bar and drank a bunch of water. I like Jim's technique for drinking from his Camelbak.

Today it is windy and 25 degrees cooler than yesterday. We decided we would hike the Scenic Trail out at McDowell instead of riding. The beginning and end of the trail is quite pleasant, the middle section is steep and challenging. We decided it would not be part of our riding portfolio.

We got pretty excited when we saw this descent. It looked really good. Once you get around the corner, this turns into a twisty little section (that still looks like fun) right on the edge of a cliff. We tempered our enthusiasm at that point, we both still have cornering excursions, and it would be bad to go over the edge of a giant hill.

Tomorrow we plan to ride one more time. There's a hill I've been walking because I'm trying not to let my pulse get over 140 or so. I may give it a shot to see what happens with the new drug and since I still have real time monitoring.

This is me in my Life Watch monitor. It's kind of cool. There are three EKG leads stuck to me, you can see one on my right chest, and the round thing by my navel is a Bluetooth sending unit that talks to the cell phone. I carry a Blackberry which sends data 24 hours a day to monitoring central. They send tracings and analysis to my cardiologist daily. They're invaluable for diagnosing what kind of arrhythmia a person has, since they're worn over a period of time, and can catch the heart in the act of misbehaving.

Is anyone following the controversy over the new Arizona immigration law? All the TV debate is focused on the Hispanic segment of the population. One wonders whether our Canadian friends will have to carry documentation with them at all times. Its passage is already having an economic impact to the state; people are not coming up from Sonora to shop, conventions have been canceled, potential students and programs are breaking ties with U of A. The lawsuits have begun.

So, we're out of here Saturday, on the way to Petaluma, CA.

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