Where I've Been

Friday, January 7, 2011

Le Buzz

We are living the life, we ride our bikes then we eat and lie by the pool and then eat again. We are living the life of a lazy man. The people here in Tucson must think that we are crazy it is their winter right now and we are walking around in shorts and t-shirts. Its 20c degrees here boo-ya! The riding has been going good besides the fact that my legs are stiff and tired from not riding outside for months. It is really nice not having to wear layers or to be suck on those terrible trainers. The first day up we got lost on the bike a bit and never could seem to find our way out of the city. The next day was more of a success with a nice ride out to a national park and then a couple loops of the 9 mile lap and back to our place.

The first few days of riding I over dressed, it was really silly of me to think that I would be cold after coming from Saskatchewan where the temp is about -12c right now. We found my favorite coffee shop in Tucson the other day, Le Buzz. They make the best coffee in Tucson, if you are ever in the area you have to stop at Le Buzz. You will always find a couple cyclists at Le Buzz because it is a couple miles from the base of Mount Lemmon. That’s the new Canadian hang out.

Peace out

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tucson Road Trip

Well my drive down to Tucson was a success, there were highs and lows and a whole bunch of fun that went on in a tiny car with three people for 33 hours nonstop. We started are trip with packing up the car late new years day and booking it down to Moose Jaw, so we could over night and pack up so we could hit the road early in the morning. Driving down to Moose Jaw was uneventful and the drive was quick. Thinking that the weather was going to be the same in the morning no worries were to be had by myself. I shouldn’t have thought that it would be that easy. We got up in the morning only to find that Saskatchewan had got dumped on by snow and it wasn’t going away. Since we were leaving so early in the morning snow plows hadn’t had the chance to clear the roads. But with Tucson on our minds we set off with high hopes for a great trip. It was very slow going and a couple close calls with crazy semi drivers but we made it out of Saskatchewan alive. Little did we know that we left Saskatchewan only to drive into Alberta.

Most people when they plan a trip have maps and a route planned out and such. We didn’t, we were just going to follow the GPS, hoping that it would get us there in a good time. We had no idea where or which way it was taking us either. So we are in Alberta and the snow is still blowing like a March blizzard. Seven hours, seven long hours just to leave the country is what it took. There was a lot of “What? We haven’t left Canada yet. Are you sure there isn’t a Tucson in B.C. and that’s where it is taking us” We finally crossed the border with no hitch, only to be not sure what state we were in. It turned out that we were in Montana, good old prairie country. It was like a switch had been turned because the blizzard snow stopped the minute that we jumped the border. It was smooth sailing for a long time in Montana till we hit the mountain pass. My little car was so loaded down that it didn’t have juice to climb the hills fast – we might have even been passed by a semi. It was pretty icy though the mountain with the odd snow bank that had to be dodged. Just a note to all who might not know – fast music, a heavy foot, talking with hands and sheer ice don’t mix.

We hit Idaho just as it was getting dark, and cruised with the 80 mile hour speed limit; we were just killing the trip. We drove though Salt Lake City at late at night, it took about an hour and half on the freeway just to get out of. We never stopped for more then 15 minutes the whole trip, only to grab food, bath room break and to fill up with gas.

Utah - I had said that I would drive the “night shift” so I started driving at 8pm. By the time 2 in the morning rolled around I was getting tired and a bit loopy. So to make matter even better we stop at a gas station and my GPS decides that there is an even faster way to get to Tucson. We time sure why not, let’s go that way. We start driving along and end up going through a small town and out the back side on a highway, but really should be called a back road. We drive along this twisty road up a mountain. It is very creepy we all the tree hanging over the road. It was like, old man on top of a mountain waiting to kill you with an axe, creepy. We continuo driving along the road and pass a sign with lights flashing saying “when lights are flashing road is closed” we think, ah that doesn’t apply to us it can’t be that bad. We pass another sign a little bit later saying such and such road close and the other one open. Hey here is a smart idea, lets ignore all the signs and hope for the road that we need is the one that is open. So we climb the mountain and it’s very steep but the road is clear with only snow on the side of it. The higher go the more the snow is making the road smaller and smaller and we get to a stop on the road about 17km in and there is no way that I was going to keep driving where there was only enough space for my Honda fit to fit through. We turned around.

The fun just kept coming in Utah; I think I might hate that place. Once we got back on track and we thought the normalness of driving was going good. Bam Utah hit us with a white out. The smart people pulled off the road and into the town site but we kept going cause we were on a dead line! We couldn’t really see that well and the road had about a half foot of snow/slush on it but that didn’t stop us, my good old car crept along slowing. No sleep for 24 hours and falling snow will make any one a bit tripping. I finally stopped driving at 6am and passed it on to someone else and crawled into the back of the car to sleep. I was out cold for about an hour till there was a major freak out in the car

The freak out was because we hit Los Vegas and the lights were shining like a city of gold. We drove passed the strip and it was pretty cool to see even as tired as I was. Just as I was falling back to sleep, there was another freak out. The Hover dam, it’s the hover dam! Is it the hover dam? Nah I don’t think it is. No, yes it is, it really is the hover dam! And I passed out again.

More mountain driving and never ending snow, is didn’t stop even though we hit the Arizona border. Arizona is down on the map from Canada and the thing that everyone was saying was “I think we are still going downhill” The whole trip felt more downhill then up. We finally got to are apartment at 3 in the afternoon after 33 hours of driving straight. We hit the hay soon after.