Uphill to Oracle


[No WiFi where I’m staying, so I’m posting this the next day, the 8th, from the table outside the library.]

Whew! Today I biked 23 miles, almost exactly the same as yesterday. But whereas yesterday’s journey was mostly flat and on a car-free path, today was on Rt. 77. Fortunately, for most of the way there was a wide shoulder. But, I pushed up a slight but relentless incline totaling 1700 feet today, and I battled a headwind for about the second half of that. When I finally pulled into the Oracle Cook Shack for some sweet potato fries, I was definitely ready for a rest!

The ride was scenic, though; the Sonoran desert landscape continues to enchant me.

Sadly, I did see three ghost bikes along Rt. 77 (which one of last night’s hosts, Kurt, in pic above, had warned me to expect.) I was sad to think about all of those cyclists as I pedaled past those three points.

One exciting aspect of today’s ride was when I passed the signs, and then the turnoff, for Biosphere 2! I will be taking a tour there with my friend Andie on Wednesday.

I remember being fascinated by the promise and potential of Biosphere 2 when I first started hearing about it, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s (when I was living in Virginia, and then Oregon, so Arizona felt very far away.) I was excited to add it to my itinerary on this trip, as one of several cool Southwestern “experimental” ideas from the latter half of the 20th century, including the Earthships in Taos and Arcosanti, north of Phoenix. I recently watched a new documentary about Biosphere 2; click on the link to watch it if you’d like, before I give my “report” in a couple of days. Such an interesting story.

After the sweet potato fries, I biked about another mile to my Warmshowers host’s house. The host, Kyle, is actually out of state right now, but very graciously offered their home to me anyway. I’m actually hoping to meet them in Dallas, as they drive through on their way home from Missouri; could be another trip synchronicity if we can pull that off! Actually, on that note, does anyone here know of someone in the Dallas area who could host this person, Kyle, and their partner Lauren (both agender, using they/them pronouns) and their two dogs? The lodging could be either indoors, or a place to pitch their tent in the backyard. It would be for a night or two, Feb 15th and/or 16th. I’d love to help them find a spot, because I so appreciate Kyle’s allowing me to use their place here in Oracle! They are vegan, into restorative justice, bicycling, outdoorsy stuff, etc. Let me know if you know of someone!

I arrived at the house in time to sit outside in the sun a bit with some snacks, and now I think I’m going to call it an early night, and get some much-needed rest!

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