As is our wont, we decided to slip out of the cold, rainy  Northwest to get some sunshine, recharge our batteries, and do some riding in the Southwest. Since Spencer now works half time, it was pretty easy to cobble together a 3-week trip to Tucson. We thought we’d drive down for a change so we’d have our car for excursions in Tucson. Little did we know how exciting that trip would be.


It all started as we prepared to leave. We’d planned on Sheila having her computer down and spiffed up while we were gone. We hadn’t planned on the laptop we were going to take to suddenly need the same work done. It turned out to be just the start of the Electronic Revolt.

We were unable to update the maps for our Garmin so we’d be able to find our way around rides in Arizona. OK, so we have three problem systems. That should end it, right?

Wrong. The iPod stopped playing before we got out of Washington. Emergency calls to Sheila’s brother helped us get it back online. Our cell phone began to act weird, shutting off intermittently and generally being a nuisance. Maybe this was all just a way to tell us to leave it all behind?

We spent 3 days driving the 1700 miles to Tucson. Visited with my brother and sister-in-law in Eugene (where we woke up to frosty conditions), and saw a great view of Mt. Shasta on our way to see my dear friend Russ in Lodi (who let us watch the first half of the Duck bowl game!!)

We stopped for two nights with  our friends Gail and Tom in Phoenix. They fixed us a wonderful vegetarian chili with raspberry brownies for dessert and the next day drove us to their summer home in Prescott, AZ. Quaint little town, especially if you like bars. Their courthouse square was ablaze with lights still up from Christmas. We especially liked this tree with lighted red and green ornaments and a white chain of lights illuminating the trunk and branches.

We finally made it to our rental casita (guest house) on Sunday the 6th. It’s a pleasant little place. The owners even installed a bike rack so we could lock up our tandem in the back courtyard. Sweet. We’re in a familiar neighborhood, not far from a Trader Joe’s, Sprouts organic market, and Lovin’ Spoonful veggie diner. We’re looking forward to some great riding in the days ahead.

Desert riding