Spring Is Here

It’s 8:30 and already we’ve had two exciting events today: garbage day, and scrambled eggs for breakfast! I turn on my computer and my handy-dandy calendar app tells me today is the first day of Spring! Well how about that? How shall we celebrate?

Sue had a bike ride on today’s activity list. So be it.

Before we left I scouted out route options on Google Maps. How about if we go up towards the Mining Camp Restaurant, near the entrance to the Lost Dutchman State Park? I figure it’s about a 16km trip each way. Okay, let’s do that.

I pumped up the front tires on both bikes and off we were. It was about 10:30 — if all goes according to plan we should be there in time for lunch!

View of Superstition Mountain
View of Superstition Mountain from one of our ‘dead ends’ on the trail

Well, that shortcut through the Silly Mountain parking lot was okay, but after about an hour of cycling we were stuck. Google Maps — on my CRACKED! iPhone screen — didn’t notice the two big cracks until this morning; that must have happened yesterday when I dropped it on the cart path at the golf course. Shoot! But I digress — says there’s a road where now we find a rough gravel driveway with lots of ‘No Trespassing’ signs posted all around it. We won’t be easily put off, especially when the sun is high in the sky, we’re hot and sweaty and thirsty, and there’s supposed to be a lunch just a few kilometers from where we are! We cycle back and forth, try various ‘dead ends’, end up CYCLING halfway up Superstition, only to have to turn around and come back down. Finally we flag down one of the few vehicles we meet on this gravel road and ask the old lady driver for directions. Oh no, that road that Google is showing us so clearly was shut down quite a few years ago, and she should know — she’s lived here for 43 years. She feels bad for us, but the only way to get to the restaurant is to cycle back a bit, and then a long way around on a TERRIBLE road, up to the highway, and then back down to the restaurant. Really? Do we want to do that? Or should we just cycle back home? Sue says we’ve already cycled 25 kms.

Sue on bicycle, cycling the gravel trailI make the call — we’re going to the Mining Camp Restaurant. So we do. And yes, that road really is TERRIBLE. Serious washboard, especially on the downhills, where our teeth do a drumroll. And then a kilometre on the highway — lots of traffic and the road has no shoulder and a chewed up edge that forces us to share the lane with motorhomes and over-sized 4×4 trucks towing trailers loaded with ATVs. Not fun. We arrive at the turnoff with only our nerves a little worse for wear. Another kilometre to the restaurant.

There’s hardly anyone at the restaurant. The large parking lot is empty. It’s dark inside, a couple of big rooms with long tables. It’s rustic. It smells like smoke. The posters on the wall advertise upcoming ‘tribute’ shows and ‘past-their-prime’ entertainers. Sue is NOT impressed.

Sue on her bike on the restaurant parking lotBut the local dark IPA was tasty and refreshing, and so was the pulled-pork sandwich and sweet potato fries lunch. And the soft booth bench was a welcome relief to our tired and ‘shook-up’ biking-butts.

But we were only halfway on our adventure — we still had a long ride back. We bypassed the washboard and took the slightly longer but quite-a-bit smoother road back to our house. It was 2:30 when we got home. Total trip: 46kms. Whew!

After a brief refreshment break and a shower, Sue went grocery shopping and picked up a couple of movies at Walgreens. We read until it was time for happy hour. Max skyped us with an update from the home front: he’s putting puzzles together faster than Oma Helga can find replacements from the Thrift Store. The sky here got REALLY dark, and thunder rolled for about an hour. Only a small series of showers, but we saw quite a few flashes of lightning and for a while there was a very cool rainbow over Superstition Mountain.

Since we’d had chips and salsa for happy hour we decided to defer supper until AFTER one of our movies. We watched “The Drop” first. Sue called in our pizza order to Rosati’s, the pizza place on Hwy 60. We’d actually NEVER ordered from there before, and this was likely our last time. After our movie I drove down there to pick up our order — and waited another 25 minutes for our little pizza.

After pizza I put in the other Redbox rental: St Vincent, with Bill Murray. Not bad. It was almost eleven by the time we were “movied out”. A bit of news and then to bed.