From: Pistol Pete
Subject: Cacomixtle tour
So, I finally got tired of being such a pussy. Loaded up the ol’ Coyotero an’ hit it early. Blast down Old Nogales Highway, enjoying the fact that all that traffic was taking them and not me to work. I kept right on riding past all that shit makin’ ‘Merica safe there at Raytheon til I found a Mexican bakery. I ordered in Spanish, natch, cuz she started it. I order a Maple Bar, Mmm good. She say’s “no Senior, esta se llama un lanyon”. WTF? Oh, she means LongJohn. Learn sumpin’ ever’day. Scarf that, y un cafe down (good!) an’ I’m spinnin’ again. I hit Green Valley, still early but I’m already hungry again. I cruise around but the Big Blue Box has put all other businesses out of business. Fuck, I’m gonna have to eat at Wally’s. I feel like shoplifting everything but no, ain’t got no time for jail, I’m riding. I go in, get my shit an’ everyone is as nice as pie to me. Fuck! I can’t even retaliate. Still, fuck WalMart, the fucks.
So, I hit the road a while longer, til I make Continental. Geezer Yuppies, all polite an’ careful around the biker. I swear, my enemies are conspiring to make me feel weak an’ welcome. Turn onto White House Canyon Rd. and it’s time to pull. Ain’t super steep but it grabs my attention. Touring fixed make you think of every ounce you can eat, drink or throw away. Naturally, I love every piece of shit on board, so I just enjoy the scenery. This country is freekin’ beautiful. It is great to be home. Meanwhile, without noticing it the mountains keep getting closer. I pass a sign say how far to Madera Canyon and something about 21 miles to State Highway 83, here’s my turnoff. Hit the dirt, park under a mesquite. Water up and break out the Surly Tule, ease up on that ol’ Dingle. Bless those boys up there in Wisconistan or wherever the fuck they are up there. They make good shit. Now I’m down from like 64 inches to 50, life is sweet. I’ll be climbing for the next three hours. My bike is kinda heavy, I’m kinda old and slow. Oh, and it’s just as sweet as I imagined. The Santa Rita Mountains are nice. The road was graded sometime this year, traffic is light and mostly polite, just a couple city pendejos that never heard you are supposed to slow the fuck down when you pass living beings. Yeah fucktard, I love to eat your dust and dodge your thrown gravel.
Two thirds up there’s a nice old bridge built in the early fifties over the main channel of the presently dry creek. Cottonwoods, Spanish Bayonet, Mescal, one of the junipers, so nice I stop to eat half my Wally’s sandwich. Holy Moroni, I was wondering what was up, that food was GOOD! I forget to eat and start feelin’ like shit. I push for like a couple miles while the food finds it’s way to my legs, also not to mention its fuckin’ STEEP! Only for a couple miles though and I’m back sweatin’ an’ grinnin’. By the end of the day the waistline of my battle shorts was pure salt white, oh, I’m a sweaty one.
Near the top it’s turnin’ Juniper and Oakish. Deep canyon and the air is moving now, windy. Lay on the steam, past a presently unoccupied OHV area and it starts to head downhill. Whoa! I’m on the other side. I cruise the Greatervill rd. but no likely spots to spend the night so I backtrack a bit til I hit the Forest Road I was on til I hit SR 83 and pavement again. There’s a Migra checkpoint a couple hundred meters down the road but I’m headed up, over a few hills and ridges. The Sun is way West by now and I need to find a spot quick. It’s windier’n Hell now so I want a sheltered spot too. Five miles down there’s a nice bunch of oaks down in the arroyo with a “Road Closed” sign on the access, perfect. Road Closed means for the gasoline types of course, not you and me.
I duck down under and do a quick scout. This is after all Baja Arizona, where weird shit has been known to happen. I see some old bear sign and some more fresh Mojado sign. Abandoned clothing, water bottles ripped to shit packs. I wish if nothing else that La Migra would throw all that shit out when they pick up the folks. It’s fucking litter, nothing else. There’s also a well used trail that crosses what later turns out to be the Arizona Trail. All this country down here is really well used, by all kinds. Most are OK I guess, but again, we’ve all heard of weird and dangerous shit going down. Like some kinda dumb assed hippie I ain’t packin’ neither, oh well. Cain’t worry about everything though, can we?
I set up my bedroll under a really sweet old oak and gobble grapes, punkin’pie, the other half of my sandwich and some granola. I’ve been out for eleven hours. It’s just dark so I listen to the night coming on, hoping the mountain lions are on days off tonight, dang they scare me. I break out my book from Bill Bryson and snicker myself asleep…Only to wake wide up at eleven (check my watch) cuz I hear sumpin’. I listen more, but the crickets are still goin’, good. I hear a mouse or somethin’ in my Frost Creek saddlebag, little bastard after my food, as usual. I peer in the dark and swear I see a squirrel tail so I light up my headlamp and it’s a ringtail! Oh, he’s peekin’ and ditherin’ around, so I get a really good look. I can tell he wants me to go away so he can pig out but you little bandit, that’s MY food. I tell’im “dooder, beat it” and he bails, for like two minutes. He’s really interested in something in that bag, so I get outta my warm sleeping bag to investigate. Little fuck has chewed a hole through my bag and into the focaccia bread. Dang, who can blame him? That’s good shit. I tear off the part he’s eaten, plus any he mighta slobbered on and thrown them behind the trunk of the tree. As I crawl into my bag he’s right back and at my bike again. I tell’im again to get his own food and he figures the deal, jumps behind the tree and scarfs. I drop off till about three thirty when he’s lurking’ around again, so I pull some more off the loaf, throw it behind the tree and go back to bed.
Seven A.M. and life is fine. I’m wrecked but life is fine. I eat cereal, another punkin’ pie, more grapes and it feels like time to ride. The first hundred yards were hard but it was sunny, cool and beautiful. It really only took a quarter mile to forget I was riding all day yesterday. I ride for no more than four mile and hit the big 14 mile downhill. Joy. No shoulder, no freewheeling and the only traffic that gave me no respect was the official traffic. Sonoyta Fire Dept., U.S.F.S., Pima Sheriff, suck my balls. Every other car, mostly, gave ample passing room. Only my pals in public service passed WAY too close. No even all of them, just four vehicles, the fucks. Not too bad considering there’s a shitload of morning traffic on SR 83.They must be commuting from Sonoyta to Tucson. Good for you, I hope gas costs eight fucking dollars next year, live where you work for fuck’s sake.
Anyhow, like I said, most folks were surprisingly polite and respectful. I drop down to Sahuarita rd, and make a left, cuz it seems the hurry, hurry folks all take the route through Vail and I-10.Sahuarita road is beautiful, all rich Sonoran desert, fulla life. I saw a couple bucks, a ton of birds and even a few snakes. Passing all the new construction is something I don’t want to dwell on. I hate that shit and will never hide the fact.
Cruised the last ten or twelve miles on Wilmot way down south, all dirt and barely passable by car, sweet. Hit pavement and rolled! One question though. Is south Benson highway where all the tweekers live? It must be that or all the skinny supermodels live in antique motels on the edge of town. I never saw so many really, really thin folks since I left Japan…