Mountain, Cross and Shuffleboard Nats

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
We have been spared from extreme heat over the past week. Highs in the 80's and lows near 60 with a few days dipping down to 54 in the morning. We have been able to eat all our meals outside under the ramada and enjoy being outside. That being said, the sun is still very hot, so most days outdoor activities are in the morning. It looks like it could go back up to 100 by end of next week and this time, this will be normal temperatures.

My mom has gone back to New Jersey and we are contemplating heading back at some point too. Perhaps in 3 weeks or so. I have a bunch of doctor appointments that I have already rescheduled from May to end of June. This time, travel will be different, so we will need to prepare a little more with meals and lodging. I really miss riding Sterling and Ringwood, and even more so do I miss my friends. I realize with social distancing, I may not be seeing them anyway, but I do not know when people will be comfortable traveling by air and next year we may have no visitors in AZ, so I really would like to see friends this summer if I can. That combined with having my ovarian cyst checked twice a year, I feel like I should try to get back to NY for the summer.

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
We still have a bunch of cactus blooming that we never saw bloom. This white one was about 6 inches across when fully open. There look to be about 15 blooms starting. Not sure if we will see them all. They only last a day open. I had to cut back a bunch of bushes to create paths so I can get in and out without stepping on snakes.

I have a few tomatoes turning red and ate a home grown squash last night. Tonight I am trying stuffed squash blossoms for the first time. I'll let you know how that goes. No riding today. I am just taking it easy. It seems quiet out here. Not sure if it is because snowbirds have left or people just not out and about. We may hit the bike path tomorrow in hopes that it is not too crowded.

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
The stuffed squash blossoms came out great! I used a recipe for beer batter outside and did my usual ricotta parmesan filling with home grown parsley. I did pan fry, not deep fry, and they were quite delicate, light and crispy. I may try this again in a few days as I seem to have several male flowers each day and only a female (which has fruit) now and then.

Art and I rode the tandem on the bike path today and did a 3 path loop, about 30 miles. The temps were delightful. I am not much for road riding, but this was a nice change. We usually see multiple tandems when out riding. There are many retired people out here that ride bikes and take advantage of the many bike paths. ....Great to see!

It does not feel like Memorial Day weekend. I suppose being in Arizona does not fit in with my past memories of Memorial Day. Not a bad thing, just different.

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
Ok, who turned the oven back on? Art asked if we should cook the pizza in the oven or the barbecue. I said, just stick it on the patio, it will cook. So at this point, I do not remember the last day I rode my bike. It has been a few days. I have been buried in the house after 9am, except to go out and water. I have had some stuff to do before we head back, and I am ahead of schedule. Needless to say, I have been missing summer in NJ and my friends. We should be out of here in the next week or so, to start our journey back east.

Today was the real hot day predicted, and we got some really cool afternoon clouds and virga going. Not any real rain, but temps dropped from 114 to 101 in the car, if that gives you idea of how strong the sun can be. The weather station now ( 4pm ) reads 92. Woohoo! Temps should moderate some this week so we can get a few more morning rides in before we head back. I know I will eat my words, but I miss rain and humidity.

Not sure if I will be able to harvest all my vegetables. The okra pods are only 1 inch, peppers 2 inches long and tomatoes still green. I should be able to get a few squash and tomatoes plus use all the basil and chives. The vegetable growing has been a great experience and I hope to start it 4-6 weeks earlier next year and maybe be even try some cool weather crops like lettuce. I learned how to make stuffed squash blossoms too.

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
We have had some great afternoon clouds and views of rains across the valley. The airport even reported 1.5 inches of rain the other day, but we have had zero. Our last ride downtown was on Tuesday at Starr Pass. It was nice but I started to get heat affected about an hour in to the ride so wrapped it up at 2 hours. ... and that was getting up before 5 to make a 7am ride. The last few days I am in the house with a/c on after 9 am. Saturday there will be a slight cooling, so we hope to do our last local ride and be out of here on Sunday morning. The girls back east sent me a picture from my driveway after a ride and boy did that make me homesick. I think I am ready to walk away from Arizona for a few months. :)

The extra time indoors has me all caught up with getting the house ready to close up. I have the drip system tweaked and repaired where needed and potted plants all on a temporary drip. No riding every day for a week before we go this year. I will end up with down time from the bike as we do not plan to attempt riding in the middle of the country. It looks like we may have rain along the way at some point. All ok since we were able to ride most the winter. A few weeks off the bike is not always a bad thing. It can make me appreciate future rides.

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
Four days on the road though Covid-19 open USA, and we are back in NJ. We opted to not go the campground route and do 3 hotel night stays to break the trip up and to avoid crowded places. We had our masks and disinfectant to get through all public places and I wiped down all surfaces and touch spots in each hotel. I had a cooler full of food to avoid eating out or spending too much time public spots. I think we did ok.

I am quite happy to be back. The forest fire in AZ has gotten real bad since we left. Catalina foothill homes and businesses have been evacuated and the fire has reached Catalina State Park with a change in wind direction. I doubt it will reach up to our place 8 miles away, but the fire certainly has us concerned. Fire is a scary force of nature, and is approaching hundreds of homes..

As soon as I got back I went for a walk and got rained on. It felt pretty awesome. Then I went for a short ride and also got a little rained on. That felt awesome too. Later I went out for Dirty Thursday and by then my stiff neck from sleeping the night before was feeling pretty aggravated. So while I did not feel quite as awesome, It did feel good to be back and see all the work that has happened while we were gone. Thanks volunteers! I ran into this rattle snake too. He was hiding his head under the log roll on 6 bridges. It looked like he just ate so I did not want to disturb him by chasing him out for a photo.

Anyway, I got out again today to ride Sterling which was awesome, but my neck is still not feeling great. Hopefully I can work this stiff neck out soon ?.

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serviceguy

Well-Known Member
Glad to see you and Art back in Ringwood after all these months!

Apparently rattlers are having a great season, two days ago another rather big one was seen near the parking lot C. Someone mentioned a den being near so I guess some extra attention will be necessary around the area.
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
The texts from our friends started last night. The wind changed and the fire has jumped over the mountain and is approaching our neighborhood. Catalina foothills people can return to their homes but our neighborhood is next to go on get set. Videos this morning looked slightly better, but I am sure the tankers will be out dropping retardant today. I sure hope they can steer this thing away from homes. My street is on the white dotted line. The yellow area is get ready and red evacuate. It is about 4 miles to the fire from my street.

My neck is still feeling crappy today, so no biking for me. The temps are just delightful outside. I hope to enjoy hanging out at the pond and watching the wood ducks.

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
The winds shifted and died some and the fire is burning up the mountain valleys again and not towards our street. That is great news! I took these shots the day before we left. Just getting them up now. DC-10 tanker diving into the valley on the first shot and laying a retardant line in front of a neighborhood on the second shot. These pilots are amazing. They fly so close to the ground and in smoke with a fairly large plane.

Unfortunatly, my neck got worse, so still off bike but I have been doing some short walks and smelling the roses. So nice to be back!

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pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
Sorry but I have no pictures for you today. My neck went to shit for a few days and I am just starting to get back to being able to do simple stuff like cook, get dressed and turn my head enough to drive or go for a walk. I got back on my bike today for the first time in a week and it was ok. I rode over to Sterling and climbed up to the top of section D and came back down. That was it. If I am still ok tomorrow, I will try a few more rides under 1.5 hours and maybe lose the hydration pack and take a bottle as wearing the pack does seem to be worse than actually riding. Either way I am pretty happy to be on the mend and getting about.

I saw 2 fawn across the pond and a baltimore oriole the other day. The wood duck families and the green heron have been around as well. So pond activity has been active. As far as the Bighorn fire in Tucson, it is now more than 30,000 acres and still only a few miles from our house. However, winds are keeping it up by Mt Lemmon and the 800 firefighters are working ahead of it doing back burns and fire walls to steer it around homes up there. It sounds like if unusual winds steer it towards our neighborhood, they will lay a retardant line by air. With Saddlebrooke development and Miraval resort just beyond our place, they are on call and watching. Working where they need to at the moment. Our neighbors said the smoke is really bad, even when they are inside their house. Praying for early monsoon!
 

Patrick

Overthinking the draft from the basement already
Staff member
Sending some positive energy to you, and negative energy to the fire.
(or i'm taking positive energy from the fire...you know what it mean.)
 

onetracker

Well-Known Member
Sorry but I have no pictures for you today. My neck went to shit for a few days and I am just starting to get back to being able to do simple stuff like cook, get dressed and turn my head enough to drive or go for a walk. I got back on my bike today for the first time in a week and it was ok. I rode over to Sterling and climbed up to the top of section D and came back down. That was it. If I am still ok tomorrow, I will try a few more rides under 1.5 hours and maybe lose the hydration pack and take a bottle as wearing the pack does seem to be worse than actually riding. Either way I am pretty happy to be on the mend and getting about.

I saw 2 fawn across the pond and a baltimore oriole the other day. The wood duck families and the green heron have been around as well. So pond activity has been active. As far as the Bighorn fire in Tucson, it is now more than 30,000 acres and still only a few miles from our house. However, winds are keeping it up by Mt Lemmon and the 800 firefighters are working ahead of it doing back burns and fire walls to steer it around homes up there. It sounds like if unusual winds steer it towards our neighborhood, they will lay a retardant line by air. With Saddlebrooke development and Miraval resort just beyond our place, they are on call and watching. Working where they need to at the moment. Our neighbors said the smoke is really bad, even when they are inside their house. Praying for early monsoon!
Maybe try a Lumbar Camlebak to put less stress on your neck. I have not tried one but some folks swear by that design. Cool photos!
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
The pack that Art has and I tried is an EVOC and it is super comfortable. However the bladder is small and managing the tube is a pain. Art is used to it but I had to stop multiple times to reconnect the tube to the pack. Since the tube is on your waste and must be long enough to go to your mouth, it can not be left dangling or it may get ripped apart in your frame. May not be great for racing but certainly a great option for full suspension bikes with no bottle cages.
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
I have had a bunch of distractions, so no great pictures or stories these days. However, today Art and I broke ground on our next trail project. Dirty Thursday will still be happening over at the school and six bridges trail with Tom and James every week, weather permitting, until that is complete. Thanks to all that been helping out!

Art and I will probably just work a few mornings a week on our next series of projects on the race course trail. We have been revisiting some of the 20-25 year old RVCC built trails that were built before sustainable trail building knowledge and prioritizing some repairs and re-routes that may improve trail experiences and help support future access, maintenance and partnerships. As many may already know, Ringwood does not allow new trails unless there is some important reason the park thinks a new trail would be needed. We have been urged to fix what is there before asking for more.

So for the past 10 years we have been repairing and rerouting old trails. Major re-routes need full proposals and approvals but minor reroutes are usually ok. Our next string of fix ups are a mix of both and some will need proposals, so some are not approved yet. We have some great ideas, and hope they can happen in a few years. In the mean time, you may notice some changes.

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serviceguy

Well-Known Member
I have had a bunch of distractions, so no great pictures or stories these days. However, today Art and I broke ground on our next trail project. Dirty Thursday will still be happening over at the school and six bridges trail with Tom and James every week, weather permitting, until that is complete. Thanks to all that been helping out!

Art and I will probably just work a few mornings a week on our next series of projects on the race course trail. We have been revisiting some of the 20-25 year old RVCC built trails that were built before sustainable trail building knowledge and prioritizing some repairs and re-routes that may improve trail experiences and help support future access, maintenance and partnerships. As many may already know, Ringwood does not allow new trails unless there is some important reason the park thinks a new trail would be needed. We have been urged to fix what is there before asking for more.

So for the past 10 years we have been repairing and rerouting old trails. Major re-routes need full proposals and approvals but minor reroutes are usually ok. Our next string of fix ups are a mix of both and some will need proposals, so some are not approved yet. We have some great ideas, and hope they can happen in a few years. In the mean time, you may notice some changes.

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Do you mind if @MissJR posts the Dirty Thursday on the events calendar or if I post the links to the Trail Crew's posts on Facebook here on the Ringwood State Park thread? Both could catch some good soul willing to help...
 
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