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2018-12-05  
Sky Island Odyssey Part 1, AZ
mini location map2018-12-05
46 by photographer avatarGrottoGirl
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Sky Island Odyssey Part 1, AZ 
Sky Island Odyssey Part 1, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Dec 05 2018
GrottoGirl
Mtn Biking47.29 Miles 2,529 AEG
Mtn Biking47.29 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs   41 Mns   
2,529 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A caving friend, Brian, and I decided to try bike packing. I’m not a good mountain biker but I am pretty good at backpacking so surely this will work!

I found what looked like an easy route for our first time. Here is where I found it:

http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/sky-i ... east-loop/

I had no idea how many miles I could do in a day. The most I’ve ridden before was 24 miles on the Loop and in Tucson. So I decided we’d do 20 miles a day. No problem!

I also had no idea how to pack and I didn’t have any bike specific packing mechanisms either. I found I could roll my clothes and sleeping pad into my tent. Then I attached that to my handle bars. I stuffed my sleeping bag into my smallest compression dry bag and attached that under my seat. The rest went into my day hiking backpack. After having done this I do have dreams of buying a couple accessory bags from Rogue Panda. Brian of course had a bike packing specific bike so he was set!

I recruited my boyfriend to drop us off south of Patagonia. The route consisted of dirt roads, two track trails, and some blacktop.

Right out of the gate we were treated to a herd of Pronghorn! Made me miss my home state of Wyoming. Then we were passed by border patrol in pursuit of someone(s). We also stopped often for pictures.

In order to do the trip I had to get two permits (website referenced has contact info):
Audubon Soceity Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch (AWRR)
Nature Conservancy Babocomari Ranch

The Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch (AWRR) has camping or lodging for $20-40.

When we got checked in for camping we were surprised to find that we had access to a casita complete with kitchen and bathroom. I knew we would but it was still a pleasant surprise. We ended up not using half the things we packed because of this - but it was good to test how things handled in packs, etc.

Sunset was amazing! Then we had our dinner outside around an unlit fire pit.

The next day we started off and soon found ourselves at the Elgin Winery! We had a wine tasting with our early lunch.

Then we rode against the wind to Las Cienegas. Ugh! Still, we enjoyed the grasslands and views of all the sky islands. At one point Brian said the bad news was his tracker had not turned back on and the good news was that we had ridden 20 miles. Then we promptly figured out that was also the bad news... we still had 4-6 miles to go! After that we started to feel every ache and pain! Two days in the saddle was taking its toll! Anyway, we pressed on to Gardner Canyon road where we had left our car.

A two day bike pack was definitely a challenge! I’m glad we were able to successfully complete the journey!

Fauna
Fauna
Pronghorn
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GrottoGirl's
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