Zen On Dirt

Tucson love

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For a while this winter, I felt a little bit homeless. Not in the sense that I didn’t have four walls around me (because I love living in a way that doesn’t involve four walls, but instead with a bike or car packed full of gear), but in that Colorado didn’t really feel like a current home, and I didn’t really consider myself a Tucson resident, spending my first winter there.

I sort of thought that I’d love Tucson for the winter weather and for the trails, but somewhere along the line, I really fell in love with the place itself. The brilliant weather and trails help, but I love the food, I love all the people I’ve met. I love that I can be completely out of my comfort zone in my neighborhood, being a significant minority as a white person for the first time in my life, yet feeling completely comfortable watching the dozens of kids play in the street in front of our house. I love being able to pedal to get the best gelato ever, and Mi Ranchio, oh I love me my Mi Ranchito.

Anyhow, my infatuation with the city has surprised me. It’s been a little sad to not spend much time there in the past month, and to know that at most I have 12 more days in the Old Pueblo after getting back from a whirlwind trip to Moab and Boulder to drop a car to stage logistics for later this summer before leaving for our summer trip.

I’m going to miss it.

I’ve done my best to make the most of the few days I’ve spent there between trips that somehow gloriously piled up and fit perfectly with each other. Wake up. Eat. Work until it cools down outside. Ride bikes. Smile at the sun. Marvel at the flowers. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.


At some point in time while I was gone, the flowers exploded! Pinks, yellows, reds, purples, whites. While the desert has always felt far more alive than  I expected it to be in the winter, this spring show has been spectacular.


I missed the one precipitation event this spring early in March while I was in Death Valley. This storm didn’t amount to anything, but the clouds made for some beautiful sky patterns and sun rays.


The hot daytime temperatures have led to evening rides stretching into night rides. Golden hours haven’t disappointed.


Yeah, this place is special.


With spring comes snakes. I was too busy gabbing with Alexis on this ride to notice this fellow. In my brain it registered: That’s a funny looking rock. Scott pointed it out to us after I’d already passed by and Alexis was right next to it. It didn’t seem to be excessively bothered by us as it slithered off into the bushes.




Peach? Red? Pretty.


The clouds look digitally processed. I did next to nothing to alter this photo. The sky really did look like this, which was funny because we’d all expected a dud of a sunset. Never underestimate the power of Tucson clouds.


Oh Ranchito. We convinced Alexis that she had to eat at some point of time before going back to work, so it might as well be at Ranchito. It was definitely the correct life choice. It’s warm enough to ride in the evening, then partake in the traditional sprint down Saint Mary’s to try to get to Ranchito before they close, and to sit outside in bike clothes without the need for a hoody.

I love this place.


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