Tuesday, February 17, 2009

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

At 2:22 and 1,600 feet of elevation gain this morning's ride doesn't sound too difficult. However, given the fact that I've only ridden three times since I was last here over the Christmas holiday it was more than enough to work me over.

I guess ski fitness is different than bike fitness...

At least the scenery didn't disappoint. Thanks to all of the rain that has fallen over the last few weeks the desert is lush and green. In another week or two it should absolutley explode into color. There was, however, one type of shrub that was starting to flower (I need to take a picture so Alex can identify the plant - the flowers were red) but none of the cacti that I saw had bloomed yet.

We rode from the house into the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and worked our way over (Desert Park to Horseshoe to Gateway Loop Trails) to the Paradise Trail which we rode to the Quartz and Taliesin and Lost Dog Wash Trails, climbing up and over towards the Lost Dog Wash Access Area. Due to time contraints we had to turn around early, but it gave me a good idea of what to expect if Kris and I decide to ride the loop out to McDowell Mountain Regional Park on Friday. Before today I'd never connected the north and south area trails within the Preserve.

Today was my brother's first ride on his new Cannondale Rize 3.


Watcher said...

Your red flower, was it this guy? If so, that's Chuparosa, Justicia californica. It was blooming all over the place when I was down there a couple weeks back.

Cool plant, drought-deciduous, attracts hummingbirds.


UtRider said...

Yep, that's it. Today I saw some yellow flowers that looked like mini daisys. Some of the cacti are also budding but so far no blooms.

Watcher said...

I'll bet the yellow daisy-like flower is Brittlebush, Encilia farinosa. Here's a pic. It was just barely starting to bloom when I was down there. They call it that because in the summer all the leaves shrivel up and fall off and the shrub looks like it's dead.