I woke up on Sunday and decided that it was a great day to go someplace different for a ride. I loaded up Hondo and traveled about 20 miles to Catalina State Park.
I have only been to Catalina once before a few years back and I went with several friends. I’m not familiar with the trails so I printed out a map prior to leaving. I wasn’t sure which trail I was going to take, but after I got there the trailhead for a trail called 50-yr trail seemed to be calling me…
Sunday was another perfect day in Tucson weather wise. If anything it was a few degrees cooler due to me being closer to the mountains. I saw a few other horse trailers parked in the area so I was sure if an emergency came up, I could find help as long as I stayed on the trails. My husband Joe still gets uptight when I am out riding alone. When I know I am getting cell phone service, I text him often.
I was a few miles on the trail and I came to a section that you could choose 3 different ways to go. It wasn’t marked which way the 50-yr trail went. It was a good time to get off Hondo, look at the map, think about which way to go and tighten my cinch as we had already climbed up to a ridge. I usually will ride for about 2-3 miles and then tighten my cinch again. It seems to always loosen and settles by then. While I was taking this short break a lone rider came up the trail that I had just came from. He was an older gentleman. Due to that I usually ride alone, I am very cautious when I run into someone. Most horse people are the “I never met a stranger” type and are all pretty friendly. I said “hello” and he responded kindly, he even tipped his hat so I didn’t get a bad vibe from him. He stated his name was Tim and asked if I needed any help. This was due to I was not on my horse. I said I was fine and I was just tightening my cinch. I did ask him about the trails though. I wasn’t sure which one was the 50-yr trail. He showed me the way and said he was going about another mile on it before splitting off on another trail, so I followed him for that mile.
If I looked to my left, it was a few gently rolling hills with Tucson just beyond them. If I looked to my right, there were the Catalina Mountains and one of the passages for the Arizona Trail. The AZT goes over and through some valleys of the Catalina mountains and I am starting to feel my AZT adventure pulling at me to start. I know I am not ready to start yet, but it will be soon. I just need to build Hondo and myself up a little bit more. I also need to work on logistics for getting water and feed for Hondo as I won’t be able to carry all of it.
We completed 10.3 miles on Sunday. It was a great change of pace getting Hondo on a trail he is unfamiliar with. We will be doing this more often to prepare for the AZT!
TC & Hondo…….. firstname.lastname@example.org