• Thomas Delker

Day 2 - where did the water go?


We slept really well in the quiet of Bumblebee valley. As the sun started to brighten the sky, the wind started to blow. I got up around 6.30 to start the coffee. With Arizona not on daylight savings that made

it easier! The wind kept at it through breakfast and packing but as we were getting ready to ride out it dropped off and it promised to be a nice day. We were heading out by 8.30, giving the dogs, cats, pigs and cows a heartfelt goodbye.


The trail was similar to yesterday with reasonable but challenging singletrack with loaded down bikes. We snaked around the canyons and gulleys as the morning warmed.


Our first break was a sunny spot after which the trail started to climb and the technical spots increased. We found ourselves pushing our bikes more and more.


Finally we got to the Agua Fria, but it was Agua Nada! Crumbers! Replan - we took our lunch break on top of the ridge and planned a path in to Black Canyon. We had 2 RV places to see if they allowed camping. As we came in to town we stopped at the first - no luck but the nice person did say the river was flowing just a ¼ mile further down. We headed a few miles across town to the other RV park and waited for someone to come back to the office. The place was hot, dry, and desolate. No thanks.


Replan - let’s hit the Pie Shop and Cafe for a late lunch and then follow a road down to the river where there was BLM land and camp there. The pie was great. The river access was not. No water and fences everywhere. As we tried to come up with a 4th plan, a super nice person came up and said she bikes the Black Canyon and inquired if we needed any help. She suggested camping at the Trailhead and even offered to bring us water! Sold! Back on the bikes, back through town along the now familiar streets, we arrived at the trailhead she suggested. 2 other cars were there, clearly with people staying in them. And not the ‘van life’ kind, but more the ‘I am down on my luck kind’. Nope…. Plan #5, hit the motel in town. Again we were


shocked with the price of a very cheap hotel, but at this point we had tried and tried and tried because we REALLY wanted to camp, but to no avail.


So here we are, showered and getting ready to make camp stove burritos even though there is a pizza place across the street because we want it that bad!


Tomorrow we will follow backroads to New River (Ironic name?) and pick the trail up south. The next stretch would take us 2 days and without water we just can’t do it one day with all our gear

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