It was a rather fitful sleep night on the train to Tucson. My seatmate was an older man, and while he didn’t snore he did breathe very very loudly. That and being confined to one seat made it a bit hard to sleep for me. I got the Tucson and dropped my bags off at the offices of my warm showers host, Jim, who works at The University of Arizona. Jim is a botanist who makes maps of vegetation, where and how it grows, in the hills of Arizona. He described some very remote field trips on his own out in the “bush,” Wow, did he have cool computing tools, including an at least 24″ drawing tablet. He gave me a quick overview of the area and available bike routes, and things to see and I headed out for a ride-along the Santa Cruz and Rillito rivers.

They were rivers only in the sense that at one point they may have had flowing water, and they certainly was evidence of that given the watermarks and debris that were piled up in certain areas, but they were pretty dry mostly puddles and an occasional area with running water. There were beautiful bike paths on both sides both rivers and it was great to do almost 20 mi of riding without cars.

Returning in the afternoon, I parked myself in the student union building and refilled my water bottles and did some work on my blog. The excitement of the day was that I lost my wallet while sitting there or when I was taking my 20 minute sleep deprivation nap on a bench outside the union building. Panic ensued of course, but I made my way to the lost and found and miraculously my wallet had been turned in. Minus the cash of about $40, but everything else intact, and a huge sigh of relief.

I made my way back to Jim’s office and together we rode to his house, where I met his wife Sonya, and he made me a wonderful tamale and bean dinner and we talked a lot about my tour and their tours together. Their friend Steve joined us a bit later. He and his wife are just returned from a trip to France, Germany and Italy. Over beers he shared his stories of touring near Strassburg. Jim brought out his atlases and we traced the routes Steve and June had traveled. After Steve left, we used the Atlas to retrace out respective trips down the Oregon & California coasts. And it was off to bed for a much needed rest.