Overnight Adventure from Tucson, AZ
After daydreaming about it for a while, I loaded up the bike & trailer and took off with my 2 year-old for an overnight camping trip.
The spot we picked was Colossal Cave Mountain Park, about 20 miles from our house on the east side of Tucson.
It took about 5 miles to get out of town, and then we were off into the rolling hills southeast of Tucson. Old Spanish Trail is a route popular with Tucson's roadies, but I had never been out there. Beautiful scenery, traffic wasn't too bad, and the little one got to see some horses (in a corral on the side of the road) and cows (actually IN the road -- from the free range ranches in the area).
A little after the halfway point I discovered that 29-tooth "granny" cog I never have to use while commuting was not quite low enough to comfortably climb all the hills with an extra 50-60 pounds of gear+food+kid -- but I was pleased that I didn't have to push the bike.
Once at the campsite, it was a little eerie because we were the only ones there and it was dead quiet compared to being in town. That and the fact that they lock the gates at night to keep vandalism to a minimum lent the atmosphere a bit of a horror-flick vibe.
Nonetheless, confident that bearded, 30-year old dudes and little kids were atypical horror movie victims, we set up the tent, cooked some hot dogs, and wandered around our own private campground exploring.
I didn't expect to sleep much while camping with a 2-year-old and I was not proved wrong about that ... but, morning came, and with it the adventure of making breakfast on the camping stove.
Not long after we finished with breakfast, we broke camp and headed back to Tucson. The ride home was significantly easier and faster than the ride there -- an exhilarating way to finish our first S24O adventure!
Tip for this adventure: There's a neat little Farmer's Market about 7 miles before you get to Colossal Cave. It's worth stopping and hanging out for a bit if you're tired, because it's right after this point that the climbing starts. The convenience store there is also the last place to grab supplies (i.e. milk/snacks) before you get to the park, and there's a small playground that any little tourists accompanying you might like to use for stretching their legs.
Favorite local bike shop: Ordinary Bike Shop