The Black Canyon City Weatherman lies! And that's the truth. Every time I head out to ride the BCT, I check Black Canyon City weather. The temps should be the same given they are roughly a mile apart at their closest....and in fact, the BCT is a bit higher in elevation...so the temps should be a bit cooler.
In any event....the weather that morning read 78 degrees as a high....so I reasoned the BCT would be a nice 75....I had to go do a lolipop.
Leaving the Borg Collective behind was hard enough with wicked slow traffic on the 202, so I was running 20 minutes late by the time I pulled off the jeep road, pulled LaFawnduah from the back and suited up. The temps felt great....so I set off for some good times.
Heading south, I looked off my right shoulder to see the moon setting slowly above the Bradshaws.
I also tried to turn the moon into a christmas ornament hanging off of this mesquite branch.
Descending down to the first crossing of the Agua Fria, I was met with the pleasing sight of cottonwoods and the wonderful smell of water in the desert....there's nothing like it.
Struggling through the 6 foot tall undergrowth, I was extremely aware of my inability to see snakes...so I trusted that pushing my bike ahead of me through the canes would alert anything out there in time to beat a hasty retreat. Clearing the reeds, I breathed a sigh and started pushing out of the wash when.....
The video is a bit shaky....but I was a bit amped...as was he/she. It was coiled less than 3 feet at my 11 o'clock when I first heard it and jumped back. It then started to beat a hasty retreat, yet keept it's head aimed at me the entire time.
Moving on past the snake beach, I started the big climb on the day....4 miles to go...but a great view of Black Canyon as a reward.
Knowing that I'd get this sweet descent as a reward on the way back, I continued on, dropping down into washes with wonderfully fractured schist
The hydrothermal alteration provided a wonderful background to shoot some closeups
After a few more switchbacks, I became aware of the ever lighter load on my back as I sucked my water down
Looking up at the Bradshaws...I noticed that the moon was now gone....as well as most of my water. I cursed myself for not bringing my water filter....the Black Canyon City weatherman has screwed me for the last time....It was clearly not 75 degrees....it felt more like 90.
I reasoned that I would get to the Pan Loop intersection and make a call there as to if I would do the loop, or turn back. Just north of the loop....I looked down and saw something not terribly out of place in the desert...but an omen nonetheless....I decided to do Pan Loop another day and turn back at the intersection....considering the femur to be another victom of the Black Canyon City weatherman...albeit, the bovine kind.
Returning the way I came...I had a great view of the large quartz veins popping out of a hill to my east....I wished it had been snow.
Climbing up to the crest of the big downhill, I spied part of my future ahead of me...each switchback etched into the dry landscape like a reminder of the times the Black Canyon City weatherman has screwed me.
After the final descent, I rode through the Agua Fria...stopping to splash water on my face and to cool down.
The rest of my ride was uneventful, save running out of water on the last mile. Realizing that over the course of 5 hours, 3.5 liters of water was not enough....I pledged to not do the BCT ever again without my filter....and to never trust the Black Canyon City Weatherman ever again.
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