Three days of weather in the upper 40s F overnight and day time highs around 80 F were the forecast. Perfect. With this tucked away in the back of our minds, bags were packed and hung on our bikes. Soon after, we set out on the trail.
Single track meandered through cattle country, followed by a little two-track before going back into single track. Spirits were high. Our goal for the day was Bumble Bee, where we’d camp for the night and replenish our water supply.
Sonoran desert flora became more prevalent as we descended, the riding theme for the day. We’d later learn from a local rider that they basically call the section from 69 down to Bumble Bee an 18 mile downhill. Indeed, it felt like it. The pedaling, when needed, which wasn’t much, was easy. You might call it “flow” riding. Ribbons of trail and turns that didn’t break momentum … and tight single track … actual true single track … was soooooo nice to ride.
For three hours of leisurely-paced riding, we smiled and emoted things like … “what a trail!” … “sooo beautiful” … “(the sound of laughter)” …
Before we knew it, we ended up at Bumble Bee in the mid-afternoon. What to do? Continue on? Look for a camp spot? Go to the ranch and see if they have water?
We went to the ranch. Yes, they had water, and they also had a bar with $2 cans of macro beer. Great! We hung out with Kelly and drank beers and learned that the area and ranch got its name from back in the “Indian Wars” days. Looking up at the surrounding hillsides, Kelly pointed out Native American spotting points used to watch for incoming military. One particular report from a US military commander mentioned something along the lines of the Indians being as thick as bees in a hive. Bumble Bee.
With beers in our bellies, and plenty of water, we headed down to the creek to set up camp. There was lots of water flowing, which made for a nice bath. We hung out, washed clothes, cooked food, watched the light change in the sky as the sun went down, and built a fire to sit by for the evening.
Note: you can camp at Bumble Bee ranch for $10 per 5 people. The ranch does not have food for sale, only beer and booze. It also has hot showers, toilets, and potable water.