Head back up Mount Lemmon, the 26 mile climb via Catalina Highway. In October I made it to mile 18 at the San Pedro overlook but had run out of fluids and had to turn around. Then in November, made it to the Palisades at mile 20 but it was too late in the day to go farther and had become very cold. Coasting back down I had trouble controlling the bike as it was shaking from my shivering. Poor clothing choice that day.
So, headed back up and curious to see how the rest of the route developed above the Palisades. I won't go back over the details of the climb as it has been described previously but there were some big differences. First, early in the climb an SUV approached and it had a rather large snowman on the hood with branches for arms. Would have loved to gotten a pic of that and don't know how it had managed to stay perched on the hood because it was real snow and would have been real heat coming from the hood. Don't see that every day but then other cars and trucks came down with piles of snow wherever they could put it. Up around 7000' and above it had snowed a lot a few days early and lots of people came up to enjoy.
Here, a scene I saw repeated many times, dude shoveling snow into the back of his truck to take back down to the valley and make a snowman for the front yard.
Lots and lots of people drive up for a picnic in the snow! They pull out little grills and cook food, while huddling against the cold, which wasn't really cold, probably in the low 50's but you know, it's a matter of relevancy. I stopped to talk to this guy and asked about this activity as from Ohio, the last thing we think to do is take a picnic when it snows. Told me his wife is from MN and she was sitting in the truck, thinking the same as me.
Argh, after the Palisades (small gift shop there that is rarely open), the road climbs for about another 1/4 mile and then a 1+ mile descent, then small climb, descent and bingo, at the town of Summerhaven at the top of Mount Lemmon at grueling mile 26 but actually, not quite at the top because a turn just before entering the town takes you up a steep climb to the ski lodge and this cool restaurant, the Iron Door. Ted M had alerted me to this place but I did not stop to eat, instead getting back in the car to drive back down.....you didn't think I'd ride up with snow around did you....
......actually, probably 5-6 cyclists did make it to the top this day.