It was forecast to be another hot one so I drove out of the valley to the town of Oracle, about 2000' higher in elevation and the point where the Catalina Mountain range kind of peters out. In the image above, after that ridge line in the foreground the ground plunges in to a deep valley before emerging to a mountain range in the background. I was headed in the opposite direction, up the ridge behind me.
At times the trail followed a narrow path, at times a jeep road with Mount Lemmon in the background. The trail approached the daunting summit of Apache Peak and I hoped I would not have to scale.....
.....the steep slopes and I did not. The trail diverted to the side, avoiding unnecessary climbing. Maybe you can make out the trail about half way up the image.
In the distance, I could see Biosphere 2, a popular tourist attraction. It's kind of comforting to know that if I became lost, as a last resort I could just go cross country and eventually reach that, although today's trail was well marked and only an idiot could get lost, hence I had some reason to be concerned. Below, having reached a dirt road that leads to several abandoned gold mines, I turned around at mile 6. In the distance, a plume of smoke identified the location of a forest fire. If I followed the trail I would eventually reach, at mile 13, the top of Mount Lemmon but that is for another day. Ended up with 12 miles and 3000' of climbing. Well, back to Ohio and the Tuesday New Albany ride.