Kitt Peak Interrupted
Three days of cloudy conditions with some rain, so weird. Anxious to ramp up the cycling miles and work on the climbing so I drove to the base of Kitt Peak. The hour by hour forecast indicated no rain until 2pm so plenty of time to ride the 12 mile climb. Well,,,,,
….this was an unwelcome sight. I assumed this was a draconian step taken by the observatory. Geesh why not have a sign that states the observatory is closed to the public but allow cyclists and drivers to enjoy the 12 mile, fabulous ascent?
At mile 1, ok, yeah, I placed my bike over the gate and stepped through some barb wire off to the side of the gate, it began to rain, lightly. Above, you can see the rain cloud marching to the northeast.
I got to mile 6, half way and a big gust of wind hit and then....
...more rain. You can see the road winding around the mountain and in the distance, the rain burst again moving to the northeast.
I reach about mile 9 and the clouds are not much higher than am I. I am now on the southwest side of the mountain so I can see what weather is rolling in and I I think I am good to go except.....
….just then a van approached, flashing its lights at me so I stop and am told by a dour looking woman that the observatory is closed and I am to turn around. 2000'+ of climbing but only 9 miles. I sensed my midwestern charm would do no good with her so I turned around. Later I sent an email to the head of communications for the observatory and asked why this iconic climb would be denied to cyclists and drivers since they can close the road at the top. They apologized for the draconian step but it is what it is.
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