I have to admit, I could happily spend the winter months doing our Arizona bike tours one after another though my wife and my boss probably wouldn’t approve. Leaving Tucson behind, we climbed steadily to a stunning plateau showcasing mountain vistas and miles of traffic-free riding!

Our first stop would be Arizona’s oldest vineyard to learn the history of winemaking in the region and to enjoy a sampling during our catered lunch.  Lori, the granddaughter of the winery founder, took great pride in showcasing the fruits of her family’s labor. It’s incredible that most all of the moisture for growth in Arizona’s Wine Country comes during a two month period of sudden downpours during the summer.

The wide open scenery we continued riding through after lunch felt like being in the set of an old Western.  Truth-be-told, many of John Wayne’s iconic films were shot nearby and in Patagonia where we’re lodging this evening. It’s an effortless downhill cruise for most of the 15 miles to town where, interestingly enough, the Stage Stop Inn (where we stay) was built to house the casts of many of Wayne’s films .

Upon arriving in Patagonia, most of my companions chose to explore the shops in town while I opted to get in a few more miles on the bike. It was a pleasant surprise to encounter a “kindred spirit” along the route and as we rode we traded stories of our epic adventures. What fun it was to explore somewhere that seemed so removed from town – I felt like I had found my own private Arizona!

This evening, our group dinner at the inn was wonderful in it’s own right. I’m quite sure that everyone will look back with memories of reveling in shared adventure while indulging to no end.  What a fitting end to a fabulous day!