Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fantasy Island in Tucson

Unidentified dork out at the Tucson Mountains, opposite side of Tucson from Fantasy Island

One of my favorite mountain bike trails is Fantasy Island, about 10 miles from my house, located to the east of Davis Monthan AFB's "bone yard." Fantasy Island is full of cactuses and steep washes and rocks and lizards and old jack rabbits with gray muzzles. There's about 18 miles of trail there. The land was going to be developed, naturally, which around here means they scrape the desert bare- our Sonoran desert, a unique ecosystem, and one of the things us desert rats truly love- and put up ticky tacky houses. Local bikers and other community members fought back, joining up, writing letters, going to meetings, working with the city government and trying to work with the State Land Dept. The latest news, according to this AZ Daily Star article, which looks very encouraging, is that the state legislature has passed a resolution calling for Fantasy Island's preservation. The article quotes a Republican from Tucson, a Tom Paton, as saying it's important for the government to listen to and respresent the people. Way to go Mr. Paton. Right you are. The protest against ruining this huge strech of desert, which I put at about 3 square miles, was apparently quite large.

Republicans mountain bike too, and true Republicans are all for the preservation of nature. In this case a Republican argument can be made that having the Fantasy Island area preserved increases property value all around.

The State's resolution is non-binding, however, and the southern part of the mountain biking area (encompassing the Bunny Trail and the Snake Dance Loop) is supposedly going to be developed anyway, but the City of Tucson is behind the preservation measure, and has been working with Tucsonans on the issue for quite some time. The real snake is the State Land Dept, which has been somewhat secretive. They are the ones to watch out for- to many of us the State Trust Land situation is a slimey one, with a PR face and millions of dollars going somewhere but not where they'd like you to believe.


Missy said...

But, you look kinda hot in those shorts.

chuck7 said...

Well, sure beats riding naked. You get your ass scratched up bad enough on all the cactuses anyway.

Anonymous said...

Dear Missy,
Of course he looks hot; he is
in the DESERT for God's sake!

Blaine Kemp

Please call me later...

Burl Venison said...

Has anyone seen Tattoo? For the love of a Christian God, where is that little scamp?
Hey wait a minute...wrong island.


Anonymous said...

Dear Missy,
Are you AWARE that the desert is HOT place?
Often, temperatures get up to 190 degrees flexius killing tourists
in the thousands every year.
So, Missy, as you can clearly see,
the desert is no place for inane
flirting. Heckfire, how do you know
that Chuck is not ill from the heat?
Please be more fancy in your contacts with Captain Cherborg, or as he is affectionately known around here, "Tiny Dancer".

Skip Qwone