60-70-80

Day 9, April 9

I traveled on Highways 60 and 70 from Globe to Safford, AZ… clocking in 80+ miles!

Today started out cool (48 degrees). I was looking forward to today’s ride, as I was promised a great deal of downhill terrain.  Along with cooler temperatures and a light wind, I was eager to roll out this morning.

I met another cyclist (Chad) from Scottsdale, who was heading to Charleston on the southern route.  He had a two-day re-routing, due to blasting on Hwy 60 on Thursday. (I was really glad that I was not on that road on Thursday!!)  We both got caught in yesterday’s sudden rain/thunder/lightning/hail storm.

The roads on these highways are OK, but the shoulders are not… particularly if you are hauling a buggy. The motorists were exceptionally rude today.

The last 1/2 day was pretty flat and the headwinds were a constant.  I managed 82.6 miles today.

I met another cyclist at Bylas heading west. (That makes 6 that I have seen heading west.)

Points of interest:  Coolidge Dam, Apache Indian Reservation at San Carlos, and the  1/2 pit bull guarding the Apache Station at Bylas.

I had dinner at Pizza Hut. The campsite in Safford was unacceptable, so I am went back to a motel about 1/2 mile down the road: Economy Inn.

This will be my full day in Arizona, as I am nearing the New Mexico border.

Stats: 82.6 miles, Max 34.5, Time 7.37, Average 10.8 mph

Superstition Freeway

Day 8, Apr 8

I had an early departure out of Phoenix, with my sights set on camping in Globe, Arizona.  With an overnight rain and some cloud cover, the early morning riding conditions were ideal.  I started at 7:40 am and arrived to Globe around 5 pm.

The Superstition Mountains at Apache Junction were spectacular.

While riding on Hwy 60 East (Superstition Freeway), I was stopped by a highway patrol, as someone called in about a “guy pulling a baby carriage on the highway!” LOL!!!  No wonder they call it “Superstition Freeway!”  We had a good laugh, talked about the route and I was on my way again.

It was a steady climb all morning and through most of the afternoon (1086 to 4620 ft).  A helpful female motorist in a huge SUV drove behind me for a couple of miles to protect me from the vehicles, as there was no shoulder on this highway, making it extra difficult with my buggy.  She wound up getting all of the honks from the passing vehicles… poor girl.

On the downhill ride, I found myself in the middle of a quick/violent storm with strong winds, cold rain, lightning, and small hail.  Since there was no shelter nearby, I pulled off the rode and huddled next to my bike, covered by a tarp.

I camped at the Gila RV Park in Globe, AZ.  The camp fee was waived as a “donation” to Special Olympics Nebraska. Nice!

Stats: 52.4 mi, 467 mi, Max 38 mph, Time 6 hr 37 min, Avg 7.9 mph.

Phoenix with Family

Day 7, April 7

I spent this past day at Hotel Hines (Eric’s home) in the Phoenix South Mountain area. I enjoyed a short ride (16 miles) on the Western Canal, part of the (CAP) Central Arizona Project. I received much encouragement from Jane and Eric (and Melissa by phone), as the first leg of this trip has been quite taxing.

I have been advised by many to “stop and smell the roses,” but since I was unable to find any here, I found a close Phoenician facsimile (see below).

Because of rainy weather forecasts, I will head out of Phoenix early tomorrow morning.

Stats: 16 miles, Max 18.5, Time 1.41, Avg 9.4

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Stopping to smell the Phoenician “roses.”
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Easy riding without my trailer!
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Enjoying time with Eric!

Phoenix, Finally!

Day 6, April 6

Since I was sleep deprived by the chorus of animals in Aguila, I set out quite early this morning (6:20 am).  I was also motivated by the fact that I would be staying in Phoenix with my son, Eric, tonight.  I am looking forward to a warm shower, good meal, and soft bed.

By 10 am, the temperature was well into the 90’s.  Prior to Wickenburg, there was a manageable mountain pass.  It was nice from there into Phoenix, except for the blazing heat and my cumulative exhaustion.  The shoulder on Hwy 60 was treacherous, as it was littered with debris.

We had a terrific carb-load dinner at Eric’s home.  I had no troubles falling asleep.

Stats: 48.2 mi, Max 26.5, Time 4.16

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Rolling into Phoenix… finally!

 

Hello, Arizona!

Day 5, April 5

I started out the day in Blythe, CA.  About 20 miles up the road I crossed the Colorado River into Arizona.  The towns are sparsely populated and few/far between:  Quartzsite, Salome, and Wenden. It was yet another long hot day, but with some thin cloud cover, it only got to 92 deg.  Mis-information by a local led me to a 88+ mile day.  Elevations went from 250 to 1400 to 800 to 1600 to 1000 to 2200, so lots of climbing.

I arrived in (scary) Aguila after 8 hrs 55 min of riding (6:30am-5:30pm) and 88.4 miles.  There was no hotel or camping, but the gas station owner said I could camp along the highway nearby, and that the locals shouldn’t bother me, as they are all afraid of INS.  Go figure!  I ended up riding around an saw that they had a fire station, with an out-building holding 4 fire vehicles, so I pitched in between the fire trucks on the concrete, as I thought it was the only safe place around. However, I was not protected from the symphony of barking dogs, screeching cats, and roosters crowing all night.  It was a very long night with no sleep!

Stats:  88.4 miles, Max 28.5 , Time 8:55, Avg 9.9 

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Camping at the fire station in Aguila, AZ