Life is again good. We made good time today with no struggles. Arizona countryside views continue to amaze me with the variety (mountains, canyons, cactus, and just beautiful vistas and I am now only 460 miles from Newport Beach, CA. Let me explain the pictures and then to a new category that I call, “What would you do?”
- Many of the cactus I passed today were in bloom. While they don’t bloom often, when they do the flower is uniquely beautiful.
- Last night was my first experience with a KOA campground in my continuing efforts to find affordable nightly housing. The problem is no matter how cheap the price, it still throws me outside of my budget. Checked a couple of hotels and they were all about $50. I decided a KOA would be the place to go since they have showers, laundry and campsites. I figured what could a one night stay cost. Well to my utter amazement it was $28 a night and that was with every discount that I could get in place. While I thought the cost exorbitant, the manager was a treasure. She is the one that gave me the KOA membership price, let me pick a campsite (that really wasn’t a campsite) in the shade, gave me money for the laundry, and walked a bottle of water over to me as I was setting up camp. Again, people are wonderfully kind and considerate. The cabin behind the tent was vacant. The cool thing was that I saw a Roadrunner in the evening. I did not see Wil E Coyote but know he was around someplace.
- There was an Arizona souvenir shop I stopped in since they had a Dairy Queen and I had a strong desire for a large Blizzard. It was cramped full of fireworks, jewelry, gun supported lamps and candle holders, dolls, leather whips, and all kinds of Western “must haves”. If would have been fun to have a grand child or two around to see what they would have conned me out of.
- Got off my bike and looked around for a place to stay. The motels were all in the $50 plus tax range which is just too much for me to pay. I went to an RV Park in the hopes they accepted tents which they don’t. I was on my way out when the lady called me back. She said that she had a change of heart (husband died of cancer a couple of years back and she was a cancer survivor) and said she would find a place for me – no charge. I have a place to camp, a shower, a pool (but no desire to sit in the sun no matter how much water is waiting), Wifi, and a laundry. When I asked her about the laundry she said I would need some quarters and went to get them for me. See what I mean? People are just so kind and thoughtful and without whose help I would have given up long ago. Truly I am blessed.
- I always have trouble going through the big cities and today’s test was Tucson. I would first like to say that Tucson (based on my ride through evaluation) is a hip, modern, well designed city. Can’t tell you exactly why I felt this way but many streets had bike lanes, the streets are laid out well, the stores were many but not crowding into one place and the feel was right. This picture was taken when I was winding around the eastern and northern parts of the city. There were thousands (no kidding) of places. I saw C-130s and P-3s but know other types were mothballed waiting should they be called back to service. Kinda’ neat knowing we have many, many planes available. Wonder if they would sell me one?
What would you do. . . So in the last couple of days I have been faced with some decisions that had to be made. Curious what you would have done in the same situation and if you agree with what I did.
- The Back Tire: One week into my ride I went to a bike store and had the pressure in my tires checked. Usually the pressure in the front and back tires go down at the same rate. If you remember MG’s back tire was 30 pounds low while the front tire was fine. While in Benson, waiting for the sun to come up, I checked the pressure in the tires. This was really and afterthought since I had checked the tires 3 days previously. The back tire was soft so I gave is some air. That night I checked the tire and again it was low. What did I do:
- Fill the tire with air, carefully checking the pressure, with the intent to compare the pressure in the morning.
- Change it later that night.
- Plan to fill it with air daily since it was clearly holding air for a day.
- Red Rock (This is why the title has a question mark next to it): Today’s ride was planned for Red Rock. I had the directions for getting around Tucson and an 87 mile ride felt right after completing two days in a row of 100+ days. The wind was at my back and I was making good time. When I arrived at Red Rock I still had energy and knew that about 20 miles ahead was the turn off from I-10 to I-8. I did not plot this course and didn’t know exactly how far or what provisions were ahead. What did I do:
- Stop as planned at Red Rock since it is dangerous going in AZ when you don’t know how far the next provisioning stop might be.
- Decided to go for broke and go to and make the turn to I-8.
- Went ahead to the I-10 / I-8 split and checked with some local folks to see what towns might be waiting for me on I-8.
- Service Road: I had just finished winding my way around Tucson and found I-10. It had a service road (parallels the interstate) but it was closed for construction. The sign on I-10 said bikes were not allowed on the interstate. What did I do?
- Went back to the earlier road I was on and keep going West hoping the service road would open.
- Got on I-10 with the plan to get off as soon as the service road construction stopped.
- Stopped and asked directions.
NOTE: How I handled these situations will be revealed tomorrow if I remember that I promised to do so.