Tag Archives: Arizona

Friday 26th July

Yesterday’s little dilemma was pondered over. We ruled out cycling all be it at night it simply was too dangerous with out support the desert is a unforgiving place and we are lucky enough to have friends and family that care about us, we couldn’t do that to them or ourselves. Yes we feel your love ๐Ÿ’• thank you for your kind words of support.

Ok no cycling what then. The cheapest way is to get a lift, we’re off the main highway now. To find someone going our way with room for two passengers, two big touring bikes and all the luggage could prove difficult.

Next cheapest option train. We look on the am track website. The only passenger train going our way was a cross country one that would get to our station 11:30 pm and drop us off in Barstow the next safest stop after the desert at 3:30 am. If nothing else we could do that but what do you do in a strange town that time of day. Also it wasn’t clear if we could get the bikes on, the website said if there’s room. What if there wasn’t.

Car hire. You can’t hire a car one way for one day. Minimum is three days and to hire a big enough car for us, luggage and bikes was a tad expensive. Brain wave there’s a truck hire centre near us. Let’s call in and see what the smallest they have. Bonus we can have a truck for 3 days unlimited mileage for half the price of a small car.

So now we have 3 days of going anywhere we want as long as we return it to Barstow on Monday afternoon.

Here we are in Las Vegas for the night. Not sure where we will be tomorrow it’s a adventure I tell you.

Thursday 25th July

Here I am sat in a McDonald’s in Kingman. We arrived at Kingman yesterday after a 13hr cycle ride in over 100 degrees. Today we are taking the day off to mull over our options.

The weather forecast for the next week is 115 and above, we have a desert crossing with no amenities coming up. Even though we’re stupid this is a pretty scary option.

What to do.

Early starts, but realistically how far can we get before running out of water. And what happens if we get a flat or mechanical problems, what about a headwind and we simply can’t carry on. So many what ifs…

Night riding. How safe is it. You hear stories and all the above on top.

Is it cheating to get a lift.

Is there a train

How about hire a car…

Are we going to be failures if we can’t complete.

What to do

Sleep on it tomorrow’s another day.

Wednesday 24th July

Looking at our map we knew that today was going to be a long one, but it was longer than planned. Alarm went off at 4:45 all packed and ready to go for 5am. My front tyre was flat a slow puncture over night. Mike changed my inner tube lighting quick to the one that he repaired last night. We were on the road in no time.

Our breakfast stop peach Springs this is 40 miles away but the only thing in between is a r v camp that only do a expensive continental breakfast not for us.

Lots of nothing just one long straight road I heard somewhere that this stretch of Route 66 is the longest preserved stretch I may be wrong.

We stopped in a cool gift shop at Hackberry it had a live musician playing out side and lots of memorabilia around. A welcome drink and ice lolly to get our energy up.

That was 61 miles in and we still had to push on, nowhere to stay. 15 more miles in the heat we stopped for more refreshments at a petrol station, we had been pushing against a head wind for a while. And we still had another 17 miles to go. We rested a while at a picnic table watching a storm getting closer and closer.

The locals reassured us that it would stay in the mountains but it was getting black and the lighting was close. We really don’t want to be cycling in a electric storm. We try to sit it out but time is getting on and it gets dark early, with the head wind it could take us another 2 hours before we get into town.

We make a break for it, the wind has changed direction it’s now a tail wind great but that also means that the storm is headed straight for us. We pedal like crazy just keeping ahead of the storm. A sprint finish isn’t what you need when you have cycled over 90 miles in a day. But we made it before the full impact of the storm hit us.

Tuesday 23rd July

A bit of a struggle to leave Williams today, it was a cool little town and the thought of heading back down into the heat and nothingness was a bit daunting. Our lovely pink writing motivator cheered us up . On the road for 7am we headed for our 1st stop Ash Fork 20 miles up the road.

Cycling through the town we could see piles and piles of flag stones. We stopped here for breakfast. We both had omelette and toast not to difficult so why o why did it take over a hour to cook, we nearly walked out but the next stop was our final destination 20 miles on with nothing in between.

There was some lovely down hills today we have dropped about 2000 ft but there was also a big climb in the middle. Huffing and puffing up the hill in the heat mike got another puncture at least it gave me chance to have a drink and rest while he changed the inner tube.

We were going to stay in the KOA in Seligman but when we arrived it was 2 miles short of town and nothing there, tomorrow is going to be a long day so we decided that we were better off heading into town where we can get supplies.

Glad we came into town it’s full of quirky gift shops including Angel & Vilma’s originally a barbershop est 1950 but when the interstate by passed the town business dwindled. In a bid to save the town he arranged a meeting with representatives of towns along Route 66 to make Route 66 a historic highway and his barber shop became the first gift shop on historic Route 66.we booked a motel though Booking.com check in from 2 we got there at 3 the door was locked but there was a bell to ring, no answer ring again and again no luck. We tried to call the phone number on the door nope not answering that ether all in all we were outside reception for a hour until someone finally answered the phone. We would of left and found another hotel but the cancellation fees were the cost of the room for the night. We think that he could see us on cctv as he was in all the time but for what ever his reasons were he didn’t want to open the door. We’re in now so another night in a hotel getting to be a habit. I’m missing my tent! Over all today was a frustrating day.

Monday 22nd July

Day off. Don’t worry there’s nothing wrong it’s one of our few planned days off. Williams is the home of the Grand Canyon Railway and we had tickets.

What a fabulous day. The train was well organised with on train entertainment and a friendly host looking after as. Yes it’s touristy yes we’re all like sheep and yes it’s expensive but it had to be done. And we both enjoyed the day.

And the Grand Canyon it’s self is seriously breathtaking the views across are incredible what a experience that quite frankly I haven’t got the vocabulary to even start to describe.

The train back was held up by a gang of horse back robbers just to add to the experience they certainly have thought of everything to squeeze the last dollar out of the tourist but was fun!

We rounded off the day with a beer from the Grand Canyon brewery. Williams has been a fun town to visit. A nice relief from the desert but tomorrow we have to head back into the heat, time to move on and get pedalling.

Sunday 21st July

Leaving flagstaff nice and early we were treated to cool clean mountain air. Such a treat after the hot dry desert air.

Even though most of the day was on the i40 it was still one of the better days, the shoulder was really wide and being a Sunday it wasn’t that busy. Cool air, long down hills, pine forest and mountain views lead us in to Williams all before 11am.we think that we now have hit our highest elevation although we have a few more mountain passes to tackle. We’ve been following pink arrows on the floor for weeks and today we were treated to one motivating us. I so hope it’s true.

A nice relaxing afternoon watching the world go by with a local beer in my hand in a 50’s themed restaurant.

And in the evening we were treated to a street show that they put on for tourist every night. Where at least one cowboy gets shot.

All in all a good day.

Saturday 20th July

Yesterday we arrived at the home of Julie, a lady we had never met but who’s parents very kindly offered us her granny annex to stay. We felt odd letting ourselves in but she was away hiking with her family and wouldn’t be home till later.

We had a lovely comfortable night so peaceful and with out the normal worries about wild life you have when camping. In the morning not to early we went around to introduce ourselves and thank her for our stay. Julie was as lovely as her parents. It wasn’t a problem at all the annex is currently unused she’s in the middle of setting it up as a air b&b it’s perfect.

We stayed another night so as we can have today off exploring flagstaff it’s only 2 miles from the old town full of shops and bars. Flagstaff is a lovely mountain town close to Grand Canyon worth a visit if you’re ever this way. And I can recommend a air b&b!

Friday 19th July

After sleeping about 20hours we made it on the road. 6am breakfast, Mike asked me if I needed another day of rest bless him. He’s not the most patient of people so just hanging around yesterday whilst I slept must of drove him made. I reassured him I was fine and ready to go.

The 1st problem of the day. We wheeled our bikes out of the room into the motel car park and my back wheel was flat. Before we could go anywhere we had to change the inner tube.

Repair done we head to the nearest convenience store to stock up on water and high energy snacks only .5 miles away and got puncture number 2 of the day. Mikes front tire now. It’s going to be one of those days. I go into the store leaving mike to do the repair, that’s all our spare inner tubes used now, we’ve kept them and patched them for emergencies.

Right let’s get going only 20 miles planned today. Heading for a RV park next to the best preserved meteorite impact site. It’s supposed to have spectacular night skies and the visitor centre has a expedition on celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this weekend.

Like I said it’s going to be one of those days, we had to pass road works. Always hard work. We made it to the visitor centre and pulled over. Mike asked how was I feeling, fine why? He had a problem with his bike and as it was still early and flagstaff is only 40 miles away would I be ok to push on, he needed to find a bike shop.

So that’s what we did, we made it to a bike shop. They fixed the bottom bracket bearing what ever that meant. We brought more replacement inner tubes better safe than sorry.

We are now in flagstaff staying at Richard and Linda’s daughters house. Julie was out when we arrived but she text us how to get in, it’s a lovely place we’ve made ourselves at home and look forward to meeting her.

We are in the granny annex a self contained flat all to ourselves cool.

Thursday 18th July

Went to the motel lobby to eat a continental breakfast 6 am this morning, and whilst spooning my cornflakes into my gob I just got that feeling I didn’t want to do anything other than go back to bed. I really couldn’t face getting back on my bike.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. We’ve both been struggling with the heat and yesterday even though we hadn’t cycled far it was against the wind. So today the thought of doing it all again just seemed to much.

I looked at mike and told him how I felt, did he mind if I just booked us in for another night and just relax. No problem. That was that, I checked us in for a second night. I finished breakfast and went back to bed. I slept until 11am. Read some of my book, slept some more. Went out for a late lunch. And then read/ slept the rest of the day.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be ready to get back on my bike. We are only going 20 miles to the next campsite anyway. Its by a meteor crater and then the next day we should be in flagstaff where we did have the kind offer of some where to stay. I hope my unplanned day off hasn’t jeopardise that chance.

Wednesday 17th July

We didn’t want to leave the comfort of our tepee reluctantly we headed of into the head wind destination Winslow. So all day I’ve had the eagles song stuck in my head. You can drive your self crazy.

40 miles to do and they weren’t easy and the sound of my wheels were driving me crazy. Gotta love ear worms.

The first small town we went through was Joseph city. We were stopped at a crossroad looking up the Main Street for a refreshment stop. When a guy on a bike pulled up next to us, and asked if we were ok. I replied that we were looking for somewhere to get a drink. He invited us back to his, we followed him to his house where he and his wife supplied us with drinks and well needed shaded rest.

Richard and Linda were so kind, they showed us around their beautiful English cottage style garden. What a surprise for in the middle of the desert it struck me funny that they had a hosepipe running and yet back in England where it rains all the time we have hosepipe bans.

I loved chatting to them in a garden that reminded me of home, I’m not loving the desert but can see it’s beautiful and what a great experience I’m having. I love meeting people that I would never normally meet. Both Mike and I our naturally shy so this is great for us.

It turns out that they have a daughter who lives in flagstaff and is willing to put us up. Hopefully we can make that happen we should be there Friday if all goes to plan. we had to leave and on doing so Richard insisted on giving Mike a amount of money we were blown away so kind.

On to Jack rabbit treading post another famous Route 66 land mark it has a giant fibreglass rabbit outside. We looked around at the normal Route 66 merchandise and other cool stuff, but we can’t buy and carry everything we like. We took two cold drinks from the fridge and went to pay. The lovely lady there asked if that was all we wanted, yes please we just need to cool off. No problem on the house it’s hot out there! Wow. Thank you.

We now have to finish the rest of the miles on the interstate. Problem road works, we can’t go into the lane it’s to dangerous nothing for it we have to get off and push our bikes past.

Any one fancy a walk in the desert although I was treated by a coyote trotting happily next to me for a while maybe he thought I was lunch, but he didn’t look threateningly just skinny and hot.

Finally we made it to the corner yep that corner. Gift shop done, photo done, now where’s my motel zzz.