YUMA, ARIZONA — There are days on this cross-country trip that I anticipated from the first time I spread out the maps on the table in my apartment in Annapolis.
One was the climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia; another was going up and over Monarch Pass in Colorado. Today was another — 80 miles across the desert of southwestern Arizona where nothing was marked on the map except a thin line for Hwy. 95. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/16/1984-bicycle-tour-day-65-we-find-an-oasis-in-the-desert/
Looks like most of the residents of Hope, Arizona,
have given up all hope…
I awoke about sunup this morning and … no Bruce.
It had been so hot and dry, we didn't see the need to pitch the tent last night. We threw the tarp down and just slept on that, until, at some point in the night, I realized all kinds of insects were walking around on me. I took my mat and put it on a picnic table and went back to sleep. Jim had already booked the other table.
Bruce woke up later, about 2 a.m., for the same reason I had, discovered the picnic tables already taken, and took off for a ride. He ended up at an all-night cafe where a group of 20 Native American runners showed up. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/15/1984-bike-tour-day-64-i-can-feel-the-heat-on-my-eyelids/
AGUILA, ARIZONA — We're camping at the City Park here tonight. We've left all the cool, shady mountains behind us, and we're out where it's dry, sunny and hot. The park doesn't have much; just a picnic shelter and a small building for restrooms.
At the back of his building is a water spigot that drips. In the puddle underneath there sits a toad. I noticed him …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/14/1984-bike-tour-day-63-the-toad-in-the-desert-puddle-in-aguila/
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — We spent much of today in the small gears, the stump-pullers, the grannies.
We started our climb almost immediately after leaving Dead Horse campground. Jim had already left — we told him we always got a late start — and we gingerly picked our way across that slippery low-water bridge.
The old ghost town of Jerome was only about 4 miles away, but 2,000 feet above us. From the brush along Route 89, we could see the town sitting on the edge of a mountain, with a big white letter “J” adorning a slope above it
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/13/1984-bike-tour-day-62-ghostly-visions-pedaling-uphill/
Cottonwood, Ariz. — We've liked everyone who has crossed our path as we cycle cross-country. Today is the exception. The scenery here has been beautiful, though, and the terrain has been in our favor.
We faced a major chore breaking camp at the Motel 6 — our laundering and bike cleaning resulted in our crap strewn from one of the room to the other.
It was sprinkling when we left (isn't this Arizona, why so wet?) and we headed south on Route 89A….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/12/bike-tour-1984-day-61-we-find-a-leech-after-crossing-verde-river/
FLAGSTAFF — We stayed here in Flagstaff another day to parcel out our time. We want to meet up with our friends from the UK in a couple of days further down the road.
It's hard to do nothing. We cleaned our bikes, did laundry, sat out by the pool, drank a couple of beers and it started raining. Back inside, the housekeeper slipped us a key to operate the TV — this was a Motel 6 and we hadn't paid the extra few bucks for the feature. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/11/1984-bike-tour-day-60-marking-time-in-flagstaff/
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. – We rode through hail and back to get to Flagstaff today. Why we left the Grand Canyon, I have no idea. I guess we're just too accustomed to hitting the road everyday.
We awoke at dawn this morning, and took all the gear off our bikes for a ride out to the South Rim for more sunrise pictures. We flew along without the panniers,and I found it difficult to steer the bike straight. Returning to camp, we loaded up to our old sluggish selves and left by 9, stopping at the camp store. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/10/bike-tour-1984-day-59-through-hail-and-back-to-flagstaff/
It's nearly two months into our cross-country bicycle tour, and I finally get off the bicycle for a hike. There's just no way to get into the Grand Canyon on a bike.
Before dawn Bruce and I broke camp and started our ride along the South Rim road to Grand Canyon Village. It was a short ride but it took forever — just too many picture possibilities. Dawn and dusk are the best times to shoot the canyon because the low sun adds shadows that gives depth to the formations.
We reached the campground at 9 a.m. and there already was a line for camping spots. We didn’t that to wait, though …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/09/day-58-on-foot-in-the-grand-canyon-to-dripping-springs/
Although I had visited the Grand Canyon a couple of times before, I never really appreciated in a personal way how it was formed until I rode there on my bicycle.
All the books (well, the scientific ones) say that eons ago, a plateau rose up in this area while a river cut through the rock. I always understood the erosion part, but I didn't get the rising plateau part until I realized I was climbing a big hill to get to the canyon.
After leaving Tuba City this morning, we passed the edge of the Painted Desert (above), an area whose colors change through the day. Because of the clear air and lack of reference points such as buildings, it's impossible to guess at the distances to the hills and ridges…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/08/1984-bike-tour-day-57-camping-on-the-edge-at-the-grand-canyon/
TUBA CITY, ARIZ. – We passed through the Hopi Reservation today, in an area where age-old conflicts and rituals still exist.
The Hopi generally live in settlements on three mesas, that look like three fingers jutting from a high plateau in the north. The road passes south of the First, but climbs over the Second (above) and Third. The Hopi have lived on these mesas for centuries…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/07/07/1984-bike-tour-day-56-ritual-and-conflict-in-hopi-and-navajo-lands/