Up at 5 a.m. hoping to get in every minute of daylight before temps headed into the 90s. I began my day at the intersection of HWY 51 and Glendale Avenue. The Arizona Canal Trail runs for miles and miles and miles. Early on a Saturday morning after St. Patrick’s day I pretty much had it to myself. Well, except for some ducks:
The trail is pretty cool and it is wonderful to cycle without worrying about cars. The only hair raising moments were the subterranean tunnels that ran beneath the busy streets. Not only were they dark, but they were also the only cool place to be found for Phoenix’s homeless. It was kind of a crapshoot as to whether somebody would be sleeping along one of the sides of the corridors or, in one instance, right in the middle. This became a bit dangerous when another cyclist was approaching from the other direction.
The canal is pretty murky and dotted with submerged shopping carts and other, unidentifiable, items. I couldn’t help thinking as I whizzed along side it how easy it would be to go over the side and into the water. Would I be able to unclip from my bike fast enough? Or would Snoopy and I sink into the vasty deep, never to be seen again?
Well, that didn’t happen, no matter how appealing the duck-pooh water began to look as the sun rose and the temperature along with it.
In any case, I took the path for about 16.5 miles, until it intersected with Grande Avenue, also known as HWY 60, which was my road to our next destination: Wickenburg, AZ.
Incidentally, this particular intersection is one to be avoided in either a car or a bike. It took me at least 20 minutes to get across the road. My reward, however, was this on the other side:
Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness bakery with Italian pastries that had names which sounded vaguely insulting.
I picked something a bit more pedestrian, a cherry cheese puff and 2 apple fritters.Hey, I earned them. Not only that, but I was going to burn them pretty quickly. . .
Highway 60 from Sun City, AZ is a 6 lane divided highway. About the only good thing I have to say for that stretch of road is it has been paved in the last few years. Otherwise, lots and lots of traffic and about 20 miles that look like this, with businesses on one side:
and suburbia on the other side of the highway:
I lasted about 5.5 hours before I began to notice my skin blistering on my left elbow and calf and decided to wimp out and thumb a ride. I rode around 45 miles and we drove the remaining distance into the town of Wickenburg.
Wickenburg is a cute “Ye Olde Weste” town that has attracted its fair share of Harley dudes and dudettes.
After changing out of my cycling gear (I wash my clothes in the sink every night. I have to say I could get used to doing so little laundry) we ambled into town and had lunch at the Horseshoe Cafe. A very amusing staff and excellent burgers and fries made this one of the better stops on the trip so far.
Here I am whoopin’ it up with a few locals:
This is everyone after I told them my PB&J joke:
Okay, so I was the only one who found it funny.
Today we met up with my cycling companions from California, Linda and Leslie. Tomorrow we will hit the road early, our destination is Salome, CA. Right now it doesn’t seem like there is anyplace to stay in Salome, so plans could change…