Today was an easy ride of just a little over 50 miles, mostly gentle downhill slope after the initial hilly bits around Wickenburg. Last night we met my new traveling companions, Lynda and Leslie and this morning we were all up an about before it was light.
Here we are getting our gear together. . .
And here is the leader of my own pit crew, bright-eyed and brushy-tailed:
What do you think he is describing?
The ride out of Wickenburg was hilly but very quiet early on a Sunday morning. There was quite a nice bike/walking path that led out of town along HWY 60. I only saw a handful of walkers (one smoking while walking! Yay! An exercise fanatic after my own heart) and nary a cyclist for the first few miles.
Just in case you did not know, Wickenburg, AZ is known as the Dude Ranch Capital of the Universe. Naturally, I kept thinking about Jeff Bridges, but it’s not that kind of Dude.
I have included a picture for veracity:
There were again many bird sounds, indicating there were many birds. I managed to get one photo:
I noticed some pretty insistent, repetitive bird calls, one of which sounded like somebody squeezing a dog’s squeaky toy. Another which sounded oddly like, “This is hot. This is hot. This is hot.”
The only excitement as I cruised out of town was an oncoming car containing what looked to be a standard poodle. Anyhow, the dog saw me (or sensed me, maybe, with that weird dog radar they have for UPS and FedEx drivers) and launched itself from the back seat into the driver’s lap. The woman swerved across the empty lane of road toward me while her dog attempted to claw its way out of the (thankfully) closed window. The last I saw of them both, the dog was wedged between the steering wheel and windshield while the driver fishtailed back and forth across two lanes. Bad dog, no bone.
I am prepared for dogs and always ride with this at hand:
That’s right, I have no qualms about deploying pepper spray against an aggressive canine.
Not far from The Dog Incident there was this sign:
That’s right, LA- watch out.
Anyhow, Lynda and Leslie leap-frogged and I got to cycle with both of them during the day. It was nice to have some company and I felt a lot safer knowing there was somebody else nearby while cars and trucks whizzed by us like maniacs. Most drivers were pretty courteous but things got more hectic as the day wore on and the temperature crept into the 90s.
Salome, our destination, is barely a dot on the map. There are three places to stay in the small town and the only one we all found acceptable was fully booked. We ate lunch at the Stanford Cafe while we discussed our options for tonight. I had pancakes and they were absolutely fantastic. This diner was a perfect place to experience “small town America” and the service was as friendly as the food was good.
If you are interested in seeing on of our rooming options for Salome it’s worth checking out the Trip Advisor photographs and reviews for this place. . .
After looking at the next stretch of road, which included a big stretch of Interstate 10, we decided to head to Blythe, CA- just across the border-to spend the night.
Local thermometers in Blythe got up to 99 degrees but I’m sure it was hotter out on the blacktop.
Tomorrow is a little over 70 miles to Brawley, CA. There is some talk about rain on either Tuesday or Wednesday but I’ll believe it when it happens.