What a tough day!
Today was from Blythe Ca to Wickenburg AZ. It was 104 F with a 10-15 mph head wind. the first 20 miles were basically up hill from one desert plateau to the next desert plateau. As you climbed from one plateau the vegetation changed from very sparse scrub brush to thicker scrub brush with Saguaro Cati's. As we climbed out of the valley we left the I-10 and turned NE on the Route 60. After a few miles we came to Quartzite which in the summer has a population of a few hundred and in the winter close to a million as all the snow birds arrive in the RV's. Right now all that is left are the burned out and empty campsites, and the old broken down RV's that have been abandon. My impression -- What a desolate hole! It sure doesn't make you want to run out and buy an RV so that you can camp in the desert or one of the other hundred campgrounds along the way.
By around 10:30 I am out at the 67 mile mark of the 115 miles to cover. However I am starting to feel a bit nauseous. So I am thinking about Dr Norris's lecture from a couple of weeks back and am thinking that this is the first sign of heat exhaustion. So I pulled into the rest stop and thought I would get into the van and ride down to the next rest stop which is at the 87 mile mark. Sit in a nice air conditioned van for half and hour and then with only 28 miles to go most of which was down hill shouldn't be bad. To make a long story short we get to the next rest stop and find out that 3 miles further up the road the highway dept. has just laid down 15 miles of fresh tar that can't be ridden though. So the tour operator decides to ferry people across the tar. Those of us who had taken a ride were unloaded and the other riders who were piled up at the rest stop were loaded. In one of the ferry trips a seat cover from a recumbent was lost and the vans were pressed into looking for the seat cover, because the bike was un-rideable without it. There we sat for 3.5 hr in the 104 F. By time I got in to the hotel it was 6:15. On the road for 11.25 hr, and I only completed 67 miles of the 115. Totally exhauted what a day. Be thankful for the Calgary weather! Didn't wash my clothes out just fell into the shower. The best thing that happened today was as I am showering Jim, my room mate ran out and got some beer. Just as I am stepping out of the shower there is a tap on the door and a giant cold can of Fosters is handed in. It was great!
Never the less I think that getting off the bike at the first sign of heat exhaustion was the smart thing to do. better to take it easy and be ready for tomorrow, than have to sit in the van all day.
Today's picture is of the first Saguaro Catus. I was going to show some of the burned out deserted campgrounds which far better represent this part of the country. But the Saguaro is much better. I didn't want to leave you with a bad impression.
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