Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New Day, New Month, New State

The day started early for us.  We can't seem to 
adjust to pacific time...thankfully, that ends today when we 
head into New Mexico.  But the early days bring sights like
these.  The magnificent sky makes even a
 mediocre motel look beautiful!

It was a chilly morning as you can see.  Glenn departed Safford, AZ
at 7 AM heading to Gila (hee-la) New Mexico.  The route could be very
challenging....hoping that the cool weather makes the pedaling
easier for Glenn than Sunday's aborted mission!

I referred to our motels/hotels above.  This has been a 
challenging route on which to find accommodations! 
In some towns, there are none so I will pick Glenn up and take
him 20 miles back or ahead to sleep.   In other towns, the hotels
seem "interesting" but not in a good way.  We do,
 however, have a few special places that look amazing, 
including nights with friends!  

If you have been a regular blog follower since 2009,
you know what I look for when  booking a hotel,
 motel or B&B on the bike route.  
Free parking, free breakfast and free wifi.
So far we have had all three each night!

Glenn's shot from the road as he heads to New Mexico!

I left the Safford motel at 10 AM, taking a 
leisurely ride on my way to meet up with Glenn.

These signs are usually a warning to Glenn that a steep 
incline followed by a rapid descent are up ahead.

On the downhill here, Glenn clocked his mph at 36!!!!

I pretty much had the road to myself today....which was nice 
but is worrisome as well should anything go wrong with my
SAG vehicle.  Good news Sirius/XM radio worked everywhere!
Here's a shoutout to Phlash Phelps, the morning DJ on the
60's on 6.   I consulted him about this route since he seems
to know every road in the country.  His advice to me was to
fill up with gas when I could because the gas stations are few 
and far between.  I thought about him when I filled the tank 
this AM.   Thanks Phlash....and keep following the ride!

Finally caught up with Glenn, several times, on these steep roads

Biker's view of the" long and winding road"!

Long road ahead from the bike seat!

A Glimpse from Glenn

I suppose it is past time that I made a comment or two. I started this ride this year with much trepidation. It was due in large part to the distance and time constraints for the trip. I had hoped that it would not have been more difficult than the ride in the northwest. If the first few days are any indication, I was wrong about that. I am enjoying the scenery more than I thought I would and as compared to inland Florida last year, it is not monotonous. I have always thought I was pretty good at the psychology necessary to do these long distance rides, but I must be out of practice. The day out of Phoenix, I did not do well with the heat and climbing. Today when Lynn met up with me I thought I only had 30 miles to go but it was really 50. Knowing I had all those switchbacks to climb (see the picture below) was more than I could manage. I guess I am not good at logistics. Another example of that is that the satellite phone that Lynn has to use is not working properly and the company neglected to send the antenna for her to attach to the roof and that was my "job". Fortunately cell service has been good so far. I realize I'm inclined to set high expectations for myself but tomorrow in crossing the continental divide it should all be downhill from there!!!  Right?!?!?

View from the top on the mountain pass
Elevation is about 6300 Ft.!

The colors and the terrain were very different at the
top of the mountain range. This is our first sighting of trees
instead of just volcanic rock. 

Good Bye Arizona (Never got this sign entering the state)!

A New State in the New Month!

Still no wildlife sightings!

Very desolate area heading to Gila, NM

Saw a few cows, many farms and ranches in this area

We drove about 5 miles off the main road to reach our haven for the night.
If one doesn't leave stress behind here, I can't imagine where one might!
We want to thank Becky and Michael, the owners of this quiet retreat,
Casitas de Gila.  They thought that our cause was so worthy that they
charged us only the deposit and would not take a penny more!
We are very grateful for their hospitality and thoughtfulness.

Our home away from home for the night, Casita de las Flores

Finally, an animal sighting right outside our casita!  
We were just told that two 30 year old horses 
roam the property's 265 acres during the day and
then he appeared moments later!

Our best guest is that this windmill helps 
with the water supply to this property.

Peek-a-boo Vista!

Our backyard for the day and night.  In the
distance is the Gila National Forest.

Couldn't resist another cactus!

A short nature walk in our backyard

Real skulls, we think

An Art Gallery/Shop right next to our Casita
It seems that the owners/hosts here are
 a very talented jewelry maker and a gifted 
artist!  Glenn offered but no purchases.

Dining Al Fresco at our Casita

As the sun sets on the mountain, we look forward to our best 
meal of the ride and a restful evening.  No TV here :)

The chef at work

One more peek at the vista before darkness falls

Sadly, we won't have time to get to Gila Cliff Dwelling National Park
but I was curious to learn about the area since I loved the Mesa Verde
cliff dwellings on a 1988 trip.   The park is about 2 hours from Glenn's 
bike route so we'll have to return to see them another time.

For thousands of years, groups of nomadic people used the caves of the Gila River as temporary shelter. In the late 1200's, people of the Mogollon Culture decided it would be a good place to call home. They built rooms, crafted pottery and raised children in the cliff dwellings for about twenty years. Then the Mogollon moved on, leaving the walls for us as a glimpse into the past.

I can't tell you how many times we remarked to each other
that we wondered if we were getting close to Radiator Springs!
The rock formations and the roads reminded us so much of
the Cars movie (which we saw many times with our grandsons)
but we haven't come across Lightening McQueen and his gang yet.

Today's stats

As I finish today's blog, Glenn is sitting outside with a telescope 
searching the sky for stars and planets.  With no ambient
light for miles around, this is the perfect star gazers paradise!

Click here if you want to be a star and donate!

A gift of a tee shirt goes to the first STAR to help us tonight!


  1. Love reading the blog. We all feel like we are riding along with both of you����������������

  2. So far so good. Your Casita looks very nice. Beautiful country.

  3. Very impressed with Glenn's 19+ mph average for 93 miles!

  4. What a day! We hope our good wishes help a little to power Glenn through this demanding ride. I look forward to reading and seeing your blog each day. Such great photos! Praying for physical, mental and spiritual strength to accomplish this awesome adventure. xoxox

  5. I'm so glad to finally be free of my indexing projects and getting a chance to catch up with your latest adventures! I loved the Colorado state flag shirt Glenn wore in the first picture on the first day. Still have many days to read tonight....hope all is going well!


Comments are welcome! Cheer us on!