|Travelogue -- Dr Bob's Wrap-Up Motorcycle Ride|
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11 May 2018, 9:20 PM PT, Chandler, AZ
Good evening, I am back. As you can see from my byline, I am in Chandler, Arizona. Where is that? Just to the south of Phoenix. I was supposed to take pictures of the Capitol in Phoenix, I did not do that yet. I would have been in Kingman, Arizona according to my preliminary plan, but I am more than 200 miles short of Kingman. So what did I do today? I rode 390 miles. That is respectable. And I made a side trip. I am known for that. And I had an extremely tiring ride the last couple of hours before arriving in Chandler. More on that later.
I forgot to mention yesterday how many miles I rode in Texas. It was 1,715 miles, almost twice the width. I-10 is 880 miles in Texas. I did enter and exit on I-10.
I left Deming, New Mexico this morning about 8:00 AM, I don't remember exactly. Shortly after leaving, I saw a sight that made me stop immediately to take this picture.
I had to get the train picture out of the way early. Man did I see a lot of trains today. If I had stopped to take a picture of every one of them, I would still be on the road.
Here's another train picture, but that is accidental. I wanted to get a picture of the sign announcing that I was crossing the Continental Divide. When I passed the sign the first time, I was passing a truck so I could not stop. I did not see the sign in time to hit the brakes and pull over. So I turned around at the next exit, about 1-2 miles along, then back to the previous exit, about 6-7 miles back, then back to the sign for the second time to get the picture. I took a bit of a risk in going back, I had no idea how far back the previous exit was, it could have been 30 miles for all I knew. The train was stopped, engine to the east of the Divide and end of the train to the west of the Divide. You wonder if it couldn't make it over the hump?
Not long after that I entered Arizona.
I stopped at a Rest Area and was extremely excited about how they decorated the Rest Area. Fantastic, I must give them credit.
I was somewhere between the NM / AZ border and Tucson when I passed the road to Tombstone. I pulled over to see how far Tombstone was, and it was only 25 miles off I-10. Guess what I did. Went south to Tombstone. The next five pictures are all from Historic Tombstone.
This is the Courthouse. Cochise County. It is dated 1882, the date is on the picture, but hard to read unless you blow it up. It is in big numbers in the grey triange just under the roof. The gunfight at the OK Corral was October 26, 1881. So the Courthouse was not there at that time, maybe under construction.
I went past the Boot Hill Graveyard, but did not go in. I have been there before.
I was there with Hanna, back in 2001. Here's a picture of Hanna from then flirting with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
So after my delay going to Tombstone, maybe two hours, I continued my ride. Here's Tucson.
That's when the ride started getting rougher. The winds were strong, out of the southwest. And it was hot, between 95° and 100°. The area between Tucson and Phoenix often has dust storms. Today was close to one of those days. The dust was not heavy like you have seen on TV news where there is a wall that is clear on one side and just red on the other. But it was blowing across the road. Sometimes the traffic slowed, but never a lot. There are signs every couple of miles telling you what to do when the dust storm becomes bad. You pull off the road, turn off your engine, keep your foot off the brake, and wait it out. If you are in a car or truck. Glad today was not one of those days. There was not much refuge.
And the wind was gusty. I would be blown to the right, then to the left. I never did veer more than a foot or two, but it sure did move me around.
At one point, my right eye got some dust in it, and it was bad. I could not keep the eye open. The left eye wanted to help the right eye by shutting also, and that did not please me. I had to stop. I did not want to stop on the shoulder, the shoulder was wide enough but the traffic would be flying past about three feet away. Suddenly there was an exit, I took it and stopped about half way down the ramp and pulled off the road onto a wide shoulder, hard dirt and gravel, not a paved shoulder. You may know that I do not do gravel. So you know how desperate I was. I sat there about 15 minutes until my right eye cleared, then I was off to the races again, into the dust. Now I had my face shield 100% closed and shoulders held up to close off my helmet as best I could. Makes it stuffy, but that's the way it had to be.
Why did I not just go somewhere at the exit? The exit was just a road. Nothing more.
Here's my iPhone weather page for Chandler maybe five minutes after I arrived. I don't know why "Now" was showing partly cloudy and not windy, but let me tell you, it was windy.
After all that suffering, I decided to have a chocolate shake. My first one on this ride, and maybe my last. I like McD fries, so I had some of them also. But to compensate, I did have a healthy salad. The McD was so handy, next door, and I could not resist that shake.