Big Jessie in Ocotillo

Leaving El Centro we cycled a detour route through the Yuha Desert. The road was quiet and we cycled reasonably relaxed. To be honest it was more like we cycled reasonably knackered!

Here’s a photo of the desert sign. I know, pretty boring but not quite so boring as a picture of the desert.

35 miles later we checked in to the Ocotillo Motel around lunchtime. Nice easy day for two old knackered people.

Now before I tell you about the motel let me tell you about our options. It was the only motel in town and the alternative was a ‘dry’ camp beside the community centre. We thought we had chosen the best option.

Susan settled herself down in the nice green room and we had some beer and crisps whilst watching telly. Next door in what could have been the only other motel room there was a bit of shouting and wailing. When the door opened it would be unfair to describe what I saw other than to say there was grey and blackness like a cave. I left well alone and said nothing to Susan.

So we had just finished dinner of soup and tuna sandwiches when I went into the bathroom to wash the spoons. Clickity click click. Clickity click click. You all know what that sound is? Yup, it was a large cockroach running across the bathroom floor into the shower.

Now I’m a big guy but clickity click click is quite a scary sound for a ‘Big Jessie’ – that’s how we call it back in Scotland when a large cockroach causes undue panic in a big man. The English Oxford dictionary puts it more eloquently ‘an effeminate, weak or oversensitive man’.

With a rather large ‘clickity click click’ running about we both knew that it was ‘Big Jessies’ job to sort it out. After a few attempts, ‘clickity click click’ was under a soup container and ‘Big Jessie’ and Susan retired to the green room.

Half an hour later, Susan went into the bathroom feeling confident that ‘Big Jessie’ had dealt with the problem only to see ‘clickity click click’ running about the shower tray. She shouted through to ‘Big Jessie’ who was now reasonably emboldened after recharging his carbohydrates with two cans of Bud Light.

‘Big Jessie’ saw ‘clickity click click’ and thought ‘it’s got out!’ It was a large soup carton but ‘clickity click click’ was pretty big too and it was a reasonable assumption it had charged out. Yes a charging out ‘clickity click click’ knocking over soup cartons – I bet you’re feeling like a ‘Big Jessie’ yourself at the thought!

So, guess what ‘Big Jessie’ does? He lifts up the upturned soup container to put it back over big ‘clickity click click’ who by this time is running ‘clickity click click’ like a pro football running back avoiding the defence (notice how I casually slip in an American football reference!)

That’s when all hell broke lose!

‘Clickity click click number one’ was still under the bloody soup container! ‘Big Jessie’ despaired at his mistake! We now had two ‘clickity click clicks’ on the run! Clickity click click, clickity click click. It was clickity click click mayhem!

Susan tried some noise warfare by emitting a high pitched scream. It didn’t do anything to help the situation so she locked ‘Big Jessie’ in the bathroom with the two ‘clickity click clicks’. Yes, hear you – how could she do such a thing!

Thankfully, ‘Big Jessie’ had two soup cartons and it was a real battle of intelligence between the ‘clickity click clicks’ and ‘Big Jessie’. Move and counter move and ‘Big Jessie’ had to act with speed and precision to effectively deploy the soup containers. In the end, the ‘clickity click clicks’ were no match for “Big Jessie’ who was motivated by the knowledge that he was imprisoned by Sgt Major Sunrise until he completed the task.

Now if there are two ‘clickity click clicks’ what’s the odds on there being more? Quite high I would think. So ‘Big Jessie’ and Sgt Major Sunrise spent the night sleeping in a bed in the green room with threadbare sheets listening for that alarming sound ‘clickity click click, clickity click click’. Nightmare in Ocotillo.

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Oh Sandy

We left Blythe at a completely unreasonable hour. Admittedly, we had a long 89 mile cycle to Brawley over rolling hills and it had obviously been on Susan’s mind. The alarm was set for 5am but she was moving about at 0430 hrs. You know the score – when Sgt Major Sunrise is up the whole damn camp is up.

One issue is we moved time zones entering California and sunrise is at 0550 hrs and sunset at 1630 hrs. So we had motel breakfast before I even knew I was awake and we were off.

A nice reasonably flat start as we headed for highway 78. The bike still has the annoying creaking squeak behind Susan’s chair that’s driving me mad as I can’t identify the cause. I’ve tried hiding the cakes from Susan but that’s proving impossible. I’ve oiled everything and tightened everything but it’s still there annoying me. It’s personal. Other than that the bike’s fine and I continue to clean the chain every day – it makes a difference.

Here’s a picture of a lonely Saguaro Cactus – nothing to do with the story but it was either that or another picture of Susan. The cactus won.

After a couple of hours cycling, the hills arrived, the hard shoulder disappeared and we were on a narrow single carriageway. Now this is the official Southern Tier Cycle Route but, as we subsequently found out, I don’t think it should really be cycled between Friday and Sunday.

You see, 60 miles down the road are the Algodones Sand Dunes and the makeshift town of Glamis. I say makeshift as there are only a couple of permanent buildings and the rest is hundreds if not thousands of RVs (recreational vehicles aka motorhomes the size of small houses).

At the weekend, everyone flocks to race their ATV’s (all terrain vehicles) on the sand. Now if you’re wondering what an ATV is and you’re kind of old like me then let me explain – they’re dune buggies.

So as we cycled time and again over short 6-7% gradient hills, large RVs and heavy lorries repeatedly squeezed us into the side. Now California has a ‘close pass law’ where it’s illegal to pass a cyclist within 3 feet. This day we were victims of at least 500 violations by violators who thought it was acceptable to pass us at speeds of up to 60 mph with tons of metal.

Countless hills meant countless blind summits and even those who moved out into the oncoming lane to avoid us did so often oblivious as to what was coming the other way over the hill. They just wouldn’t slow down and wait for it to be safe. I couldn’t believe it.

Now you are right – this road was no place for a bicycle but the problem was not being caused by the bicycle but the absolutely unbelievable behaviour of many of the drivers. I think it’s partly explained by the fact they are going to race small cars with ridiculous engines up some sand. Is this the kind of person you want driving a 6 ton RV? Exactly!

Now you know I like a moan and, of course, I gestured frantically and shouted loudly each time we were run off the road. You would expect that. However, I’ve never seen Susan react and wave as she usually is reasonably embarrassed by my antics. Today was different – that’s how bad it was!

However, Susan soon got over it when we got to the plateau at the top and was back to her sunny disposition. She was reaching for the chocolate and that’s always a happy time.

The driving aside, the landscape was marvellous. It was like the surface of Mars. A photo just can’t do justice to the vast, all encompassing, desolation that you particularly feel when all the vehicles disappear and you are left alone standing beside an old Native American trail.

After a great descent where we hardly pedalled for miles and coasted at 30 mph we reached the Dunes. It was RV city. Unfortunately, we now had a reasonably viscous crosswind and we were sandblasted – it took years of wrinkles off me!

Here’s some pictures of me and some sand.

And here’s three ATVs racing along having fun looking for cyclists to buzz and knock off the road.

Eventually, we arrived at Brawley just before sunset – 89 miles and 2100 feet of climbing. We bought beer to try and rinse out the sand and ordered in some pizza.

The next morning we were having a rest day and only cycling 15 miles to El Centro. This meant a late start. Yes you heard me! We woke at 7am and left the motel at 1030am. It wasn’t without its problems though as Sgt Major Sunrise did make an attempt at a 6am rise but I managed to prevail this one time. A small victory for the little man.

The late start gave me a couple of hours to clean sand off the bike and completely strip off Susan’s chair. Success, something I did sorted the squeak. On our way to El Centro we passed our first San Diego road sign.

It’s slightly more than 120 miles for us as the cycle route doesn’t take the Interstate all the way. Also, we have a reasonable detour tomorrow because a bridge on the backroad cycle route is out. Then its a still lot of cycling over a lot of hills over nowhere to cross to San Diego.

So where are we now:

As we near the destination we feel a bit weary. It’s an odd thing that the nearer to the end it’s not elation that builds but deflation.

We find when cycling long distances that the motivation and effort comes from the mind. How you are thinking that day is the most important factor in your performance. You can cycle through all sorts of tiredness and minor pains as long as your mind has ‘energy’ for the day. As we get nearer to the journey end it almost seems as if the mind says that’s it, job done and relaxes.

My solution? Well hopefully its a quiet road to Ocotillo and I’ve got a playlist of 600 country songs. And, of course, the first song on the playlist will have to be:

I’m much too young to feel this damn old‘ (Jason Aldean)

2,698 miles from St Augustine. Not so bad.

Sleeping With The Avengers

Our two days rest in Scottsdale, north of Phoenix, was slightly better than marvellous. In our lovely Airbnb apartment we relaxed, binged on Netflix, drank Bourbon and Susan even consented to watching Saturday College football in a sports bar – she’s still trying to get on my good side after all those early mornings.

On our second day we considered continuing our relaxation therapy in downtown Phoenix but as we like to pretend we’re a cultural couple we went to Taliesin West instead. That gives me the opportunity to be write a pretentious paragraph or two in this blog. I love being pretentious.

In case you’re wondering exactly what the definition of pretentious is please let me save you looking it up – ‘attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc than is actually possessed’ . Spot on!

So, Taliesin West, if you didn’t already know like me 🤠 is the one time winter home of Frank Loyd Wright and location of his renowned School of Architecture. Taliesin West was built and maintained by his apprentices, making it the most personal of his creations.

Born in 1867 and living 92 years, Frank Lloyd Wright is recognised as the greatest American architect of all time and one of the top world architects of all time. Yes, I know Americans’ can be prone to exaggeration but Frank actually was the real deal.

His visionary creations were strongly influenced by the natural world and he believed in larger, fewer rooms which flowed more easily, his antithesis to the rigid Victorian era architecture of the time. His ideas and designs were light years ahead and, now, almost all of modern construction puts to use the ideals he thought were important.

He said ‘no house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other‘.

Incidentally, Taliesin West is built of local stone and all the walls are at an angle of 30 degrees – just like the mountain it lives with.

Just a couple of photos of Frank’s place. The lounge has entertained almost every famous person you can think of including American presidents. Not impressed? Well Elvis and Marilyn Munro visited, too. Now I’ve got you!

We left Scottsdale the way we arrived – along cycle paths and routes. What a great city Phoenix is for the bicycle – miles and miles of cycle routes through linked parkland got us to our abode and miles of canal cycle paths and quiet streets with cycle lanes got us out. A great cycling city.

We saw more people cycling in Phoenix area than the rest of the country put together. Actually, its the most Americans I’ve seen in my life taking some exercise. 🤠 Sorry American people 🤠 I love you really!

On the way out of Phoenix we met two other ‘bikers’. Great guys!

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Three bikers and three bikes. I’m really sorry about the yellow flag sticking out the ear of my fellow biker! – my personal photographer was probably annoyed at something I had probably done.

From Scottsdale, we cycled 62 miles to Wickenburg and then 53 miles to Salome where we stayed in a motel on the edge of town. Our motel was the only option in town and not one where you would take someone to impress.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and this one was solid silver – it was an Avengers themed room! Yup, right out in the middle of the desert – I was sleeping with the Avengers! Sweet.

Now you’re probably thinking that an out of the way cheap motel doesn’t get much better than this but really it does – it had a bar and it was karaoke night!

Susan and I visited the bar and a nice sunset set the scene.

Now you can pay thousands of dollars for expensive holidays but you can’t buy holiday ‘gold’ like this. I wouldn’t swap it for anywhere.

Cowboys and cowgirls from all over flocked in for karaoke night in a bar in the middle of nowhere. Well to be honest it was just a load of old local people who had nowhere else to go.

The compare was a ringer for Kenny Rodgers and he gave us a great start with a Johnny Cash number. For a couple of hours we were treated to all the sad country songs you’ve ever heard. A woman sang about still carrying someone’s high school medal. Another sang and lamented ‘you never really loved me’ whilst the the guys sang about being lonely on the ranch. The guys crooned and the women wailed and the audience lapped it up. It was obvious only country songs were on the agenda and quite right too! We were in Arizona.

In came a ‘cowboy’ with his neckerchief back to front, leather gloves hanging out his back pocket and jeans in his boots in that casual ‘I’m a trendy cowboy’ kind of way. After one beer it was obvious he was ‘trouble later on’.

Behind us sat the pizza magicians – a couple made a fully loaded 20 inch pizza disappear – I’m absolutely sure there was a trapdoor somewhere.

To the side was a couple of guys with stetson hats discussing building a wall. ‘Wall builder guy’ described in detail the construction techniques and the other guy was appreciative and responded repeatedly ‘cool wall’. I was absolutely aching to join the conversation as all guys would, of course. ‘Cool wall’ guy then got up and sang a Patsy Cline song. I was amazed as he seamlessly moved from walls to Patsy.

The barmaid was nice and incredibly sassy. Now, I don’t really know what ‘sassy’ means but I’ve heard it in Western movies and it kind of seems appropriate. As she danced around the room serving beer ‘trouble later on’ guy, who was the only one dancing, tried to ‘do the bump’ with her.

You know what I mean, the ‘bump’ like they did to that Ike and Tina song. It didn’t really work with songs about loneliness on the ranch but that didn’t stop him – I told you he was going to be ‘trouble later on’! She brushed him off in a professional ‘sassy’ way.

Then there was this couple sitting on some stools who looked completely out of place. ‘Bud light’ guy was drinking a succession of beers in ice cold glasses. After a few beers he wanted to sing ‘Jolene’. His dear wife said in an endearing and sympathetic tone ‘but you cant sing’.

‘I know’ he replied ‘but I can do it in the style of Kenny Rodgers and get away with it’.

And what about the line ‘I’m begging of you please don’t take my man’, are you going to sing that in a bar full of cowboys and ‘trouble later on’ guy?.

She was right of course, so I took the extra Bud Light she offered and realised I’d had a narrow escape.

The following morning Sgt Major Sunrise had us up before the crack of dawn. The breakfast place didn’t open until 7am but that was too late so we were on the road again – breakfastless!

Ten miles later it was banana and muffins standing at the side of the road. At least we caught a nice sunrise. Yes, yes you read right – 10 miles and then the sun comes up! Please feel sorry for me!

And right bedside the nice sunrise there was an election poster. You just know you’re in the Wild West when this is the guy on the ballot paper! You would just have to vote for him. Don’t think there would be any crime. Who would dare!

62 miles cycling from Salome we reached Blythe and in doing so crossed crossed the border of California.

Hey, y’all that’s us in the last State – California ‘The Golden State”.

Globe to Apache Junction

Time for a bit of cycling blog stuff.

If you’re intending to cycle west from Globe to Apache Junction along Highway 60 or eastwards in the opposite direction then you need this information – don’t!

Most of my friends wouldn’t even get on a bicycle so this information is not very useful to them. So here’s an alternative useful message to them – stop drinking alcohol! Now everyone is taking away something useful from his post.

The official Southern Tier Route diverts north from Globe to Jake’s Corner and southwards again to near Apache Junction. Susan and I should have cycled the official route but we didn’t because we don’t always do as we’re told. That’s because we don’t always know what’s best 🤠. Actually, if you saw the 70 mile detour you would kind of understand!

Highway 60 at this stage is steep with no shoulder, blind corners and vehicle drivers with no thoughts. Yes they must be thinking of something but its certainly not bicycle or anything related to potential road safety hazards.

So a 20 mile 7% mile climb was fraught with safety issues and speeding vehicles racing side by side up the two lane carriageway. Now I’m reasonably safety conscious on a bicycle and this is one of the very few times that we have crossed to the opposite carriageway and walked at dangerous bends. If you’re a cyclist and don’t do this then your safety is a lottery – I can’t be more direct than that.

At the top its all downhill and the hazards are less as you can now travel at 40+ mph. Unfortunately, vehicles still try to overtake even though its single carriageway with blind corners at this point!

There’s also an infamous tunnel that cyclists travelling eastwards don’t look forward to as it’s a 7% uphill climb in dim light.

We were fortunate as we were going downhill at a reasonable rate. It’s a single carriageway and I take up a position in the middle of the lane – if you sit at the nearside they will pass within inches at 50 mph. However, on this road, if you sit in the middle of the lane they will still pass by crossing into the face of the oncoming traffic. I mean the tunnel is only about 300 yards long! Can they not wait 15 seconds? Arizona drivers!

A 7% gradient takes a toll on our three brakes – two disc and one rim – and although we cadence braked the heavy tandem takes some slowing once it gets going. Bit like myself 🤠 Once the burning brake smell became too strong and I was thinking we were on fire we decided to stop and let everything cool down.

Then the twisty windy bits disappeared and we saw over the horizon.

More importantly, once the twisty bits have gone and you can see what’s in front then you don’t need to brake. My goodness the tandem can travel downward quickly and at this point you can see we have a hard shoulder. I learned from Canada – sit still in the assumed position and don’t think about what could happen. Just enjoy the downhill.

So that’s Globe to Apache Junction. Just don’t! Oh and the rest of you not interested in cycling – just don’t do what you shouldn’t be doing either!

Sgt Major Sunrise and the Apaches

Leaving Safford was relatively uncomfortable for myself. Sgt Major Sunrise (falsely known to many of you as that nice person called Susan) likes an early start and has me up at the crack of dawn.

Mornings are like a boot camp and slackers are not tolerated. It’s actually starts the evening before when we’re just about to put the lights out and Susan is packing up! There’s my gear all over the place and she’s packed and ready. I swear one night she even went to bed in her cycling gear and in the morning she just brushed her teeth and stood at the door ready!

Most mornings she will be packed, dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed silently waiting. You see that’s what’s she does – she does it silently! No moaning. No shouting. Not even a tut tut! How do you cope with that? You just know you have to get a move on even when her lips are not moving. Bloody effective!

Actually, Sgt Major Sunrise had me up this day at 5.30am which is an hour before the bloody crack of dawn and as our rubbish Motel 6 didn’t offer a rubbish breakfast we packed and cycled to a nearby 24 hour McDonalds and watched the sunrise over a breakfast McMuffin. How splendid.

As we cycle across America the time zones change with alarming regularity and sunrise and sunset are significantly different each week. It was only a week or two ago I got a lie in until after 7am as it wasn’t light until after 8am. Alas these days appear to have disappeared over the cycling horizon and Sgt Major Sunrise has me up an hour ahead of the sun each day. Sadly, there is another time zone coming up, the clocks are moving and Sgt Major Sunrise has it all monitored with military precision.

So we cycled out of Safford at 0632hrs as the sun hit the Golden M and we set off for Apache Country. Yes, today we were cycling through the San Carlos Reservation.

Now the Apache Indians are reasonably well known to all of us through the Western movies which never did justice to this culturally rich collection of tribes.

The Apache consist of a number of tribes that originated in Alaska and western Canada before moving as far south as Arizona and Mexico. They were nomadic people and primarily hunter gatherers but increasingly came into conflict with the Spanish invaders in the 17th century. Before long, the prowess of the Apache in battle became legend. They are still known to be the greatest fighters with a knife.

Eventually, a Spanish leader agreed to designate an area of Texas for the Apaches to live and in a ceremony in 1749, an Apache chief buried a hatchet to symbolise the fighting was over. We still use the phrase to ‘bury the hatchet’ today.

Of course, after the Spanish, the Apache were in conflict with the Mexicans, Americans and other Indian tribes including the Comanche. Each time it can be rightfully argued that the Apache were defending their lands.

Towards the end of the era of Apache wars, a very famous Apache Indian came to the fore – none other than the legendary Geronimo who led his people’s defence of their lands against the Mexicans and the Americans.

Following the murder of his mother, wife and three children by Mexican soldiers, he went out to the wilderness and a voice came to him and promised:

“no gun will ever kill you. I will take the bullets from the guns of the Mexicans… and I will guide your arrows“.

Backed by this knowledge, Geronimo tracked and killed the soldiers and started on the path to war.

Then along came the Americans who reneged on reservation agreements and set Geronimo and his band of followers off on an a new round of fighting that proved to be the last of the Indian wars against the US. After fighting for his homeland for almost 30 years, Geronimo was the last American Indian warrior to formally surrender to the United States.

He eventually surrendered (actually he surrendered three times but started again twice) and spent 27 years as a prisoner of war though he did have a bit of a celebrity status. In 1905 he even published his autobiography and received a private audience with President Roosevelt.

At the grand age of 79, Geronimo died from pneumonia following a fall from his horse – the bullets never did get him after all.

Here’s Apache Country- beautiful!

Thankfully our cycle was without incident. The Mexicans, the Americans and the Comanche let us pass peacefully. Well we weren’t that peaceful as it was 76 miles and nearly 3,000 feet of ascent up long, long hills and on days like these I like everyone to hear my pain!

We arrived in Globe and it was double trouble. We stayed at a budget Motel 6 and ate at a Taco Bell. I hear you shouting – I know, I know what possessed us? As usual its all about convenience. Motel 6 was beside the highway and we wont walk far for dinner.

At Taco Bell we both had some kind of ‘protein salad bowl’ and I had a burrito as a side. It wasn’t all bad though – the cola was pretty nice.

I’m sorry to say this and I hope I don’t hurt the feelings of Mexico but, really, I just don’t get Mexican food. As I see it, whether you order a bowl, a burrito, a taco, a quesadilla, an enchilada etc etc its kind of all the same stuff presented in a different way cemented together with refried beans.

Seriously, is an enchilada not just a burrito covered in hot sauce? Are fajitas not just a burrito without the wrap? Yes, you can tell me to eat in good Mexican restaurants but we have done traditional and authentic on this trip. Believe me! I’ve eaten more refined beans that you’ve seen in a year!

Changing the subject quickly before I get into Mexican food trouble, here is a random picture of the Saguaro Cactus. The image of the Saguaro is well known to us all from all the old western films. Now when you watch your next John Wayne movie in the company of your illustrious friends you can point to the cactus and say “hey nice Saguaro!”

And here’s Sgt Major Sunrise and a couple of Saguaro guards.

From Globe we cycled through another tiring day for 56 miles and nearly 2,000 feet to Apache Junction. Nice motel this time and we spent an evening in the Handlebar Pub and Grill. Now I’ve no idea why they use the bicycle handlebar as their name as there’s absolutely nothing to do with bicycles in the pub.

I went in thinking I would spend an evening talking spokes, punctures and chain oil. I must admit it was a bit of a disappointment especially as I was sitting in a pub in my best tight fitting fluorescent green Lycra gear carrying my collapsible tyre pump. However, after quite a few craft ales (‘Happy Camper’) an outstanding burger and a live band I forgot my disappointment. Thankfully, Sgt Major Sunrise had her eyes on the clock and got me home before the dancing started – nobody really wanted to see my best dancing moves in lycra!

The next morning, I found there’s nothing worse than a hangover before sunrise, followed by a bowl of granola, two orange juices, four breakfast muffins with egg and bacon followed by a 37 mile cycle to Scottsdale, slightly north of Phoenix. I felt ill and, of course, I blame it on Sgt Major Sunrise for getting me up far too early!

2,418 miles done. Feels like more.

Arriving in Arizona

From Deming we cycled 62 miles to Lordsburg through a reasonably strong headwind. All the way across America and our first headwind worth mentioning.

I’ve moaned about the heat, the rain and the cold but I’m not going to moan about the wind. Not yet anyway. A headwind is worse than everything else put together but its not been bad enough yet to create an issue for us.

Still the cycle to Lordsburg was pretty tiring and it didn’t help that we got another puncture 6 miles from our destination.

To date that’s 18 punctures. Probably 5 caused by degraded rim tape, 6 by wire from truck tyres and the rest cause unknown. Tyre choice is important when touring and the Schwalbe Big Apple tyres we started with was a mistake. Great tyres for the tandem but not for American roads which are ridiculously covered in crap.

After Lordsburg we headed 77 miles to Safford. Along the way we passed into Arizona. That’s right – time for another border picture.

Now I suppose at this point I should clarify a little bit of fake news. We’re in America after all and I hear there’s a lot of fake news about and well I kind of added to it.

I know you would have been disappointed if we had crossed into New Mexico and I hadn’t posted a picture of the border with a sign. So I did a couple of posts ago.

Actually, when we crossed into New Mexico along the Rio Grande cycle path there wasn’t a ‘New Mexico’ sign. A couple of days later, when we left ‘New Mexico’ into Arizona we crossed the road and pretended we were arriving. Susan made me do it.

Now most of the people reading the blog won’t know the difference but in the interests of blog integrity I must confess the arriving in New Mexico picture is a fake! We were actually leaving!

Thankfully, most of us are old people and will forget that detail and in a month I will erase the last few paragraphs of this post and nobody will be wiser and my conscience will be clear.

However, we really are in Arizona and what a place of outstanding beauty it is.

So where are we now?

Honestly, this is where we are! No more fake news.

3 days cycling to Phoenix.

2,250 miles done and dusted.