Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wednesday, 1/3/07 Eloy, AZ to Benson, AZ 104.1 mi., 15.3 avg., 33.3 max., 6:46 saddle time.

Another beautiful day for riding; clear, cool and calm. Winter is definitely a good time to ride in the southwest. Nice breakdown lane towards Tucson, but I got booted off the interstate by a very nice but firm State Trooper just north of town. It worked out OK becaus the frontage road, which had no breakdown lane to that point, had a wide, smooth one with very light traffic for twenty miles through Tucson. The only problem was that it ended eight miles before I was legal to get back on the interstate. I zig-zagged all over South Tucson for a few miles and then split the difference. On the way out of town, I passed the airport where they park the 'mothball fleet' of commercial aircraft that have been taken out of service but not scrapped yet. They stor them out here because they don't degrade in the dry climate. Some wierd old birds out there. I saw a white 747 with a stretched upper deck that made it look like a pregnant guppy. Hard to believe how many millions of dollars worth of airliners are just sitting there, probably never to fly again.

I'd stopped for lunch in Tucson, so I was good to go for the rest of the day. The breakdown lane of I-10, unfortunately, was not. For the next twenty miles (and for the last seven miles into Benson) it was punctuated by cracks in the asphalt every ten to fifteen feet. These cracks had raised edges so each and every one gave me, quite literally, a kick in the butt. They made an already long day seem quite a bit longer. Beautiful desert scenery along the whole route, crowned by the last few miles when, after climbing steadily through rolling hills, the road crested a ridge overlooking a broad desert valley, surrounded by brown, stony mountain ranges on all sides. The town of Benson, my destination for tonight, lies on the western edge of this valley, so my last few miles were a nice downhill run. At least, it would've been nice if it wasn't for those damned cracks in the asphalt that kept launching me more and more sharply the faster I went. I had to ride my brakes so much that by the time I got to the stop sign at the end of my exit ramp, the rims were almost too hot to hold onto. Lucky I didn't overinflate and pop a tire. Anyway, I'm here, safe and sound and 100 miles closer to El Paso.

Part of the cook kit that I carted all over the country was an 8 oz. Nalgene bottle filled with denatured alcohol stove fuel, which I also used to prep tubes for patching. Well, when I sent the cook kit home from Phoenix, I hung onto the Nalgene, disposed of the stove fuel and refilled it with Cuervo Gold. It was New Year's Eve, after all. I've found it cleans tubes just as well and is much more useful at times like this, when my knees have turned to Jello and are in need of anaesthetic. A little orange Gatorade, a couple of Ibuprofen and life is good! 110 miles tomorrow to Lordsburg, but I don't want to think about that right now. Hopefully, the Jello will 'set up' overnight. Right now, I think it's time for a refill on the Gatorade, etc....


Blogger loanar said...

HEY FRANK SOUNDS LIKE YOU're doing good. i thought you were done when you got to san diego,where are you going to be when your done. the weather here has been pretty good, been hanging around the 50 degree mark, pretty good for january. well take care and stay in one piece. you must really enjoyed going past the plane grave yard. see ya steve

6:04 AM  
Blogger Pebble said...

Hi Frank, it's hard to believe it's almost over. Prepare for warm weather at home. Tomorrow, Saturday, will be 65 degrees here in CT and upper 50's on Sunday. Looking forward to your final blogs and everyone's final comments.

9:36 AM  

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