All posts for the month March, 2012

Since Mark gave you his lists, I decided I would share all the things I learned on this trip.  Some of them are brand new lessons learned, and some of them are things I already knew, but were reinforced from our days on the road and away from home.

If you fall (in life or off your bike (and believe me, I have some experience with this! 🙂 )) just dust yourself off and get going again – there’s no use fretting about it – it does you no good at all!

You (okay, maybe it’s just me) can never have enough cactus plants – check out these ones I picked up at the Desert Botanical Gardens on our last day in Phoenix!  Aren’t they cute!

4 new cacti to add to my collection at work!

Another view of my brand new cactus plants!

My daughter Beth has a tremendous and extremely dry sense of humor!  Tim, Mark and I know that if anyone was following along on our blogs, it was Beth’s that everyone was really looking forward to!  What a treat it was to have her along on this trip!

People all over are, for the most part, really nice!  One of the things I really enjoyed doing was talking to people, especially on our rest stops!  Most of the people driving on the highway (the truckers in particular) were very courteous.  A few were not, but you’ll always have people like that.

It’s been 40+ years since I spent a full, continuous week with Mark and Tim.  It was great fun and it was everything I could hope for and more! Mark is as funny as he ever was, and Tim is still in love with family, the one he grew up with and the one he heads up now.

If you’re sharing a room with someone, try not to sleep on your back (I believe it promotes snoring) and if you must eat a Mexican dinner, don’t overdose on the brown beans! I’ll let you guess the reason! 🙂

I enjoy going to a local church if I am away from home over the weekend.  When Tim and I went to Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in El Centro, CA to pray for Mark’s soul (just kidding, Mark!), there was an extended family in front of us, which included a Mom and Dad, their two small daughters, and the Mom’s parents.  The two girls spent the entire Mass crawling all over their grandparents and whispering (OK, not really whispering) to them, and it was simultaneously entertaining and distracting, not that I minded a bit!  At the Kiss of Peace, the Mom apologized to Tim and I for “all the commotion.”  I wanted to tell her how much I enjoyed it, but thought that might be inappropriate.  And I wanted to tell her parents how lucky I felt they were.  It was a really nice Mass and we even sang a few of the hymns we knew.  At the end of the Mass, the priest told us that his granddaughter had taken first prize for her pet bunnies at the county fair.  Everyone laughed and applauded, but Tim and I were puzzled.  Either we had attended Mass at one of the rogue parishes that allow married Catholic priests, or that the priest had been married, his wife had died, and then he entered the priesthood.  The latter seemed to make more sense to me, because his sermon (on the Transfiguration of Christ and how we can all change too!) was extremely humorous and down-to-earth.  That, the family in front of us, and his comments at the end of the Mass about his granddaughter may be the only things I ever remember about this Mass.  Here is a photo of Tim in front of the church just after Mass was over.

Tim outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in El Centro, CA on 3/4/2012

I need to drink more on these bike trips – I am still slightly dehydrated from our ride across the CA and AZ deserts.

Even though we were burning off thousands of calories during our ride, it is still possible to gain weight on a trip like this!  I somehow managed to put on 5 pounds! Too much beer and snacks once we reached our hotel? Who cares ….

Blogging every night helped all our loved ones stay connected to us – it was a great idea (Mark and Beth take the credit here) and I’m glad we did it, even though it sorta felt like homework at the end of the day.

And finally, I can’t believe how bad I can look in photos! I think if I had the power of approving whether or not photos of me would appear in these blogs, you might not have seen me at all.  But in truth it doesn’t really matter.  Plus you’ll get a whole year off from having to look at pictures of me in bike clothes!  Lucky you! 🙂

Spiny barrel cactus and prickly pear cactus gardens at Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ

We did no riding today, Friday March 9, and for the most part spent the day doing fun things.  In the morning, Mark did a short but steep climb of a butte near the campus of Arizona State University,  Beth had a conference call and worked afterward, and I did some Franklin Institute Committee on Science and the Mechanical Arts work in preparation for our March meeting next week.  But after that, Mark and I took a ride out to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix (would you believe this is one of my favorite places in the world?  didn’t think so …) and then all Beth, Mark and I all went to Glendale, AZ to see a spring training game between the Cubs and the White Sox.  It was fun – we did a lot of talking about all sorts of things, but mostly about music and baseball – how’s that for a combination?  I think it started every time a White Sox player came up to bat and the PA system would play his theme song.  I don’t think I’ve ever paid less attention to a major league baseball game while still having a great time!

Here are the rest of today’s pictures for your visual pleasure! 🙂

Barrel cactus and prickly pear cactus at Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ

Mark in front of prickly pear cactus at Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ

Brian in front of prickly pear cactus at Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ

Just last April 2011, Beth and I came to Phoenix to see the Phillies play the Diamondbacks and, while in Phoenix, we spent most of a day at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  We both enjoyed it and I was (believe it or not) really itching to go back.  Fortunately Mark and I had time for a short visit and it was enjoyable again.  In case you are ever in Phoenix, I recommend you pay this place a visit.  You can check it out in advance by visiting their website:

View from the stands at CWS spring training game against Chicago Cubs in Glendale, AZ

Mark and Beth at Cubs vs CWS spring training game in Glendale, AZ

We spent almost as much time trying to get out of the parking lot as we did sitting in the stands of the game, but finally made it back to our hotel.  After taking a shower to wash of the sunscreen, we met up in the lobby and walked to our last dinner together in downtown Tempe.  We all had pizza and beer for dinner (sorry, not photos of our meal), sitting on a couch outside in the cool night air.

Early tomorrow morning it’s off the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for our flights home!


70 miles (113 km) – Total so far: 582 miles (937 km)

Let’s have some lists about the 7 days of riding:

Road kill – Hardly any seen. Two young Coyotes, a rodent and one sparrow. The western squirrels must be more car savvy than their eastern cousins.

Number of times I had buzzards circling waiting for me to drop – I’ll not say

Number of flats – zero, zilch, nada. Can you believe none of us had a flat?

Number of days with headwinds – 2 and a half. The first day from Alpine to Pine Valley. On the second day, on the way to El Centro, every time we had a climb there were 30 mph winds in our face. We had a lot of climbs that day, too. And on the ride to Salome, we had a climb with a headwind right before we hit the desert.

Number of days with a tailwind – 2 and a half. And they were either flat days or downhill days and it was marvelous.

Number of days without good home cooking – too many

Number of days without TV – 8 and counting

Best road surface – Rt 60 for the first 19 miles East of Wickenburg. It’s brand new with a nice, wide shoulder.

Worst road surface – Hwy 80 in CA for 20 miles between Ocotillo and Seely. The surface between Ocotillo and Plaster City is downright bone rattling.

Weirdest trash sighting – one brand new sexy, high heel shoe.

Weirdest tan line – the little tan ovals on the back of my hands where the Velcro openings are. Also my right elbow is tan and my left inside forearm is tan. Weird.

Amount of money found and picked up the highway – 15 cents. When I get to $1 I will buy a lottery ticket and win $1,000,000

Amount of money seen and unable to pocket – 12 cents

Equipment we need for next year – one new neon green wind breaker for me. My old orange one has no zipper. one set of Campy Record training wheels for Brian. Maybe a Brooks B – 17, also.

Number of bugs I ate – just one and it was in the desert where everyone knows there are no bugs.

Best song I had stuck in my head – “Singing in the Rain”

Worst song – the iPhone Marimba.

Enough lists. The trip is at an end and I have mixed feelings. I will miss the challenge. It was a feat. I am proud. We were lucky. No one had any mishaps. Weather was perfect. It went by quickly but it seems ages ago that we left San Diego. Time goes by very slowly when you are traveling on a bike. The days seem to fly by, but when all you can monitor for progress is an odometer, time almost stops.

There is no room for contemplation riding a bike. I had no deep thoughts and I solved none of the world’s problems. You just can’t zone out. There are things ahead, around and behind that require constant attention. You get mentally and physically drained by the end of a long ride.

As far as today’s ride is concerned, I loved the Arizona Canal system. It was safe. But nothing is signed. Not the name of the canal you are riding nor any streets you go under or over. You just can’t tell where you are at any time. It took 3 of us to navigate. Tim had the paper maps. Brian had the Google bike map listed street directions on his phone. I had a Google bike map with the locator pins. It was longer than the surface streets would have been but safer so worth it.

Big breakfast in Wickenburg to start the day right

Nice! Right out of Wickenburg on Rt 60

I think this is a fence made with ocotillo branches. Taken at our 10 miles, 2 minute rest stop. Still on Rt 60 East.

Another desert vista

And another

And another.

Finally off busy Rt. 60 and onto the Arizona Canal Trail system. We entered at 99th St. It was safe but slow going from here on.

An underpass on the trail. No signage to indicate where we were or what trail we were on even.

We did have to cross the street to continue on the trail sometimes. I think this might be near Dunlap St.

The Wrigley Mansion. This was our final pit stop for the journey.

After a less than perfect night’s sleep, Tim, Mark, Beth and I all met up for breakfast at 7:30am at a Cafe across the street (US 60) from our motel, the Wickenburg Best Western.  Our breakfasts were good and the coffee was really good, both of which helped make up for the less than impressive motel.  By 9:00am we were on the road on our way to Phoenix and Tempe.  Tim swears he heard a rooster crowing this morning (something we have heard each and every day on our ride), but neither Mark nor I actually heard it.  I hope Tim is right and than there was a rooster, if nothing else for the consistency of this daily occurrence.  The scenery today was much more interesting than yesterday.  US 60 East was 4 lanes from Wickenburg to Sun City and then mostly 6 lanes after that into Phoenix.  But we left US 60 in Peoria, AZ and got onto dedicated bike paths which were adjacent to a canal system, some of which had water and some of which did not.  The canal bike paths, which included the New River, the Skunk Creek, the Arizona Canal and the Cross-Cut canal, were vehicle free and extremely safe, but almost never marked.  As a result, we were constantly checking Google Maps’ biking directions to our hotel, just to make sure we hadn’t made a wrong turn.  It took us about 7 hours to bike 70 miles and for the most part the ride was not difficult.  The most time consuming part of today’s journey was all of the stops we made, either examining maps or updating the Google Maps, to find out way.  Here are some of the photos of today’s seventh and final ride of our first cross country leg from San ?Diego to Phoenix:

Sullivan Street sign and Mark on outskirts of Wickenburg, AZ

Tim, Mark and Teddy Bear cholla cactus on Morristown Overlook along US 60

Barrel cactus and sagaura cactus from Morristown Overlook along US 60

Tim at a rest stop at Wittman, AZ along US 60

View of Wittman, AZ and mountains along US 60

New River Trail System Map in Peoria, AZ

Dry bed of New River Trail in Peoria, AZ

Picture of New River Trail in Peoria, AZ

Mark eating a Snickers bar along New River Trail in Peoria, AZ


View of the Arizona Canal in Peroria, AZ

Tim at a rest stop along Arizona Canal in Peoria, AZ

Tim and Kathryn Tolford along the Arizona Canal in Phoenix, AZ

Mark between two prickly pear cactus plants along Arizona Canal in Peoria, AZ

Prickly pear cactus and palm trees outside Wrigley Mansion in Phoeniz, AZ

When we were about 10 miles from our hotel in Tempe, AZ, we came across the Wrigley Mansion, not too far from the Biltmore Estates in Phoenix, near its border with Scottsdale.  While there, we met up with four casual bikers, out for a short day’s ride.  It turns out these folks were full-time RVer’s who winter in Phoenix, summer in the mountains of Northern California, and who are officially citizens of South Dakota, even though they never reside or even visit South Dakota.  They pay no taxes in South Dakota, which apparently wants their citizenship to enable them to have an opportunity for greater representation in Congress.  Here is a photo of these very pleasant folks:

RV bikers outside Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, AZ

After saying our goodbyes to the “South Dakotans” and to Tim and Kathyrn Tolford (who had ridden with us along the Arizona Canal for 8-10 miles, we headed to Tempe and to our hotel.

Prickly pear cactus in planter outside Tempe Courtyard Hotel

Once there I called Beth to determine her location and our room arrangements and, as she has this whole trip, Beth had several cold beers on ice waiting for us.

Mark, Brian and Tim enjoying a cold one after final ride to Tempe, AZ

After a few bottles each, except for Tim who is not into beer too much these days – he only had one so there’s more for Mark and me – we showered and dressed and went to dinner in downtown Tempe.  We talked about our high points, low points, and the songs that went through our heads during the entire trip.  Maybe I’ll have something to say about that in my last post for this leg!

I’ve been trying to work as little as possible on this trip — it’s hard to care about a broken image on a website visited by eight people a month (hi, I’m a web designer) when there are new landscapes to explore and new beers to drink — but work has caught up with me these past couple of days. So I’m a little behind with the posts.

While the wind pushed the bikers into Arizona on Tuesday, I ventured back to the Courtesy Cafe for the burger they all said was so good the night before. But my real objective was to experience the decor on the diner side. It did not disappoint.

I won't bore you with detail shots, but all the signage was great, too

The bathroom was also delightful

Names I was called by the waitress over four brief interactions: babe, babes, baby, hon, honey, sugar, sweetheart. Naturally. She asked me where I was driving to, I guess because I was alone, and told me she hoped the wind calmed down out there. Dad called just as I was leaving and said they were already in Salome, one hour ahead of Google’s bike directions estimate. I climbed into Great White and switched on the radio, pumped for a quick and easy ride.

The toughest thing about these drives has been finding suitable music to jam to. Throughout the barely populated stretches of California and Arizona, radio stations come in strong for a few songs, then quickly fade to fuzz. I always seek out classic rock, hoping to land on an Allman Brothers tune, because, as evidenced in Field of Dreams, you can’t go wrong with the Allman Brothers on a long drive. Unfortunately for me, California classic rock channels have a Don Henley problem, in that they play Don Henley. Does anyone actually like “Dirty Laundry?” Well, I heard it. And yeah, I sang along, because that’s what you do when you’re on the road. Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down. I know I quoted the Eagles earlier, too, but that was an in-joke between me and Great White. I hate the Eagles. And they’re the only band I’ve heard on three different drives during this trip.

The radio’s been so bad that my best sing-along of this sojourn has been to Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s “Southern Cross.” Somehow I know pretty much all the words to this song, and the whole thing came in loud and clear. THINK ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES, I HAVE, FALL-HALLEN! Great White was totally cool with me messing up all the tricky harmonies, too.

Second best sing-along was to Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual,” a song that makes no sense.

Wait, you have to watch his crazy hip moves in this video (it’s short, I promise).

Anyway, advice to my SAG Wagon successor: Bring CDs. Or one of those iPod radio connector thingies.

It took me less than an hour to make it to Salome. I was glad that the guys had beat me to the motel, because we were worried about what it would be like. There were four rooms total and you had to pay in cash. There was no website. You had to call the owner an hour before you got there. It just sounded like it might be scary.

Turns out the Westward Motel was by far the coolest place we stayed. Magical is the best word for it; it instantly felt like home, though it looked nothing like our actual homes. If you are traveling through this area of the country, call Rande Wolters, owner of The Westward Motel, at 208-610-3516 and make a reservation. You will not regret it.

When I got there, beer and snacks were waiting. I sat in a wooden rocking chair and ate Triscuits and contemplated the fact that I was in Salome, Arizona. Dad looked through a book from 1915 about Arizona’s history and showed me pictures of things that struck his fancy. Then Mark and I went shopping for ingredients that were to become an awesome pasta and salad dinner.

You wish you could have eaten this meal

After we ate, Tim read to us from Conquering the Borderlands, which inspired the trip.

Tim likes reading aloud

Then we talked politics for a while — in this group, the Democratic, Republican, and Independent parties are all represented — and, after polishing off two bottles of wine and plenty of Milanos, we retired to our rooms for a fantastic sleep. Want to see more shots of The Westward Motel? Sure, here you go:

Rande used to be a roadie — he worked on shows for the Stones, Dolly Parton, Heart, David Bowie, the Police, and many others in the '70s and '80s

If it'd been warmer, we could have eaten outside

If I can ever come up with the slightest reason to go back to Salome, I’m staying at The Westward Motel again. And I’m taking seven people with me.

What a relief.  We finished;  no flats; no accidents; no mishaps.   I know our wives and families are just as relieved.  Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and understanding.

Today was an interesting contrasting day.  We had breakfast and got away around 9am.  Wickenburg is a modern day western town.  One brief aside.  Last night at dinner a couple of fellows came into the restaurant and were seated at the table beside us. They and several other patrons never removed their cowboy hats.  One of these fellows had a revolver in a holster on one hip and a knife in a holster on the other hip.  I can honestly say that I’ve never seen that except for law enforcement.  I didn’t feel threatened; it was just strange to see a private citizen with a gun in open view.

We rode on Route 60 which was 4 lanes with a wide shoulder all the way to Phoenix.  It was pretty wide open country and we were cruising.  As we got closer to Phoenix, the landscape changed gradually into suburban sprawl.  We figured out how to get onto bike paths west of the city limits and rode them for perhaps 25 miles.  Other than sparse signage on the trails to tell you where you are, it was great.  When the bike trails turned from macadem to gravel, we had to go on the city streets.  Not much fun but ok.  Then back on another macadem bike trail almost all the way to our hotel in Tempe.  Tempe reminds me of Colorado Springs for some reason.  College town with upscale shops and a mountain in the background, close enough to ride or run to.

Tomorrow I fly home to rejoin Marcia and the kids.  Yes I missed Josh, Molly and Teresa too.  Can’t wait to see everyone and start planning the next leg of our cross country bike trip.  What a blast this has been!

53 miles (85 km) – Total so far: 497 miles (800 km)

This morning, Rande at the Westward Motel came into the motel Cantina and made us strong, hot Espresso bean coffee. It was great. He said, regarding the winds expected today, “Set your Spinnaker and sail.” We had a boring, straight ride. But the wind was at our backs and we made it in three and half hours. We stopped every 10 miles for a few minutes and made it to Wickenburg by 1. Not too shabby.

Today I had to try something to help the time pass, as it was not a very visually stimulating ride. We were on US 60 East. It was without a turn for miles and miles. There was only brown desert brush to look at, with an occasional cactus — we didn’t even have any wildflowers to admire. It’s too dangerous to listen to an iPod while on a bike, so I tried to get some music playing in my head. I thought of some song melodies to amuse myself. “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” wasn’t one of them. Neither was “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Now, I did hear Freddie Mercury singing, “I Want To Ride My Bicycle, I want to ride my bike…BICYCLE BICYCLE.” Steppenwolf sang “Get your motors runnin’. Head out on the highway. Lookin’ for adventure in whatever comes our way.” And so on with some other tunes.

Then I wondered should I tell Tim, “I think I can hear your wheel rubbing” just to mess with his brain for a while. We had a rhythm going for the middle of the ride. Brian set a good fast pace. Tim was in the middle yelling “Car back” whenever traffic approached. I was in the rear as I have the most reflective stuff on. I would find the car in my rear view mirror and if he wasn’t moving over to the passing lane, I would wobble a bit and ride squirrelly like, to see if it would make the driver nervous enough to move over. It worked more often than not.

The last 7 or 8 miles was all downhill. I got into a tuck over the handlebars and coasted into town. My mind went blank until some jerk honked at us for 10 straight seconds for no reason. The first a-hole we encountered all the way from San Diego.

Here’s today pics. Not too many, though.

Leaving the Westward Motel on a cold March morning

The only agriculture we saw right on the outskirts of Salome, AZ

Arizona's wide open spaces along US 60

Some Arizona scenery

The Wickenburg Massacre historical marker states that Apache Indians killed these people but we later learned in a museum that it was probably bandits in disguise.

I would love to ride a penny farthing someday. Brian, don't you might fall. This one is in The Desert Caballeros Western Museum.

Brian I really think next year you need a saddle like this to save your sore butt from further torture.

The day started with a breakfast of oatmeal, toasted bagels, and coffee in the kitchen of the Westward Motel in Salome, AZ.   Then we packed up our bags, but them in the “great white,” our nickname for the Dodge minivan, applied sunscreen, took some Advil, and started off, finally getting on the road at about 9:00 am.  Today’s ride was one of our quickest, aided by a strong mostly westerly wind that helped us complete the 55 mile ride in about 3.5 hours, even with 4 short breaks along the way.   Our breaks were all pretty short, because once off the bike and not pedaling, it got cold in a hurry!  We stayed on U.S. 60 the entire ride and, probably for the first time in the trip, the scenery was somewhat monotonous and not overly pretty.  Nevertheless, we still took pictures and the ones I took during the ride are all below.

My bike, Mark and Tim on our first break outside Salome, AZ

Mark on a break along US 60 outside Salome, AZ

Tim on a break along US 60 outside Salome, AZ

A lonely saguara along side US 60 outside Salome, AZ

Harvested field and mountains along US 60 outside Aguila, AZ

Mark eating a Hershey bar along US 60 outside Aguila, AZ

Spiny barrel cactus along US 60 outside Wickenburg, AZ

Teddy bear cholla cactus along US 60 outside Wickenburg, AZ

Tim at Wickenburg Massacre historical marker just inside Wickenburg, AZ

After getting to our lodging for the night, the Best Western in Wickenburg, AZ, we all took showers to wash off the road dirt, and then all four of us had lunch at Nana’s, which was an easy walk from our rooms.  Beth, having already seen the town’s museum, opted to go back to the room to work.  Tim, Mark and I then visited the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, a short walk from Nana’s restaurant.  Here are a few pictures I took inside this small but very nice museum:

Recreation of hotel, store and church in Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ

Recreation of general store in Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wockenburg, AZ

Photo of Annie Oakley in Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, AZ - sorry about the flash!

While I was at the museum, I purchased a short book entitled “Cacti of the Desert Southwest,” by Meg Quinn, which was where I found the names for the Teddy bear cholla and the spiny barrel cactus.  After our visit to the museum, it was back to our rooms for some relaxation before going out to dinner.

Tomorrow we make our last ride of this first leg of our cross-country bike tour.  We travel about 70 miles to Tempe, AZ.  Some of it will be along U.S. 60 and a good deal of it will be on a dedicated bike path, which should make for a safe final ride!

We started the day in the kitchen at the rustic Westward Motel.  Strong coffee, oatmeal and toasted bagels were the fare.  After still another fall by Brian, skimmed knee, we took off down Route 60 with a very pleasant tail wind.  Three and a half hours, and 55 miles later we were at our next motel in Wickenburg.  The road was as straight and boring as anything I have ever been on.  All I can say is, thank goodness the ride was fast.

Beth beat us to the motel today and she had scoped out some restaurants for lunch and dinner and a museum we had read about the night before.  After lunch, the brothers visited the Desert Caballeros Western Museum for a couple of hours.  Very informative exposition on ranching and mining life in Arizona in the 19th and early  20th century centered around Wickenburg.  Then spent an hour or so mapping out our route for tomorrow to avoid as many city streets in Phoenix as we can.  We think we have located 30 miles of bike paths to help us get to our destination in Tempe tomorrow night. Should be a ride of just under 70 miles, the first 30 or so Route 60′ then the bike path along the Arizona Canal and the last 10 or so on city streets in Tempe.  It’s also supposed to warm up to 70 tomorrow, a nice changefrom the 50s today.

After a great night’s sleep in a brand new Comfort Suites Motel, we were off and riding at 7:15.  Rode thru Blythe, virtually had Main Street to ourselves, to the Colorado River and the foot bridge to Arizona.  Did Brian ever tell you Arizona is one of his favorittttte states?  He only told Mark and I about 50 times.  I hope he doesn’t keep telling us the rest of the way across Arizona.

Today was perfect for bike riding.  Finally we had a tailwind.  Not only a tailwind, but one so strong it pushed us up our climbs.  Brian was feeling frisky today, at one point riding about a mile or so in front of Mark and I.  With the help of another bicyclist, I got my gears adjusted so the problems I have been having for the past couple days seem to be corrected.

We rode a good portion of the day on I10.  At one of rest stops on the interstate, a fellow named Vic stopped to talk to us about our trip.  When his wife came out of the rest room she gave him an impatient look like lets go, I’m ready, what are you doing talking to those guys in funny outfits.  After he unlocked the car door with the remote from where we were talking, Mark said we left ours at home.

Arrived in Salome, our stop for the night at around 2pm.  The motel is very unique, probably the most interesting place we will stay on this trip.  The owner drove us to the store so we could get some beer and snacks while we waited for Beth to arrive.  Since we had our own kitchen, Mark cooked a pasta dinner and made a salad.  We sat around the kitchen, drank two bottles of wine and just hung out.  A fitting end to a great day. 

Thinking about the end of this trip.  Two more days of riding and weather predictions of tailwinds again today.  I do miss Marcia and the kids.  I quess a week of riding is about the right amount of time.  Perhaps we will do leg two in 6 months instead of next year.