Day 11(April 29):Globe,AZ to Stafford, AZ–84 miles

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

80 miles and we are not at our final destination for the day, which started with us on the road at 5:15 am in the semidarkness.
We were told the route was flat; people also thought the Earth was flat before Columbus. Needless to say, we found many significant hills.
As Dorothy said to Toto: We are not in Kansas(or Illinois) anymore.
About 40 miles into the ride things flattened out and our tailwind fairies showed up– we cruised along at 20  mph with no effort and made great time.  This was good as the temperature was 90 when we arrived in Safford  at noon.
Our first stop was the bike shop, where with some convincing, they took our bikes in immediately(originally, I was told tomorrow).  Joe had a problem with his gear shifts(he did not have the easiest gears, essential for hill climbing) and I wanted thorn resistant tubes for us. The bullhead thorns,from low bushes along the road,  are endemic to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.  According to the Bike Path Shop owner, Tom, one can easily get three flats a day using regular tubes.  So hopefully our odds will now improve.
While walking into the bike shop, a man came up to us and asked if we had a place to stay.  Mons Larson is with http://www.warmshowers.org and will give us a place to sleep, showers, laundry facilities and cook us dinner too!  Actually we are staying with his parents,Gene Robert and Joyce, next door to the main house, on a 40 acre farm.  Their families have been in this valley since the 1880’s .  Mons’ wife, Serena, is bedridden due to MS.  Despite this Mons finds the energy to invite strangers into his home.  Many thanks to these two kind families who welcome wayfaring strangers into their homes.
Our destination today was Safford, Arizona.  It is a town of 12,000; a neighboring town is called Pima. You have all heard of Pima cotton; this is where it is grown.
Our route may change tomorrow; there is a less rugged southern option.   We will talk with Mons and explore our possibilities.
We just finished a wonderful dinner which Mons and his son Bryce cooked.  Joyce, Mons mom and our hostess in absentia, called from the Phoenix airport, worried about what we would have for breakfast. I meanwhile had a nice visit with Serena.
We also discussed the route and the wildfire situation in Texas.
The route: most likely the lower option.
The fires: we will call the sheriffs in the Texas counties to get a more accurate briefing.
Off to sleep for a long day tomorrow.

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