|Kaitlynn's first ride with us and her clipless pedals - lovin' it!|
The next day dawned chilly and overcast, especially for Arizona. We slept in a bit but needed to get on the road with the hopes of making 100 miles until making camp again. Rolling hills, rough pavement, and a headwind put up a challenge in the morning, with occasional bursts of showers. We had to layer up all day to stay warm, and found by mid-afternoon that we hadn't covered as many miles as we hoped. With 25 miles still to go the sun set on us and for the second day in a row we turned our lights into the dark. Finally we made great time, with the wind dropping and a long downhill section. We pulled a couple of miles off the road in an area called Burro Creek and fumbled around in the dark trying to find a good spot to put up our tents. With very little sense of the surrounding landscape, we again put up our tents, put down more cold food, and hit the hay.
|Kaitlynn's first flat, in sprinkling rain|
|Snow-capped peaks in northern Arizona|
|Coffee break to warm up|
|Sunset with Joshua Trees|
Happily, we all slept like babies at Burro Creek. The night was quiet and cool, and we awoke to the surprise of a beautiful and dramatic landscape around our impromptu camp. Today we resolved to get an early start and cover more miles before lunch. We were off just after 8am, with Jane taking the Manatee up to Las Vegas to pick up our sister Katie and brother-in-law Dave who had flown in for a visit.
|Burro Creek roadside camp|
Finally, conditions this morning were in our favor. The wind was low, the sky was clear, and the pavement was smooth. We did make great time and crossed some very scenic mountainous sections with many great vistas.
|Climbing like champs|
|Not much to see in this town|
|Sweet bridge over Burro Creek|
|Rocking the elderly shades|
Sadly, those great conditions couldn't last for long. After our second breakfast stop in Wikieup, we continued to head north on 93 with 40 miles to our destination. From Wikieup the road narrowed from a divided freshly-paved highway with two lanes each way and a full smooth shoulder to two lanes total with no shoulder. We squeezed through a 7 mile section under construction and the road seemed to get busier and busier as it got narrower. The drivers did not seem to notice, especially the drivers of bus-sized RVs, and sped by at full speed without yielding or giving us any berth. Balanced precariously on a narrow strip of rough pavement between the rumble strip, the white line, and the road drop off into rocky gravel, we feared for our lives during a couple of fast passes by RV monoliths. All that while climbing some long, gradual climbs with the wind slowly turning back into our faces. 15 miles of this and our nerves were shot. We made it to I-40 and took a much needed roadside break to recollect.
|California is close!|
Seeing new people always revives us. We arrived at a truck stop and met Jane, the Manatee, and Katie and Dave! It was great to see some friendly faces and their excitement injected some fresh energy into our systems. We sailed the last 15 miles or so into Kingman to the home of our hosts Mike and Melissa Kitchen with only one minor incident...
|Arrival of Katie and Dave|
|Nailed the tire right to the rim|
We're glad to be almost out of Arizona - this state has not treated us particularly kindly. Luckily our hosts are wonderful. The spaghetti dinner was ready on arrival and the beds are cozy. We'll definitely sleep well tonight in preparation for our next leg into Nevada!