March 12 - 18: Arizona

3/17 - Safford (78 miles 608 total)
78 easy miles from the days inn in globe to the days inn in safford, AZ
as soon as we walked into the motel's breakfast room, sandy's headress reminded us what holiday today is; here she is with the 2 green shamrocks sprouting from her helmet....& a green neckerchief.
as for today's ride, what a breeze it was....literally. most of us left the motel around 7. we could feel the tailwinds as soon as we pulled onto US70, & they increased in intensity as the day wore on, giving us a big boost eastward the whole 78 miles. it seemed only fitting, after struggling so hard for yesterday's mileage.
it stayed very cool all day; i bet the temps didn't reach 50. & this morning when we left globe, it felt like upper 30's. what a change from those desert days we sweated through!
after leaving globe we had some climbing to do, but the worst of today's hills were molehills compared to yesterday. soon we entered the san carlos apache reservation. what a beautiful landscape, as you see in this photo.
later along the roadside we saw 2 pieces of adult javelina & its offspring. roma had told me about these animals, that they're some sort of pig. they reminded me of little wild boars. (i didn't take a photo!)
there were few places to stop along the way, which made staying on the road & enjoying the tailwinds even easier to do. at one point we stopped at a small convenience store on the indian reservation. i chatted with an older indian fellow as we stood on the porch. he was telling me that he used to work in the fields in a nearby town. when i asked him what crop, he said rice.
about 65 miles into the day, near pima, i took this photo of the gorgeous landscape & clouds. we had left the reservation at this point. we'd been told there was a 30% chance of rain, & indeed we saw the dark clouds hanging up on the nearby mountains, but we never got wet. later we heard that one group of bikers was caught in a shower.
most everyone rode into safford by very early afternoon....the front-riders before noon. our days inn accommodations are very nice. there's a pool, but today was too cool to use it. there's a carillon nearby that plays lovely music i think twice per hour; i'm really enjoying it.
the hot ticket for this afternoon was the laundry room. many seemed anxious to get a head start on layover-day chores. here are, from left, elaine, rita, anne, cynthia, & michelle. anne has been pleased to be able to ride this year all the miles she couldn't ride in her previous 2 attempts to complete this route in 2001 & 02.
michelle took cover in her galley & made a delicious chili supper. because of the winds & cold, we ate in the motel's lobby. several people went to a movie at the nearby theater this evening.
tomorrow is a layover day. some have already signed up for massages. the main activity will be resting up, & from the way wed & thurs sound, we'll need all the rest we can get.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

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