March 12 - 18: Arizona

3/18 - Stafford (0 miles 608 total)
layover day in safford, AZ; few of us rode any miles on such a wintry day
before i forget---i saw a great sign as i was pedalling out of globe yesterday morning: "Hay, It's a Living." it's the name of a livestock feed & supply store. i got a kick out of it.
as for today, the weather was very chilly & windy. when we looked out our windows around 8 this morning, we were very glad we didn't have to bike. here's what we saw.....including snow on the nearby mountains. locals say it's very unusual to have snow this time of year. when i walked downtown this afternoon, it was 52 degrees....the warm part of our day!
from our 1st-floor motel room, roma & i started seeing people wandering across the street for breakfast starting around 7; the motel had given us coupons worth $2.50 off any breakfast entree at that restaurant, so we were set. roma & i did our wash first, then went over around 9:30ish; almost everyone else had eaten & left by then. i had the most delicious huevos rancheros!
karen was still there; she had been there for hours, visiting with each tableful of womantourists as they came & went. shortly, patty appeared. she'd slept 11 hours last night & was very happy about it! she joined us for breakfast, making 5 with catherine, roma, karen, & me. karen had eaten breakfast a while earlier, but by this time, was starting to get hungry again, so nibbled on the chunks of cantaloupe patty didn't want.
this view from the restaurant window shows even more clearly the snow on the mountains, but at least we had sunshine by late morning. the winds were still very strong, as they remained all day into the evening. we'd get sprinkles off on.
michelle took several women in the womantours van down to walmart late morning. they were going to shop, & also had appointments at a nearby spa with a masseuse.
kathy grubb had a very productive day. she's a rotarian, so visited the local rotary group midday. she spoke about our bike ride & our purpose to raise funds to fight breast cancer, & left the meeting with $115 in donations from the kind & generous rotarians of safford.
bike maintenance was a very popular activity today. here are laura & kathy being supervised by mary. laura & kathy had never cleaned their bikes before; they say their husbands have always done it for them. but after only one session, they seem to have become experts. their bikes look like they just came off the showroom floor.
here's a creative use of a motel laundry room. late in the afternoon, michelle & catherine went to work on some bike problems out by the van. but they soon found that the chilly winds whipping thru the parking lot made it too cold to work outside, so they moved the bike stand into the laundry room. here's michelle working on roma's bike (the shifters....still the shifters) while becky awaits her turn for bike repair.
even later in the afternoon, rita returned from an outing showing off her new tatoo (a temporary one); she had chosen a symbol for energy (there on her ankle), hoping it will spur her up those mountains we'll soon encounter. in the center of the photo in the white jacket is jane, who celebrated a birthday today. when word got out that a tatoo photo was being taken, michelle wanted to share hers, as did roma (that's roma's right leg to the right).
for supper, quite a few folks went back to the manor house across the street, but 5 of us ventured further down the street to a mexican restaurant the motel clerk recommended, casa ma–ana. roma's an expert on mexican food, & said her taco & tamale were excellent....very authentic. at about 7, we gathered in the motel lobby to celebrate jane's birthday; after we sang the birthday song, jane shared with us the 2 cakes her mom had delivered to the motel earlier today from the local safeway store.
tomorrow's ride to buckhorn promises to be a challenge. our mileage is the same as yesterday...almost 80...but tomorrow we have 2 mountain passes to climb up & over, one at 6245 feet. we'll overnight tomorrow in 2 bunkhouses at a christian camp, as there are no other accommodations in buckhorn. i'm sure there are no phones in the bunkhouses, so it's very possible i won't be able to send a web-site report tomorrow evening. you may have to wait a day or 2 to learn how our wednesday & thursday turn out.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request. Stay tuned....

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