Thursday – Yuma, Arizona
Well, I did it again, beer and rum :) Took precautions though and got home without a hitch.
Just next door to the motel was a servo, so I fuelled up and I had a sense of Deja Vu, weird. But, when I looked across from the fuel bowser to the trees over there, it seemed very familiar?? Then, after I put some cash down over the counter which also looked familiar, it struck me, I had been there. I had stopped in the exact spot on my way from Joshua Tree NP to LA the other day. I had parked under the same trees as well :)
I had been trying to make contact with the tyre places in Phoenix, but they were not open until about nowish, so I tried again, not much luck with tyres there, so I thought I would try again when I got to Blythe, about an hour and a bit down the road. The side of the servo had a great mural, very nicely done, it is on the far side facing the street.
Off I head with no real plans, except get a tyre. I had also been trying to get some bike insurance sorted out, but Cynthia, the lady I had been working with must be away or something, no email replies, nor phone messages answered, sounds familiar eh!
First stop was the place I got to yesterday, which was Chiriaco Summit where the Patton Museum was. The entry price was only $4, so it was worth the stop and the money :) This place was where they had a training ground during the war, they needed a place that was tough, hot and hard to train the men to go to the African desert, so they picked eastern California and south Arizona desert areas. It must have worked, anyway, the displays inside were quite good, but it was the hardware I wanted to see, be careful, although I had riding boots on.
After that there was a lot of flat countryside before stopping in Blythe, just before the border, for some lunch and also make a few phone calls. Reminder to self, do not buy chocolate doughnuts and expect to eat them without making a mess, especially when they have been sitting in the tank bag for 2 hours in the desert heat! I spoke to a chap at the Chamber of Commerce, sort of like the info centres we get back home, he advised to not use the back road, hwy 78 down to Yuma because of major road works and long delays. There is no other way except the 95 south at Quartzite. Anyway after Blythe, I crossed the Colorado River, which is the border of Arizona, where I probably should not have stopped on the freeway, but I want to try and get a photo of each states welcome sign, just for something to do.
Then, excitement, well sort of, but really, it was my first sighting of them big cactus they have down here. They are called Saguaro Cactus.
You cannot see much when riding at 70mph and no real place to stop, but I was going to be going through the Sonoran Desert soon where I would have ample opportunity to see them up real close. I was probably going to camp, depends on water though, so that is to be advised.
A bit further on though I did manage to find one real close to the road, but it sort of looked diseased, or maybe a bug had attacked it? I know I saw a lot with the same marks, so maybe they are being attacked.
I had gone through Blythe a while back and the tyre result was no good in Phoenix, not without them ordering one in, so the other place to try was in Tucson, which is a lot further away, but as I wanted to see the desert, why not, it was down that way, so today’s destination was going to be Yuma. I picked there, just because I sort of had a plan in my head over the next few days, which would take me to Phoenix by Sunday to meet an internet person, a non biker. About 20 miles from Yuma there is the entrance to the military testing ground for big guns.
Very weird gun info, everything is in US imperial measurement except for the bore, which is in metric, why did they not say 8 inch? Strange.
Coming into Yuma and the desert turns green, mainly due to irrigation from the river.
Guess what :)
Yep, it was time for a bath, for the clothes as well. I have done OK for the past 10 days or so, considering I only have 7 sets of clothes :) But, it is no good changing into clean clobber without having a scrub first and the camp grounds I have been at have had no drinking water let alone a shower.
Now, the motel I am staying at is called a Days Motel, these are quite often cheaper than a Motel 6, but you get a better room, a fridge, microwave, free internet and a continental breakfast in the morning, (usually some cereal, fruit juice, scones, jam toast, occasionally fruit, coffee tea etc), all for around the US$50. While the washing was being done, cheaper than Oz by the way, only a dollar twenty five for a wash, a dollar for the dryer, I managed to get onto a Honda shop in Tucson who had a tyre and would fit it tomorrow at 2.30pm, great stuff.
Still no answer about my bike insurance, but it was closed on the east coast where the office was, another email sent. It would be nice to concentrate on being a tourist instead of these minor hiccups, but I guess it is all part of travel, so deal with it when I can I guess.
I decided to go buy some food, stuff to take camping I mean, so off I go and as soon as I crossed the 8 lanes of highway to the shopping centre area, I spotted a Logan’s Saloon, that was fortuitous eh, right next door! I took a few photos of what I am talking about with regard to shopping centres, this one is huge, I should have taken the bike, but I was on Shanks’ Pony and I can say I never found a food shop, these were all speciality shops, but I must have walked a few km’s!
I put a red arrow to show that is where the motel is, just so I do not forget, but my motel keycard had the name of the motel on it anyway. So, after about a half hour, which is about 2km in my walking, I could not find a grocery shop, but happened to pass Logans again, lucky me, I was hot, I was in the desert and needed a beer, feeble excuse, but that is my story and I am sticking to it :)
It was happy hour according to my server Amber, so of course I had a couple :) Amber was very nice and knew a bit about Oz, even knew about cricket by crikey! There was no cricket on, but basketball, apparently it is the playoffs. Now, I hate the game, but there was not much else happening in between chats with Amber, so I sort of watched it. It was so boring, every time it got exciting, they called a timeout and had about 50 gazillion commercials!
Anyway, time passed and so did the beer.
Oh, no, not the dreaded rum again, but I did explain to Amber about the incident with free-poured rum the other day, so I was a lot less concerned with the drinks I was getting here. I went in here a few times of course after drinking about 4 pints of Amberbock, it wasn’t deep but it was wet.
And finally, after only a few rums, it was time to find my way back to the motel, thanks for the evening Amber, I enjoyed the chat :) At least Saab463 will be happy anyway :)
And in the centre of this picture you can see a yellow sun rising over a white banner, that is the Days Motel sign, I knew where I was going and got back safely, so moderation is the key, OK! Yeah right!
Day – 208 miles and 335 km
Trip – 5,369 miles and 8,641 km
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