So, once again, it's been awhile since we've been able to blog. Our cell service has been spotty at best (thanks a lot US Cellular) so between that, our locations, the heat of the days and the exhaustion at the end of the days we haven't been able to put anything up.
We started our week last Sunday leaving Flagstaff, Arizona and made our way to the Grand Canyon to camp. We met some great guys from California who were mountain biking the area, that's gotta be asking for brutal punishment if you ask me! We did it the easy way and took the buses up to the canyon and got some amazing pictures. We also met a group of young men from around the US who's origins began in West Africa. One of the young men is also a photographer so it was fun to compare notes on cameras and stuff.
On Monday, after checking out of the campground, we had to go back through the Flagstaff area and wouldn't you know it ... rain ... again ... So, to skirt the rain we headed down towards the Lake Mary area that a shop keeper had told us about. It was so beautiful - I had no idea places like this existed in Arizona! It was so lush and green you'd have thought we'd landed in Ireland somewhere, but nope, it was Arizona alright!
We managed to continue to skirt weather for a bit and made it to the Clint Wells campground just in time for the rain to hit. The next morning, more weather was moving in so we high-tailed it up to the Winslow, AZ area just for a picture on the corner of Winslow, Arizona.
That night we were able to get a spot at the National Park just outside of Winslow, and once again, we got set up just before the rain. And boy did it rain!! It soaked us! The next morning we had a 4 hour rain delay before we could leave. The rain was just too heavy to try to get out.
So Wednesday we didn't get very far due to our late start, but we did manage to make it to Tonto National Forest and stayed in the Windy Hills campground for the night. It was completely deserted, just us and two other campers among almost 400 campsites.
Thursday morning the plan was to head down to the Tombstone area. There was more rain and weather around us, but we didn't get wet. We started out and then about midway, the road we were on suddenly went from pavement to gravel. And not just gravel. We're talking 40 miles of gravel, washouts, washboard, craters, puddles, sand ... it was horrible ... in the full hot sun to boot! Needless to say by the time we got through there and made it to Benson, AZ, we were just done for the night.
We were very fortunate that we found a Bunk-a-Biker to host us for the night. I won't be saying who they are out of respect for their request to not be public, but the MOST amazing host I have ever met. When we arrived at their home, they welcomed us in like old friends and we hit it off immediately. Their generosity will never be forgotten and I hope we get to meet up with them again! They were gracious and had us stay 2 nights there so that we could site-see in the area, too. I almost didn't want to leave, but leave we did after getting to spend some time in the Bisby and Tombstone areas. We did the Birdcage Theater tour, walked around the shops, and then finally went on our way Saturday.
Our Saturday trip we continued through Arizona with the goal of getting OUT of Arizona since we had been there a week! After several hours of hot riding in the full sun we made it to Pancho Villa State Park to camp. It's right near the border of Mexico in a little bitty town of Columbus, New Mexico. We were one of 3 campers in the park so we virtually had the whole place to ourselves!
The night was fine, but this morning ... of course ... rain. Another rain delay saw us not only getting a late start, but not making it very far. The entire area had weather so we made it to the El Paso, TX area today and finally got a hotel room to get out of it. Today's a day of laundry, work and getting caught up on everything we missed! Tomorrow ... well we will just have to see where we end up tomorrow.
COUNT AS OF TODAY
Miles Travelled: 3,456
Images Taken: 10,976