Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Friday, March 21, 2014

Biking Quartzsite AZ to Wickenburg AZ March 4

96.14 miles in 7:06...March 4, 2014...(March 1,2 & 3 were spent Jeeping the local area and strolling through the remaining swap meets and vendors near town.)....I was blessed with beautiful weather and generally a tailwind, so today's near century was a pleasure to ride. I left Quartzite after leaving Pam and the RV at Solar Bills, getting solar panels installed on the roof, so we can dry camp more often, in more comfort, without running a generator. I hopped on Interstate 10 east, just outside of Quartzite, because there is only one easy way through the mountain pass just east of Quartzite. I-10 climbed for about ten miles and about 800 ft, before I got off onto US 60. The interstate was not real busy, but the shoulder was strewn with garbage and blown up tire shreds. It was a miracle I got through there without a flat, caused by the little steel belt wires, but I made it. It's amazing how many people pee into a water bottle, put the lid back on, then throw it out the window along the interstate! Other than the trash, the mountains on both sides of the interstate were tall and scenic as I went over the pass and headed out on US60. What a great road! The shoulder was wide a mostly smooth for the entire length of the road to Wickenburg, about 80 miles. The trip was spotted with small towns, and very, small towns. It seemed like the road didn't  go around a bend for all 80 miles, but it obviously did. It generally climbed in an imperceptible rate for many of its miles, as I climbed over 2600 ft for the day, and barely noticed. The last eight miles into Wickenburg were quite a descent, a great way to end a lengthy ride. US 60 rides through the high desert, and Seguaro cacti made for great scenery, but it was mostly creosote shrubs, which have little yellow flowers on them right now. We have been seeing honey bees pollinating them for a few days now, but the bees were out full force today. As I rode down the road, I ran into a huge swarm of them, and spent about ten seconds with them bouncing off of me. I lowered my head, and listened to them bounce off my helmet. Amazingly, not one bee of the hundreds that I ran into stung me. I could have been really messed up out there in the middle of nowhere. I would have been tough to keep my balance if I was being stung multiple times, so I got really lucky. One guy stuck to my leg, so I saw he was a honey bee before I brushed him off. Lucky, really lucky. They make movies about people being stung to death by bees. All this flashed through my brain in the ten seconds it took to get that over with!
Phoenix and the area we are getting into now, had a couple of inches of rain a few days ago, and some of the washes were still muddy as I rode by them. I even saw a mud puddle, which is a rare thing in the desert. Some of the grasses were greening up along the road, and I'm not sure what they looked like before the rain. Probably so, but maybe not, because there were some random cows grazing along the way that I would spot every once in a while. They seemed to be pretty skinny for cattle, as I saw the rib cages of some of them. There was also some agriculture in areas, and amazingly, the product seemed to be cotton. I saw cotton balls all along the road in areas, just like in the Deep South. Then I saw some huge bales of cotton at a mill in one of the small towns. 
Pam and I arrived in Wickenburg at about the same time, and had a difficult time finding a campground . Pam found it before me, and because of some bad phone service that was happening, I rode a few miles past it, before Pam got a hey tell message through to tell me where she was.

Quartzsite jail

Business area of Bremea, AZ

4 wheeling is a big sport around here

US 60 slight grade, nice shoulders

No dust today!

Arizona canal in the middle of no where!

Just passed Hope, AZ

Is this Arizona or what!?

Bike messing with a bucking horse

Horse and coach are metal sculptures

More metal sculptures

Only animals Mike saw were a few skinny cows!

Where who danced?

Artwork on a long, boring stretch of road

Skinny cows popped up all along the road

Bales of cotton covered in tarps - cotton was all along the road, just like in Dixie

Power grid between Hoover Dam and Phoenix

Monument for Wickenburg Massacre

About the Wickenburg Massacre

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