Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 13......Globe, AZ to Safford, AZ

79.29 miles in 7:36....ascent...1900ft....descent...2450...average speed...10.4 mph...max speed...28.2 mph.   I got started at a decent time for me, about 9am. I had to ride through most of the town of Globe, on a beautiful morning. As I was getting ready to leave town on US70, I decided to stop at a McDonald's and grab an egg mc muffin. I wasn't really hungry, but I figured that I had better fuel up because there is just not going to be a whole lot of civilization along today's course. I sat with a biker, Tom, that was my age, but just rode around Arizona. North in the summer, south in the winter.... He seemed knowledgable and intelligent, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he was a homeless wanderer.
There was a climb out of Globe, as is true with most towns out here, because the town's are next to rivers. I had a nice tailwind, just like I planned it, and about five miles out of town, the temps were heating up pretty good. That's where I entered the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and after passing a beautiful casino and golf course, that looked like an oasis in the middle of the desert, things got pretty desolate. US70 was a nice road, that rolled for a while through desert plains, before descending into the San Carlos River Valley, and the Apache town of San Carlos. The most notable scenery I noticed were the selection of wild flowers that were blooming near the road, where the plants must get a little more water from runoff. The flowers (weeds?) did not extent real far away from the road. I also met a dad and daughter that were heading the opposite direction on bikes, with very little gear, but they said they were doing the southern tier, from St. Augustine, Fla to San Diego. I hadn't realized that I was on the adventure cycling route, because when I came across, I had left the southern tier before this point to go north. As I tried to speak to them, I realized that my sore throat had turned to laryngitis, and I could barely talk. Besides hacking up some occasional flegm, I have no other symptoms, so I hope it stays that way.
As I climbed out of the valley on a long, gradual slope, the headwinds began to fire up, making a pleasant ride a mildly miserable one. I had 10-15 mph for the last 40 miles of the trip, which really took a toll on my legs, especially after the brutal climb out of the Valley of the Sun yesterday. The road paralleled some railroad tracks after I got out of the San Carlos valley, which is always a good sign, because that means it's a flat route. The tracks were on my right, and the Gila River appeared a paralleled US70 on my left, just far enough off in the distance that I could see the strip of green trees that were watered by the river. According to plaques along the way, this river is the farmlands that Geronimo's people were confined to after the U.S. Army had confined him and settled him down some. The reservation ended with another Apache town, Bylas, where I stopped in a store for an ice refill. I've been carrying twice as much water on this trip as I did on the last, so I will drink more, hopefully reducing some of the cramping I experienced previously. Lesson learned. Plus, Pam's not around to bail me out if I bonk.
The last 30 some miles into Safford, I could see a few snow capped mountains off to my left, that turned out to be pretty close to town. The Gila River continued to provide irrigation for the farms as I headed towards town, which turned out to be a serious farming community. There were three conjoined towns that I rode through, Pima, Thatcher, and finally Safford. Their crop seemed to be mostly cotton, as I could tell by the remnants that lay along the roads wherever they grow cotton, and alfalfa. I topped the evening off with a meal a a Chinese restaurant in town, and walked around the town some, to try to shake out the wind weary wheels that I had to rejuvenate for more predicted headwinds tomorrow.

Most of the ride was on Apache land

Apache Gold Casino, golf course, steakhouse and RV park - in the middle of nowhere!

Purple and yellow flowers - the whole area was blooming

Orange blooms

Fuzzy magenta blooms

I didn't stop to check out the Holy Apache Ground

Purple blooms

Cactus blooming

Orange Ocotillo blooms

US route 70 - part of the Southern Tier Bicycle Route

The "Mighty" San Carlos River near the Apache town of San Carlos

Elk antler buyers come to the reservation to buy and sell

Crazy yellow blooms in the middle of nowhere!

Huge Saguaro cactus in the high desert

Climbing away from the San Carlos Valley

Unusual geological patterns on a butte

Shrubs were taking over my shoulder area!

A camera just doesn't do the landscape justice!

The Gila River

Leaving the Apache town of Bylas

The town of Geronimo

All about Geronimo

Snow caps in the distance

Getting closer!

My reward!

Snow caps close to Safford

Taylor Freeze in Pima, AZ

Rainbow in Safford, AZ

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