Day 11: (20 Miles) We awoke at camp with the moon again and headed for Quartzsite. Spending most of the day climbing on Hwy 10, it didn’t provide too many scenic views, but we still enjoyed the sunrise on the jagged mountains, and the green barked trees. We arrived in Quartzsite at about 9:30 am, stopping in the shade for our morning snack. We assessed our upcoming route, and decided with the next town 30+ miles away (and the day following to be a 50+ mile day), it would be best to use the remainder of the day as a ‘rest day’. At our rest/breakfast snack spot, we met another biker going from San Diego to St. Augustine, Barb from Calgary. She was biking solo but had a support vehicle. She took our picture for her blog, we shared stories and then she continued on her journey. We set up shop at the local Pilot gas station which also had a Subway- both taking care of some online business including our blog. We called and reserved a room at the local Quartzsite Yacht Club motel, treated ourselves to an ice cream cone before we left, and pedaled across town. The “Yacht Club” really consists of a row of six trailers each divided into “two rooms”. We watched TV, continued blogging, showered, and walked down to the Yacht Club restaurant/bar for dinner and a few drinks. We were treated to some local live country music and the normal crowd that seemed to frequent the bar. It looked as though it would likely turn into a rowdy evening, but when the morning comes as early as it does for us, we decided to call it a night.
Day 12: (37 miles) Chris’s music on his phone calmly woke us around 5:30 am. We had pop-tarts for breakfast, and little to pack so we were quickly on the road. We were back on I-10 today for about 10 miles of climbing. We received a few inspirational ‘honk-honks’ along the way and took Exit 31 towards Wickenburg. Shortly after exiting the highway we stopped for our breakfast snack in Brenda at Buckaroo’s Country Store. We shared a coffee, PowerAde, and finished some granola. We chatted with an older gentleman there for a bit. He asked how the trip was going and said “well if you like doing it, keep doing it, that’s what I always say”. He left us with well wishes and on we went. Shortly after leaving the store, we passed the first cyclist we’ve seen with a trailer, Duck was his name, he started in Huntington Beach CA and was headed to FL like most of the people we’ve met on the route. It will be interesting to see if our next routes are as populated with cyclists- it’s been great meeting new people along the way daily. Soon after we met Duck, we arrived in Hope, AZ where we stopped for lunch. From there we climbed to Harcuvar where we nearly rode right passed a sign that said “$3 margaritas”- Shayna said “Nope! We’re stopping”. As we were nearing the end of our drinks at Iron Horse, a man came out from the kitchen and offered us some free nachos. So we nursed the rest of our margaritas, enjoyed some nachos and salsa, and headed on our way. Three miles later, we arrived at Voyager Haven RV Park in Salome, AZ. We were a little skeptical at first. It looked like more of a junkyard/trailer park. But for the $10 we paid the nice lady in her nighty, we pitched our worries to the wind, and set up our tent in a shady, grassy spot conveniently right near the bathroom/rec room/kitchen, where we cooked our dinner and enjoyed a hot shower. Other than that we spent our evening reading, listening to birds, and relaxing for our biggest day yet of 50+ miles. Just as we were settling into the tent, a nice lady we had chatted with who was visiting from Oklahoma with her husband, offered a bag of kettle corn along with their Kettle Corn business card, and said “when you’re coming through OK, look us up if you need anything!” Yet again, the kindness and generosity of the people we’ve met has been staggering
Day 13: (55 Miles) This morning was our earliest yet- 4:50 am is when the alarm sounded. Knowing we had an uphill day ahead, and more high temps, we figured the earlier start the better. We sleepily managed to shovel a few handfuls of granola into our mouths as we packed up camp. It had been the coolest night since Jacumba Springs. Using google maps we found a ‘short cut’ to get us back on to Route 60, which was a dirt/sandy road. With the sun still hiding, and the cool of the night blanketing the land, our toes and fingers were chilled to the bone. But we could feel the hot breath of the desert approaching, so we embraced the cold extremities while they lasted. Luckily for us, the climb was gradual, but the road was straight and seemed never ending. Today we attained the highest mileage to date. We played some music to help pass the time and the 55 miles, stopped for a quick breakfast snack around 8:00 am and kept chugging along. We saw a fellow cyclist coming through in the opposite direction. Didn’t catch his name, but he had left FL on February 5th, with his destination being San Diego. He was in the home stretch at this point, and seemed very happy. We stopped for lunch in Aguila at 10:30 am. When you wake up and bike 26 miles by 10:30- you want some food! We shared some coffee and tortillas with peanut butter. Here we met another cyclist. A young woman from Chicago. She had been solo cycling from San Luis Obispo down to San Diego, and and was now finishing up her ride by pedaling to Phoenix where she had a friend she would spend some time with and eventually take the train back home. After exchanging stories, we parted ways. Wickenburg was another 26 miles. The map indicated we had 10 more miles of climbing and a nice decent into the city. Again our hopes were led astray as the 10 miles was more like 15. Eventually there was a decent and we cruised into town. We were planning on getting our bikes tuned at the local bike shop, but sadly it is now a thrift store. We snagged some shade and reevaluated. A nice cowboy- well, man- but with hat, boots, buckle, the whole shebang, saw us and offered some assistance and local know-how. We didn’t get a response when calling the RV resort, so we biked the mile there to check it out in person. Although the sign was there, it was accompanied by no human. The sliver lining was a tasty freeze right across the street. We called around to local hotels and surprisingly many were booked for Monday and Tuesday. We ended up bypassing the Super 8, for Los Viajeros Inn. They had a pool which we thoroughly enjoyed after picking up some beer at Cheveron.