Lots of random things are running through my head today, such as “Americans throw a lot of stuff away.” When riding a bicycle on an Interstate, you see things from a different perspective. Today we rode on I-10 from the border of California for 31 miles into Arizona (on The Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway). On both sides of the road, there are beautiful wildflowers in bloom this time of year and when you look ahead, there are yellows and pinks and tiny blue flowers in blossom. But when you turn and look to your right side, and focus just a few feet in front, there is an incredible array of trash. Rubber pieces, metal parts, nuts, bolts, screws, T-shirts, shoes, Astro-turf, car floor mats, and all manner of fast food wrappers and containers. Its everywhere. As nice as it is to ride a nice straight, smooth, gently graded path, after a while, the noise of the trucks and trash gets to you. I was glad to exit and get on Highway 60.
Another random musing: What would it have been like for my grandmother in 1936 when she traveled coast to coast by car before the Interstate system? Was she seeing things in a similar way as we are by bike? She wasn’t going 75 mph and cars weren’t air conditioned. And there were no rest stops so she was stopping in small, out-of-the-way towns like we are, meeting and talking to strangers. We talk to strangers all the time. People who would never even notice us except for the fact that we are on bikes. (It almost makes people ask, “Wow, where are you going and where did you come from?” One gentleman at a rest stop on I-10 we met looked so envious as we described our journey, I felt bad for him, especially when his wife yelled at him to come and open the car door.) I think my grandmother might have had similar experiences.
Anyway, today’s ride was so nice: we had tailwinds. Big tailwinds, 30 mph tailwinds. Finally! At one point I was going 22 mph and there was absolutely no sound or wind on my face. I was going exactly the same speed as the air around me and it was marvelous. Indescribable. Nothing hurt and life is good.
We are staying in the most fantastic motel. The Westward Motel has 4 rooms and we got ’em all. We sat outside and had another beer, cheese and cracker picnic. Then we made a big salad and pasta dinner in the kitchen and had a great state border crossing party. Two bottles of wine and 3 six packs are gone.
Here are today’s pictures.