This was a long day but not too long. Mark picked me up at my house at 4:45 a.m. EST (2:45 a.m. Arizona Time) and we drove to the airport, checked ourselves and our bags in, and made it through security in record time. Our US Airways (soon to be American Airlines) flight to Phoenix was uneventful and I was able to work the entire time and get everything finished that I had planned to. Our flight made it in to Phoenix almost an hour early and Mark’s and my checked luggage was the very first out! I called Beth (who, along with Tim had flown in the prior evening) and she arrived to pick us up and take us to the Tempe Marriott Courtyard, the same hotel we ended at on last year’s leg (L1 using Beth’s acronym). After (mostly) assembling my bike and after Mark (completely) assembled his, and after a quick lunch in Tempe, we were on our way. We only had 25 miles or so on this first day’s ride, so we only made one stop. Here is a photo from our only rest stop, which was at a QT store along our route.
We made it into Apache Junction with about 2 hours or so of riding. Once there, we picked up our daily ritual of drinking a few cold ales, munching on snacks, and listening to Tim reading from “Conquering the Borderlands,” by Lorraine Viesz. Ms. Viesz was a rider on the annual Women’s tour of the Southern Tier route, and wrote a book about her ride and the history of all the places along the route, which she published in 2009. Mark, Tim and I all read it before L1, but Tim’s daily reading reminds us of things we have forgotten. Here is a shot of Tim reading to us, as we toss down some cold ones.
Well, OK, maybe he’s not actually on the edge of his seat. But Beth is listening, for real! 🙂
For me, the highlight of the day was getting out of the Phoenix urban sprawl and back into the Arizona desert. Here is a photo showing a Saguara in the midst of several verde trees.
We had an OK dinner (and some very good margarita’s), and then returned to the Best Western after picking up more supplies at a Safeway in Apache Junction. I fell asleep within minutes of getting back to my room, which is why I didn’t post last night. From here on, I expect to do my homework (aka blog posting) every evening before bed. 🙂