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Day 10: Globe, AZ to Safford, AZ

77 miles - San Carlos Apache Reservation, Met Cross-Country Bicyclist Robert, Fort Thomas Store - March 1, 2011


This was my humble stash of food I bought in Globe.

That was a 6-inch ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich with hot sauce and some lettuce. And Mentos ... I have a weak spot for Mentos. Toss in my usual Gatorades to compliment my full water bottles and I was ready to go. :)

San Carlos Apache Reservation A short distance outside of Globe is the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
Arizona Scenery

Repeat Ride

Once again, I must remind you that my tour through Arizona was mainly a repeat of my ride three years ago. In 2008, I biked Superior to Safford (102 miles).

The experience felt relatively the same: Cycling in the wide open desert, although more mountains here than in western Arizona. Hardly any people or homes visible from the road. A nice sunny day with little shade.

Robert

Robert - Cross Country Cyclist

East of Peridot, I saw a guy standing on the edge of the road, eating from a portable can of food (like Chef Boyardee) you can buy in the supermarket. His bike was leaning against the guard rail. Ahhhh another long distance cyclist! His presence was a good excuse to stop, rest and ask about his journey.

His name was Robert, a friendly guy from Utah. He began his cross-country ride in January, biking from the California Coast to Phoenix. Then he took time off, and only recently began biking from Phoenix. His eventual goal was Florida.

Notice his fat-tired mountain bike and lack of cycling shoes. He also carried a massive backpack on his back. (A better picture of his backpack is in Day 11.) Many nights he'd camp, as he did last night off the highway in a hidden spot. This guy was tough.

Robert was traveling my way toward Safford. Thus, we agreed to bike together, although he conceded he'd go much slower than I. He didn't feel in top shape and his body had been giving him warning signals to take it easy. Not to mention, my road bike was much quicker than his. Still, we biked together in proximity for a while. It was fun to meet another guy with the same goal.

San Carlos Apache Reservation

Arizona Mountain Scenery

Onward we continued in the east Arizona desert.

TOP: According to my map, I'm fairly sure that's Mount Triplet (elevation 5,299 feet) out there. So pretty!

SECOND: Looking back at the route, the grand view of Arizona mountain scenery. Robert can be seen riding my way on the road.

Arizona Scenery More roadside scenery.
San Carlos Apache Reservation Over time, I biked miles ahead of Robert. It seemed like my riding pace was quicker and I didn't take as many stops. I figured he didn't take it personally.

Past Bylas and near the end of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, I had my first experience with dogs coming after me. Over the course of my journey, I'd have about 20 dogs run toward me from someone's front yard. In this event, I passed an old house when suddenly three dogs barked loudly and charged toward me. Two of them raced right up to me within seconds, then ran alongside me and barked. They were harmless, but it definitely startled me.

At the time, I had my pepper spray sitting in my truck box, and after this experience, I placed it in my cycling jersey's back pocket for easier access. I would only use it once with a dog in Texas. Having said that, as the tour unfolded, I found myself laughing more at the dogs. What can I say? It's part of the scene of biking across America.

Fort Thomas, Arizona

Fort Thomas, Arizona

Off the reservation and in Fort Thomas. I didn't stop to see what the historical marker was all about. :p)

Keen's Store

Keen's Store

Keen's Fort Thomas Store

If you're riding through Fort Thomas, I encourage you to stop at Keen's Fort Thomas Store. They've got everything you need in a convenience store with a cafe on the other side.

I had a nice talk with the woman behind the counter, who was also the owner. She said many people come through who are biking across America. She also noted there's an annual group of about 40 to 50 women who bike across America and always stop at her store. They even know her by name!

Also note the Landis Cyclery jersey I wore today. I like it. :)

Safford, Arizona

Safford, Arizona

Flat Tire #3

It was a long ride. 77 miles, no matter how easy it may seem, will wear on you. Somewhere inside the town of Safford, I got my flat in the front tire. It didn't surprise me, as I rode through a few patches of sand, gravel and other kinds of junk on the main road. Because I was in town and practically in front of my motel, I decided to take care of the flat tomorrow morning. I was not in the mood to deal with it now; all I wanted was to shower, rest and eat.

Motel Options

I stayed at the Budget Inn three years ago, a decent and affordable "mom and pop" type of motel. Unfortunately, they had no vacancies on a Tuesday night. I soon learned there was some kind of mining convention happening all week in Safford, and most of the inns didn't have vacancies. Eventually I found a Best Western that had one remaining room - a double that was a smoking room. The clerk gave me as many discounts as she could, but the rate was fairly high for my budget. Sigh. I took it. It hurt, but I had to suck it up and pay.
Chinese Restaurant A nearby Chinese buffet restaurant was the site of dinner. :)
Safford, AZ

An evening shot of the main drag in Safford.

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