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Day 5: Ehrenberg, AZ to Salome, AZ

58 miles - Interstate 10, Quartzsite, AZ; Brenda, AZ; Met Cross-Country Walker On The Road - February 24, 2011


Interstate 10 Arizona This being my second cross-country bike tour, my ride through California was starkly different than the first time. On this outing, I had a cycling partner the entire way, engaged with more friends, saw different California scenery and had no flat tires, complications or snags.

Upon starting today's ride on the western edge of Arizona, a lot changed. Of course, I was alone now. But secondly, my route across Arizona would mainly be the same as three years ago. In the following days, often I had the experience of seeing things again as if it were Groundhog Day, the movie.

Adjacent Photo: Onward I biked on the shoulder of Interstate 10.

Interstate 10 Arizona I had an earnest ascent over the Dome Rock Mountains. Nothing terrible, but certainly a climb toward an unnamed pass.
Quartzsite, AZ

Quartzsite, Arizona

On the other side of the range, I sped downhill into Quartzsite.

I-10 Arizona

Quartzsite, Arizona

Quartzsite, which seems like a haven for snowbirds and RV'ers, only has two exits. I stopped at the second exit, and upon seeing no stores or gas stations, I leaned my bike against a guard rail and rested by the on-ramp. Not many cars were out, and I wondered whether it looked like I wanted to hitch a ride. Don't worry, I didn't cheat. :)

Speaking of which, look at the "Q" on that small brown mountain. No doubt, that stands for Quartzsite.

Brenda, Arizona

Brenda, AZ RV Park

Brenda, Arizona

I climbed another pass, Plomosa Pass, then I exited the Interstate onto Highway 60. This older road is very popular for cross-country cyclists doing the southern USA route. It gets riders off the Interstate and provides services in Brenda, Salome and Wickerburg. Also, a number of RV parks and campgrounds are dotted throughout the land.

I rested in front of a small grocery store in Brenda. This village is all about snowbirds, mobile homes and RV's. A friendly guy who snowbirds from Alaska engaged in a nice conversation with me.

Second Photo: Just trying to snap pictures of things. The Brenda RV Park teeming with RV's with mountains in the background.

Phoenix Water Canal It was a windy day, a crosswind. As much as I love the desert, this particular area didn't seem to have a lot to photograph. Ahhhh, but this canal which flows to Phoenix was interesting to bike past. :)
Hope, AZ

Beyond Hope

Hope, Arizona

There isn't much in Hope besides a RV park and church. When I biked here three years ago, a convenience store and gas station was open on the left, but it was out of business today. Sad.

And yes, beyond Hope, drivers are greeted with this witty sign. Too bad for the spelling gaffe! :p)

Arizona Desert Scenery I biked upward to Granite Wash Pass, a modest pass over the Little Harquahala Mountains. In this vicinity, the desert became lush with saguaros and ocotillos. That peak looks just the right size for a half-day hike. So pretty!

By the way, I made a special page that includes all 20 of my photos that had a cactus in it. You can see them here: Cactus Scenes.

Ultra John - Walking Across America Walk Across America

A few miles outside of Salome, I encountered a man named Ultra John who may have been the biggest highlight of the day. John was on the left side of the road with a baby stroller that contained his possessions. In this lonely and expansive desert, I couldn't help but approach and ask what he was doing.

John was running across America. He started in southern California a week earlier that I did, and has been traveling 20 to 30 miles a day, an impressive amount for someone only using his legs. John was camping each night.

He has a blog and I'm honored that he mentioned me in his Day 12 entry: www.runvb2vb.com/blog/2011/02/26/day-12. :)

Salome, Arizona

Salome, Arizona

Where She Danced. What an intriguing motto for this small desert town. Three years ago, I stayed in Salome and found myself enamored with this place ... at least more than the average tiny town in America.

By the way, do you know why this page's background is a froggy green shade? That's because the mascot of the Salome High School sports teams is the Fighting Frogs. Oh yes, frogs in the desert. I love it! The name came about when one of the town's founders, Dick Wick Hall, wrote about a ficticious frog that lived in Salome.

Shefflers Motel, AZ

Shefflers Motel, AZ

Special thanks to the owner of the Sheffler's Motel for giving me 50% off on my room. Look at those stout palm trees on the grounds. :)

This old motel has seen better days, and even the owner acknowledged renovations were happening. Yet there's something endearing about the grounds. Call me a dreamer, but this place has so much potential as some kind of retreat, or maybe a live-in artists' or writers' community.

Lots of "Groundhog Day" experiences that afternoon. I checked in to what I believe was the same motel room I stayed in three years ago. I also ate at the Salome Cafe and devoured a large burger with fries.

Salome, AZ I walked all over Salome, and not much is there. Don't be fooled, Salome isn't as busy as this picture makes it look!
Cyclist Tan When I started this ride, I decided to do my best to take a picture of myself everyday. After settling in Salome, I realized I hadn't captured a self-portrait yet. That's when I noticed the "bicyclist tan" developing on my legs. What a perfect shot to keep the streak going! :)

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