Colin's Journal

7 January 2006
50 miles
Sonoran Desert --> Sonoran Desert Highlands
12 miles run, 38 biked

Woke up around 6 am for another hearty breakfast of oatmeal, brown sugar and raisins a la Bill. Planned to stop for a lunch of cheese, pita and summer sausage, but once we got rolling, we didn't really stop. Stephen ran the rest of the way out of the Sonoran Desert National Monument, though we got a little spread out, and half the group took one fork on the trail, and the other half took the other. Luckily, five of us found eachother right away, but Rogo rode the mile to the exit of the park and back, trying to find us.

I ran next, and started right at the "8" mile marker on the highway, which counted down to Gila Bend where we would stop for water. I decided to do a stepping stone workout, since I had these convenient signs to let me know when to change pace. My splits were: 7:10-6:11-6:59-5:57-6:46-5:35-6:36-5:15, then a 10minute cooldown jog to the food mart in Gila Bend. Felt very good on the workout, which was done on the gravel shoulder of the highway, not really straining at all.

At the food mart, we all hydrated well, and ate a bunch of snacks. We also used the remarkably clean bathrooms (who would think that Gila Bend in the Sonoran Desert would have clean bathrooms?) and bought about 6 gallons of water to bring with us through the desert. There was a funny little machine that looked like a windmill (a very fake windmill) in the parking lot that we used to fill our camelbacks and waterbottles, by putting in quarters, then getting a gallon of water. Neat.

When we loaded up, the BOB trailer was rediculously heavy, as was the Long Haul Trucker, with two 1-gallon jugs strapped to it. We rode off, back into the desert, where we may not see a town until Yuma (though we hope to see many). We soon got on an annoying dirt/gravel road that ran through a series of farm fields. I had just switched to the BOB trailer and, since it was the first time I have ridden it, was finding it very difficult. The dirt kept slipping, and the trailer was wrenching my bike off the track, the seat was too low, and everything was dusty. Stephen waited up for me just as my frustration reached a boiling point, and I calmed down, eventually getting onto Painted Rocks Road, and switching back to the Kokopelli. We now rode higher into the hills, then had a great big downhill, with Painted Rocks State Park (closed) at the bottom. Stephen got our only flat of the day here, but we were back riding in thirty minutes. Now we hit a very annoying stretch of gravel road that was sharply rolling. At one hill, Bill waited at the bottom with a camera, so Stephen the cowboy bombed down, BOB in tow, promptly wiping out. I took a second run here, starting near what turned out to be a long gradual climb on the gravel. It felt good to me to stretch out the legs, but it was hell for the bikers, especially the ones on the loaded bikes. At the top, we decided to put on camp, though it was only 4pm.

We had a creation of mine from home for dinner, which is just tomato sauce with bits of everything mixed in and simmered. In this case we had Turkey stick sausage, Beef stick sausage, and Colby cheese. Then there was Hershey's with almonds for dessert. We cleaned and lubed the bikes, filled the waterbottles and are planning on going to sleep now, around 7:15pm.

Line of the day: Stephen: "Aren't tampons for... bleeding?"

post trip note: This camp site was the nicest we stayed at the entire trip. A flat, black field of rocks with an amazing sunset. The only sign of life was a line of lights far in the distance where we could still see the interstate, but only when it got dark. No cars came by all day or night.

Day 7

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Day 8 Journal