Colin's Journal

8 January 2006
64 miles
Sonoran Desert Highlands --> Muggins Mountain Wilderness
15 miles run, 49 biked

Beautiful, but cold night. They have a high, eerie laugh, which Stephen described as "like an alien baby". Corey wished they would be more like the coyote from "Coyote and Roadrunner", which would just hold up a sign saying "eep!" or "howl". A lot of our roads have resembled this cartoon: winding highways going on to the horizon, lined by powerlines, with cacti on the sides.

We all woke up at 6am, while it was still pitch black, and the stars above were still beautiful. We packed pretty fast and rolled out at 8am, after having bagels and granola for breakfast. About two miles later, the Kokopelli got a flat, and we expected it to take over an hour to fix. Luckily though, we had talked to a guy in the Phoenix bike store, who had some tips on doing it faster. By lining the tread of the tire up with the center of the wheel, Grant was able to put the tire back on without using any levers. We got rolling again on the dirt road, and got to "Hyder Road" a bit later, so we were farther north than we had planned, and had passed the town of Agua Caliente entirely. We had heard of this town that we would need to speak spanish to get any water. I heard their water was hot, anyways.

I started running soon, and did my long run on this stretch of road, which paralleled a railroad track. It went very well: I worked into a good rhythm, and finished up the 15 miler in 1:38:00. Mine was the only long stretch of asphalt today (which did nothing to dispel the vicious rumor that I get all the good runs) and we were soon back on some dirt roads, struggling through the sand. It is hard on these sections to go much faster than the runner, and the bike will just slide through the deep sand without getting any traction at all. After stopping for a lunch of peanut butter and jelly pitas where we all got attacked by these random bees (luckily no stings) we rode mostly as a group.

We ended up next to the Mohawk Canal, which was the first water we had seen in a while. A few miles later we found another self-serve water station, so we filled all our packs and rested for a little while. When we started again, there was a bulldog a little down the road who charged the bikes as we rode by, then two more little dogs who dug under their fence and chased us down the road. We got to a long section of farms next and finally made camp on an old mining road that brought us to some cliffs above the fields below. There was a delicious dinner here of chili and pita.

Line of the day: Old man in car: "I'm old, I'm retired, I've got no place to go, and I'm in no hurry to get there."
Also, (possibly misheard): Old man in car: "I'm sloshed"
Grant: "God bless you."

Day 8

Day 9

Day 9 Journal