9/18/17 – Salome to Wickenburg, AZ

Hate to say it, but the days seem to be running together now.  As one who lives in Arizona, there is desert that wows me, and there is desert that doesn’t, and the past couple of days we’ve been traveling through the later.  Add to that the fact that we keep running into headwinds, and everything starts getting blurry.

Today, we started out at 7 AM, our earliest start yet, and made our way through another sequence of small little known towns.

First was Wenden, a sleep stop on the MS 150s I rode back in the late 80s and early 90s.  it was pretty much unchanged from how I remembered it back then.  The school where we ate our meals looked exactly the same as I remembered it.

Next, we hit Gladden, another nondescript small town.  Why do people live in these remote places with no services?  Someone fill me in on this, please.

As we moved down the road, Aguila was the biggest town yet, and our last chance for water before Wickenburg.  Here, most of the signs were in Spanish, and almost everyone we saw was Hispanic.  The town had a lot more going on than any of the towns we’d passed through, since entering Arizona, including a railhead, a large agricultural silo operation, and quite a few open businesses.  There were school aged children out and about, versus the senior citizen populations of the other towns on our day’s route.

Part of our group was taking a break in the shade next to the one convenience stores in town.  Neal and Tom R. peeled off from them to join us for a second breakfast at the Coyote Cafe, a place Ken had heard about.  The place turned out to be a cute little old diner with stools at a counter and the most amazing food. Totally enjoyed the stop.

During our breakfast we reviewed the map and elevation profile, so we knew that there was a steady 15 mile climb ahead of us.  Add to that a headwind, and those miles drug on and on.  At some point, we got our payback, and rode downhill into Wickenburg.

Ed rode ahead to the campground, Ken stopped to pick up straggler riders, and I headed to the old downtown area to check out the touristy shops and to hopefully get a treat of some kind.  I found an Amish-run diner that served coconut cream pie, which put a smile on my face.

Monument to the founder of the Vulture Mine who killed himself when he was 86, which troubled me
Me posing with the downtown statue that most resembled our rider, Eric.
Our tent site at the Horsetopia KOA

Tomorrow we have a 70 mile ride to Tempe where the group will have a rest day at the Motel 6 on Priest Dr.  I will continue on to my house and sleep in my own bed for a couple of nights.  I’m looking forward to spending some time with my daughter and grandkids. If any of you who are following this want to meet for Taco Tuesday at the Rural & Baseline Cafe Rio, text message me for details.

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