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No Deserts

4/29/2019

LAST DAY OF RIDING

Today was the last day of our tour.  We made it to Bisbee, Arizona.  Bisbee was our goal, so I guess that’s it!  It has proven to be a hard trip and a trip that provided a great lesson for John and I.  
 
A couple of years ago we rode  from Ashland up through Keno and out into the California desert.  It was late summer and very hot.  We struggled against the heat and the desert.  The riding was hard and the  sleeping just as hard.  Services were far apart, the campgrounds located even further from any, very needed cold evening drinks.  We finally decided the reward was nor commensurate with the effort,  threw in the very dry towel and returned to Ashland.  
 
Now here we are again desert touring.  Hot, dry and few services.  Just dry desert, hard sand to put our fabric homes on and few to no trees to shade us from the hot afternoon sun.  Stores that charge for water and ice and shelves filled mostly with sugar products.   Campgrounds are funny distances for us.  Sometimes 50+ miles and then only 20.  Days hard to plan.  Does all this bring forth the question, why?  
John and I have planned and ridden a spring or summer  2 to 3 week trip for many years.  It provides an opportunity to enjoy a longer trip on new roads and ride each other’s company, things we both enjoy.  As I plan to be away for most, if not all of this summer we had to go early.  I looked around for cheap fares to Athens and found one from Phoenix.  I like the desert and knew it would be warmer and drier than  Seattle or Denver, the other 2 options.  So, the desert became the best option.  Did I really just say BEST?  
 
What was the lesson?   We rediscovered that touring in desert lands is not a good fit for our rides.  We like the easier big mountains, steeply rolling hills of river valleys, or the high plains.  Give us a 10 mile, 6 percent  Cascades climb any day over the 20 mile 2 percent grade in a hot windy dessert.  No more desert tours for our vacation rides.
 
 “By the way.  What’s this end of the trip thing?  You don’t leave the US until May 5th, right? “  Well, since we don’t like the desert we decided to go to a lake for a few days and do some day riding.  Where is this lake?  Why Phoenix, of course!  

Bill H

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