Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day Forty-four, 090413 - Sheldon, AZ

Day Forty-four, Date Monday, April 13, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:12
Distance for the Day: 66.59 miles: From Rose Peak To near Sheldon, AZ
Accumulated Trip Distance: 1760.1 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 8183’/3742’, Highest: 8236’, Accumulated: 4173’
Speeds: Avg: 9.2 mph, Max: 57.2 mph (erroneous)
Weather: 30°
Expenditures: $31

Woke up at 5:45am and peeked out of my hammock roost just in time to see Sun peeking over the distant hills. I took a bit of extra time to dry out my bivvy sack and ground cloth before packing them away. I placed my cherry-flavored Blistex lip balm on the ground away from me, in case a bear caught scent of it; I’ve heard of bears tearing open cars because they could smell food inside them, and didn’t want anything similar to happen because I had “cherries” in my pocket. However, no bears attacked my Blistex, overnight. I hit the road at about 7:10am, and met up with J.C. a few hours later, who caught up to me on his way to the town of Morency, where he worked the gold and copper mines. There was still uphill grades to climb, but it was mostly downhill, when I reached Morency in the early afternoon. Coming down this mountain, there were fairly long sections where it got very steep and curvy, and I had to lean into the turns to prevent myself from flipping. Yesterday, I dropped about 2000 feet in 5 miles, and today I dropped another 800’ in two miles – fun but a little hairy. Spent $8 for sandwich and soda at local pizza place in Morency, and spent another $23 for sandwich and other foods for the next leg from the local grocery store. I found the next stealth camp at N32 50’ 29.6” W109 10’ 59.0” on Hwy 75 above Sheldon on way to Duncan; a nice little side road that seemed to be a storage area for some water pipes. It was warm enough for me to work a bit on my computer to do blog work. Even though there were some bugs around, I used my collapsible head-net, and it worked perfect – there were bugs, but they didn’t bother me (yay!) I went to bed when it got dark, around 8pm.

Since this is a short day, I would like to take a moment to discuss some of the odd bits of info about the road that I’ve found, thus far. On the interstate highways, there are always Fuzzy Bits Of Tire Shards from truck wheel retreads that fell apart and have to be dodged, the “fuzzy” parts being the stainless steel wires that can penetrate even tire protection strips, such as Mr. Tuffy. Also, the shoulders of highways vary in quality quite a bit, and fairly often, from smooth, wide, and debris-free, to rough, narrow-to-non-existent, full of potholes and/or with expansion strips to jar your teeth out. Then there are all the dead animals: rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, cats, birds, and (?). Also, hardly a mile goes by without seeing the plastic re-sealable bottles with golden fluid (presumably, pee) in them. American males can be such thoughtless idiots, sometimes. Not to mention all the trash – disgusting! Cover up those butt cracks and stop trashing the world!

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