Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day Thirty-eight, 090407 - Flagstaff, AZ

Day Thirty-eight, Date Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:14
Distance for the Day: 41.28 miles: From N of Flagstaff To E of Flagstaff
Accumulated Trip Distance: 1434.7 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 5093’/6705’, Highest: 7299’ Accumulated: 3402’
Speeds: Avg: 7.8 mph, Max: 62.0 mph (unlikely)
Weather: Clear, cool, calm
Expenditures: $22

I woke up at 5:45am and got to see the full moon set just as the sun rose – I’d never seen that before – one of the benefits of being able to see both the east and west horizons at the same time, without mountains or buildings to block such a view – neat! I broke camp, ate a breakfast of banana and trail mix, and was ready to go at 7:15.
Yesterday was “Fender Day.” All three fenders experienced malfunctions due to running the trike over the vibration strips on the roads (you know, those things that wake you up when you start to drift while driving a car). In a car, you hear and feel a buzz, but on a trike, you feel like your teeth are about to fly out of your head. Because of the severe vibrations from these indentations in the pavement, the little mudguards on the backs of all three fenders got et up between the tires and fenders. I’ll have to try to fix them by Shoe-Gooing them into place so that they don’t wiggle around or get et up, again. Anyways, I now avoid those vibrations strips like the plague, and they weren’t such an issue today, anyways. I met an amazing person on the road, today, heading in the other direction: a Japanese actor/comedian by the name of Kanpei, who was on a non-stop ‘round the World marathon, as in, running! He had a support team consisting of a bicyclist who followed right behind him, and a car that would let them get ahead, and then catch up in spurts. He started in Okinawa, Japan, ran to Tokyo, then set sail in a two-man yacht to cross the Pacific Ocean. He landed in San Diego, and started running east, from there. They were amazed to see me, another Japanese doing a tour of America on trike (and that I couldn’t speak Japanese), but the car driver, Moogi(sp?), was bi-lingual, and could translate between us. They took a picture of me and Kanpei for their website (which is already up on it), and then we continued our separate ways. I tell you: no matter what amazing thing you may be doing, there’s always someone else doing something even MORE amazing. So far, I’ve met two couples on world tours, and now this guy. Oh yeah? Well, well, I’ll go around the USA THREE times, then. Eghhh! Maybe not. The mountains I noticed in the distance, yesterday, were the 12,600’ San Francisco peaks, and ‘yes,’ I had to climb over the pass just to the north of them. It wasn’t a “flatbed Ford,” but a nice looking blonde lady stopped to offer me a lift over those mountains in her red Chevy pickup. (I was, after all, not that far from Winslow, AZ ;-) I thanked her, but said that it would be cheating, and she looked like I might be a little crazy (practically everyone on this trip I meet, does), and took off. It wasn’t too bad; I probably made the summit in about 2.5 hour, and by god, if I didn’t lose another pair of sunglasses! After the summit, Flagstaff was an easy 10 mile downhill sled ride (except I had to squint hard to keep debris and bugs out of my eyes), and I made it right around mid-day. I stopped at a couple of stores to get some food and *another* pair of sunglasses ($14 - I’m going to have to start considering these as consumables!) I made the mistake of looking for the town library for free wi-fi, and spent a lot of time looking for and finding it, only to discover they didn’t have free wi-fi, but that there was some at the Flagstaff Mall, which I’d already passed several miles back So, I went back to Flagstaff Mall and asked Mall Security if they’d store my trike while I went into the mall.They wouldn’t, but I could park it near their entrance in a hidden alcove area close by, which I figured would have to be good enough. I took my laptop and power supply into mall’s food court, got a Chinese dinner ($8), and worked on email. I also called Connie L of the Yosemite Hang Gliding Assn and worked with her trying to figure out how to get my notebook to be able to connect to the YHGA web server, but no luck. I then got on a chat session with the web server provider to try to figure it out, but still no luck. There must be something wrong with my notebook that is preventing connection to the server – Demitol! If I can’t figure this out, I won’t be able to make good my promise to help the YHGA with their website, and helping to manage this year’s pilot sign-ups for flying Yosemite. It got late, again, and I took off from mall at dusk. While online, I figured out that to continue south and east on Hwy 89 out of Flagstaff, I’d have to do so by first taking a side road which connected with Hwy 89 further east from Flagstaff. I found the road, and began down it, and was also looking for stealth campsites along the way. It was completely dark, now, and the road was surprisingly downhill. Downhill in the dark isn’t as fun as it is during the day. I spotted a church, so I pulled in, but it didn’t look like anyone was there, so I parked to the side of it and set up camp amongst some pine trees, resolving to get up before dawn to get out of there before anyone would notice. I engaged the trike’s cloaking device, and bedded down for the night. Fortunately, it was fairly mild, calm, and dry.

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