Holiday in Arizona

Arizona has given me everything it’s got, it’s beaten me to my knees, but we have made it to California. I’ll never forget Arizona, the heat, mountains, lakes and lizards have been out of this world. What a unit the team have been today. Kerry led me out over the first 10k, pushing out of Kingman aiming for Oatman. Last night the sky was a dark red, “pink sky at night Shepard’s delight”, the saying goes, not in America. We were met with rain this morning as we pushed out, although it wasn’t massively unpleasant, it’s more like a luke warm shower. It persisted most of the morning as we tracked the 66 alongside the interstate. After 8 miles the old road swings under the interstate and starts to move towards Oatman on the originally named, Oatman Road. As we plodded along the road I could see the mountains off in the distance. We were in a basin so I knew at some point we were going over. A long straight road led to the foot of the mountains. The eclipse came and went, nothing much to see due to the heavy thunderstorm clouds sitting over us.

Helen ran with me as we progressed along the straight road towards the mountains, after a few miles Saj joined us, we all sweated together. At the foot of the climb the team went back in the RV Darren came out and we attacked the mountain. In perfect military time we plodded, left, right, left right…punching up the hill we moved. It started off gradual, we joked, maybe it’s an optical illusion and not really that steep. Our joke was short lived, the mountains gradual gradient turned very steep very fast. I knew it was steep as it went upon bends, the next corner snaking back way up the mountain above our heads. Motorcyclists passed us a mile up the climb, 25 minutes later I could still see them climbing up towards the summit. I love to look at the faces on the people that pass me, some take photos, some smile and others cheers and peep their horns.

Holiday in Arizona Photo Gallery

As Darren hit his 6 mile, he had hit the limit. Helen came out again as did Saj, kerry whooped and cheered from the van as the punishing heat and 3000 foot climb took its toll on my body. 30 miles done, 3000 feet climbed and my body was screaming but we were at the top.

We entered Oatman at lunch time. Oatman is sold in the guide blog as a ghost town. So we were a little surprised to see a town of hustle and bustle. A selling point for the town was the wild donkeys. A very strange site to see. I can’t understand why there are not more towns along the 66 that sell themselves as “Ghost Towns”. We have certainly been to many towns that were more isolated than Oatman. Oatmans other claim to fame was the fact the Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon in the towns hotel, it’s still set up exactly the same as it was then.

We pushed out of Oatman after dinner and pressed towards Needles. It was warm and only getting hotter. I passed a sign for a town called bullhead city, it helped me reminisce about my childhood spent catching bullheads at Beck Hall in Malham. The daydream allowed me to drift along for a few miles.

I wave at all the drivers that pass, some wave, some smile, those that do nothing are still given a smile but as they pass it’s usually met with a four letter expletive. One driver passed today, “you ok?” He asks, my mind is saying, “hell no, do I look ok? Please take me home, get me a cold drink and let me sleep for the next 3 days!” Unfortunately I give the standard “yup, I’m good, cheers pal”. I press on, as i do a Dodge Challenger passes me and swiftly climbs the hill in front of me and disappears into the haze of heat. I curse myself, “that’s why they invented the motor car you flipping dickhead”. I plod on.

We crossed a bridge tonight and the state line was in the middle of the river, we are in our last state for the adventure. We are close. As we enter California the palm trees have started, I can tell just by the smell we are some where different. The palm trees have a certain smell, the landscape has changed slightly.

Back on the bike tomorrow. So close now I can feel it. If you can help me get to 6000! Let’s go people, let’s see what you’ve got! #6000likes #imsweating #runhard #cyclehard #epic

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