Friday, 29 April 2011

Day 10: Gallup to Flagstaff

"... Life's a journey, not a destination, And I just can't tell what tomorrow brings ..."

I had my MP3 player on random during part of the ride today, and this song (Amazing by Aerosmith) came on. For some reason, this line jumped out at me, as it epitomises this trip, and the reasons for doing it. Anyway, enough of that.....

The Aussies were leaving early this morning for their long trip to the Grand Canyon. I went down to wave them off, and got myself ready and packed up the bike.

So, ten days into the rip I am now past the halfway mark, and I've got packing down to a fine art, and (touch wood) know where everything is. My clothes go in the left pannier. The hardware; camera bag, chargers and leads, reference books and maps, all go in the right. The stuff that I'm likely to need for the day ahead, plus my laptop is in the tourpack on the back. Even my jacket pockets are worked out: lower right - wallet, safely zipped in.; lower left - bike keys, also zipped up; top right - the iGotU GPS tracker; and upper left, any other small items that I might need (ear plugs, pen, etc). This might sound like I've got a touch of OCD (maybe I have), but it means that everything is to hand, and there's no panics because I can't find my wallet, or whatever.

My first port of call today was to Wal-Mart - I desperately needed some new socks! These procured I set off, heading out of New Mexico, and into Arizona; state number 7 of my trip.
A last view of New Mexico as I left

I didn't know at the time, but I had gained another hour. Arizona's in the Moutain Time Zone, but they don't use daylight saving, so in winter they are the same time as the other states in that time zone, but in summer they are at the same time as California.

My plan today was to visit the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. The desert is very spectacular, and once again I was faced with numerous photo opportunities, most of which I took! It's very difficult to capture something of this scale in a photo, though. Here's a few that I took today:

In these parts, much of old Route 66 has been replaced by the Interstate, and so no longer exists. In this picture you can see trucks on the new Interstate in the background, but the line of telegraph poles marks the path of the original Route 66 roadway:

The petrified forest left me a bit cold, I've got to admit. I kind of imagined a forest of trees that had been turned to stone. What it is though is a load of logs strewn about that have been transformed into rock over many millions of years:
OK maybe I was expecting too much!

A wrong turn out of the Petrified Forest State park cost me about 40 miles of riding until I got back to where I should have been, but the roads were good and the scenery breathtaking, so it was no big deal.

Next stop on the journey today was the Jack Rabbit Trading Company. This has been a major stopping point on the Route for many years. Plenty have wondered how, when the Interstate was built, this little shop got its own entry/exit ramps: there really is nothing else around. It turns out that at that time it had just been bought by a retiring Senator - maybe he pulled a few strings?
Signs all along the way had been advertising the Jack Rabbit store, and now I had reached it!

A little detour took me through Winslow Arizona, as made famous by a lyric in an Eagles song (Take it Easy?) - "... standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona ....". There is a sign on that supposed corner, and many people have had their photo taken there. I'm not one of them though, not being a big Eagles fan.

Finally, before reaching Flagstaff I took a little detour through Winona (Don't forget Winona!), and then into Flagstaff from the north.

Wow, three song references in one blog post!
Tonight I shall check out Historic Downtown Flagstaff, as theres a brewery that's been recommended to me.
Tomorrow I'm going to look at a rather large hole in the ground.

Here's today's route and all of the photos from the day:

Today's Mileage: 260
Total Trip Mileage:2094

1 comment:

  1. Stayed at the very same Inn back in 2003 - didn't get to Rod's though! Rich Ormerod