Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yuma to Tucson, oh my!

We woke this morning at the lovely Days Inn, Yuma. After our first full day of riding, Paul and I pretty much slept like the dead.

After packing and showering, we popped over to a local diner called Arnies. Despite somehow resisting the biscuits and gravy (which has always been like crack to Paul), we had breakfast, checked out of our hotel, and hit the road.

The first hour or so was pretty uneventful. The only way East from Yuma was along Interstate 8, so it was wide open spaces and a numbingly straight road for quite a while. Then we finally found the turnoff for "Painted Rocks" National Park.

Since the maps call out the mountain range as being the "Painted Rock Mountains", I assumed it was just a little hiking trail along the base. It turns out that it literally a pile of painted rocks, painted by ancient American Indians thousands of years ago.

I couldn't help but think that these paintings resembled ancient refrigerator art. They were very cool, but not much more sophisticated than Zach or Zoe did at age four. Lots of stick figure people, snakes and the like.

Being 101 degrees without any shade, we took a look around, snapped lots of pictures, and got on our merry way. This time we got onto a far more interesting country road called Highway 58.

As we drove down this road, with its one lane in each direction, we were over flown by lots of military jets spinning about in the sky. Turns out that here in the middle of nowhere is Ajo Air Force base, and the guys were out having a great time. Good thing there isn't a lot of traffic because I can imagine a lot of people look up, go "oooh, ahhhh" and could easily hit the car in front of them if they are not careful!

This brings up a wacky thing I noticed. Every time we turned around, there was another border patrol truck, car or Hummer. And we drove through at least three Border Patrol check points. If illegal aliens or Osama Bin Laden decide to drive through Arizona, I'm certain we'll catch them.

Soon we've made our way to "Why, AZ".

After seeing "Why", I suspect that someone named it after a fork in the road, and subsequent people misspelled it. Either that, or someone moved there, told his friends and family, and they all said "Why?!?!

Unfortunately for us, there is nothing in Why other than a convenience store, that happened to be out of water. So we load up on sugar water and hope that "Sell, AZ" will be more accommodating.

It wasn't.

Don't get me wrong, I love desert scenery, and that's a lot of why I love motorcycle riding through the Southwest. However, Sell isn't much to write home about. We found a super market called "Basha's" and found a fully loaded deli counter. But since we still had hopes and dreams of finding a late lunch, if not an early dinner, we settled for a couple of corn dogs out in the 101 degree heat.
Next stop Tucson. Or so we thought.

About twenty five miles outside of Sell, Paul's bike starts making a frightful noise. His back tire has blown out and it's screaming like a banshee! We pull over to see what we can do. Yup. It's flat.

Here we are, the second day in a row that we're standing on the side of the road in the middle of the desert, hoping that the Gods of motorcycle maintenance will hear our prayers. Paul pulls out his can of "Fill your tire with goo" and tries to fix his flat.

Try being the operative word. The can says "Drive around, it will expand. Really. Trust us."

Never trust a can.

Paul is not only driving around on a flat tire, but he's also running out of gas. Paul being the trusting soul he is, still believes that the can of "Fill your tire with goo" would never lie to us, and insists on driving it a bit further. Lying can of goo!

My GPS tells me that we're about ten miles from a gas station, so Paul puts the last of the tire goo, along with what compressed air he's brought with him, and we head down the road. Driving REALLY slowly with our hazard lights on for ten miles, we make it to the station.Hey, they have more "Fill your tire with goo" cans. Maybe the first one was a big fat liar, but the ones here are the honest, trustworthy ones that Paul believes in.


However, we are now in the land of modern communication, so I get on my Treo and find us a motorcycle repair shop, who in turn puts us in contact with a motorcycle towing company.

Which brings us to here and now. We've waited the requisite two hours for the two truck and I've used the time to write this blog, download our pictures, and generally reminisce about our day. Hey, it's finally arrived!

[Time elapses...]

The tow truck brought us to the hotel and we finally checked in. You know you're hungry when the idea of "The Waffle House" sounds appealing to you! We've both had our fill of waffles and now we've come to the end of another exciting day on the road. Tomorrow, the exciting world of new tires!

- Peter

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