Sunday, January 13, 2013

P4W2 Day 7 Apache Jxn. - Roosevelt, AZ 60 miles

Today was a tough day.  I paid the price for taking
the scenic, less traveled, safer route eastward out of Apache Junction.  Hill after hill greeted me, including two five mile climbs at 7 percent.  The one at the end of the day was unrelenting, but the road was smooth, wide, and totally without traffic.  I watched in the rear view mirror
as the vast Roosevelt Reservoir faded in the distance both behind me and below me, with lovely Saguaro-lined mountains rising in
all directions around me, and the sliver moon setting in the west. Very pretty.

The flip side to the many hills and 20 miles of bumpy dirt roads today was that the scenery was outstanding.  Tiny, clear desert streams
fell through some of the deepest, most shaded canyons, where cottonwood trees still clung to some of their golden leaves.  The skies were brilliantly clear and the breezes light.  And the
weekend drivers that passed were all friendly.  A group from Canada made a donation to OWLS right on the mountain roadside!  They had stopped to see if I was OK.  I told them I was a
downhill-ophobe and was worried my nonstop braking was overheating my rims.

There were several nice bird sightings today.  Of this species I recognize, I saw curved billed thrashers (a very nice melody), two Harris hawks perched atop a Saguaro cactus, and - you guessed it - my first roadrunner of the trip.

Camping out at 4000 feet of elevation tonight and temps at 8 PM are already well below freezing.
There will be some serious frost on the cactus.


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