Leaving town

Summer trip, Part 2

The two bikes in Fountain Hills:

Bikes in FH, small

Hal and I had planned to leave town around 3 p.m. I packed the bike about 1 o’clock, fidgeted, put on my traveling clothes, sat in the sewing room pinning a rolled hem while I checked the phone every five seconds for Hal’s text message. Finally, I got it, “Leaving. Gotta get to bike and gear up.” And, as I put on my own riding gear, “Going to Colorado!” Thank goodness, we were escaping at last! 3:19 p.m. – I rolled out of the neighborhood, the official start time of my long-awaited vacation!

As I left the neighborhood and got on the main escape route, people driving their cars were looking at me like I was absolutely crazy. What, am I on fire? I thought. (I wasn’t) Yes, I was riding a fully-loaded touring bike, and it was very hot. My bike’s dashboard showed that it was 114° F. So what, I had ridden in worse, and in an hour or so I would be in cooler temperatures. Riding through town in traffic and heat was a small price to pay for all the lovely riding that I was sure lay ahead in the next 12 days.

Hal and I met in Fountain Hills, he was on his 1997 BMW R1100RS, and we fueled up for the first time of the trip. Hal had a moment of panic when he couldn’t find his ScalaRider component, the piece that allows us to talk to each other as we ride. I held my breath as he soon found it in his backpack. At last we left the gas station behind. This was it, the beginning of our trip!

As we climbed out of Phoenix, by the time we reached Sunflower the temperature had dropped to 102°F., and by the time we got to Forest Lakes at 7700 feet elevation, the temperature had come down to 77° F. However, it went back up to almost 90° where we were staying the first night. Hey, it was still better than 114°.

We walked to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, both of us starting to calm down and leave our “real lives” behind. I don’t know why, but I never seem to sleep very well while on the road. I hoped that would change for this trip, though, because I hadn’t had any relaxation since summer break started. At this point, I was just happy to be on my way to Colorado!

Tomorrow: Durango, CO


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