Well, that crossing of the big desert-area between Sierra Nevada and the Colorado-plateau was quite hot. And the landscape is so alien to a german perspective. It’s the prototype of the road-movie-setup. One couldn’t complain about cold, foggy weather or too much traffic neither. The most of the time one has to drink water. The dry-out-speed is amazing. Amount of water per day: at least two gallons. Packed with all that heavy water my bike behaves like a sunken ship again. But it is a good feeling to be sure to have enough water for the next couple of dozen miles to the next fountain.
The campground-grid is not too narrow and would have caused to much compromising on my routing. After I reassured myself that the surrounding desert is public land I started to just ride until dusk or exhaustion and then pitch my tent just a few yards off the road. Since the colour of my tent is “sand” and the surrounding vegetation has kind of the same shape I was not very concerned about getting discovered by someone.
Those four nights that I camped like that so far were very special to me. Total Silence during night. Crystal-clear milkyway. The thrill to be spottet by someone or to be visited by coyotes, rattlesnakes, tarantulas or whatnot. I enjoyed it and it was very handy again to have my stove for a good, warm dinner in the middle of nowhere. And 2 or 3 clean-wipes are a surprisingly good substitution for a shower – even after three days 😉
Days become shorter now. To avoid the heat and to be able to make some progress before dusk I started the desert-days more early – hitting the road before sunrise like in South-Dakota a few weeks ago.
It was not my intention but somehow I find myself travelling along Route 66 now.
The old Route 66 sometimes goes along the new I-40 – but more often the new I-40 substitutes the 66 what makes me riding on the freeway then. Riding on the shoulder of the freeway means a lot of broken truck-tires with all their small wires waiting for diving into my Schwalbe Marathons. I never had more punctures than on I-40 between Seligman and Flagstaff … and patching inner-tubes on a freeway-shoulder because you already used your three spare-tubes that day is not as much fun as it sounds like. Anyway, I bought one of those massive anti-flat-tire-inlays now. Hope that’s gonna work.
If you like dry, warm, sunny weather with the smell of pines in the air and cool nights, you should be in Flagstaff (7,300 ft) during september 🙂 hooweeee!
What else? Everybody is awaiting the mid-term-elections in november. School started again – the yellow busses are back on road.