|Distance||105.09 kms||65.24 miles|
|Climbed||1,011 meters||3,317 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||6.27||-|
|Avg speed||10.4 kph||-|
|Distance||25,059.95 kms||15,571.56 miles|
|Climbed||263,533 meters||864,610 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,774.83||-|
Friday, April 4th, 2014
The 18 hundred-odd feet of climbing that start the day have me arriving in Williams completely famished. I make straight for the nearest café that’s not a chain where I have breakfast with a local guy named Robert. We talk a lot about Costa Rica because he is seriously considering retiring there, he’s already read a book on how to do it. Nice to get some extended human interaction along with my corned beef hash and eggs.
I have a bunch of errands to run in Williams: food shopping, internet, finding some white gas, and picking up a few other odds and ends I’m running out of. I food shop at Safeway. At checkout they ask me if I have their club card, I ask the cashier if I can use hers (usually that works) but she says no. These things annoy me, I don’t like to be punished just because I’m from somewhere else… I can’t possibly have a store card for every single super market chain in the United States! I ask the guy in line behind me if I can use his: done. It’s 5 bucks cheaper as a result. 5 dollars on a bill that’s only 35 to begin with is a significant amount. I stop in an outdoor store for fuel, Coleman Fuel costs 7.99 a quart! That's 24 bucks a gallon! At those prices I'll go back to burning unleaded... I find more reasonably priced white gas at a hardware store, then I’m off on the road that leads to the Grand Canyon. I’ve got the wind hitting me from the west while I ride due north so it doesn’t go all that fast even though there are some big descents. The landscape is back to grasslands for a good stretch.
Around 4:30 I realize that I’m not going to get into the Grand Canyon park until late. I’ve got my eye out for camping spots when the landscape gets back to trees. I come upon a gravel Forest Service road that looks perfect; even better, 100 meters in it says “camping allowed past this point”! Am I dreaming? Allowed? Yes! I ride for a while on some dirt roads until I find a nice secluded spot that already has a fire ring (no use dotting the landscape with another one). I make what is perhaps the easiest fire of my life, all the wood is just sitting around and it lights up with nothing but some grass and a lighter. I cook dinner on the fire, it comes out with a nice smoky flavor. An evening around the campfire…
Later in the tent I hear coyotes crying not too far away. 10 minutes later I realized there is something, multiple somethings, creeping around my tent. That'll get your blood pumping. I'm glad I put all my food and trash up a tree. They leave after a few minutes and the next time I hear them wail they are a good distance away. Tough to get to sleep after that adrenaline rush...