Friday, May 1, 2015

Motocaching the Grand Canyon State - Day 5

After another good waffle and cereal breakfast I headed southwest on Interstate 40.  My first stop was at a Rest Stop called Texas Canyon where there was a cache.  It was certainly one of the most scenic Rest Stops I have seen (see picture).  This little stretch of Interstate was the only place in Arizona I saw this particular type of landscape.

Having come this far south in Arizona I knew I had to visit legendary Tombstone even though I already had several caches in Cochise County.  It was a beautiful morning and not too much wind which was an oddity for this trip.  From where I left on Highway 70 it was only about 25 miles down to Tombstone.  I picked up a couple of caches along the way, one of which was in a dove decoy.  Tombstone is an actual little town and only the center part is for tourists as you would expect.

From Tombstone I took Highway 82 west which intersects Highway 83 going north.  At the junction I was in Santa Cruz County, the smallest one in the state.  I got two caches for that county at the junction.  One was at an old windmill and the other was in a metal giraffe.  Heading north I was soon in Pima County and I picked up my two caches very soon.  One was off the highway a ways and after a short ride on a dirt road I had to hike up a hill in brushy country to find it.  This was a fun road to ride with some hills and curves.  The fun was soon to end.
It was only about 25 miles before I hit Interstate 10 going into Tucson.  Now the wind began in earnest.  This was open desert country and I was confronted with a gusty quarterly headwind which is worse than a straight on headwind.  I did stop for a couple of caches which took care of Pinal County.  After leaving the Tucson area Interstate 10 continues northwest and Interstate 8 heads due west toward Yuma.  After getting on I-8 the wind not only increased the temperature did too – a lot.  My bike has a thermometer so I was very aware of the heat.  It probably averaged around 95 all the way to Yuma but sometimes it got as high as 97.  I stopped a few times and gave the inside of my helmet a good dousing of water which served as air conditioning.  As bad as the heat was the wind was worse.  It would sometimes knock me sideways so I had to ride on the windward side of the lane to keep from being blown into the other lane.  This is one time I was not going faster than the cars and sometimes even the trucks.
I stopped in Gila Bend which is in Maricopa County for a couple of caches.  One (Nap Time) is where I took the picture of me with the cactus.  The other I just had to get because of its name – “Hey Gringos It's Pronounced HEEluh”.  It was located at the ball park.

 As I approached Yuma I began having trouble with my GPS.  It would be slower than molasses bringing up caches.  And sometimes it would just shut down.  The next day as I got further from Yuma it got better.  That leads me to believe the problem had something to do with a separate batch of caches I loaded in just for Yuma.  The two files with caches intermingled in the same area must have confused it.  I did have an extra unit in my luggage as I have had problems before.

I arrived around 5:00 pm at the Super 8 in Yuma.  I’ve stayed at a lot of Super 8’s and this was the worst.  It looked well kept but that’s where it ended.  First I noted the lobby computer had an out of order sign on it.  Upon questioning the clerk I found that someone had forgotten the password.  Next, I could not get in my room.  It had one of the horizontal levers released with a card.  It would release and turn but it would not open.  I noticed I wasn’t the first to beat on the door.  I got the clerk and discovered that on this particular door you had to turn the handle UP.  Of course, she didn’t bother to tell me that.  The next thing I noticed was that the ice machine was out of order but there was a cooler set out.  Unfortunately, the next morning when I needed the ice the cooler was empty.  I was able to get WIFI initially but after supper, no luck.  The TV could only pick up two channels.  The only reason that bothered me was because the WIFI was unavailable and I might have watched to have something to do.  About the only good thing was the pool.  The clerk apologized that it wasn’t heated but who wants a heated pool in 97 degree weather.  I did get a refreshing 10 minute swim.

After unloading I rode around the immediate area and got a few caches.  As I parked my bike for the evening I noted my daily mileage was 397.  I walked to a Carl, Jr.’s nearby and had a very good sandwich.  It was the first warm night of my trip and it was nice to just walk around a little outside.  The wind was still blowing so there was a nice breeze.  I did sleep well and the next morning, true to form, the breakfast was subpar.  Instead of having the usual Super 8 waffle iron with batter there were frozen waffles you had to put in a toaster.  I had to go across the street to the La Quinta to fill my water bladder with ice.[To be continued] M/W


Hallie said...

- Not too many tourists hanging out in Tombstone.
- That giraffe is pretty neat.
- Ugh...the desert is the WORST!
- You are hilarious with the selfie action photo in the pool.
- And finally, it's a Super 8...

Mike said...

It was still early in Tombstone on a Tuesday morning. But you're right, it was pretty deserted.