What a week!
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The day I left Payson, AZ, started with a great ride through the mountains. The formations along the way were awesome. Unfortunately, all the great photo ops were in places where the road was quite twisty (mucho fun), but with no shoulders or over looks where I could stop to take photos. You'll just have to visit the area yourself someday if you haven't already.
Midway through the ride I stopped in the very old town of Jerome. It's built on the side of a very steep mountain, so all of the "downtown" area is on one very twisty, hilly street with spectacular views out over the valley below.
After descending from 7500 feet to about 4500 feet, the road leveled off and straightened out for about eighty miles until I reached the small town of Ash Fork. At that point I planned to gas up and get on I-40 and head west to Henderson, NV, to meet a friend for dinner before he headed for Baja. Well, Mother Nature had other plans for me. Big time! By the time I got to Ash Fork it was so windy that I could barely keep my bike upright while at the gas pump. I went into the convenience store after the bike was fueled and other customers were talking with the clerks about 60 MPH winds on I-40, torrential rain the next day and twelve inches of snow the following day. Jeez!!!! There was really no choice but to pick up some canned soup, a bottle of wine and a package of cookies and get a room at the only motel in town, tuck the Harley under an overhang and hunker down. The good news was the motel was only $29/night. As it turned out, though, the room was tiny and old, no internet or food, and only two channels on the 17" antique TV. Three days of that was almost too much to bear.
Luckily I found a ride to a fun old restaurant, the Ranch House Cafe, twice during my stay to assuage my belly and cabin fever.
There was also a historical museum right next to the motel to keep me busy for a couple of hours one day.
Three days later the snow melted, the roads cleared and I jumped on the Harley and never looked back. Off to Carlsbad, CA, I went (480 miles in one day) to visit my daughter.
I left there today, driving through the beautiful Cuyamaca mountains on roads I frequented years ago when I lived in the area. I stopped in the quaint old mining town of Julian, now a tourist town, and spent the rest of the day riding through the Anza-Borrego and Mojave Deserts on my way to Las Vegas (No casinos or gambling for me, thank-you.) for the night.
Tomorrow morning I'll head for Zion National Park, just two and a half hours from Vegas. I'm really looking forward to Zion. I've always wanted to visit it, but haven't gotten around to it until now.