Dusty, Dishevelled and Still In the Desert
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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Where I stayed
Kingman KOA Kampground
Anyway, we were on the road by 6, and with a breeze the heat didn’t feel too bad. We crossed the Hoover Dam bypass, which unfortunately meant we missed seeing the spectacular structure itself. We think it was below us. The scenery was still pretty incredible though, rugged red mountains as far as the eye could see and anyway, the lady in the tourist office showed us a picture of the dam yesterday. Crossing the dam also meant that we entered Arizona, our third state already.
The scenery soon became less enchanting when we hit big climb after big climb and it took 3 hours to do 26 miles. We also started to get a bit concerned that we might have made an error by not buying more water the previous day. Fortunately just as we’d voiced our concerns we saw a sign to 'Rosie’s World Famous Den’ and heaved a sigh of relief. Rosie turned out to be an 85yr old motorcyclist. We didn’t meet her but did get interrogated by loads of other friendly bikers who thought we were nuts to be motorless in this heat. They had to tell us that the road was mostly gentle uphill to Kingman and culminated in a really big climb – great! One lady who lived near Death Valley said we were actually lucky it wasn’t hotter there as it can get up to 130 F
The next 40 miles can only be described as really rubbish cycling. The hard shoulder disappeared and although the majority of drivers gave us a wide berth, we could not relax for a second as the minority (blatently drunk on their way home from a weekend in Vegas) thought it was lovely to scrape past us at full speed despite the empty inside lane. Mikey made me cycle inside the white line and he took the outside, getting a crick in his neck from staring into his wing mirror so that he could tell me if I needed to hit the gravel.
We found another shop at 57 miles where we had a second lunch and downed some Gatorade to tackle the last 20. A Swiss couple cheered me up, giving us lots of encouragement and being really excited about what we were doing. They also said that it is cooler in Flagsatff – only 3 days to go!
At last we had a sight downhill and against the wind managed to reach the dizzying speed of 11 mph. The final hill nearly finished us off, but the thought of the swimming pool at the campsite spurred us on. Typically Kingsman seemed to have two parts and the part with the campsite was an unexpected extra 6 miles on. Checking directions at Maccy D’s, Mikey also realised he’d booked for us to stay in July, not June.
Never mind, the camp staff were incredibly welcoming and excited about our journey when we arrived
Sorry this page sounds grumpy, but the desert is making me a bit irate.* **With our new hats and my arm/hand covers I am mostly protected, but I still can’t do anything about my legs which are covered in heat rash. I’ve been designing a special leg shade, but don’t have the materials to construct it. It needs to go to Dragons Den, unfortunately it only really has a limited use so may not be a great money spinner.
*OK, I mean really irate.
** But I still love the trip
Miles Cycled: 83 horribly hot miles mostly uphill and into a strong headwind.