Williams Roaders Make It To Williams

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Canyon Motel and RV Park

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We decided to lie in until 6 this morning as the air was distinctly cooler last night and we only had 42 miles to ride today. 6 became 7 in Mikey's case as he was very, very sleepy. I like the cool air in the morning too much and got up anyway and started packing and fixing punctures. I even managed to work the stove and served Mikey lovely coffee in the tent – despite the hassle, our mini cafetiere* is one luxury we couldn’t do without. *(How do you spell that? Spell check only comes up with 'cafeteria’)

On the road at 8.30 it was hot, although not ridiculous, however it was UPHILL! I feel like we’ve been going uphill for days and never get our rewards. We had 14 miles of the historic Route 66 to follow before we had to get back on the highway and so, despite the gradient, this made for a relaxing start to the day. By 10 we were ready for the first round of the four sandwiches I had prepared for us today. By 11.15 we’d completed half of our 42 miles and hit our cold drink stop of the day – Ash Forks. This seemed to be another tiny town cashing in on the Route 66 tourist trade, and we had a relaxing stop downing icy cokes and chatting to some friendly folk from Alabama. For the first time today we were mistaken for Germans and someone tried to have a completely incomprehensible conversation with us in the European Language we have absolutely no grasp of whatsoever.

We were hoping for a straight forward 20 miles to Williams, but 2 miles in we saw the dreaded sign "Trucks keep right for 18 miles".  For us this means 18 miles of uphill. A third ‘slow’ lane appeared and we prepared for the inevitable slog. It wasn’t great, but at least we didn’t have any punctures. Also for the first time since LA we saw clouds! This was very exciting and a couple even went over the sun for a few minutes and gave us some respite. It has been very strange to be in a place where the weather forecast proclaims 0% chance of rainfall. The landscape has also changed and we are now surrounded by pine trees.

Although at an altitude of 5600ft, Williams is a great little town and despite our fatigue we seriously perked up when we saw the Grand Canyon Train. After the obligatory reviving mango and pineapple frozen smoothie in Maccy D’s we headed straight to the Tourist Info centre who packed us off to the train station to buy tickets for tomorrow’s outing to one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

That done we headed out and found this lovely campsite. The tourist office lady wanted us to camp for free in the woods, but we said that’s not for us, we need a pool, showers and internet. We haven’t actually been showering recently, deciding that swimming in our cycling gear kills two birds with one stone. Today however, in honour of our day off tomorrow, we went the whole hog and I finally took my plaits out after 4 days. I looked like I’d had a mad 80’s style perm.  

The weather is so much cooler here, and we lazed around outside the tent after our swim and showers without me getting stroppy about the sun still being too hot. I’ve now even got a long-sleeved top on which is making me very happy. We’d better go to sleep so that we don’t miss a moment of the epic train journey tomorrow.

Miles Cycled:  42 and still mostly uphill!!!! (But at least no punctures)
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Jojo on

Can't wait to hear about the Grand Canyon - but can you be a bit kind to those of us who suffer vertigo and don't stand too near the edge! Just as you reach Williams another two are almost preparing to leave - looks as if EG&O could be on the move (not far though!)
LOL Jojo

triciagick on

Just off to bed after bridge with Jane, Les and Fiona. You should be on the train or in the canyon bynow and I really envy you - of course you do deserve it though. Dan's coming round tomorrow night - great Haven't seen him for two weeks!! Keep on going and keep having fun - Wimbledon's getting fun - hope you catch some of it. Tons of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Alan on

Amazing to read the talk of the trip now in more celement climes perhaps due mainly to the hight,.

Just back from the sailing club having had deep discussions with Geof about his Jib rotastay thet has the habit of disconecting at the top leaving the foresail lying on the deck, prbabably worrying when he sails to the west country. He decided to anchor away from the quay tonight so no chance of Mum's and I having breakfast on board. Such is life.

Ben Clark - member of BSC at club - ur sort of age perhaps younger - sails swan 55 and Contessa 32 at BSC tonight - seems competant as a seaman - any idea who he is ?

Keep writng so enthusiasitically it really is infectious

Best all Alan

Jojo on

How long are you going to keep us in suspense over Arazona's Big Hole?!!!

caroline on

Lovely to read your brilliant stories as usual and really glad to hear you're now a little cooler!! I was worried about sun stroke! AND! I've been reading a good thriller about a crazy man in Death Valley right at the time when you were writing about it!!! Sounded just like in the book, without the crazy man thank god.....
Polly, you were correct about cafetiere and I'm really glad you still have some luxury!
Keep up the writing and take care of yourselves.
Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxx

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