A bitterly cold morning brought me to life at Picacho Peak state park. At night when you go to sleep you have a choice. Keep your pants and shirt on to combat the warmth or take them off and rely solely on the sleeping bag. The previous night it wasn’t that cold, so I just slept in my britches. That’s fine, if it’s not to cold when you wake up, but when you wake up in a tent and it’s a harsh 20 degrees out and you have to head for the john, then putting those frozen pants and shirts on become quite a delima. Trust me, you don’t want to crawl out of the warmth of that bag for nothing. It had to be done though, soon the urge to take a wizz overpowered the fear of the cold clothes. While I was at it and freezing my hind end off, I gathered everything needed to take a hot shower in the bathhouse. After the shower, I came out of there bundled up like an eskimo and ready for camp packing battle. By that time though, the sun was up over the eastern peaks and the temp must have already risen 10 degrees. The only thing left to do was pack up and hit the road. Sounds easy, right? Well it wasn’t so easy since I had every last desert foul hounding me the whole time. They were looking for breakfast and weren’t scared of me at all. I’d take something out of the tent and walk it to the picnic table or the bike and as I’d head back to the tent they would pounce on my gear, searching for anything that they could eat. At first it was a bit amusing until one of those little orange eyed, egg laying, bastards jumped up on my brand new camera and shit right on the ISO button. If he wasn’t so fast I was going to Ozzy Osbourne his ass. Eventually they realized that they weren’t getting anything from me so they disappeared into other parts of the park.
Finally all packed up, I hit the road toward Phoenix. Yesterday I posted some pics and thought that Phoenix was in the distance. I was wrong. Once I left the park and hopped on 10 west, I saw a sign stating “Phoenix 73”. I guess all of that light pollution came from a few towns in between the park and Phoenix. Speaking of Arizona’s largest city, I did manage to ride right downtown with the goal of getting a few pics. It just wasn’t meant to be though. No matter where I went downtown, I would stop and think about pulling my camera out to take a picture, and I’d look around and there were always sketchy looking people scoping me out. Every last bus stop had a homeless person sleeping on the bench while people waiting on the bus had to stand near by. I thought that perhaps when I got back onto 10 west I could pull over for a second and get a shot. That turned out to be to dangerous, as the shoulders weren’t all that wide and there was a stucco wall lining the whole stretch of interstate around the city. Like me, if anyone wants to see what Phoenix looks like, I guess we’ll have to Google it. Defeated from my picture taking mission, I headed off in search of 60 west.
60 west would take me to the towns of Wickenburg and Prescott. Both are mentioned in the book 1000 places to see before you die. By the time I got to Wickenburg I was running out of daylight, so I reviewed the book again and decided to pick which town seemed more interesting and stay there. Prescott got the vote. That meant I’d have another 50 miles to ride north before I could call it a day. Before I left Wickenburg I ran across a nice little car wash and gave the Goose its first shower since Albe Marle, North Carolina. In some strange way I think it was grateful. Next, I was off officially to Prescott. The ride there turned out phenomenal! I had no idea that I’d get into alpine like mountain country and have 30 miles of some of the tightest twisty turns I ever ridden. If you are ever in this part of the country on a motorcycle, do not miss the stretch of 89 north (or south) from Wickenburg to Prescott. The only thing that stopped me and the Goose from destroying every last corner was the awesome beauty of the region. Cacti soon disappeared and evergreens took center stage. Great, great ride. It gave that flat patch, on my rear tire a breather.
I arrived in the, mile high plus Prescott, after dark and did a lap around town before opting to get a room. By that time the temp was in the low 30s and camping in the nearby national forest was possible, although I didn’t really want to camp somewhere with no utilities in that sort of weather. (call me a wussy, I don’t mind) I found a very reasonable room and made my way downtown. Prescott is also known as Arizona’s Christmas city. The lights downtown were spectacular! Easily the most colorfully decorated town square that I’ve seen. I had a hard time getting even my new camera to do it justice. I stopped in a place called Moctezumas for a bite to eat and a brew. After that I made the short but intensely cold ride back to the room. Was a good day!