Day 73 – Casa Grande, AZ to Gila Bend, AZ – 61 miles

November 10, 2009

This morning I awoke before my alarm went off. I laid in bed until a little after six, then decided to get up. It would be light soon, and I wanted to be out of that spot before that happened. I went to a fast food joint to wash up, and then I made a grocery store stop. I had already eaten a bunch of other things. But I really wanted yogurt, as was disappointed that there was none in sight. I purchased rice pudding instead. It’s for breakfast now!

I was on my side road, route 84, by eight. This would dump out on interstate 8. I encountered a little headwind pick up that would come and go all day. It was welcome, actually, as it kept the sun from seeming too hot.

One thing that I appreciate about the interstate traveling in Arizona versus the side roads is that the interstate does not have the heavy amount of dry dirt. Even though I tend to breathe through my nose in general, it was still intense, and I needed to blow my nose frequently.

When my road ended and I was about to merge onto the intestate, I saw a gas station and crossed over to it. I ate my lunch and talked to a small gathering of people. It felt like story hour for an older crowd. The clerk was younger and nice, and offered me free bread. I would have accepted it, but I had just purchased bread, so I turned it down. Everyone was really friendly, but I got pretty tired of the one old dude who had a few screws loose who said “if I had a penny for every mile I’ve ridden on a bike, I’d be a millionaire” about twenty times.

That guy grated my nerves for other reasons, namely his sexism and so on. I’m a little tired of hearing that reaction, too. “You couldn’t get a man to go with you?” Oh, weird old man, I tried so hard, but all men everywhere were busy. They have to make the money to support me, so how can they possibly take time off for three months and go on a bike trip with me?

So here’s a rant inspired by this man. I don’t know what it is with some people who want to talk about how dangerous people are and how easy it is for a girl all by her lonesome to get killed and/or raped. A girl who is with people can be killed, a man by himself can be killed, groups of people can be killed, all very easily. Everyone is at risk of being killed all the time. If someone wanted to kill me, they were going to do it regardless of whether I am on a bike or walking down a street or what have you. For goodness sakes, if this was what was on my mind, I’d never do anything ever. So many people talk about this it exhausts me. When some people tell me “but aren’t you scared of all the dangerous people,” my automatic response is, “like yourself? Should I be afraid of you?” Usually that gets a chuckle or at least shuts them up. I have zero problem answering the dozens of questions I have been asked that are identical, because they satisfy general curiosity, but this one does get old pretty quick.

Okay, rant complete. The rest of my ride on the interstate was mostly uneventful. I am starting to get excited that I am getting closer to finishing. When I see signs that say “San Diego, 297 miles,” it becomes more real to me. I am excited, to be sure, but I go through periods of wishing that I could keep going. But, it passes. When I am done with this trip, I can start planning for my next!

Bopping to music like That One Guy, who is an amazing solo artist everyone should at least check out for a minute (every sound you hear in all his songs are all played by him), I reached Gila Bend much earlier than I thought I would. I found my camping spot without trouble, so off to the library I went. Starting to take care of real life things again means I ought to spend more time online.

I went to the spot I had decided to camp at, and did not realize I would have to push my bike through sand to get there. The ground looked pretty solid from the road when I drove by. Oh, well. Sometimes you have to work for a place to rest. I cooked some pasta with zucchini (cheaper in season!) and ate really tasty dark chocolate with orange peels. I went to bed with knowledge that life is still so good!

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2 Responses to “Day 73 – Casa Grande, AZ to Gila Bend, AZ – 61 miles”

  1. Jenn Says:

    Life is great! We are so fortunate to get to experience things like cross country bike trips and having kids. When you made the “life is good” statement it made me think of how truly happy we can be.

  2. Jonas Says:

    When I was in the high desert over the summer I kept thinking about how Dr. Seuss must have been influenced by the desert scenery in the American southwest. His landscapes and trees and shrubs look just like stuff in the desert. I couldn’t find anything about Dr. Seuss and the American southwest on the internet, but it turns out he was heavily influenced by George Herriman, a cartoonist who lived in Coconino County, Arizona, and based his comic strip, Krazy Kat, in that county. It is said that Dr. Seuss borrowed huge parts of his landscape aesthetic from Herriman. So there’s that.


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