After a tiring journey that included a pleasant interlude at the Piano Bar in O'Hare Airport. I got to Phoenix, sweltered a bit in my bike gear until I reached my friend's house.
The next morning my bike turned up from Tucson, Thelma, my R80GS who has been in exile for quite a while.
In the shade of the garage, I got straight down to work, servicing and doing the usual checks.
Everything spick and span, within 48 hours I was out on the road and not before time too
Yep folks, it was 100 degrees as I pulled out of town, the words "Mad dogs and Englishmen" ran through my head as I turned Thelma northwards and towards the promised cool of the hills.
Payson was my first stop for fuel and a bit of shade. The Harley riders looked at me a bit oddly, but I'm used to that, this time mainly due to my full bike gear, gloves and helmet. Naturally they were in T-shirts, bare-headed and looking cool. I got them to talk to me, turned out they were from Chicago, when I mentioned I was on my way there they did a double-take. They then confessed their bikes were being trucked back up there, leaving tomorrow. As I stood there sweating in the heat, I must confess to hearing a little voice in my head saying "Take Thelma, take Thelma", ahead I had almost 2000 miles to ride in the next four days and I had no idea when it was going to get cooler.
It took a strong dose of self-control to cheerily say "see you on the road", and ride out of the petrol station.
I headed towards New Mexico, it got cooler, at Low Show or was it Show Low, either name could have applied around here from what I'd seen having already been past the Wild Women Saloon, I slowed down to get a look, but thought it would be best not to stop at a saloon, I've sen enough westerns in my time.
On to Show Low where the staff in the petrol station enjoyed the sight of me searching through the fridge for something to eat, finally selecting something and then removing the chicken part out of a chicken cheeseburger and giving it to a dog before heating the rest of it in a microwave and eating it. I guess vegetarianism has yet to reach this neck of the woods.
Time was passing, as I reached the Narrows in New Mexico having regretfully realised I'd passed the only sign to Pie Town without stopping to take a photo of it...when will I learn? I ask myself.
here's some hills.
I'm heading towards Albuquerque, keen to get there before dark.
Someone stood by the side of the road and pointed at the ground as I went past.
OK for all the Yanks out there...what the hell does that mean??????