Sunday, September 1st The whole family arrived home in the morning and I got to meet Bennett. I tried to tell him about my cool blog, but he didn’t seem too interested. It makes me happy to think that I will be a strange little anecdote connected to the story of his birth. They were so gracious to let me stick around during this special time for their family. Cale let me take his YZ250 for a spin and we talked about riding Baja someday. I definitely wouldn’t take much convincing! I left their house with some more fond memories, some extra cash in my wallet, a nice heat-wicking shirt and one of the best stickers I’ve received: Thank you for everything, Cale, Jill and family! Catalina, a little community just north of Tucson, was set to be song place 86 of 92. Some have posited that the official “Catalina” should be the island off of Southern California. While it might be referred to as “Catalina” by locals, it is properly known as “Santa Catalina Island.” I have no second thoughts about this selection. The ride south was hot, but still very pleasant. I just love the scenery of the Sonora Desert. There are many little trails which run parallel to the highway. I had fun exploring these. This was the final day for the street tire that I’ve had on the rear since Ecuador. When the mechanic there told me he thought I could get 10,000 miles from it I was skeptical. In reality it lasted 15,000, an incredible number for a rear tire loaded like this one is. (It's a Pirelli Night Dragon, in case you were curious.) Though it had served me well, it had no traction by this point. Perhaps predictably, I got myself stuck in one of the sandy washes. I totally deserved it. This actually ended up being about a 40 minute ordeal of pushing, grunting, examining and lamenting beneath the glaring Arizona sun. I eventually needed to tip Annie over to get her rotated and pointed back in the way I came. I was relieved…and a little disappointed….when I finally got out. (I think the heat had made its way into my brain by then!) I reached the community of Oro Valley, prepared to make another new friend. An ADV'r named John (@Drybones around here) had invited me to take up residence at his abode. I also used his address for shipping and I was glad to see a new tire waiting for me. Upon pulling into his garage, I was thrilled to meet one of Annie’s sister’s. A DCT version of the NC700X named “Solie.” He let me take it for a spin a couple of days later. It was hard to know what to do with my left hand while accelerating. John is a former Navy pilot and worked for years as an engineer at a nuclear plant. It took some time for me to get used to not being the most interesting person in the room.