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Oct 09

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From South to North

This is where I start losing count.  I think it is day five, but …  It was great to sleep at the hotel last night.  Not only was the bed warm, spacious, and soft,  I did not have to pack tent, and all the sleeping stuff in the morning.  This meat that I was ready to go within 30 minutes.  I left Rio Rico by 6:45 am and headed North, and North West for a while, towards Tucson.  A good part of the morning was spent just marveling at the wonderful expanse of the desert, and particularly the saguaros. While for many, they are pretty much a spiny, giant, green trident stuck in the ground, to me they offer a seemingly endless variety of shapes and sizes.  Moreover, the also provide refuge to many a creature, especially pigmy owls, which build nests in the cactus itself.
For a couple of days I have been annoyed by a chatter that seems to come from the front end of the bike.  It is especially pronounced at speeds adobe 68 mph.  It bothers me because it adds vibration to the handlebars, and that makes me tired sooner. So, pulling out my cell phone at a stop, I looked up BMW dealerships in the area.  It just so happened [really?] that there was a dealership in Chandler, and it would only take me 4 miles off course.  My suspicion was that since a new front tired was mounted just a couple of weeks ago, they had messed up the wheel balancing job.
I rolled in to the service department of the Victory BMW dealers in Chandler.  I explained the issue and they quickly offered to check the balance.  While waiting they wondered if this had just started happening as I started the trip.  I really could not tell.  Soon they came back from the shop and said the rim balanced checked perfectly.  However, they suggested I stiffen the rear suspension since the added weight of the luggage and camping gear could mess the feel up.  Final bill? $10.00  WOW! This is the first time I leave a Beamer dealership with a $10 charge.  However, more importantly, the young crew started asking questions about the journey and all the stuff about 2endslavery written on the bike.  Divine appointment!  I was able to share with them the mission of the trip.  They also allowed me to leave brochures in the waiting area of the service department so that others can become aware, and they took one with them to study.  Awesome again.
From Chandler it was off to Mesa and from there the real treat started.  The road between Mesa and Payson, and especially between Payson and Winslow is absolutely majestic.  You climb on a highway surrounded by red rocks, and encrusted with saguaros for what seems an eternity.  The saguaros then disappear and conifers become dominant.  You spend most of this section crossing the Tonto and then the Coconino forests. Under the deep blue skies, you climb roads, while the temperatures drop as you reach altitudes of over 7,200 feet.  The road climbs and drops, and climbs again, as sweeping curves make you angle the bike in sweet delight.  What glory.
And then, all of the sudden, the pines disappear, and at 5,500 feet above sea level, it all gets replaces by pale yellow grasses and spiny shrub.  A bit later, Winslow comes into view, and to the East, the Homolovi State park.  Here is where I camp tonight.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jaderiderjourneys.com/2endslavery/2013/10/09/from-south-to-north/

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