Last night, we joined Judi and Bob at their temple for Friday night Shabbat services with Rabbi Mindie and it was wonderful. Rabbi Mindie invited us up to speak about our trip, which was quite the honor! Thank you Rabbi!
The weather forecast was looking mean and unforgiving today. With little lightening bolts filling our weather app screen, we decided it would be the safest option to stay inside, especially since our route was along the interstate. Of course, the majority of the day ended up being beautiful, with the sun peaking through the clouds. Judi and Bob were so kind to let us spend yet another night at their house and Judi showed us all around Flagstaff. This included a hike into Walnut Canyon, where she volunteers every Thursday, a walk around downtown Flagstaff, a yummy Thai restaurant, and a walk through the local museum. It was so fun to have time to see the area that we were in, and we came home and all napped before a delicious dinner. We got into bed early, hoping the weather would be better the next morning!
This morning, we knew we couldn’t spend time rolling around bed, debating whether or not to get on our bikes. We just had to do it. So we hopped out of bed and put our biking clothes on, packed up, and scarfed down some cereal. We gave big hugs to Judi, and turned out of the driveway. What a bunch of wonderful days it had been together! As we were biking up a three mile hill to I-40 (piece of cake), the sky was looking friendly. Not a storm cloud in sight. Knowing that a downpour was coming at noon in our destination, Williams, we took very few breaks — one being a Subway break — and put the pedal to the metal. After riding on a long stretch of bumpy and unpaved shoulder, we finally made it to Williams!
We couldn’t believe that we had biked over 40 miles by 11:15 AM — must be our new record. And it was time to hitchhike. Bob, who was just hosting us, had encouraged us to get from Flagstaff to Kingman in one day. He said the towns after Williams were unsafe. We took his advice — he works for search and rescue, after all! — and our safety is the most important. We decided the best plan would be to ride to Williams and get a ride to Kingman, where we had arranged a place to stay through Couchsurfing.
To get a ride all the way to Kingman, we thought we had better find the perfect gas station, which is the happening spot for westbound trucks. After biking and hanging out at a few, we finally found that Loves truck stop was the place to be. We got a bit wet in the rain, but only had to bike in it for a mile, so we lucked out. It’s crazy that we have yet to wear our rain pants (let’s not jinx these last few days)! As we stood outside Loves, we took turns running up to different trucks that rolled in to fill up on gas. An 18-wheeler truck driver stood next to us and had a ball pointing out different truck drivers for us to talk to. It was like having our very own hitch hiking agent.
After about 15 minutes, we met Spencer. Spencer was driving from Virginia to LA to move his daughter back home. Initially he told us he didn’t have space, but he actually came back up to us later and told us that, on second thought, he would be happy to make room and take us. We couldn’t believe our luck. He reorganized his truck, helped us lift our bikes in and actually drove us all the way to Lea’s house, our Couchsurfing host. We loved his old southern accent and enjoyed getting to know him in the car. Our hitchhiking agent actually drove by us in his semi and we all waved and laughed.
Lea greeted us at her front gate and showed us around after we thanked Spencer. We rested for a bit and decided to check out a cafe and get some tea while working on our route. Lea told us the next town we were planning on going to was unsafe. We felt a bit frustrated…is every town suddenly unsafe? We called the sheriff to confirm, and she told us, verbatim, that “this town sucks ass and is not place for two girls.” WHOA! Well, time to revise the rest of our route. So spent some time trying to figure out the route, and decided to cut south to Lake Havasu City and then continue west from there. We mapped out the other towns we would stop in and felt excited to have a safer route.
When it was time for us to head back from Starbucks to Lea’s house, we got a flash flood warning on our phones and the skies began to light up with constant streaks of lightening. Scared, we ran back inside and Lea came to pick us up! Thanks Lea! She cooked us potatoes and onions and after eating and talking, we snuggled into bed hoping that the weather prediction of golf ball sized hail would be false and we would be good to go in the morning.
Oh, and we had a really good smelling apple that may or may not have wafted us to sleep.
October 18, 2015
Starting Point: Flagstaff, AZ
Destination: Kingman, AZ
Today’s Miles Biked: 44
Total Miles Biked: 2,381