Picking up where i left off...Our host Bob Shipley was awesome. Shipley prepared a fantastic salmon dinner with vegetables, salad and dessert! I had my best night of sleep on the whole trip and woke up ready to climb the biggest hill of the trip. Shipley could not ride with us, because he volunteers to collect trash for his town, which has no trash service, before heading to his weekly volunteer firefighter meeting, before presenting some of his work at a woodworking show. Wow, he is busier in retirement than I have ever been. Shipley told us to eat anything we wanted so I grilled some garlic, cherry tomatoes, and olives that I added to feta cheese as stuffing for omelets. Shipley headed out and we started the climb. We finished in about half the time we estimated and took in the view of from the top of the continental divide, which was spectacular. The view from the top is always a bit sweeter when you get there with good old fashioned man power. We were over the hump, but not yet out of the hills. We made westward progress using a technique known as struggling. At one stop a crazy motorcycle guy told us we were going the wrong way, the winds always blow from the west. He then said "everone knows Arizona blows, Texas sucks and New Mexico is just stuck in the middle". We were about dead when we finished the day over 80 miles. I went into my tent before the sun went down, but I awoke within an hour to the voice of an old friend. My old buddies and roomies from college, Daryl and Fairon, were on the way to the grand canyon and drove out of their way to say hello and bring us delicious Chinese takeout!!! It was so good to see them both and it turned a really rough day into a great day. This morning Del and I realized that the campsite had no water and we joked about Daryl and Fairon driving past and giving us Gatorade. A few minutes later their car pulled up and out they stepped, arms filled with ice cold Gatorade and a breakfast feast! Then they drove ahead of us and took a bunch of pictures of us riding with their super fancy camera. Today was Daryl's birthday and I didn't even know until he was gone, what a terrible friend I am. Happy birthday if you read this.
Today was great, we had two big hills and just crushed them both on the way to Safford, AZ. My 82miles was done by 2:00pm. We only have nine days of riding left before the Pacific Ocean, seems crazy I know.