Day 5: 47 miles: California/Arizona:
Traveled left from Winterhaven. It was Greg’s ( Stu’s chiropractor) last night so it was a short day. We crossed into AZ at 7:12 am . It was the hottest May in years with a 72 degree sunrise. It was 100 degrees plus again. The land was flat and we saw the first clouds of the trip. We finished near Tacna, AZ. Route: I-8 East
Day 6: 50 miles: Arizona:
Left from Tacna AZ. It was the first day without Greg. There was virtually no traffic all day. There were some minor clouds and it wasn’t as hot as the last couple days. Early in the day we went through a pass in Mohawk, otherwise it was 9 hours of gradual uphill slope. We got back on I8 Expressway again with dust storms whipping sand across the road. By 6:15 the wind had not let up much. We finished near Sentinel, AZ.
Route: I-8 East
Day 7: 50.4 miles: Arizona:
Started in Sentinel, AZ. Stu and Ray talked with Larry Woolley about a possible route change at Globe, AZ. We were still on I8, still hot, and still truckin’. There was a gradual uphill slope and the side winds were gusty. The cactus and shrubbery were getting larger because of the higher altitude. There were foothills and distant mountains. At 6:45 a tailwind picked up and we stopped just before Casa Grande.
Route: I-8 East
Day 8: 50.3 miles: Arizona:
We started just before Casa Grande. We finally got off I8 and turned onto Rte 84. There was a lot of blowing dust. We are still deciding on whether to take the original route or taking a more southern route through the Apache reservation. It was less hot (only 90!!!) with a strong tailwind. By midday we were at an elevation of 1400 ft at Casa Grande. By afternoon we could see the Rockies. Very small shoulders and a lot of traffic so Stu ran on dusty parallel farm roads all afternoon. We stayed in Coolidge, AZ where Mel Johnson the massage therapist visited us that night from Mesa.
Route: I-8 East to 84 East to 287 East
Day 9: 50 miles: Arizona:
We started from the Indian Skies RV Park. It was the worst traffic so far and no shoulders on the roads. AZ has a lot of dirt, dust, cops, and ants. The temperature was 98 degrees and we had the first real uphill climb in days that lasted 16.5 miles. By 22 miles we approached a solid wall of mountains, but then turned east and paralleled them. A state trooper and ex-runner helped us decide on the southern route, which is 36 miles longer but less treacherous hills. We stayed just east of Superior, AZ in the mountains at 2888 ft.
Route: 287East to 79 North to 60 East
Day 10: 50.5: Arizona:
We started in the mountains just past Superior. It was very cold that day. We were at 4600 ft. 1 mile into the day. In 10 miles we had gained 1712 ft in elevation. It was a “little victory” for Stu going through that mountain section. We went through Globe and stopped at Hicks Chiropractic Clinic to see Dr. Holcomb for an adjustment. We went through the San Carlo Reservation and stayed at a rest area.
Route: 60 East to 70 East
Day 11: 50 miles: Arizona:
We started at the San Carlo Apache Reservation. The course was flat with the strongest tail and side winds to date. We stopped before Safford, AZ
Day 12: 50 miles: Arizona/New Mexico:
Stu’s birthday. Started at 5:20 am, the earliest start so far. There was an early chill and cloud cover, but that burned off over the day. Stu went to Dr. Boren of Boren Chiropractic for an adjustment in Safford, AZ. The course was straight, meandering through some low hills. By the afternoon the course was a windy, hilly, two-lane road with 1 foot shoulders. There were long uphill switchbacks, the hardest, but Stu ran his. We ended just past the NM state line at Mule Creek. We camped in Apache National Forest, AZ.
Route: 70 East to 191East to 78 East