Current Location: Blythe, CA (yes, this is where we were yesterday. We are riding on either side of Blythe for a couple of days...its complicated...nevermind)
Today we started out near Ripley, CA which is about 15 miles west of where we are right now. It was a little cool this morning because the sun was reluctant to push through the thin cloud cover. This has not been the case the past couple of days, we have been riding in short sleeves beginning at about 830am and it has been about 75 degrees in the afternoons. Not today, it only reached about 68 this afternoon, too bad for us.
So we biked for about 15 miles and then we reached the trailer in Blythe, CA where we had some lunch, tuna sandwiches (one of my favorites, so easy and tasty). After lunch we crossed the Colorado River into Arizona, there goes one state. We entered the freeway again to start another climb.
- Side note: Some people freak out when we say that we ride on the freeway but let me tell you that the freeway is much more pleasant and safe than the non existent shoulders that we rode on a couple of days ago. So far, the freeways that we have ridden on have had nice, wide, smooth shoulders to lean on... -
We climbed this small mountain range just inside of the Arizona border and I actually enjoyed the climb, just pounded away at about 5-9 mph. I think I enjoyed it because I knew we would get to cruise down the other side. And we did, for about 5 miles with minimal effort we kept a steady 20 mph.
Then we caught sight of a little place called Quartzsite, AZ. This place is the RV capitol of the world. As we came over the grade, we saw an absolute sea of trailers and RVs for as far as we could see. One guy told us that during the off season Quartzsite has about 3,000 residents but during this time of year, there are about 350,000. Another guy told us that there are about a million people there right now. Personally, I think they were both over exaggerating but there were a ridiculous amount of people gathered in this random spot in the middle of the desert. As we came down the off ramp, we could barely get off of the freeway because of the insane traffic. We got onto the main strip (if you wanna call it that) and there was a giant flea market in all directions. It smelled like the county fair, corn dogs and deep fried twinkies. We made our way through the crowd and called Mom who had the sag vehicle waiting at a bookstore called “Reader’s Oasis.” We met there and went inside. There was a large poster of a guy wearing nothing but a small mesh bag on his "package". That was kinda odd…Even more odd, I walked around the corner and there he was. He was wearing a blue fleece jacket, a cowboy hat, some moccasin type boots and a small bag which contained his family jewels. My mother had already met him so she introduced me as her son that is riding across the country. He was very happy to meet me and he was a great guy. We chatted for a bit and he told me that he was envious of me and my adventure. He said that he loved to ride his bike but he has been busy selling books for the past seventeen years…with no pants on. We were about to leave and he told me that I might need some reading material for my journey, he ran inside and brought back a book called “How Many Hills to Hillsboro?” It is a story about a family and their cross country bike ride…Thanks Paul, I will take off my pants before I read.
So if anyone is ever in Quartzsite, AZ please visit Readers Oasis and a very nice gentleman named Paul.