January 18, 2013 – Tempe AZ: Groaning to the insistent 6 a.m. jingle of my iPhone alarm, I rolled out of bed knowing the excitement of the bike ride ahead would soon chase away the impulse to snuggle in for another hour or two of sleep. Following a quick breakfast at the Best Western on Priest Drive, my sweetheart (SH) and I headed out for the 2-mile walk in 46 degree temps to the storage facility where we had parked our bikes in early November.
The plan was to pick up the bikes, gas up, top off the air in the tires and head out to meet Minnesota friends who are spending a couple months in Arizona this winter, for breakfast before hitting the highway toward Lordsburg, NM. That all happened, but not quite on that timeline. A little glitch occurred when SH’s bike battery turned out to be dead. We had planned ahead and had a battery charger stowed on my bike, but it was a trickle charger that would take hours to recover the battery. After a couple of hours of charging and no results, we called a certain auto club with which I have a membership AND the “Plus RV” rider, which covers motorcycles as well as cars. A vendor was dispatched and arrived, but technically, his company’s policies didn’t allow him to jump start motorcycles. Fortunately, the guy was willing to help us, off the record, and we were off and running, a few hours later than planned.
We met Bobby and Sue at TC Eggington’s in Mesa, AZ. It was great fun to catch up with these friends from the ‘Bou coffee crowd in Burnsville, MN, who are spending a couple of months in Arizona on their own adventure. (By the way, Bobby and Sue, did I ever tell you that my oldest daughter’s name is Bobbie Sue?! 🙂 I highly recommend connecting with friends AND eating at Eggington’s, which had an impressive breakfast menu including the delicious Frattini Kalmata Omelette I enjoyed.
About noon we said our goodbyes to Bobby and Sue and jumped on the bikes (mileage on my bike was 29,210) to find Hwy 60 East and begin enjoying the sun, 72 degrees and beautiful landscape in Southeast Arizona. Around Globe, AZ, the mountains and highways were especially rugged, beautiful and inspiring. After Globe, we continued East on U.S. Hwy 70. We were racing the thermometer, knowing that it would drop dramatically as the sun began to set. We stopped for gas and a butt break in Safford, AZ, and were quickly back on the road. Just a few days before the trip commenced, we had ordered new communication devices and were thrilled to find them a huge improvement over our previous set. It was so much fun to point out areas of interest to each other and chat as we rode.
We rolled into Lordsburg in 50 degrees about 5:45 p.m. and checked into the Comfort Inn. A hot shower thawed me out before a half mile walk to Kranberry’s Family Diner for dinner. The lack of sleep this week and 236 miles on the bikes today had me sound asleep by 9:30 p.m.
I want to mention here that SH and I had the opportunity to work through some upset Thursday night and Friday. Between running late for our flight from LA to Phoenix and a way-too-long-day Thursday, and the frustration and delays this morning lead to tension that could have easily marred the adventure. However, our ability to communicate honestly, patience with each other’s imperfection and sincere commitment to continually building our relationship, rather than engaging in words and actions that it break down, we got through the upset quickly and without residue that could mar the trip and the future.
I end the day grateful for SH, our ability to communicate and get through upsets quickly, our friends, and the incredible opportunity to explore this beautiful country with my partner.
Love, Tomboy Tam