Day 27: Second Mesa to Ganado - Western North America - 2005 - CycleBlaze

June 13, 2005

Day 27: Second Mesa to Ganado

I got up early. The morning was stunning - a deep blue sky - red earth - and the dark olive greens of the pinyons and junipers. Cool clean air and bright sunshine. That's what it's all about. I said my farewell to Itty and headed east.

For each mesa you have to climb, there is a dizzying downhill ride with panoramas stretching across the Colorado Plateau. At the junction, the grocery store had closed down. A few cans of soup, bags of chips, maybe some candy bars lay scattered about the dusty shelves. A woman looking in the plate-glass window with me said, "Look at all those good things!" The distance is great, indeed, between the Phoenix suburbs and the Hopi villages.

I had a long break at Polacca where I sat out front and chatted with a guy who had retired from the military. He had travelled all over the U.S. and the world, but ultimately, came home. I also talked with a old man in front of the trading post at Keams Canyon. He shared that he had quit drinking - as had I. Then he said, "The only old people around here are people who quit drinking - or who never started."

Steamboat Rocks near Jeddito
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I huffed and puffed my way to Ganado. Quite a few climbs. Still could lose a few more pounds. Where was yesterday's tailwind? No matter. The road was almost empty and the ride was magical.

When I did get to Ganado I had to search out a place to camp. A young guy panhandled me mercilessly at the convenience store. Only 19 years old and already experienced at dependency. I found a place across the road down in the wash where I put out my tarp and sleeping bag just as it was getting dark. A half moon rose overhead. It was a chilly night.

Today's ride: 70 miles (113 km)
Total: 1,318 miles (2,121 km)

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