Day 68 (2016-11-02): ~65 miles from Kingman to Grand Canyon Caverns, AZ. Route 66. Windy as shit.
This headwind is killing me. 36 miles in, struggling to maintain an average speed of 9mph, brought down by stretches where I could probably walk as fast…this is my third break in the last hour or so. I think I’m just going to lay down for a bit and relax on the side of the road. All this leaning into the wind tightens up my lower back and laying down loosens it up. Wish I had aero bars right now…
The first half of today was a whole lot of nothing. I passed the time first by devising a city-rating system that I can use to evaluate the different places I visit based on some of the things that are most important to me: Opportunity, Affordability, Transportation, Outdoors, Climate, and Culture. I will type up a detailed system the next time I have a lot of down time. Unnecessary, but it passes the time. I also continue the trend of talking to myself – I spend more than an hour imagining the conversation about politics I will have with Uncle Tony when I am home for the holidays. Anything to pass the time. I’m missing my phone & the podcasts/music on it!
I tried to stay at the Hualapai Lodge on the Hualapai reservation (pronounced Wal-lah-pie) but it costs $100+ for a room. A shame too – I hoped to spend time in town, perhaps go to the girls’ basketball game, and embrace being a minority for a while. I wanted to speak with people and learn of live on the reservation. But I cannot spend that kind of cash.
I ride another 12-14 miles from the lodge looking for the end of reservation land and a place I may camp. Now I am pulling into the Grand Canyon Caverns RV park after 65 miles with a headwind riding for 7 hours but spending almost 10 hours on the road. Physically and mentally exhausting. I arrive just after sunset and ride a mile from the road to the campground. Here a sign says to pay at the roadside in, but it is getting dark and I am exhausted so I just find a place to set up camp. There is only one other campsite taken in the “tent camping” area. If anyone bothers me I will tell them I arrived after dark, did not see the sign, and did not see anywhere to pay – planning to pay in the morning. I eat a quick dinner and hop in the tent – it’s getting chilly fast here above 5,000 feet. Plus I am exhausted, and pass out early.