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Saturday, April 30, 2011

day 106: TOP OF THE WORLD - MIAMI - CLAYPOOL - GLOBE, AZ

Just daybreak as I stepped onto Hwy 60 for today's first walk ..8 miles to MIAMI, ARIZONA.




Many photographs today have my shadow in them. I am not completely well today and making some basic mistakes. Yesterday, climbing the 7 + % hills, I strained my left foot by stepping on the edge of the macadam, twisting my foot and leg - about where the bridge was. Last night, the tendon attached to the first toe was sore, as was the Shin Bone where it that tendon attaches.




This morning, it is tender, but with careful walking, I managed to get through the day...and the pain is nearly gone...so, so far so good.




Also, I am fighting a sore throat. The room I slept in at Dan & Lisa's had an air conditioner duct directly over the bed...my body is just not used to such cool air and I woke with a sore throat...I'm keeping it under control, but it is making me a bit weak to climb these hills.




Click click...road sign says it is 4,600 feet elevation. For 7 miles from this sign, Highway 60 descends to 3,500 feet at MIAMI, ARIZONA. When I walk down, must also walk back up to fetch SPIA.




Am in the Rocky Mountains now. For the next couple weeks I will be facing some rather steep hills - both up and down. Highway 70, South to EL PASO, is not nearly as steep as my alternate choice, Highway 60 which heads North East towards ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO.






Highway 60 takes a dive off the 4,600 foot TOP OF THE WORLD, where we stayed last night.




In the middle of the night, something ran into SPIA with a big THUNK. Then I heard running foot steps and voices of teenagers. Seems someone - in the dark, slammed his head into the front of SPIA's Mom's Attic, where I was sleeping. Sure hope he is ok.




I did not see Charlie by the time I left TOP OF THE WORLD, but left him a note of thanks and apologizing for any head injury.





Highway 60 is cut through solid stone.




The next few photographs are of various Copper Mines. This area has MANY Copper Mines. Whole mountain tops are cut off.




The town of MIAMI was founded back in the mid 1800's because of the Copper in the mountains. Today, an additional four town have joined MIAMI to form a nearly continuous City along the mountain tops at 3,400 foot elevation...all surrounded by Copper Mining operations...going on yet today in a big way.





I wonder: just how does such a concentration of apparently pure copper deposit get onto the tops of all these mountains.





At least three separate mines are in this photograph.







Yes, the stone in this mine looks white...is actually copper...concentration is unbelievable.






The distant mountain mine is only one of a number - in fact one big continuous mine cutting down a number of mountain tops over the past 100 or so years until today, there is only one mountain at just above city level....awesome.







This is the town of GLOBE, the larges of the 5 towns which have joined - physically - together along the Copper Mountaintops.




A festival was being set up in the street...held yearly, as I tracked down a Jewelry Store where I had a new battery put into my wristwatch. "Actually, Walmart did it this morning, but screwed it up but good. It ran ok, but none of the buttons worked. The "watch lady" said...I only have training to change batteries...I am dyslexic and don't know anything about watches but how to change the battery. I suggested to the Manager that perhaps Walmart should consider extending their training.






GLOBE, ARIZONA main street.






Looking back on GLOBE as I walked South on Highway 70.






Highway 70, looking South...will be crossing those mountains tomorrow.

This evening, my right Shin Bone is also a bit tender...must be very careful at this time not to injure the muscles...for the moment...caution is the word.




Walked South on Highway 70 for 5 miles to the Apache Gold Casino...down the left highway above. Have taken a spot - # 38 at the Casino RV Park.




Washed up my bed clothes, took a shower, emptied all SPIA waste water tanks and filled up the fresh water. Also topped off the Propane Tank and Gas Tank.




Also stopped at Safeway and purchased items to put into the fridge...is stuffed as full as I can get it.




We have a couple hundred miles of desert to cross starting in the morning...all is ready as I can make it.




Our $$ are nearly depleted, but I am going into the Casino in a few minutes to have me a Steak Dinner. There will not be many places to spend $$ for the next few weeks, so being careful, we should be OK.





Apache Casino has a train which carries clients from GLOBE out the 10 miles to the Casino.






Tried to get a Toot Toot, but, no soap.


DAILY UPDATE: Walked 18 miles today...some back and forthing in the 5 towns.




SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 18 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.36 for the day.






In the morning, will walk South on Highway 70 for about 4 hours; then move SPIA and take it as it comes.






Friday, April 29, 2011

DAY 105: HWY 60 - SUPERIOR - TOP OF THE WORLD, ARIZONA

Well, pretend this is a book and the above is the cover...Covers Sell Books.




This is Highway 60 a bit South of the large City of MESA, ARIZONA.




PHOENIX, ARIZONA is made up of a number of large Cities...all together, known as PHOENIX.


Dan's Home, SCOTTSDALE is one of the PHOENIX cities; so is CHANDLER, the home of nephew and Niece Dave & Melissa. MESA is one of the largest - in area - and is on the Easternmost side of PHOENIX.




Highway 60 exits out of MESA.




We walked Highway 60 South...then East over some prodigious mountains, ending up for the night in the unincorporated town of TOP OF THE WORLD, ARIZONA.




Along the way, we say a number of new - to ME - cactus plants, like the one above.






...and this one...actually, a tree about 4 feet high with 3-inch long needles. They grow in large groves along Highway 60.








A prominent landmark leaving MESA on Highway 60 is this, Superstition Mountain. Many business pick up on the name. I had a yummy lunch at a restaurant in Superstition Village.






This is Highway 60, looking South and East. Those mountains in the distance are the Pinal Mountains, which this afternoon, we will have tons of fun trying to climb....all 7 degree of them






One of the Pinal Mountains - at about 3,000 feet elevation ...up from the 400 or so feet of PHOENIX - fronted by a Greasewood Tree in full bloom. The desert is covered with these beautiful yellow flowers...all full of buzzing bees collecting honey.






Many cactus are also blooming at the moment. The desert is really a sight to behold...full of colors, with yellow and purple predominate.






An up close view of the cactus bloom in the previous photograph...just gorgeous...reminds me of a water Lilly.





Ow, gee...here is that woman again




Please give a pleasant HELLO to Toni, a resident of the small village of SUPERIOR, ARIZONA.




Toni and I met over a beer after my third walk...an unfruitful walk up several 7 degree hills only to be turned back after 3 miles climb to a tunnel with no place for walkers.




Toni offered to drive me back up beyond the tunnel so I could continue walking up the mountain.




I had an optional idea...that we chat for a while over our drink. I won.

A recent Widow, she is looking...yes, just looking...driving could be an option




Now I ask you: just how am I to continue on my mission and try to feed such a woman at the same time. Kram probably has at least one suggestion !




We agreed Toni would be a "follower"...and who knows...every corner - as we now know - has it's own surprises for us.





This is the mountain Highway 60 and Brucie Baby will climb this afternoon.

SPIA will stay parked next to Toni's place.





Relieving myself at the "Rest Stop" next to Toni's Place, a voice from the next urinal...you working on the highway (he means ...why the yellow vest).




I go wash my hands...nope, just walking across the USA; your walking "WHERE"




Turns out Sonny is a full blooded Apache Native American Indian living on the Apache Reservation through which Highway 70 runs - which I will walk on my way to EL PASO, TEXAS.




Interspersed with various superlatives, Sonny becomes an instant "follower", hands me $2.00 "to help you on your way", and we agree to keep a sharp eye out as I walk His Reservation.

Without blushing, please give a big HELLO to Sonny...an ecologist and land developer for the Apache Indian Reservation.





The Pinal Mountains are STEEP, ROCKY, and BEAUTIFUL.




A stiff wind - forecast as up to 50 miles per hour - was blowing UP the canyons followed by Highway 60. Going up was fun...pushed all the way by the wind...coming down was not so fun...nearly got blown off the bridge...I mean it...gusts well above 50 mph hit me and nearly knocked me over the railing.






Toni's Village, SUPERIOR, ARIZONA.




Pinal Mountains in the background. This is the beginning of the Rocky Mountains.






Looking down on SUPERIOR, ARIZONA from the mountain pass a mile above on Hwy 60.




This view is looking to the West.






The BRIDGE...where the wind nearly sent me plummeting with over 50 mph wind gusts.





The Bridge, looking down from above...not too far from the Tunnel.






The Tunnel with NO provisions for walkers. NO sidewalks. No space beyond the white line.




Suicidal to enter...although, I did just to make certain I could not safely walk through...I got out in a hurry after only 30 feet or so inside.






Driving SPIA up to THE TOP OF THE WORLD.




When arriving at the "TOP", I parked SPIA and walked back down for 1.5 hours. figure I more than covered the 8 miles from SUPERIOR to TOP OF THE WORLD.






This is Charlie's Place at THE TOP OF THE WORLD. Charlie is a friend of Toni, who arranged that SPIA spend the night parked in front of his building...where it now is.




Perhaps I can get a photograph of Charlie in the morning for tomorrow's Blog.



I know, Kram...you want another pic of Toni right here...NOPE


DAILY REPORT: Made 4 legs today: Leg 1 - 20 miles early this morning.


Leg 2: 6 miles back on Hwy 60 after reaching SUPERIOR; Leg 3: 6 miles to the Tunnel;


Leg 4: another 6 miles back down the Canyon on Hwy 60 from TOP OR THE WORLD.




I AM POOPED !!! = 38 miles...much of it up steep hills.




SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG.: Credit 38 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.76 for the day




In the morning, will walk East on Hwy 60 to the small town of MIAMI - about 8 miles - and on to the intersection with Highway 70...another 8 miles or so...then South on Hwy 70 through Sonny's Apache Reservation, and on to EL PASO, TEXAS.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

DAY2 103 & 104 - PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Yesterday morning, I was greeted by this spectacular sunrise. SPIA, SAM & ME drove around PHOENIX for over one hour to find a place to stay for the night...finally drove back into the Western Desert.

In the morning, drove back to Buckeye Highway in town and walked the final 10 miles to the end...where it stopped because of the International Airport.

Finally, reached Nephew Dan...I wrote down the wrong Cell #...Nephew Dale back in BELLEVUE corrected me and I contacted Dan immediately. We met at 2:30 pm, after I finally put more $$ on my Cell Phone, and planned the rest of my walk through PHOENIX for tomorrow (04/28/11), which will be East on Baseline Road.

Then I followed Dan to his home located in SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, a PHOENIX suburb.

Welcome to the magnificent home of Nephew Dan, his lovely Wife, Lisa and their two adorable children, Amanda and Michael.



Dan and Lisa.





Amanda and Me...Amanda showed me how to put together a puzzle...






Dan and Lisa starting dinner in their kitchen.





While I scrubbed 2 weeks worth of road grime off before touching anyone.


Dan said I could soak in the tub...I really love to soak in a tub of HOT water...maybe next time.





Cactus is the highlight of the garden.


Not a blade of grass to be found.





Amanda and Michael working on a puzzle in what will become MY room in a couple hours.



All clean, Michael becomes my quick Friend.





Dan holding the giggling Amanda...Michael not yet quite certain about this new guy.



Dan says the pool is not warm enough yet...only 78 degrees, so no swimming...RATS.


Some kinda view, huh ?...and just FULL of rattlesnakes.






The West Wing as viewed from the Swimming Pool.





The East Wing - MY room is on the far right corner - as viewed from the Swimming Pool.


That fence is to protect the Swimming Pool from Amanda and Michael.




Dan, Lisa, Amanda and Michael ... backdrop is to the East...where the Sun rises.





The Back Yard looking from the Veranda of the West Wing.


Now, who could ever get bored with this view !

Swimming Pool is in the foreground.




My visit was only for a few hours...one of those few hours that will last a life-time.


The little guy running down Lagoon Point and all growed up...and what a Man you have become, Dan...We always called you "DAN THE MAN"...you listened !!





As I arrived, Lisa took me out to the driveway to point out where the Rattle Snake was lying yesterday...right at the base of this Bottle Cactus, not 50 feet from the front door...Amanda and Michael got to see it up close...just in case...







Following Dan down the street in His town of SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA.


He took a right on I-101. I took a left.








The entry to a "Luxury" Apartment Complex way on the other side of PHOENIX from Dan's house. I walked down Baseline Road for 4 hours, until stopping in at AAA to get some new maps for out next leg...East on Highway 60...then Highway 70...then EL PASO, TEXAS.

Unless I change my mind again !





More apartments along the Baseline Road...notice most all homes are "sand" color.





This the entrance to a complex of "private" homes...on the far East side of MESA, ARIZONA.

I have seen the second river, the Salt River, running through PHOENIX..the water way is actually there, but about only 5 feet wide and hardly a trickle. What I did discover is that the entire Salt River has three dams with large reservoirs. These reservoirs feed at least two large canals; together with the Colorado River water, seems PHOENIX area has ample water...I also learned there are a number of underground "salt chambers" which have been filled with water as a reserve for the city.



Please say HELLO to Motorcycle Tim...Tim and his wife are retired and have started this "Desert Dog" business...a large Hot Dog with all the trimmings for $2.50. Patricia, Tim's wife says business has been very good...


Way to go guys.


DAILY UPDATE: Walked for 22 miles today.


SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 22 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.44 for the day.


Am parked about 5 miles East of the PHOENIX (actually outside MESA, ARIZONA) on Highway 60. In the morning will try to get in my 16 miles and see how things go.