In Part I, Jimmie and I visit Disneyland and attend the April 1 Mice Chat meet. If you haven't read Part I, click here, and then come back here for Part II.
OK, back now? After a morning at DLR, we checked out and headed east. Our first stop was for lunch at the outlet mall on I-10 before you get to Palm Springs. I called Earkid in Phoenix and we decided it would be too far out of our way to stop for dinner in north Phoenix. "Maybe on our way back," I said.
It was just as well, since signs along I-10 advised going around Phoenix altogether if heading for points beyond. As advised, we headed south to I-8 where the traffic was very light and spent the night near Casa Grande where the 8 and 10 merge.
Not having ridden my bike since leaving Stockton, I studied Google Earth and got up early for a bike ride around the little mountain range just to the west of our motel. First I headed south to the edge of Arizona City. Then I headed east and found an entrance to the Tohono O'odham Nation.
I ventured in a mile or two to Chuichu, since I could see a tower in the distance. Not much was there. A school bus came by and picked up what looked to be a teenager. Then I took a closer look at this building, which I recognized to be an abandoned school.
Being on an Indian reservation, I did not want to take many pictures (especially of the residents) without talking to them first, so I turned around and continued on my loop, this time heading north (again putting the mountains on my right). I didn't realize how big this reservation was until I checked it out on the map.
I rode all the way into Casa Grande, checking out the bike shop (It wasn't open yet), and then headed east and south back to the motel. By the time I rolled in, I had ridden 22 miles. Jimmie had gotten up and was getting ready for the day. I brought back a light breakfast from the lobby for her. (I had already eaten some oatmeal before the ride and a Clif Bar during it.)
By 10:00 we were on the road again. Our first planned stop of the day was Saguaro National Park East Unit. We got there in time to watch the orientation film, and then we headed into the paid area for the 8-mile scenic drive. Here are the pictures I shot with my phone:
I was thinking what a great bike ride this would be, especially on this climb:
In fact, I had talked to a couple cyclists at the visitor's center, but they weren't locals, and we passed one on the drive. Oh, how I envied her (and told her so, too).
Here are some more shots from Saguaro National Park:
After the drive, we found a cafe outside the park and headed on to Deming, New Mexico to meet my sister and stay at her place for a few days. We got to Deming about dinner time. Not having seen me in over two years, my sister did not recognize me at first, because of the weight I had lost during that period. I told her about the dietary changes I had made to control my cholesterol, and the weight loss was a beneficial side effect. She was impressed that I am able to stick to it pretty closely. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (There are quite a few in Deming.), and then Jimmie and I settled into my sister's motorhome that sits in her driveway. My sister and her husband live about eight miles south of town, near a wide spot in the road appropriately named "Sunshine."
Jimmie and I hadn't decided exactly where we would head from there, but after some discussion, we decided to stay a couple days, and take an overnight trip to Carlsbad Caverns. That will be in the next part of this trip report.