Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Day Nine*: Headed Home
Time to head home for our big finale on the 30th and 31st.  On our way out of Death Valley we stopped at the Goldwell Open Air Art Museum (“Art where it seemingly shouldn’t be…”) in the ghost town of Rhyolite, NV.

Rhyolite 014
Part of the Last Supper (1984) by Charles Albert Szulkalski

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Mosaic Couch

The rest of the day was unremarkable, but for the cutest little campsite ever at Burro Creek Campground between Wikieup and Nothing (I didn’t make that up), AZ.  Alas, we did not get to enjoy it.  We arrived well after dark, and awoke to rain.  Rain.  Rain. Cold, cold rain.  By the time we traveled the only 60 miles to Wickenburg, we were chilled to the bone, and looking darn wet.  The diners at the Horse Shoe Cafe (one of the 10 best diners according to AZ Highways magazine) all had a good laugh at our expense when we walked in.  I can’t say the food was the best I’d ever eaten, but it was hearty and tasty and the folks couldn’t have been more welcoming.  We holed up there for several hours, drinking eternal refills of hot coffee, eating an enormous breakfast of omelets and biscuits, while watching the weather radar and strategizing the best route home.

Turns out there was no best route home.  Mother nature got the last laugh, and we finally got rained on for real.  Having survived a number of rides in ugly weather both as rider and passenger, this easily won the prize for most miserable.   Serves us right for gloating about our earlier successes.  Rain, rain, and more cold cold, rain for 200 miles. In almost (but not quite, thankfully) freezing weather.  And stuck in traffic.  Twice.  Which ended up meaning cold, cold rain and more cold rain in the dark, dark, dark.  I paid a lot for my rain suit and it was worth every penny.  But I was still pouring out icy water out of my boots and my “waterproof” gloves (hah!) at gas stops.   My riding partner…  well his rain suit wasn’t quite so impervious.  I think he’s finally a believer in the real deal.

* You’re right.  This is really two days. I’m fudging.  Since my “Day One,” really wasn’t part of the journey, I had to enact a bit of poetic license to get the finally tally to read twelve.

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