Once again there was the desert, and that only. – Stephen King, The Gunslinger
Over the past few days I have developed a keen appreciation for the cowboys who rode through these valleys and gulches. There is much to consider when negotiating the arid Southwest. The two things that come to mind are the heat and the terrain.
When I woke up this morning at 4:30 to feed Gus it was about 63 degrees. Cold enough for a sweatshirt. When I checked the mercury mid day it was pushing 105. Gus drinks about 24 gallons of water a day from sun up to sun down. Locating water along the route has been an ongoing chore and every decision has to take our proximity to water into consideration. Fortunately most gas stations and rest stops are kind enough to let us draw off of their supply.
The terrain can be cruelly deceptive. Today we covered 12 miles of rough desert along washes and valleys. The rains in the wet season and the resulting run off from the mountains create washes perpendicular to the mountains. Think of a wash as a short lived river that only lasts for a season but carves out a gulch about twenty to thirty feet deep. Riding towards a mountain allows a rider to use a wash to his/ her advantage by riding in the direction of the dried up river bed. However, this also means when riding parallel to a mountain there is an endless series of small hills and gullies. Some are smooth rolling bumps and others are steep and dangerous. I can’t help but think back to the old cowboys movies; this would be a great place for an ambush. The only problem is I’m the one walking into the trap.
Tomorrow we are heading from Laughlin, Nevada to Kingman, Arizona. We are hoping to line up a radio interview tomorrow and also introduce our friends from The Legion of the Silver Rose. Till next time…