The Space Age motel might have been too pricey to stay in but the breakfast options certainly hit the spot.
I was looking at about one hundred and twenty kilometres to get to Bryan's home in Phoenix. I'd met Bryan when I stopped at a bike shop in San Diego to check my tyre pressure and pump a wheel.
I knew I faced a seventy kilometre stretch to Maricopa where I would be able to refill my supplies and get a bite to eat before the final stretch into the city of Phoenix.
I spent the morning back in the desert, in truth I'd never actually left, each of the towns I'd passed through in recent days were little more than an oasis in the Sonoran desert.
The road was straight through the desert with only the cacti, the sand and the regular freight trains for company.
Bryan had said he might meet me on route and accompany me back to Phoenix. I got a text from Bryan as I approached Maricopa to say he was already in the saddle and on his way towards me.
As I saw his text two guys approached on the other side of the road. James and Paul were riding electric trikes from Ontario, Canada to San Diego. We swapped some route and location info for a few minutes on the shoulder of the road before we parted ways.
I grabbed a sandwich from Subway before getting back on the road. About ten miles outside the town I spotted Bryan on the far side of the road. He took advantage of a break in the traffic to cross both carriageways of the highway and join me on the northbound side of the road.
We chatted as we made the twenty mile spin back to his home. I was introduced to his three year old John David and Jake the family dog.
His wife Berry came home from work shortly afterwards and after myself and Bryan cleaned up we went to their local golf club to grab some food.
Bryan, who owns and operates a cycling clothing company, VR7, has set up a series of great events over the next few days before I leave Phoenix on Thursday.
I'm really looking forward to a few days off the bike.
Have to wish my little sister Ruth a happy birthday today too! Have a good one sis! (5 photos) ...
I'm not entirely sure whether it was my alarm, the loud horn of the passing train or the constant hum of traffic from the freeway which woke me this morning.
It was one of my earliest start in weeks and I knew the hundred and twenty plus kilometres would be testing today in pretty tough conditions through arid desert.
I packed some extra water and supplies before hitting the old Route 80 highway which ran alongside the freeway for the first twenty five kilometres of the day.
The two roads were divided by the single line of railway which proved to be extremely busy with freight passing by in one or other direction every ten or fifteen minutes.
The orange mountains and arid deserts which consisted of cacti and small shrubs was as far as the eye could see in all 360 degrees of the landscape.
Eventually the old highway was forced onto the shoulder of the freeway. This time around no warning signs were in place to possibly stop or slow me down. Now I faced a sign to say bicycles on shoulder only. As if any sane cyclist would even consider occupying a lane in the stream of fast moving traffic.
After fifty kilometres I pulled off the freeway into the settlement of Dateland. The name tickled my imagination and with my own history of the 50 dates element of my original ten challenges I stopped to take a picture of the road sign.
I'd have stopped either way to refuel. Only two possible points existed on today's route Dateland and Sentinel rest stop. Dateland offered a full service in terms of food and drink as well as toilets.
Sentinel, a further twenty kilometres down the road consisted of a bathroom and a set of vending machine. With little to no change I went for my credit card to find I didn't have it where I thought it should be. Having already lost the main card I wasn't going to pull my bag apart looking for it on the side of the road.
There was a fallback location in my bag where I was pretty sure it would be. As there was nothing I could do at that point I was forced to refill my water bottle and carry on.
I figured I could deal with the lost card if that was the case when I got to Gila Bend.
I reached my destination in Gila Bend as darkness rolled around once more. A few people had recommended the Space Age motel in the town but the cost per room of a hundred dollars plus tax was just too high and way outside my budget.
I explained this to the guy behind the counter and he suggested I go next door to the "Pay Less Inn". It really did what it said on the tin, working out at $40 including all the taxes. Thankfully I found my second card in the other spot in my bag. The room itself had a lovely double bed, an ensuite bathroom, excellent wifi and a TV, definitely not worth paying an extra sixty or seventy dollars to stay next door.
I didn't even switch the TV on once all evening electing instead to catch up with friends in various locations around the globe.
As I strolled down the street looking for food Venus was visible in the night sky placed just under a crescent moon.
I'm looking at a very similar day into Phoenix tomorrow. I've been offered a place to stay with Bryan, a guy I met in San Diego when I stopped at a bike shop, and he's organised a number of outings for me over a few days including an opportunity to speak about Pedal The Planet and Cycle Against Suicide to a large group of cyclists on Tuesday.
It's Super Bowl week in Phoenix and the professional golf juggernaut is also in town too from Wednesday so it's going to be a complete dream for a sports nut like me. (5 photos) ...
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