The last two days have been quite the test. We've been getting a headwind from the east that wouldn't let up. Coming out of last week and averaging 16-17 mph, the drop to 11-12 mph has been a real bummer. The best way to illustrate it is to imagine treading water or riding on mostly flat tires. It's like doing all the work and receiving only 1/4 of the reward. Oh well - enough negative stuff - it's all good.
We got into Tucson Monday night and had the privilege of spending the evening with the Burnett Family. What wonderful people. Although I must admit every family we've spent time with has been fantastic. Great hospitality, great food and great fellowship. Mrs. Burnett (Claudia) which is pronounced "clowdya", because she is Brazilian, cooked us a chicken stroganoff meal from Brazil that was absolutely amazing. I'm so grateful that we're burning so many calories each day - it allows me to go back for seconds! After dinner we had a pineapple dessert that was equally awesome! Sheesh - it was good! Thank you Claudia! Pastor Bret and his family were a lot of fun and it was nice to watch a little Monday Night Football and relax after having the wind in our faces for 4 hours straight.
Tuesday started much like Monday ended. The wind was right in our faces and didn't appear to want to give up. Monty had read online that it was supposed to change mid-day so we were praying for an early reprieve. It's amazing how much wind impacts your pedaling (and your mood). With approximately 75-80 miles ahead of us we put our heads down focused on the next few feet and just kept pedaling. We came out of Tucson and climbed as high as 5,000 feet. The higher desert is very pretty and we noticed the scenery change as the miles fell behind us. All of the sudden I found the need to belt out some John Denver again. Monty's not a fan of that because then the song gets stuck in his head all day and he can't think of anything else. Kinda funny......
Somewhere around hour five in the saddle the wind began to shift. We climbed to our maximum elevation at a rest stop named "Texas Canyon" which had some very cool rock formations. We took a short break and then busted out down a 800-900 foot decline. I was able to get the bike up to 37mph which is the fastest I've been since last week. It was awesome! It sort of reminded me of descending the hill out of Julian last Tuesday - which, by the way, was another day I serenaded Monty and Bruce with John Denver songs. What a blast....
That was it for tough pedaling and we spent the last 18 miles casually cruising into Willcox, AZ. Sitting at 4200 feet and founded in the late 1800's, Willcox is an old cattle town of about 4000. I am enjoying learning about the towns we pass through. The highway was lined with small sunflowers and monster crickets (probably true grasshoppers). These critters were big! They were at least 10x bigger than the little brown guys we see in Phoenix. As your pedaling along they're sitting on the shoulder just staring at you. They're neat critters.....I must've been hungry or delirious because I found myself thinking hmmmm...bet you a couple of these guys would make for a fine meal......
In Willcox we are staying with Pastor Kyle Duncan and his family. His wife Kris prepared an awesome meal of pasta and chicken with vegetables. Again, I had seconds. Can't pass up great food! Then there was the strawberry dessert......(again...seconds). Home cooked meals are the best. I'm really enjoying learning about our hosts and their families as well as the pastors churches and some of the things they are doing.
Alright....heading to bed.....75 miles and we crossover into New Mexico, our third state of the trip. Looks like we'll be changing time zones too. What a journey!
Don't forget to think about helping us support 100 kids by donating. Currently we're at about $2400 with a goal of $36k so we need your help. You can click on the donate button on this page or go to http://www.pedalforhaiti.org and donate. Either way is good. We appreciate you! Thanks for your giving and your prayers.
See you down the road!