Thursday, December 10, 2009
Middle 'o' nowhere to Peoria, AZ
Day 55 55 miles
How cold is cold? More importantly, how cold is cold when you are on a bike trip in Arizona? Albeit during the winter, but still, this is the desert and we are almost as far South as we can get without being in Mexico. Last night it was cold. Like we said, our tent was covered with frost when we went to sleep, but the lack of cloud cover and our higher elevation led to some seriously cold temperatures for how well we are equipped. This morning our tent was not just covered in frost, it was layered in frost inside and out. Luckily we stayed warm enough in our sleeping bags, especially Dani with her -5 degree bag. As soon as the blazing desert sun hit our tent though, the frost instantly turned into dripping and running water. It felt like it was raining inside of our tent. Then a few minutes later some high level clouds developed and took away the sun. We were left with all of our gear dripping wet and no way to dry it out. Dani was feeling pretty congested and I felt horrible that all of our stuff was wet and it was still cold out. Rather than sit around and try to dry something out or make breakfast in the cold, we decided to ride the 16 miles into Wickenburg and look for a good place to have a hot breakfast.
A few miles after we left camp we finally reached the top of the divide we had been climbing up for two days. We then got to take advantage of a slight downhill for the rest of the way to Wickenburg. By the time we arrived in Wickenburg it was a bit after 11:00 am. We knew if we wanted a hot breakfast, we would have to find one of those cafes you find in downtown areas that serve breakfast all day. We rode into the downtown area and found the Horseshoe Cafe. We knew this place was a good bet because they had homemade buttermilk pancakes, biscuits, and gravy advertised on a sign outside.
The instant we entered the cafe we knew it was just what we were looking for. We have learned that the best cafes are always full of retired aged people, and this place fit the bill. A full order of biscuits and gravy, my favorite, was under $7. Dani and I were both going to order a full order, but the waitress, warned Dani that it was a huge portion. She told us it was served on the biggest platter they had at the restaurant. Dani decided to go for a half order, but I got a full order. I was amazed at the pile of food that was delivered to our table. Two huge biscuits cut in half and smothered with enough gravy to fill a small watering trough. This was just the breakfast we were looking for. Bottomless cups of coffee and an extremely hearty meal that was delicious. By the time we left, we were so full of carbs and cholesterol that I knew we wouldn't be eating again until much later.
The good warm food helped Dani feel much better, so we were able to cruise down all of the way to the first cities on the outskirts of Phoenix. We were planning on camping, but with all of our gear still soaked and Dani not feeling well, I felt she might benefit from a nice hot shower and a warm place to sleep. We found a cheap hotel to stay at in Peoria, AZ just on the West side of Phoenix. We got to the hotel early enough that Dani was able to rest for awhile while I dried out our gear and went and got us some supper. Tomorrow we are hoping on reaching my grandparents in Mesa, AZ on the other side of Phoenix.