Sunday, June 29, 2008

Por los Animales!

Last we left you we were sitting in the public library in a town called Yarnell.
Patty, the librarian, was giving us the scoop on the town.
The library was closing as we were trying to finish our last post. As we were taking a photo of Patty, in walked June and Joel returning books at the last minute. Patty told them about our trip, and, as we took this photo, they asked us if we'd like to stay at their guest house.
We had been planning to stay at a crappy RV park, and now we had a whole house!! How lucky are we? Guardian Angels!

Not only did they invite us to stay at their lovely home, June and Joel also invited us to lunch at KoKopelli. Melinda made us delicious meatball sandwiches. We're coming back for that razzleberry pie!

We spent the rest of the afternoon getting to know Joel & June, two wonderful people living life to the fullest. The house we stayed in was across the street from theirs. We slept like babies that night.

Day 15: We woke up at 4am.

June and Joel were so nice, they made us fresh baked bread for breakfast.

Good Morning, God.

That morning we rode through the picturesque Peeples Valley.

we love animals!

Nice ass!

We climbed all those mountains that you see in this photo up to Prescott

Por los animales!!

We met some other cyclists along the way. Adam and Lori rode with us through the switchbacks. They made the ride a lot more pleasant.

After a 6 hour morning ride, we made it to Prescott before noon

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thanks for the Horsepitality!

Guess who's leg belongs to who? They're aren't too manish yet, are they?

Day 12: We left Phoenix early morning heading north. That morning I crashed my bike into the spoiler of a shitty car, and it cracked one of my brakes. The driver didn't even stop to see if I was ok. What a jerk!!!!! Anyway, Phoenix is not too biker friendly. The cars don't know how to share the road, and drivers kept honking their horns at us.

We stopped at a bike shop, called Surprise Bicycles to get our brakes checked and a new lock. Justin hooked us up with some new gear. He had stitches on his lip, and we thought it was from a biking accident, but turns out a puppy bit his mouth the night before. Lucky we checked, because Debbie's brakes had been worn down to nothing! Thanks for the new brake pads and for putting our sticker up in your store! Stay in touch.

We made the mistake of trying to get on the road after lunch. The heat was scorching. Five miles felt like forever. There was no shade anywhere, not one single tree in sight.

I threw my sarong over my head to sheild myself from the sun.

We came across this building with no windows that we decided to stop at. We were worried it might be a titty bar, but at that point we would hang out ANYWHERE with A/C. It turned out to be a sportsbar, the Trackside Bar & Grill in Wittman. We decided to hang out there and have a couple of beers to wait for the sun to go down a bit before we hit the road.

We made a few friends while hanging out at the bar. This is Andrew. When he approached us we were both reading, and he said, "what, you guys don't like each other?" He thought we were crazy, but was kind enough to give us his phone number in case we got into any trouble.

Here's the friendly staff and owner of the Trackside. Everyone there was super nice to us. I think we sat there for almost four hours chilling out and reading. We got lots of good tips and travel advice.

This is Bobbie, she's a trucker and runs a horse rescue organization where they save horses and finds them good homes.

Beautiful Arizona sunset.

Sunset clouds.

Finally at the end of a 65 mile ride, we arrived in Wickenberg, a quaint little cowboy town. We camped at a really awesomely decorated RV park called Horsepitality.

Everything there was cowboy and wild west motif. Debbie and I had the entire rec room all to ourselves. So we made a wild west gun duel movie, but instead of using guns we used pepper spray.

I lost my hand at poker and had to entertain the cowboys to stay alive. The cowboys also fired their guns at Debbie's feet and told her to tap dance. At the end of the night, we all became good friends. Kind of like when Pee Wee goes to the biker bar.

Debbie found a book that changed her life.

Day 13: We decided to spend an extra day in Wickenberg because we woke up too late for our morning ride. It ended up being a nice day off. We walked around town, visited some cowboy stores, and wrote postcards to our friends and family.


Later that evening, we discovered a really cool horse stable in the back of the RV park we were staying at. Delia was the owner of the horses. One of her horses came all the way from Southern France. She went to college in NYC like us, and told us some stories about her partying days. It made me miss the city a little when she described crossing a snow covered Central Park on New Year's Eve.

Debbie made a new friend, Dani.

She got to ride bareback. Yee-Haw!

Delia was so sweet, she gave us her phone number and told us to call her if we needed people to stay with once we got out to the mid-west.

We love sunsets!

Day 14: we climbed 30 miles uphill to Yarnell

It was tough, but we made it!!
"Where the desert breeze meets the mountain air"

We stopped to get some DELICIOUS sweet corn, and met Gloria Bacon who made a donation. Thanks, Gloria!!

That's all for now!

We love and miss you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

By the time I get to Phoenix

Day Seven: We woke up at 4am and rode 30 miles into Heber, a small city outside of El Centro. There we met our savior from the heat - Grandma Margaret. We met Margaret through her granddaughter, Diana from Margaret welcomed us into her beautiful home, fed us, gave us clean towels, warm showers, comfortable beds, and wonderful company. Meeting Margaret and her family was truly a blessing. I have never met such a loving, kind, and hospitable group before. They take in weary travelers on a regular basis and treat them like family. On our last night there, Corey, Diana's boyfriend treated us out to dinner.

Here's a photo of Grandma Margaret when she was 5 years old marching in a parade.

We spent the morning before we left jamming out to Guitar Hero with Irie, (one of Margaret's many grandchildren). We had so much fun hanging out with the family it made me sad to leave. We send out enormous gratitude to Margaret and her family for putting us up. It was truly a wonderful experience. Irie's parting wish to us was for our bus to breakdown so that we could stay longer with them....

Back up the story to the night before.... Debbie and I went through our first disagreement on this trip. Girls Gone Wildlife was facing a major dilemma on how we were going to cross the treacherous barren desert during a major heat wave. The temperature was at a 120 degree high during the day, the route had no water, food, or towns for 100 miles. We were going to have to carry at least 2 days supply of water and food and travel on uphill terrain. We were warned by pretty much every person we encountered.

Karin's POV:

The days leading up to our departure I was secretly scared shitless. I didn't want to be too vocal about it and bring down the morale. But seriously, I did not think I was mentally or physically prepared for this desert journey. Yes, yes I know the trip is about challenging myself mentally and physically, but it wasn't worth it in my mind to endanger my life and turn myself into vulture food. So on the last evening in El Centro I decided to check out bus routes and rates. I found inexpensive tickets on the Greyhound bus and suggested it as an option to Debbie. I had a horrible gut feeling that crossing the desert on bikes was not the right path for us. The feeling started to manifest itself physically the evening we were going to leave, when I suddenly felt sick and dizzy, my body just didn't want to leave. I promise I'm not being dramatic, there was definitely something outside of myself I couldn't control that was preventing me from leaving El Centro on a bike. I put my ego aside, allowed myself to be vulnerable and admitted that I am not capable of this challenge. I am thankful for my partner, Debbie for understanding and compromising on this with me. The next morning we left on our bikes and headed to the Greyhound bus station.

Debbie's POV:

We had a blast at Grandma Margarita's house. It was lovely and comfortable, but I was anxious to keep moving. The next few panels on the map were going to be hot and difficult, but I had faith that we were capable. Before we crossed the mountain we were both scared as hell about how hard it would be going up, then even more scared about the dangers of going down, but when we did it we felt so incredible for having been able to conquer it. I felt that this next part would be the same way. Plus, I was excited about the challenge. We had planned to leave after dinner, but when we got home Karin started freaking out and saying that she wasn't feeling well. I told her to take a nap, and that we could leave when she woke up. I was a little annoyed, at first, because I knew that she was scared. However, while she slept, I started to get this splitting headache. Also, my mom started texting me messages filled with a sense of panic and worry. Then I started to think about how our plan to bike all night was not completely fool-proof since we would still have to stop and sleep outside in the 120 degree heat of the day, and only have as much water as we could carry. By the time Karin woke up, I realized that she was just being smart and not wussy and told her that I was open to taking the bus. Part of me felt like we were cheating, and that we would dissapoint everyone that was rooting for us. Not to mention that the other biker we met had just come from there and seemed to have made it okay. But he was a pro, 120 degrees in the desert is no joke, and if we got sick or heat stroke, we wouldn't be able to finish the ride anyway.

The Greyhound Bus we were supposed to take to Phoenix broke down before it even arrived to the El Centro bus station. Thanks a lot Irie!  A corrections officer transporting inmates suggested that we try our luck hitchhiking by the freeway. Everyone in El Centro drives a pickup truck. We spent the first 30 minutes in the hot sun shouting at trucks driving by.

We had codes worked out in case we got into a car with crazies:

"5 minutes to crazytown" meant one of us would say we had diarrhea and had to stop immediately where we would get our stuff off the truck and get out.

"SS crazytown" meant SPRAY, STAB, and roll out of the car.

but no one stopped. no one! did WE look crazy?

A homeless guy walked over to our corner. "This is our corner! Back off!"  But then he handed us a piece of cardboard and a marker and said, "No one's gonna stop if they don't know where you are going." Thanks, Wolf!  It's funny how help comes in the most unexpected forms sometimes. We cheered, we danced, we tried everything, but still no one stopped.  It was about 1pm and hot as hell, so we went to go get a milkshake.

While we were sipping on our shakes, we told our story to the guy sitting next to us, who suggested we try the truck stop nearby. The first people to pull in for gas were two pickup trucks full of PYTs. Karin asked them for a ride and behold our saviors for the day who drove us all the way to Phoenix! (and they were fun!) Thanks, guys!!!

our thank you present 

(D: we are SO SO SO lucky. That we met great people who helped us out. There was only one moment when I secretly wished we were on our bikes: driving by these gorgeous sand dunes)

we are SO lucky!!

They had all just come from a weekend in San Diego where they celebrated Jake's 21st birthday.

Happy Birthday! thanks for driving us!

we laughed, we sang, we peed in the desert together.


We hung out with our new friends into the evening, then we got back on our bikes and rode to Janie's (Grant's mom's) house. She is a sweet lady with a positive attitude towards life. We've been here hanging out for a few days relaxing.



roughing it

Janie & Mark

We also got to meet the lovely Riana

Tim & Riana

Sha-na-na-na! Life is good. Tomorrow we go back to the Wildlife... We are headed towards the Grand Canyon next! 

Miss you, love you, dear friends and family. We look forward to reading your comments. XXOO