We woke in our tent at about 6.30 after both having had a very long and sound sleep. The tension and the effort of the day seemed a long way away. Morning coffee in our sleeping bags and then a relaxed, leisurely breakfast with Tom and Carolyn. They are such wonderful company – interested in everything and so knowledgeable. They showed us the cliff dwellings which are high above us. These were in use by the Apache Tribe who were at the centre of sophisticated trading networks well before they came into conflict with white settlers. They did not have a written tradition so piecing together history is a case of looking at fragments of pottery, glassware and other clues to work out what was going on. But it was a lot!
By 10am we were all packed up and could not think of any more excuses and had drunk too much coffee. So we said our farewells set off. T & C were going north to see relatives in Las Vegas and then back up to Eastern Washington. We hope we will see them again soon.
We knew that today was a short day. We were going into areas with limited accommodation and service options and so today was 35 miles, followed by two 70+ mile days. But there was one major climb we needed to get over before we could get to the town of Globe. This was a climb of about 1800ft, and most of it was around 7%. So it was a slow plod up with great views as we got near the top.
Then it was a glorious descent – or it was until my rear inner tube decided to explode with a loud bang. About 7 inches of tube were severed and it was clearly not repairable. Goodness knows what had caused that!
After the descent, the country flattened out and we saw why Globe has a reputation as one of the largest sites of open cast mining in the USA. Mining started with silver in 1875 and then moved to copper which is still mined in the area. The town has a “frontier” feel and its history includes a wide selection of lawlessness including stage coach robberies, murders and lynchings. It felt pretty peaceful when we saw it – staying at the down at heel but cheap El Ray Motel.
The town was buzzing in the evening and we were recommended to try Blooms, a Chinese restaurant. It was excellent – great portions for cyclists and even a glass of rather good wine. The atmosphere was half the fun – with people dressed up for a Thursday night on the town and others just grabbing a take-out on their way home. This restaurant – like many in the USA – closes at 8pm as people have done with eating by then. We left just before it closed and floated effortlessly back to the motel after probably our best meal of the trip so far.