May 21-23, 2006
The long ride home wasn’t as auspicious as the ride out. Yes, it started out nice and cool and cloudy all right. Plus, I got to have chicken again on the outskirts of OKC.
But then it started. Wind. High wind. Strong wind. Wind blowing at least 60 miles an hour. Across the panhandle. Across New Mexico. It was a bitch of a ride to Albuquerque. I finally got in just before dark, and wandered across the street to Blake’s Lotaburger. Man, those burgers are great! Just like we used to get back in the old days – whatever that means. They’re open for breakfast too! I wandered back to my room and slept like a log.
Early morning turned out great, but the wind picked up again and I was fighting it all the way to Flagstaff. On the positive side, the temps had dropped to 57 degrees, so now I was putting on my jacket to fight the cold and a rainshower. I can’t win.
The wind continued all the way south into Phoenix. My friend Debby found a great room for me at the Papago Best Western on E. McDowell Rd. This is an older Best Western, but it’s not run down. The rooms surround a beautiful treed courtyard, with laundry facilities, a pool and a breakfast-only restaurant. All for $53.00 a night, summer rate. The winter rate is three times that. I wasn’t disappointed.
I did a little laundry and settled in for the night, and later the next day rode over to the Phoenix Art Museum to meet Debby, a friend. The museum is one of those flat, drab, concrete-exterior buildings, although with some construction going on, perhaps that would be improved upon. After a quick lunch in the museum café we wandered around the exhibits and displays, which consisted mostly of paintings and some artifacts.
By 4:30 I was back on the road and headed home via Parker and Route 62.