April 26
 Blythe, CA to Wickenburg, AZ  
  
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The trip from Blythe, Ca to Wickenburg, AZ started out well, as we rolled through town to get on I-10 eastbound. We crossed the Colorado River (not very impressive at this location…I think most of the water has been pumped out at this point for irrigation and human use), and stopped for the obligatory photo next to the “Welcome to Arizona” sign. One state down, only 14 more to go!

 

Almost as soon as we entered Arizona, an overzealous state trooper roared down an on-ramp and pulled about 12 of us over, warning us that construction was going on ahead, and that traffic was being diverted over to the shoulder (where we ride). She said she couldn’t order us to halt, but advised that imminent death awaited any of us foolhardy enough to attempt the passage. We called our support van driver, and they began the laborious task of loading all of our bikes onto roof racks, cramming us into the two vans, and ferrying us five miles  to the next exit. As it turned out, the construction going on was very minimal, traffic was not on the shoulder, and we could have made it with no issues. Score one for AZ highway patrol.

 

We got off of I-10, and rode Route 60 the rest of the way into Wickenburg. This road is extremely desolate, and it was rare to see a car (or anything else for that matter.) We had a decent tailwind, which pushed us along, and we arrived in the old west city of Wickenburg in early afternoon. I ran into a Marine Major riding solo across the US (he did have one support crew in a car), and he had an enormous American flag affixed to his bike. I appreciate patriotism, but that flag was going to get awfully heavy with the winds we’ve seen so far on this trip.

 

I went to grab a Mexican late lunch/earlydinner with Tom Stenovec from San Luis Obispo, and we were joined by Lasse Aune from Norway. I went back to the Best Western, did my laundry in the tub, and hung everything out on the rail to dry.

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At the California-Arizona border, just before running afoul of the law.
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This Marine Major, based in Camp Pendleton, CA, is riding his bike cross-country to Delaware to raise money for wounded Marines and their families. The flag must be a real bear to keep under control in the high winds we've seen across the desert.
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The tiny hamlet of Hope, AZ, has this sign on the back of the welcome sign for the other direction. Grammar is somewhat optional in Hope, evidently.
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Loading the bikes on the vans after our run-in with Trooper Helga.
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Western Arizona is desolate but beautiful.
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Route 60 in western AZ must be the lonliest road in America. Here's a video that gives you an idea of what it's like to ride it on a bike.
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Another shot of the van loading (photo from Simon Nicholl)