So, I am finally in Arizona, and a little proud that I managed to walk out of California.
I left off with arrival in Needles – unfortunately sometimes getting my issues straightened with receiving money on the road needs some work when I get to Kingman next, because it took several days to get my travel money.
I spent the time getting weighed, talking to a local reporter and hanging out at Jack Smith park.
I wanted to start walking yesterday, but before I got myself fully shopped on foods time had run late and I started to head back to Jack Smith for an early start today. I was a bit tired and down trodden because I had really wanted one more shower and my laundry done and it really just didn’t look possible.
When surprise, surprise, Kevin – my road angel who had supplied me with water on Route 66 pulled over to say Hi.
Kevin and his wife Velinda invited me to their place for the night, took me out to dinner and YES, I got showered and laundry done. Not to mention all my gizmo’s charged up. Visiting with Kevin and Velinda was a real treat – they had a small but wonderful ranch just outside Needles. Sleeping in a real, soft bed with sheets also rocked my world. It seems every time I have a real, genuine need something pops up to supply that need. It was so nice to hang around last night and this morning to talk and get to know these two wonderful people. Thank you for your hospitality Kevin and Velinda!
So, this morning got a little delayed with all the talking and eating – and then of course, I had to get a flat tire that had to be changed. But by 10:30 am California time I was finally on the road and in to Arizona. Please folks, if you contact me, please remember I have now changed a time zone.
I want to write a little about what is ahead of me and the change of seasons / weather. I am still on course to the Grand Canyon and Santa Fe.
The elevation in Needles was 495 ft. The elevation of the Grand Canyon is almost 7000 ft, and the elevation of Kingman my next big city is 3333 ft. Kingman is only 50 miles from here, but with a climb of 2838 ft between now and then I suspect I will be walking significantly slower.
This also means that my late and slow start here in to winter will have an impact. The Grand Canyon sees snow, although not every year, they also see cold temperatures. The same goes actually for Santa Fe. It is obvious that I will have to make a sharp turn south at some point, but I really hope to make both these destinations before I have to make that decision. That said, of course, safety first. I do plan to do some winterizing of my pack once I get to Kingman.
The night before last I woke up and found a thin film of frost on top of my sleeping bag, but I had not been overly cold at night – my feet got a little chilled, but other than that I was fine. With one more large and relatively thick blanket I can easily handle a few degrees of frost at night.
I found a really nice spot by a golf course for tonight, and got permission to sleep in their cedars which will be nice, hidden, soft and slightly warmer so I look forward to that campsite.