Mar 11, 2012
Distance today = 53.50 km; Total distance = 3314.56 km; Location = Salome – 33 46.847′ N, 113 36.724′ W; Start time = 0913, Finish time = 1712
Another great day on the road, but first, a short recap on last night.
We ventured into downtown Quartzsite for dinner, settling for Silly Al's. This was pretty much forced upon us, as the recommended joint was closing up at 8 pm when we arrived. As it turned out, it was for the best. The meal of Silly Al's Homemade Texas Chili and a 20 inch pizza (that's a half metre in diameter – HUGE) were just what the doctor ordered. This was complemented nicely by the carafe of merlot and the local rock'n'roll band playing old favourites. And they were OLD favourites. The crowd was predominantly what are known here as Snowbirds – older people escaping the northern winter by coming to Arizona and staying a few months in RVs or trailer homes. The Snowbirds were revelling in the music, and we enjoyed watching them enjoy themselves. In fact, we were the youngest table in the joint. The girls loved that little fact.
And this morning we learned that Wyatt Earp was the sheriff of Quartzsite for a while. That was before all the RVs, trailers, and other temporary accommodation moved in. He wouldn't know the place now.
I began the run on the same rough gravel road I finished on yesterday, running the first 5 km in trying conditions. But the road surface improved, and I soon found myself on a very straight road – so straight, in fact, that I didn't strike any appreciable change in direction for 24 km. It's strange, because it's both interesting and monotonous on these long straight roads.
At the 36 km point of the day I saw two crosses just off the road. I investigated, only to discover a very sad story. They were commemorating two young girls, aged 6 and 2. They had died on the same day, presumably in some sort of car accident, but it's difficult to see how an accident could happen on such a good stretch of road (what happened to the parents?). The saddest thing was the sight of their toys placed at the foot of the crosses, as well as their shoes. It was very hard to look at a two year old's shoes in that context.
I pressed on, arriving in Salome with 53.5 km under my belt. We are staying in the Westward Motel, which I would recommend to anyone making their way through these parts. The owners have gone to the trouble of making this much more than your run-of-the-mill motel, with some unique little touches.