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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Ruins No, But Scenery Yes

~Thursday, November 19, 2020~

Day 158

We fit in a little chill time along with some route planning to get us through the middle of January.

When you’re planning that many days of what cities to hunker down in, and ultimately what campgrounds or RV parks fit our needs/budget, those things alone, can take a whole day. One thing that’s nice about not committing ahead to anything, is allowing you the freedom to tweak the schedule a little bit. For example, from Sedona we were going to spend two weeks in Tucson, AZ. Reason being, I didn’t want to skip over spending some time in Flagstaff. We’ve blown through there a few times in the past, on our way to Chaco Canyon and a few other sites, but never spent any quality time there. So we postponed our stay in Tucson by 4 days. I think that should allow us enough time to explore Flagstaff. We also plan on seeing our dear friend “Brennan” who is more like a second son to us. He loves hiking like we do, so I’m sure he’ll show us some cool trails. ln Tucson, we’re really looking forward to investigating their vibrant, cultural city hoping there won’t be too much affected by the pandemic. I’m sure we’ll also become one with the symbol of the American Southwest…..the saguaro cactus. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re slowly making our way back to California for the needed repairs on the trailer by early December. So an additional must see stop will be Joshua Tree.

Then, time for some exploring. It wasn’t until around 4:00 that we left our site to head to the Honanki Heritage Site. Honanki, which means “bear house” offers a glimpse of petroglyphs and ruins which were part of the largest Sinaguan communities in the Verde Valley. It’s no wonder that this peaceful site appealed to three separate cultures…….the Sinagua, Yavapai and Apache. All over a 700 year period. We were fortunate in that this site was only 4 miles northeast of our campsite. Since that didn’t seem long, we got the bikes ready to go. Not more than 5 minutes later, Jeff realized his front tire was really low. Sure enough…..another flat tire. This would make for flat tire #4 if you include the truck tire debacle. As we looked for a leak, sure enough, we found 2 goatheads, also known as “devil’s thorn”. Those things wreak havoc on bike tubes. We figured the previous bike tube tires that were on mine and Jeff’s bike were of poor quality from the tune-ups we had done in Napa before we hit the road. Since then, we have put a few really good tubes on my bike from more reputable shops. You can feel the difference in the rubber for sure (weight and thickness). But we didn’t let that stop us. So we locked the bikes back up and let the truck get us there. The first 2 miles are the same dirt road that we’ve become familiar with, but then, the signs appear that warn you of the rough roads ahead. This poor truck has really been through the ringer on this trip. And we’re carrying a lot of extra weight in the back which we call our “storage unit” on the trip. It didn’t take more than a few seconds to realize, maybe the flat tire was a blessing in disguise. We would have never made this rough road before dark on our bikes. When we finally arrived 30 minutes later (yes, it takes that long when going over really rough terrain), we were excited to find an entry pass that someone had previously dropped on the ground, only to find out the heritage site closes at 3:00. Ugh! And the rough road to get there. It wasn’t all a loss. I did get some amazing photos along the way,

as we were driving through this amazing valley when the light was optimum. Hoping we’ll have time to visit another day.

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