I think we all slept hard, got a late start this morning, and finally meandered over to the Longhorn Restaurant on Allen Street around 8AM. There was no need to hurry. The service there is friendly and very laid back – we received coffee and juice by 8:45AM or so. The place features breakfast skillets which all turned out to be pretty good.
Heading out of town and into headwinds, we made a stop for road snacks at a small market. There we met cyclist Terry who was interested in our tour. Ultra talkative and friendly, Terry asked if he could ride with us for a while out of town, just for the company.
We learned that Terry is actually Terry Ike Clanton, an actor (check out http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2816141/), a Tombstone business owner and resident, and a real live cousin of the Clantons from the OK Corral gunfight. In fact, he recently gained some fame for completing the 42-mile version of the El Tour de Tucson after fighting through a heart condition – read more here: http://thetombstonenews.com/clanton-scores-gold-metal-in-el-tour-de-tucson-bicycle-race-p3733-79.htm
Terry rode 3 miles with our fast guys to the Tombstone Municipal Airport, where we stopped again to chat. He was kind enough to take this photo of our gang.
The next segment of the ride I’d been looking forward to. It is a stark but beautiful 25 mile stretch along Davis Road. Southeast headwinds impeded us but not too badly, and they diminished as the day wore on. I stopped a lot along here, just looking around and appreciating where I was.
I passed a dead skunk and then found Dave a few hundred yards ahead of it. He was looking back to see if I’d take a roadkill photograph – I guess my reputation has preceded me. (No, I didn’t.) Dave and I rode together most of the way over to McNeal, continuing to stop frequently.
We regrouped at the McNeal Mercantile. The place has a new owner who by any measure is colorful, a likable strange fellow. I was looking for a cherry pie, which the owner didn’t carry because, he said, they cause cancer. I soon learned that’s his standard line for anything he doesn’t stock. I finally grabbed a bag of Sun chips, took them to the window and asked if they cause cancer. Answer: “Nothing over $3 causes cancer.”
He’d erected this little house inside the store to serve as a cash station, and had it just sitting on blocks so it wouldn’t require a building permit. The rest of the store was unheated, just the little house. There was also a new glass case with all sort of marijuana paraphernalia.
A few new signs up on the house got me chuckling, and another poster got me laughing pretty good. We ended up taking a long sit out front working on snacks.
Our route turned due south down US191 and the winds did not exactly cooperate, swirly all afternoon from the east, south, and west. Still, the route is gradually downhill, and I broke it up with numerous stops, enjoying every mile.
Jack and I regrouped just outside Douglas. At 16th Street and Pan American Avenue, we got a green left turn arrow, and I chugged out into the road to make the turn. About the same time, Jack called out behind me, “No! Let’s go straight.” Not thinking it quite through, I corrected and stayed straight – right through a red light. I’m one of the safest riders I know, so I guess I’m happy to have survived it.
We finally found the Traveler’s Inn and a friendly Indian clerk. A decent enough room although strictly a value-oriented business. In fact, we all laughed to see that the ice machine required a quarter here, too – is this some disturbing new trend in motels?
The five of us soon hiked south to El Rincon Mexicano, only to find it closed. Five blocks further south was El Chef, the kind of mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant we were looking for.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have a liquor license, but indicated that BYOB from the nearby gas station was acceptable. Phil and I hopped over there and picked up a sixpack of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Alas, the restaurant had no bottle opener, so we both returned to the gas station to learn that they didn’t have one either. On to Plan C. Phil and I found the edge of a stone wall and slammed the caps off that way, with a 50% yield. Three bottle caps came off clean and three fractured the top rim of the bottle.
Inside, we assessed this situation, and Jack suggested we pour the beer through a napkin. A decent enough idea except that the beer foamed so badly so as not to flow through. In the end, we decided to simply decant very slowly, hoping not to include any glass shards. I am quite certain my thirst for the beer was a factor in this not-all-that-wise decision, but it turned out OK.
Good Mexican dinner, and then a walk back to the motel in the dark. On the way, Jack relayed this gem, which cracked us up and so I’m going to repeat it here:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of red, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later Holmes woke up, nudged his faithful friend and said, “Watson, I want you to look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson said, “I see millions and millions of stars.” Sherlock said, “And what does that tell you?”After a minute or so of pondering Watson said, “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Metereologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day today. What does it tell you?”
Holmes was silent for about 30 seconds and said, “Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!”
Jack and I watched Ghostbusters II before nodding off, and decided that Sigourney Weaver sure was cute back then.
Finished Cycle: Nov 19, 2015, 3:50:53 PM
Route: New Route
Explorer Link: http://cyclemeter.com/51ced2364be66c17/Cycle-20151119-0925
Ride Time: 4:17:03
Stopped Time: 2:08:41
Distance: 49.32 miles
Average: 11.51 mph
Fastest Speed: 23.69 mph