Coal Creek Campground, Arizona

It remained dry last night, but the clouds became daunting early in the day, gathering around the foothills of the surrounding mountains. We rolled. It rained. We made it to the small town of Buckhorn and scrambled under the awning of the post office. Steve called Susie at a nearby telephone to check in. I waited for the rain to stop. There was an RV park next door, and we were very close to calling it a day and staying there. At the last minute, Steve decided that we should ride in the rain because he thought it would clear up.

An hour later, it began to clear. Had we stayed back, we would be in some soggy, overpriced RV park wondering what to do for the rest of the day. As it turned out, we were headed along rolling hills towards California. We rode State Route 78, a nice alternative to the busier US highways we had been pedaling on.

We climbed a pass into Arizona and wondered where New Mexico had gone. My spirit is lifted; we are almost done. We are really moving. We needed the satisfaction of blowing through a state in a hurry, especially after we had come to believe we would spend the rest of our lives in Texas.

We hit a Forest Service campground and set up. There was no one else around. We stood by our fire in perfect quiet and enjoyed dinner, steam slowly rising from two plastic bowls full of the casserole I made. Tomorrow we will clear another pass, then descend into Safford or Thatcher, two mining towns down the road.