I awoke in my hammock a few miles from Wenden, AZ. I broke camp and repacked the buggy.
I watched the sunrise up on the road.
My phone had died, but I made it to a convenience store and charged my phone outside. I looked up, and the mission was across the street!
Mass wasnt until 1 p.m. Time passed. A man from town gave me a hotdog that he had bought! It was so good, much better than pop tarts and pringles!
At 12:30 p.m., I made my way over to St. John the Evangelist. Doug greeted me! He showed me to the bathrooms where I could wash up before Mass and gave me a cold bottle of water. He was so nice to me. I also met his mom, Marylyn. she is from the Boston Area!
After Mass, everyone was so nice to me! The priest, Fr. Richard was so welcoming. Doug gave me a few more cold waters. Fr Richard drives over 200+ miles round trip on Sundays. He celebrates many Masses at the missions and parishes in Western Arizona. I answered everyones questions the best I could about what I was doing. Fr. had some interesting perspective on this pilgrimage and gave me some insight into some challenges I had been facing. Everyone wished me the best. We parted ways.
I headed back over to the convenience store and restocked what I could. I was trying to find things high in calories. Peanut butter, cans of beans, tortillas. The woman behind the counter’s name was Crystal. She gave me a free gallon of water! I gave a man outside who looked homeless a bottle of water, and he gave me a dollar. He told me to buy a cold drink! I hit the road.
The sun began to set. I took in my surroundings:
I left Highway 60 and joined Highway 72 west. It brought me deeper into the desert.
Traffic was nonexistent. I had my reflective gear on, but kept my head lamp turned off. It was dark and quiet.
I stumbled into JR! We almost walked right into eachother! I think when I turned on my headlamp, I scared him silly!
And then we started chatting. Out there in the desert. JR is 70 years old, he wants to get into better shape. He was walking his bike back from a 5 mile ride. JR served in Vietnam at the same time as my father. We chatted into the night.
It was kind of trippy running into JR out there in the desert. After what seemed like a long while of chatting, we parted ways. He headed east back towards Salome, and I continued on towards Parker.
And then everything changed. Highway 72 met up with a trucking route. Traffic came in pockets, and I could see cars coming for miles, but there was basically no shoulder on the road. The truckers cling close to the white line. I had a system of avoiding vehicles, but I kept having to haul the buggy back and forth across to the opposite side of the road. It was tiring.
So I stopped and set up camp early. Well, it was passed midnight, but I have been slowly getting used to traveling at night. It was early for mileage. Beneath a railroad track I slept. I had to climb through cattle guard to get there, but I was safe. A train went overhead at some point early in the morning, it was loud! I slept great for a few hours.
I did not see that you made it to your destination. Would like to see the conclusion of you journey on the mercy run.
I have enjoyed your trip, I had a talk with Father Moran today, he said that we would like each others journey. Back in 76, I decided to celebrate the bi-centennial on a ten-speed, I practiced by going from Biloxi, MS to Harahan, LA on Tuesdays and returning on Wednesdays, 8.5 hours each way for 119 miles, My original plan was after 9 weeks of training to ship my bike to NYC and petal back to Biloxi… Some times our original plans give way to plan B. I loved the adventure even make it part of my book.
I hope to get to know you, when you return to this area. BTW, I use to drive frequently from Southern CA to Parker, Chandler, Los Vegas and return to Oceanside did that with a truck in the early 90’s.