At the rest area, we met a young man from Montreal traveling in a 1992 school bus painted silver. He and his dog had been on the road for a year and a half, first crossing Canada to work on the Vancouver Winter Olympics and then moving down the coast from place to place. He spent three months in Slab City and was surprised we knew where it was. He was now eager to get home.
From the Visitor Center, we rode the 6.8 miles up Bonita Canyon Drive to Massai Point, 6,800 feet above sea level. Along the way, we saw amazing rhyolite towers.
When the photography was done, we headed on down and followed Arizona 181 south to Elfrida where the Vulcan needed fuel. While in the gas station, we got talking to a local rancher who suggested (we hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was getting late) that the fare at the Longhorn steakhouse down the street was pretty good. He even came down and introduced us to the owner, who was out back getting ready for a rodeo they were hosting next week. The rancher had sold his cattle at auction because they haven't had rain in over a year and both hay and feed lotting were too expensive. The Longhorn food was as good as he said it was.
The snag of the day happened when WT reached for his regular glasses and realized he must have left them back at the Monument Visitor Center when he was stamping his new Passport book. Remember I said the book would be important. The park was just closing now so there was no chance of going back and he wasn't able to reach them on the phone. He and KT resolved to go back tomorrow and try to find them.
From the floor of the San Pedro Valley, the setting sun was doing strange things to the mountains to the east. Unfortunately, I had suggested Sandy put the camera in the trunk. It is all my fault that we have no spectacular photos to share.
Through Tombstone, we picked up three bikes behind us. At the Border Patrol checkpoint, they waved me through and WT followed. The other three didn't and WT said the agent had stepped in front of them and stopped them. Since I was doing 10 MPH less than the limit in the dark, they soon caught back up with and passed us.
We arrived back in Benson about 7:15 PM and found that we had new neighbors on both sides of us. We spent the evening talking and my blog fell further behind but I can do that any time. We were able to reach the National Monument on the phone and confirm that WT's glasses were there. Their ride back tomorrow should be better knowing that the specs are actually there.
WT said he was pretty sure their photography drove Sherm nuts on some of their rides and was concerned that we were stressed as well. I told him these last few days were good riding and we were there to see what we could see. I also suggested that I probably wouldn't be able to take their pace on a cross country run:-))
We ended up getting to bed a little later than usual, tired out by a very interesting day.
Today's Route (208 motorcycle miles):
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