|Beautiful, soft leaves look like flowers|
Even though we had to start out on the freeway shoulder for a while, which was not so great, the shoulder was in much better condition than yesterday. There was even a guy in a pick up truck that was driving along the side of the highway, stopping now and then to pick up the chunks of the truck tire debris that litter the shoulder. I was sorry that we got ahead of him before the descent! It would have been great to be in the travel lanes for this descent, by the way. It was six miles of 6%, according to the downward facing truck sign. That was probably the first decent descent we've had since Montana, Roger was thinking - and we had to do it on the freeway shoulder! Even so, by the time we finished the first hour of our ride, we'd gone 16.5 mph, which is about as fast as we ever go.
|Starting the descent|
From there, we got off the highway onto an old segment of Route 66 through the ranch country. The grasses and shrubs along the side of the road were all in beautiful fall colors. Not brilliant, bright reds, golds and oranges, like you might see in the eastern hardwoods, but softer, more muted versions of the fall palette. There were grasses in greys that almost seemed hazy blue, and straw-colored grasses, and rust-colored plants that almost seemed mauve. It was subtle, soft, and totally fabulous. I could not get enough of it.
|Looking back to the mountains|
Out in the country, as we were, it was quiet. We had the occasional car or truck pass us, but mostly it was quiet. In that environment, I could hear the crows cawing, watch a hawk circle above. Even the sunlight was soft today - a nice overcast sky kept the temperature great for riding.
Riding a bike, you see so much more than you do in a car. I don't think I could have seen the grasses, the birds, the blue carpet of juniper berries under all the trees if I had been traveling 60 miles an hour. Even the fact that we were off the highway was a blessing. It allowed us to see the old inns, and a surprise - on this segment of Route 66, someone has maintained or recreated Burma Shave signs!
We are slowing down just a bit for a few days. Having made the decision that we will attempt a ride-through on the long leg through the Mojave, we have an extra day in our schedule. We've decided to shorten one of our longer days on the way to Needles. So tomorrow we only advance to Peach Springs.
The day's report: Williams to Seligman, 41.8 miles/9062 to date
Here's our route, including that nice descent
|Soft skies today|