We hated Phoenix.
An overpopulated, depressing, city. Everywhere you go feels like the other place you just left: chain stores, chain stores, and chain stores, bounded by brick boxes where people laze about. It’s like seeing that black cat over and over again.
But dull wasn’t the issue; we can survive dull.
We were risking our lives riding our motorcycles there.
Most drivers travel 15-20mph+ over the speed limit; .the blinker is obsolete; tailgating, cutting and reckless passing—risky business for any motorcycle rider.
We hated it. But then, there’s the trail, starting approximately 45 miles east of Phoenix.
The Apache Trail – A sign of life in a smoldering, impatient region.
Ride long enough and you’ll notice where the trail begins. Everything—including drivers—slows down. The road narrows just a bit, and you embark on a ride packed with curves and hairpin turns, all the way to Tortilla Flat and beyond, keeping you alert and fully present.
Honestly, every mile calls for renewed exclamations of amazement. Growing hills reach closer to the road, and an increasing concentration of Prickly and Saguaro cactus welcome you to the trail. Everywhere are countless, unnamed, bushy patches, scattered like green freckles, decorating the otherwise pale cheeks of Arizona.
For a few minutes we had gone quiet and habituated. Then, a perfectly smooth body of water appeared. Beautiful, calm mirror; an emanating spirit in the desert.
The oasis stretched all the way to Tortilla Flat, where we stopped for lunch. The food was ‘OK’ but the atmosphere–old west, walls covered with one dollar bills–was worth it.
Beauty: (4.5 / 5)
Skill level: (1.5 / 5)
Easy. Unless you get anxious when riding by steep edges (most of which lined with barriers). Keep an eye for the speed limit warning before the curve. Remember, you can always pick up the pace at the apex. Start slow, and accelerate as needed.
Road quality: (3 / 5)
Smooth at some points, moderately bumpy in others. Path clearly defined. There were two spots under construction, however they posed a minor inconvenience.
Overall: (4.5 / 5)
Thank You Note:
Thank you Kirk and Angel Havermahl for allowing us to invade your peaceful neighborhood for 10 whole days, enjoy cuddling with your adorable kitties, (especially Pookie, my girl), go nuts over unparalleled home cooking, and—more than anything—for sharing so many moments of laughter and joy.
Thank you so much. XOXO
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