Day 83 Almost to Ash Fork but actually to Paulden

Leaping out of bed into a nice shower is lovely and not something a camper does well (no real opportunity to practice on a campground). Then a continental breakfast supplied by the Grand Motel went down a treat, including a tea and coffee.

We started off with a brief encounter with Route 66 (around 3 miles) before it gets eaten by the I40. Unfortunatly we have 15 miles to cycle down the I40 ourselves, but as with all the interstates it has a very good shoulder. There does seem to be a lot of large trucks on the though, probably because it goes straight to Los Angeles and they are all delivering the vast quantities of essentials (burgers, fries etc) to the city. The truck drivers are very good though, they will move over into the second lane when they pass us.

There is a huge amount of debris on the shoulder though, you need to keep your wits about you (always difficult) to avoid the rubbish. It does not seem to be a good place to be a small furry mammal though (or large hairy one either) there are a huge amount of flat animals on the shoulder as well.

There was a lovely 6 mile downhill (actually nearer 9 miles but only 6 of them warranted warning truck driver about the steep gradients). Then it was of down highway 89 although we did take a detour into Ash Fork for a coffee and also checked up on camping options on the way down highway 89, nobody seemed to know anything.

18 miles so far and we thought to get to Paulden, another 25 miles and just find somewhere to set up our tent. The road proved to be very nice cycling generally trending downhill (always a favorite of mine). Passing Drake, a huge cement works and rail line.

A final descent and we entered Paulden, it is one of these huge spread out towns a population of 5231 housed in an area as big as Wolverhampton (the local soccer team would still manage to beat the Wolves though, notice the use of soccer not football to avoid confusing americans).

We stopped at Family Dollar (a bit like poundland) and stocked up on water should we need to wild camp. Again they were not helpful when it came to suggesting where we could camp although they did use the words “just up the road” on more than one occasion meaning 8 miles away.

We set off in search of somewhere quiet, and within a mile spotted a RV park, so a short grovel (as opposed to a long bobble) later and we had secured a spot, it had no facilities at all (not even a toilet) as they are an RV only park normally. There was a petrol (gas) station opposite so we frequented this when necessary.

We had some grapes and iced tea given to us by the man next to us, he has booked into the site for 2 weeks then he will move on somewhere else. I do find it surprising just how many americans live this way (no they are not all retired either) almost a nomadic lifestyle, it seems to be very lonely life.

We had our usual pasta tea with the very pleasant evening temperatures that we now get as our route does south and down.

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