Usery Campground, another “primitive” campsite, but as picturesque as could be hoped for. My last blog referred to “a short riding day planned”. It turned out to be even shorter than planned, as I experienced the first flat bike tire of the journey. Part of the riding I did yesterday was along a section of hiway whose road banks had been rotary mowed. I think I’ve mentioned before just how many tires carcasses and parts of shredded tires there are along roads everywhere. I knew from my experience of riding the Lewis and Clark Trail in 2005 that these are the most likely sources of bike tire punctures. The extremely hard and minute pieces of reinforcing wire (as hard and sharp as needles) are scattered all along the roadway and eventually all get blown over to the shoulder. I am able to dodge the larger of these pieces, but the added debris from the rotary mowing made it too much of a “mine field” to avoid. Ergo, my first flat. Bad news, good news part of the story is that I’m as close to a bike repair shop as I could hope to be here on the fringes of Phoenix. Although I carry tire repair equipment with me, the stiffness of these “puncture resistant” tires I have on the bike make it very hard to find the cause of the leak, so I was very happy to have a “pro” do the job for me and not have to worry about whether or not it was fixed.
Our “visiting schedule” had been pretty much in flux until this point, but now we felt pretty sure we could make it all work. Our first on this special list was the home of Dave and Judy Dickey, of Packwood, Ia. Thanks to an introduction by their wonderful daughter, Alison in 1994 following a super special COR weekend, they have been tremendous friends. This is the first opportunity we have had to visit them in their “winter home”.
The cast on Judy’s arm is another clue as to how active they are. She broke her wrist playing “pickle ball”, going after a hard serve. Yeah, they’re that kind of folks. We enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked meal with them and then visited a “Tech Shop” that Dave is a member of. Fascinating place, it was! Lot’s of high tech and “low tech” tools that can let superb craftsmen like Dave so amazing things. Including 3D printers, steel working tools, wood and steel cutting lasers. In other words, a dream world for a tinkerer/builder/inventor like Dave Dickey.
A wonderful, leisurely, late breakfast all together and then Cathy and I off to Desert Botanical Garden. Cathy has been there a couple of times before but was very anxious to see it again. It is a wonderful place, especially to midwestern born and bred folks like us.
We spent a wonderful afternoon there and Cathy even managed to find a number of birds. To top it all off, the $25/each admission fee was “free” to us since Cathy is a member of the Chicago Botanical Garden and they have reciprocity with this garden. Whoo Hoo!!
On to the home of Sheryle and Charlie Kaluza, and the continuation of the story.
Thanks for coming along. By the way, I give the Dickey’s a “5 Star” rating for hospitality, so you can all keep that in mind 🙂