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Published: October 3rd 2019
Day 8 Blythe to Yuma
Yesterday leaving Amboy we noticed that the soil on each side of the road looked like it had been attacked by a giant rotary hoe, then we passed a sign saying American Chloride Co. A bit of cunning research by Bryan found that salt (sodium chloride) is under the surface in this area & they dig up the soil to recover it, hence the churned up soil. During the day we also passed a stationary freight train probably 3 or 4kms long that had 5 engines coupled up to do the work of getting this huge load mobile. Leaving Blythe this morning we passed thousands of acres of crops as we had coming into Blythe the day before, irrigation channels are feeding water from the Colorado river. Talk about a contrast from sandy brown desert with scrubby plants to lush green crops.
Leaving Blythe we were soon on a gravel road, The Bradshaw Trail. It was signed very appropriately as suitable for 4 wheel drives only. A good gravel road deteriorated in a rocky sandy river bed in each dip where recent floods had been through. Once out of these dips the road was
a good gravel route interspersed with tricky deep soft patches & culverts running across the road. We practised all of our skills on these sections. Some worked well & some didn't. (see photo)
50kms later we were back on the seal and a while later Ian turned off at Indian Pass Rd which led through a soft sand section for around 15kms. We opted for seal into Yuma where we had lunch & waited for Ian. He eventually arrived having done around 15kms more than us & reporting the soft sand was mainly deep fine gravel & not as bad as reported. We were still happy to have avoided this.
We knew we had to buy a permit each to cross Arizona State lands so researched this to find you could only buy them for cash in Phoenix, where we weren't going or online with an American issued credit card which we didn't have! A bit of a quandry until Bryan had the bright idea of getting a pre-paid debit card which he found was available at Walmart. So a visit to a local Walmart sorted the problem. After leaving Yuma our goal was to cut out some
of our transit section today, by continuing Eastwards to a small town called Gila Bend some 200kms away. Ironic name as we were on a completely straight freeway the I8 for most of the journey there, but it's may probably named after the Colorado river which flows nearby. Leaving Yuma we passed quite a few truck & RV yards. The scale was amazing - a Peterbilt truck yard must have had at least 100 new units in stock probably at $500k each. Then a similar sized RV yard. The RVs they stocked were mainly bus size & during the ride we were passed by dozens of them, mostly towing a car or jeep on an A frame & one with a jeep then behind that a trailer with 2 Jetskis, RV road train!
Arriving in Gila Bend we found our motel to be clean & tidy (albeit right on the noisey main road) & had a nice swimming pool which we used to cool off. 350m down the road we had a nice Italian meal in a Spanish run establishment. 400kms approximately today. Day 9 Gila Bend to Bisbee
Leaving our motel we were soon on the
I8 freeway (max speed 75mph or 125kmph) being passed by lots of huge rigs doing around 70mph even though their speed limit is 55mph. The drivers here, especially trucks all seem very courteous even if at high speed.Even though this was a pretty boring transit section we saw some interesting sights. A couple of large truck/tractor units passed us at 70mph with huge fork lift blades sticking out the back. The overall effect was a huge fork lift passing us at speed in reverse. We realised later that this was for towing other prime movers between depots to avoid wear & tear & probably road taxes. They pick up the front wheels on these blades. We saw 2 or 3 units being towed like this behind 1 tractor unit.
We also had the unusual experience of entering onto a freeway from a fuel stop to see a house bearing down behind us on the back of a truck. A smallish house but nevertheless seeing it in your mirrors catching you at around 65mph was a bit disconcerting to say the least. Off the I8 onto the I10 & then into Benson we stopped at a typical diner lunch having
some laughs with the waitress as she struggled to understand our accents.
Back out of Benson we stopped at Tombstone where The Earp Brothers (Wyatt, Virgil & Morgan) & Doc Holliday had their famous gunfight at the OK Corral. A interesting historic walk up & down the main street, standing on the spots where it all happened. We didn't wait around for the gunfight re-enactment (every hour on the hour) but pressed onto to our destination of Bisbee where we had booked into the historic Inn at Castle Rock. It has a well under the office floor which was sunk in 1877 & the hotel,which can be described as eclectic, was built over the well- & WAIT FOR IT.
....believe it or not is owned by a Kiwi from Kaiwaka whose brother is also staying here at present. A beer on the deck from our room overlooking castle rock finished off a 350km day nicely.
Tot: 0.131s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 8; qc: 22; dbt: 0.0126s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb