Handlebar Mustache As Bodyguard

Saturday, May 24 - Phoenix, Arizona to Spafford, Arizona
Driving. On US-60 and US-70 for as long as we can. With a new set of handlebars. (Andy believes that if one of us has a handlebar mustache, we'll avoid a beating throughout the south ... he can't grow one so I'm stuck with the idiocy on my face).

We stop to refuel in Globe, Arizona. Martin invites us into his daughter’s QuinceaƱera. It’s a Mexican tradition for girls much like a Sweet 16 party but at the age of 15. There’s food. Good food. Tamales, guacamole, beans, pulled pork, all wrapped in a tiny tortilla. We take pictures and video and watch as Mom cries, Dad dances, and friends and family cheer. We look for camping in Thatcher, Arizona on the recommendation of Anne Raney, Andy’s sister. The road to the campsite is rocky and unpaved, and Christine can barely handle it. We turn back towards Safford, Arizona to look for the Wal-Mart where we’ve heard people can camp for free in the parking lot at anytime.

Not the case. Only RVs and only if the Store Manager allows it. He doesn’t.

The first hotel is $60 even though it’s 1am and we’ve assured the manager we’ll be out by sunrise.

The Budget Inn is another story. Leslie J. at the front desk agrees to let us stay in the employee room if we don’t tell a soul and promise to leave before 6am when she gets off work. (Breakfast will be available if we’re out early enough).

The bathroom is filled with dead cockroaches and beetles, but the room is free and the beds wreak only slightly of body odor and hard water.

Sam Hendrick calls at 2am from New York City. He’s heard about kART and wants to say hi, wish us luck, and ask more questions than I can answer at this hour without more sleep in my body and mind. We’re grateful for his blessing and curiosity, though, and look forward to his company when we get to the Big Apple.

Miles traveled today: 165
Total miles traveled: 567

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