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Arizona Scapbook Page 3


looking back along the rollercoaster route above Apache Lake
December 22nd. Woke up to frost this morning covering my paniers and tent - about minus 3 degrees Celsius. Guess there was enough moisture in the air last night. Started packing around 6:45 while it was still quite dark. Left about 8 AM after a breakfast of cookies and apple. Second breakfast after the first uphill to Horse Mesa. Stopped in a sunny spot near the trailhead to Reavis Ranch. I had planned to spend a couple of days backpacking in this area, to some old indian ruins, but I decided that the cycling is streneous enough.
Lunch spot down on Apache Lake
Lots of up and downhills today, all on sand with no traction, which meant walking my bike up a few hills that were just too steep. Stopped for lunch at Burnt Corral campground down on Apache Lake. That meant having to ride uphill back to the Apache Trail, but at least the part out of the campground was paved. Then of course more climbing on the Apache Trail.

I finally reached pavement just before the Roosevelt Dam, then had a steep climb to the top of the dam, before reaching the junction with Highway 188 at Lake Roosevelt. I made it to the turnoff to Tonto National Monument at 3 PM, an hour before they close the trail to the Lower Ruins. Quite the climb up the spur road to the visitor's center.
Junction with Hwy 188 at Roosevelt Lake
I ended up stashing my bike in some bushes and walking the rest of the way up.

I paid my 3 buck entrance fee at the visitors center and headed up the trail to the Lower Ruins. These ruins of a small 19 room pueblo village were built within a shallow cave by the Salado people nearly 700 years ago. The Salado lived in teh Tonto Basin for some 300 years, until they abandoned the area around 1450. It is possible to walk through these ruins and to try to imagine what life in them must have been like. Claustrophobic and smoky is what I imagine. These rooms are not very big with very low ceilings and small entrances. Each housed a family and served as bedroom, living room and kitchen, with cooking fires built in depressions in the floor.

Lower Cliff Dwellings
Up close

7:30 PM: About 47 km (29 miles) today. I'm camped in the desert off of Schoolhouse Point Road, a few miles east of Tonto National Monument. I followed a rutted track off the road to this spot.
Camped in the desert near Schoolhouse Pt.
I gues this is range land; lots of cow "kerplumkies" around. No cows though. I have a small fire again tonight, but still feel cold. It's a clear night, so I expect it will drop below freezing tonight. Beautiful spot here though.

December 23rd. Headed through the community of Lake Roosevelt early this morning. There's a small store and restaurant here, but it was still closed when I went by. Long climb up to The Summit in the Salt River Mountains. Six miles at 9% grade. But at least it was on pavement. Then downhill and back uphill, but not nearly as much, to the junction with Highway 60. Turned east here towards Globe. This is an ugly 5 miles of highway. No shoulder, lots of traffic, and one fast food joint after another. Did take a lunch break at one of those, then continued into Globe. Stopped at the visitor's center, which was closed, but had some info leaflets outside.
Partway up the hill toward The Summit
Found sort of a map of Globe and a brochure about various accommodation. Settled on the Willow Motel at US$20 plus $2.50 in tax. This place is okay, but not great. Globe is a pretty depressed looking town, but does have a supermarket and a laundry, both of which I need to make use of. Walked up to the supermarket this afternoon and picked up some food for my stay here.
Note: Rumour has it that there is a hostel in Globe, but I haven't been able to find any info about it.

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