Monday, June 29, 2015

USA at Last

   The entry into the US at Douglas was a little to hasty as it turned our - we had to go back into Mexico to exit Mexico if that makes sense. We were all keen to do that because if nothing else we would get our $400 deposit back from the Mexican Government. They paid up too. So, other than being confused as to where to go we also had trouble handing in to the US authorities the vehicle import documents that we went to such lengths to procure. We found the appropriate office and even an official who owned up to be of that office and he didn't want the documents. He rang his boss and he didn't want them either so as of now we have no temporary import documents for our bikes. Now this is not new for us - we didn't have them for Panama either and damned near got locked up for it.
   Other than dumping our left over Mexican money our first port of call in the US was Bisbee. Bisbee is an old copper mining town that has been tarted up for the tourists. So now it sports high street fashion shops and eateries plus a coffee roasting company dispensing its own product. It was great to have a decent cup of coffee. Up the road is Tombstone, another mining town whose industry has long since gone. Today it trades on the history of the Gunfight at OK Corral so there are re-enactments of street shoot-outs and a stage coach takes tours of the town. I thought it was quite nice. I have been here before and nothing much seems to have changed over the years. We stopped for the next two nights in Tuscon, AZ. It feels good to be back in the US (13 years in a row now). Burger and beer for dinner and 40 degrees outside. Welcome to the inferno that is Arizona in the summer.
   Pima Air and Space Museum is in Tuscon and a few years back Gavin Quin and I did the tour. At the time there was a dismantled B36 bomber over the fence with a number of other similarly disassembled aircraft. Well, the bomber is now on display along with a Mig 29, a Mig 23 and a Hind gunship plus, and, how they got it there I don't know, one of the new Boeing Dream Liners. I spent half the day at the museum. There were a number of aircraft from the Vietnam war and they too were on display as relics of the past. Wonder where that leaves me since I remember them so well?
   Next day we trundled up to Phoenix and a BMW shop. Colin had the engine management system of his bike looked at in order to identify an intermittent fault which was not found plus he had a front tyre fitted. I managed to get a rear tyre, which they would not fit because my bike was not a BMW. The tyre I got was a Heidenau K60 and it was to replace a similar one fitted in Osorno, Chile, 25,000 km previously. The buggers last well but they are hideous in the wet. The heat in Phoenix was well above 40 degrees so we stopped early for the day.
   Next stop Sherm Acords place in Kingman where we all changed our oil. I got 4 ltrs of Mobil 1 synthetic for $24 - it's $105 in NZ. We spent 2 nights in Kingman so that we could do a few of the highlights of Route 66. So the next day we got to visit Cool Springs and Oatman, the Route 66 museum in Kingman and witnessed the old cars transit through on the Great Race.
   The following day it was more Route 66 as we headed East to Williams. So this time it was Hackberry General Store, Peach Springs (for breakfast) and finally Seligman before picking up I40 to Williams. We finished off the day with a trip out to the South rim of the Grand Canyon and watched the sun go down. Up at 4am the next day for the sunrise over the Canyon and eventually on to Mexican Hat via Monument Valley.
   Today we are in Moab via the Valley of the Gods and the Mokee Dugway, both places I did last year on my DR when on the Trans America Trail. The others went out to Arches National Park late this afternoon. I've been twice before so stayed home and out of the heat. It's still very hot despite the altitude. It's also very expensive in Moab.
   Tomorrow we head north to Salt Lake City and if we can we will visit the Mormon Temple. This will be the end of the sight seeing for a while because we need to hightail it to Alaska and be in Fairbanks in the next 2-3 weeks. We will pick up sight-seeing again on the return trip.
Bisbee mine - abandoned



Boeing Dream Liner


Mig 29

Hind D

Mothballed C130's


Public toilet humor

One the old cars of the Great Race

Local Indian tribe entertained

Hackberry General Store. The Corvette is missing.


The pink Edsel is missing. Seligman.

Six engine train.

The Grand Canyon

Sunset over the Grand Canyon

Parting shot of Monument Valley.

Valley of the Gods

Colin on the Mokee Dugway

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