Day 607 – USA (ARIZONA): From the Top of The World to Tempe


Today’s distance / ???????: 43 miles / 69km
Average speed / ????: 9.0mph / 14.5km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 4h 46m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 3584mi plus 280mi (?) / 5769km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: not much
Descent / ??: lots
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N33.22.49.9, W111.35.51.2

Brrr. Woke up this morning to a hard frost. And my tent was pitched in the shade of a rock. The tent would not dry…wet tent in my pack all day.

If you want a nice vintage railcar, by the way, you need to visit The Top of The World. One for sale there…

Old railcar in The Top of The World, Arizona, USA Old railcar in The Top of The World, Arizona, USA

There was a big plus today however. All those vertical metres I climbed yesterday were to be descent metres today. If only there had been no traffic. Big loaded truck and trailers barreled down the narrow winding road all the way from the top of the pass between Globe and Superior, down to Superior.

Coming down from The Top of The World, Arizona, USA

I had to time my short downhill bursts well. Jump on the board once one line of traffic had passed, barrel down the hill for a few hundred meters, looking back to see if I would be caught up to by the trucks, before getting off the road again when I saw another line of vehicles coming.

Coming down from The Top of The World, Arizona, USA

The shoes held up well on the 6% grade long descent to Superior.

Coming down from The Top of The World, Arizona, USA

Once in Superior, it was a long climb back up Gonzales Pass. Bonus was that there was an under-construction road parallel to the old highway. Smooth and quiet it was. The workers cared not that I was using the new road. Happy times.

Brand new under construction roadway next to US60 after Gonzlaes Pass near Superior, Arizona, USA

The other side of Gonzales Pass was the same. A nice gentle gradient all the way down to Florence Junction on super smooth brand new blacktop.

Brand new under construction roadway next to US60 after Gonzlaes Pass near Superior, Arizona, USA

Once again, as soon as 1pm rolled around, the day heated up. By that time I was in Apache Junction, more or less at the beginning of the massive 70 mile wide urban sprawl that is the Phoenix area. I stopped in at a grocery store and bought chow mein noodles for lunch.

The rest of the day I spent pushing on towards the center of Phoenix. I got as far as Tempe before deciding to call it a day. From Apache Junction, I followed Baseline Road to Tempe. At the south of Tempe, this road is mostly rural/soon to be developed urban area. At the outskirts of Tempe is a large IMAX theatre with a large mall. It was still too light to set up camp in the large open area/field behind the mall, so I treated myself to a movie. Watched The Bank Job. Not as great as its hype promised, but still a good flick. The movie finished at 7pm. Dark enough to set up camp under a tree in the open field. Slept like a baby.

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