Duncan, AZ

I got up later than usual. Had bad dreams, maybe because I didn’t turn on the air conditioning at night (it was warm in the room), or maybe because I had pineapple at the buffet the night before. Left at 7:24 am.

weather forecast
Weather channel says it should get hot, but the wind will be at my back. When I left, it was calm and cool.
historical marker
This is a historical market placed by the Latter Day Saints in 1938, honoring two men who were ambushed here while pursuing a band of Indians that had stolen horses. It also mentioned that the men had done much to preserve security in the territory, which I must wonder whether included killing Indians. In any case, there were no trees easily accessible from the road all the way to Duncan – only low bushes. So I hid behind the monument to go #1. Not trying to make a statement, it was just the only place available.
changing tube
I was feeling every bump on my back wheel just before this sign. I got off and found that the tire was soft, but not flat. A younger me might have just put air in the tire, then put air in after another half mile, then again and again until I actually had to change it. But now I know better. It was a hassle, but had to be done, so I took everything off the bike, and changed the tube. At least there was shade from the sign.
line split
This was the issue. A linear tear in the tube, that opens under pressure. Probably caused by one of the many potholes or bumps from expansion cracks in the road recently. This was good news, in a way, in that I didn’t have to search for an object embedded in the tire.
apple fritter
Before resuming, I drank a generous amount of water, and ate something. Circle K apple fritter, the Lembas of cycling expeditions.

I didn’t note the time when I started fixing the flat, but was able to calculate the repair time from cyclometer statistics. I had left Safford at 7:24 am. My average speed while moving was 10.0 mph. The distance traveled was 22.0 miles. The current time was 10:27. Okay that means I was riding for 2.2 hours, which is 2 hours, 12 minutes. That put me at the sign at 9:24 + :12 = 9:36. It was 24 minutes until 10, and when I left, it was 27 minutes after 10. So I spent 24 + 27 = 51 minutes fixing the flat. The whole calculation flashed through my head in an instant. Riding on a smooth road, my mind is free, a state not usual in the city.

Made it to Duncan at 11:58, so still by noon.

defunct gas station
It’s clearly been a while since this gas station was open. The pumps are fully mechanical.
other riders
L-R: Lieven, Adam, Rowan, Dwayne, Fabian. Lieven is from Belgium, and is headed for the Great Divide route. The other four are all from Edmonton (Canada), although Fabian is originally from Sweden. All 5 had just finished lunch.  Dwayne takes a 2-week tour every year, and whoever can make it comes along. This year, they are doing the Southern Tier, and the plan is to do San Diego to El Paso in their two weeks. And the next year, they would fly into El Paso to continue. They got into town an hour before I did, so must have left just barely before me, or ahead of me. It’s kind of a good thing that I had that flat, because if I had arrived in town at about the same time as them, I might have had lunch with them, and been tempted to ride with them into Lordsburg, killing myself in the process.

The Canadians thought that it was hot. I suppose the thermometer reading was high, but it was a dry heat, and with the breeze, didn’t feel even remotely hot to me.

lunch at hilda's
I got a chocolate milkshake, and the carne asada taco plate at Hilda’s Meat Market and Restaurant.
Duncan Library
I decided to check out the Duncan library, which was not in the main town, but across the bridge by the Family Dollar. I’m glad I did.
Donna Dixon
At the library, Donna told me about some of the attractions in the area, likely none of which I will be able to visit on this trip. If I had a car, it would be easy. There are places with thousands of petroglyphs in the area. Her daughter, a graphic artist, created the guide magazine she’s holding.  Donna mentioned that there’s camping in the park, as well as a few motels – the Simpson Hotel B&B, the Conoco station (now the Chaparral), and the Greyhound Station.
This is the librarian, Ashley. She’s been all over the world, including backpacking the Camino de Santiago.  I got directions to the motels from her.  Ashley earlier gave me the wi-fi password, allowing me to load a map of Duncan onto my phone.
Chaparral Mini Mart and Motel Duncan
The Chaparral looks good. I went by the Simpson Hotel just before, and it was a really nice B&B. Problem with that would be that I would linger at a nice breakfast, instead of riding in the cool of the morning.  A room at the Chaparral was about $55 including tax.
inside room
Nice room. Tile floor, and I rolled the bike right in. There was a bit of grit on the floor, probably from the frequent sandstorms. That table in the corner is just right for blogging, and even has an outlet in the lamp that I can plug my laptop charger into. There is A/C, of course, but I haven’t needed it, yet. After a cool shower, I was fine in the room.

This should be my last night in Arizona. Goal for tomorrow is Lordsburg, New Mexico.

Miles today: 44.7

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  1. Hie for the open road. Your new name is Road Meister Roderick. By noon, the little tiny shade under the sign would’ve been even smaller, and it would’ve been hot changing your flat. The natural air conditioning that you get while cycling makes a big difference, doesn’t it? Your are Very Cool to be doing this cycling adventure!

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