November 12, 2015 – Sun, 70 degrees
Miles Today: 86
Miles to Date: 9,821
States to Date: 25
California must allocate highway funds from north to south, as there seems to be no money left for paving near the border. Or perhaps, after being in California for a whopping fifty days, the state simply didn’t want to let me go, so the asphalt uprooted all over the place in protest. Regardless, I bumped along farm roads to get out of the Imperial Valley, careened over cracks in Old Highway 80 where it acts as frontage road for Interstate 8, and bounced on a terrible shoulder along the freeway when the frontage road disappeared.
Despite lousy roads, everything else was great. I had a nice tail wind in the morning, and a manageable cross breeze when the wind picked up and shifted. I am enthralled by the surreal desert landscape. The kids riding buggies over the dunes looked like little bugs climbing about the massive sand hills. The channels from the Colorado River are such deep blue against the tawny land. There’s much more water here than the parts of California fed by the Sierras. All that rain I witnessed in Colorado got here before me.
I was happy to get Yuma, not only for the better roads, but because its time for me to move to a new state. Some differences are immediately apparent. Arizona is much less expensive than California, from gasoline to real estate. Yuma is also more transient. Whether fixed homes (sitting 2” off the dirt on thin slabs), modular houses, mobile homes or RV parks, many people call Yuma home only a few months a year. Some snowbirds had already tickled in, but most will not roost until January.