Sunday, December 13, 2020

Something extraordinary happens

August 3, 1972

8:00 AM
Am writing this laying on a king-sized bed. Now to explain. As I may or may not have mentioned, I’m going to see Fran’s grandmother today. Had originally planned to drive all the way to Phoenix, getting a motel room, cleaning up and trying to find the address Fran gave me. Well, without my Trip-Tik, I no longer have such a good idea of how long it takes from one place to another. As I mentioned, I got to Flagstaff at 11:30 last night, dead on my feet. Couldn’t find a rest area, so checked all campsites near (even drove back 6 miles to a KOA campsite). All were full. Finally stopped at the “Americana.” Asked for the cheapest room. They said still had one with a single king-size bed: $20.80. It then being after midnight, I said OK, took room, pulled off my clothes and took two showers (took a long time to get all the crud off my bod.) Went to bed in enormous bed; put in quarter for “magic fingers” (for 15 min. the bed vibrates.) Turned on color TV to see if it worked (it did) and went to sleep.

Woke up feeling quite refreshed and clean for 1st time in 3 days. Now going to rustle up some breakfast, find a Laundro-mat and head for Phoenix. In order not to make this a full novel, will write again only if something extraordinary happens or when I’m back on the road. Will take one picture of motel.

10:55 AM
Food lousy; landro-mat crowded; and I’m on my way! Stopped for more film. Lots of Indian girls here, but none very pretty. Now is 95 degrees in Phoenix, radio says. On the road – a lot of trucks and cars are trailering or towing bizarre dune buggys. Land is hilly to mountainous with pines everywhere. 116 miles to Phoenix. Water not even warm anymore: it’s hot! Now going down a 6% downgrade, signs says. (So what? Went thru worse in mountains.) Noticeably hotter now. Scrub pines and grass here and there, but mostly sand and rocks. Passed Montezuma’s Well (?).

12:30 PM
Finally got to pass a cop I’d followed for about 10 miles (made me nervous). Pines almost all gone. Heat terrible! Terrible on me and probably worse on car. Weird – 2 days ago about 40 degrees and freezing and now this! Radio says temp at 12:45 is 98 and visibility is 30 miles (no visible clouds).

Note: side floor vents are both open, but incoming air is like having the heater on. (Don’t mean to keep dwelling on the heat.) Scenery still hilly to mountainous. Cactus are everywhere, now.

12:55 PM
Another long downgrade (5 miles), so I cut the engine and coasted. Not to be smart, but to try and cool down engine. I read this once in a book about desert driving in the Sahara. KRUX out of Phoenix. Tall barrel cactus everywhere, just like in the movies. Passed a “gulch.” Didn’t catch the name but wow!

1:15 PM
Stopped at rest area for car and me. Radiator close to overheating, I think. Threw some water on it after it cooled down some. Did not boil over. Took picture of cactus. Tried to get some prickly-pear cactus for the kids, but quit after being stabbed twice.


1:25 PM
On the way again. Passed “Deadman’s Wash.” 29 miles to Phoenix and trucking. A sign on an egg truck I passed said: “The best chicks lay for Marygay.”

1:55 PM
Phoenix. Stopped for gas and directions. This is one of the Self-Serve gas stations you can find all over out west. (Reg. 23¢) You can pump your own gas and pay a cashier. I found I had gone about 5 miles too far already so turned around & headed back. Temperature on bank sign says 106 degrees.

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