A Fortnight in Photos
I must make excuses before I post the all-too-few photos I've taken during the first fortnight. First, I am not a photographer, so instinct does not compel me to snap shots at every opportunity. Second, I find it difficult to convince myself to cease my hard-earned momentum to capture a scene when I am riding.
You will notice that of the people I have written about, there are no pictures. For that, I have no excuse except that it didn't occur to me to photograph them. As the trip progresses, I hope and expect to develop (pun intended) into a more photographically minded person. Until then, and without further ado, this dearth of images is what you get.
Day 1: Dipping the wheel in the Pacific at Santa Monica beach, sopping my right shoe for a wet beginning. An Iraq War veterans memorial set up on the beach emanated the quiet sound of Taps as I and my farewell party marched through a corridor of crosses toward my dire fate, the long road east.
As artillery's muffled boom echoed from a distance and military helicopters flew overhead at Camp Pendleton, a Marine base on the Southern California coast, I stopped to capture this image of barracks and a stationary tank.
This was one of two times during the lost-wallet day that I would pass this sign. I used both directions. This shot captures only a small section of the scenery, but the rest is the same.
From a bridge crossing the Colorado River, this is the closest shot I could get of the small blue sign in the right portion of the image, which welcomed me to Arizona, concluding my first state.
Behind me was a mirror image of this. Past a few miles of desert, the mountains loomed on either side for 25 miles, lining my path down a perfectly straight road to Aguila, Arizona. Signs on the road warn "Watch for Animals Next (x) Miles," and at night the mammals, birds and insects gather like vaqueros at an ranch town's tavern, producing a cacophany of howls, barks and chirps.
My tent-site companion at an RV Park in Superior, Arizona, pausing just long enough for a photo. Moments later he scurried away like moving tree bark.
There was something fishy about the tattooed man in orange who rode on my handlebars.
This historical marker 20 miles east of Safford, Arizona, reads:
"IN MEMORY OF TWO OF THE MANY PIONEERS WHO BROUGHT LAW, ORDER, AND SAFETY TO THE GILA VALLEY. LORENZO AND SETH WRIGHT WERE KILLED 1 MILE NORTH OF THIS SPOT BY INDIANS WHO HAD STOLEN 45 HORSES FROM EARLY SETTLERS. WHILE PURSUING THE INDIANS THEY WERE AMBUSHED DEC. 1, 1885. DEDICATED BY THE MT. GRAHAM AND ST. JOSEPH STAKES OF THE L.D.S. CHURCH, SEPT. 24, 1938."
Barely visible graffiti reads "bull shit." No date accompanies, but I estimate "recent."
Atop a long climb in the Gila National Forest. To clarify, it does not mean I'm halfway done.
From a different angle.
My first, and I hope last, black widow sighting.
Cannibalistic grasshopper, feasting on its own.