Checking in from Show Low, AZ …
My normal day starts at 5:15AM when I arise to get the kinks out of the old body and prepare for my morning walk. Out of the RV by 6:00 and on the road by 6:30-6:45. So on the first day of starting my walk in Arizona, I was just keeping with my normal routine. But I was the only one up and moving, and Brenda was at McDonald’s for a morning coffee before the employees had arrived. In fact, the entire town of Springerville was buttoned up tight. We had been in the Mountain Time Zone since we’d entered New Mexico three weeks ago, and Arizona was in same zone, right? So I checked my I-Phone and asked Siri (who gets things right once in a while), what was up and what time it was? Come to find out, Arizona is in the Mountain Time Zone but is one on two states (Indiana is the other) that does not observe Daylight Savings Zone. I had inadvertently gotten up at 4:15AM. How will I ever get that hour of sleep back?
Now just about 50 miles into Arizona, Brenda and I are amazed at the terrain. Not only is it beautiful, but it seems to change every few miles. Mountains, forests, valleys, plains, sometimes something that looks like a moonscape. To get a little feel for what we are seeing, please check out our latest portfolio on Face book at Heart Trek USA. Or better still, come visit the White Mountains area of Arizona.
Meeting people remains one of the great parts of this journey. My latest contact was a lady who stopped to hand me a bottle of cold water, always appreciated. She had braided hair, an elaborate necklace and a friendly face. Turns out she was a full-blooded Apache Indian named Wandering Cloud. She said she was a regular supporter of the American Heart Association and really appreciated my trek for heart health. As we will be in or skirting the Fort Apache and San Carlos Indian Reservations for the next week or so, Wandering Cloud told me that if we experienced any problems we should simply tell everyone that we were her friends. It pays to have friends in high places (or on reservations).
On advice from Arizona natives, we have made a major change to our route from Show Low to Phoenix. We had planned to travel through the Salt River Canyon but were advised that it just was not safe for either a walker or an RV. Too many hairpin turns, too much rise and fall to the terrain, absolutely no shoulders and no pull-offs whatsoever. So we are diverting our path to the Mogollon Rim and the Mazatzal Wilderness. After Show Low, we head to Heber and Payson before heading south to Mesa and Phoenix and the 110 degree heat.