Night 85- Congress, Arizona
Alright, I say this will be short, but who knows. Keeping track of it all two days ago is a fun memory game. This day didn’t have nothing, just a few big things far in-between.
So we start with a little bit of climbing. Not too bad, just 2,000 feet over 40 miles. The weather was kind with only a few small breezes to make us worry the wind might shift. I guess the road was the only real hazard, but even then it was fine till the end of the day. More on that later.
It was lunch time. I can’t say we were in the middle of nowhere. While riding on this back road highway, we hadn’t seen much due to the brush and terrain around us. Rail beds have followed us in our journey every step of the way, but some are taller and obscure more. So it felt like the middle of nowhere. Suddenly there was a lineup of those big dealership shaped flags with all the crazy buzz words for “attractions here”.
Russell confirmed that was the lunch stop and it just got more interesting as we approached. It was a rancho/rodeo training camp/resort? We just kept turning corners into more and more. From the road we first saw the corral (maybe not the right name, but it was a ring of fencing that was about 25 yards across.) In side where a couple of cowboys roping a young bull. Then the was a parking lot full of horse trailers and trucks with a few horse still being ushered around.
Then we enter the complex. Right in front of us is a BBQ restaurant. Just beyond was the ranching event. Now we could clearly see the audience and the 40 or so people on horseback just walking around watching. In between here and there was a concert stage with seating, an outdoor bar/saloon, water tower with some crazy rock feature built around the bottom, a mini petting zoo…. this place had a lot going on, but was currently fill with cowboys. The BBQ place was good. It was open seating in a big wester dance hall sized room. We just sat and ate mystified by what this place was and what was going on. Why did all the horses start doing laps in the corral? Not all these guys are dressed quite in typical gear, but all knew what they were doing.
Later we would find out that that town is the “roping capital of the world”. A place where ranchers learn how to ride and ranch better. There are massive study events and professional bull keepers for rodeo come here from all over the world.
I thought lunch was just going to be a gas station.
On our way out, about 100 feet down the road, we rode past a hot pink riding crop. Ha, makes sense.
So I grabbed it.
Enough fun? How about danger? The last 15 miles of road seemed to drag on forever. The wind picked up a bit to make it drag more. Then the shoulder disappeared. It was a low traffic road, but one SUV nearly clipped both of us at 30 mph. So now every car was suspect to the same degree. The shoulder would stay gone for the remainder of the trip. Then we got shot at by the ground. A piece of metal had gotten crumpled up and torn into parts in the fast lane. We heard it get kocked around and then we had chunks flying around our heads. Bug soft ball sized chunks of broken metal. Really wakes you up. Oh well, back to balancing on the white line to pass the time/stay alive.
Yeah, that day went from nothing to enough pretty quick.
We pulled right off into our rv court just south of congress. This one had a dry camping option for 12$ and it pretty much amounted to a parking space on a gravel/dirt lot. All good, it’s all we need. Just felt off. Link that spot was a road way or a turning lane for the RVs. This is shop for the night.
Tomorrow we would have the biggest climb of our lives. So tonight, while being watched over by a great horned owl on the water tower next to us, we slept pretty well. Nice night, not too cold yet. That’s pretty much it. I hope you all had a great day. I’m back to playing catch up because of a great couple of hosts that I’d rather talk to than write journals. So have a great day. No matter when you read this.
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