It was a short relaxing ride out of Clifton today: we cycled 44 miles from Clifton to Safford, which is 165 miles ESE of Phoenix. Phoenix is also known as ‘The Valley of the Sun’ and this aka did not disappoint today. The sun was so bright and hot today (let’s not talk about Sunday’s weather experience) it put us in such a great mood that the prospect of spending the first 2 hours of the ride climbing 2,000ft out of the valley did not faze us. The ride was ‘really cool’, you know one of those days where nothing goes wrong and burning calories is a pleasure and not a chore. Only the one photo was taken today but it’s pretty awesome!
An interesting fact about the Clifton area: the neighbouring town of Morenci has the largest open-pit copper mine in the US and one of the largest in the world. The mine produces around 30% (approx $2 billion) of the US total output of copper and is so big it can be seen from space …so how come we missed it? Sorry guys, the photos would have been grrrreeeat! Oh and one other thing! It is believed that Geronimo, the famous Apache Warrior, was born in the area.
Arriving at Olney House Bed & Breakfast we met the owner Chris Gibbs, who before living in Safford, AZ lived in High Wycombe for three years. That’s right! The very same place in which Anthony spent his formative years between the ages of 5 and 18. Chris then waxed lyrical about one of his favourite pubs in Flackwell Heath. That’s right! The very same Flackwell Heath in which Kat spent her infant years between the ages of 0 and 2. It also turned out that he and his wife worked for the armed forces, with his wife working at the same place Anthony’s dad worked. Who would have thought that after flying 3,000 miles and then cycling 5,000 miles we’d meet someone from Buckinghamshire …six degrees of separation people!
Before we retired to our lovely little cottage, Chris informed us of the local history involving ‘Billy the Kid’ making his first kill not too far (just over the hill) from our room. Apparently he shot the local Barber who was the town bully.
So we’re just chillin’ out in front of the TV with a remote control that doesn’t work. To switch channels we now have to temporarily stop stuffing crisps and cookies in our mouths, get up out of the sofa and push the channel button on the front of the TV. Who would believe it! How did we cope in the 70’s before the invention of the common infrared TV remote? But imagine our excitement as we flicked through the stations and saw in full view on the Cathode Ray Tube, an advertisement for a new series to be aired on the Discovery Channel; ‘Who Framed Jesus? Was it the Jewish authorities, Pontius Pilate or maybe Judas Iscariot?’ We can’t wait to see the first series and have put money on the mild-mannered janitor!