Post 169: Falgstaff, Arizona
For the first time in seven weeks, .... it's raining. I haven't actually ridden in rain since entering Irkutsk way back in June, ... it feels strange, ... but it's not altogether unpleasant. I'm heading South towards Flagstaff on Highway 89, back into Arizona where I gain an extra hour, ... it's raining in Arizona too. The roads are slippery, a white foam covers the surface of the tarmac, detergents from spilled fuel, ... I'm cruising at between 75 and 80 mph, ... the Gortex is keeping me dry. The scenery that had been so inspiring on the journey North is now obscured by low clouds, .... the lack of entertainment allows me to concentrate on the road, .. I'm making good progress.
I stop for fuel and talk with two boys from the Navajo Nation, ... they ask about my travels, Poor Circulation?, .. we talk for several minutes. They ask me about the 'people', they ask me about the 'places', ... but they don't ask me about the things that have gone 'right' or gone 'wrong'. They have little interest in any hardships or difficult situations that I might have faced, they are only interested in what I have found and what I have learned. It is probably the most intelligent and rewarding conversations of this journey so far. Before I leave them, they look to the sky and grin, ... they tell me that it will snow in Flagstaff today. It's impossible to tell if they are serious, Arizona is not a place that I'd normally associate with snow,.. even in October. I consult my map, .. Flagstaff stands at around 8,000 feet above sea level, ..... Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England stands at 3,200 feet, .. perhaps they are telling me the truth. What I do know is that last night the temperature had dropped to just above freezing, there was no frost, .... but it was mighty cold in my three seasons sleeping bag.
I arrived in Flagstaff and thankfully it wasn't snowing. As I search for and stumble upon the campground, the skies cleared, the hills came back into view and Route 66 was bathed in glorious sunshine. That is how Arizona should be, ..... I've seen it in the movies.
From Flagstaff I'm going to follow Route 66 down into New Mexico. Eventually I'll have to turn around and begin heading North, .... North towards New York and the prospect of autumn weather. I'm putting off that 'turn' for as long as possible, ... travelling has made me soft, .. the thought of riding in snow is not appealing, ... but the prospect of Poor Circulation moving closer to its end, ......... is even worse.
I'm missing my Daughter back in England, I'm missing my Brother and his family in California, .. but I wonder if I have anywhere that I can now honestly call 'home'. Physically, I don't have a house and the prospect of ever owning one in England is actually quite slim. It's difficult to imagine myself ever again living a normal life, .... I feel a deep urge to just keep on moving. This journey has changed me, I'm no longer scared of things that in the past would have terrified me, ...... maybe I've finally grown up, ..... maybe I'll find a way to keep on travelling.