Sunday, June 17, 2007

Drive: San Marcos to Tempe, Arizona

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." ~Charles Kuralt

June 17: I skipped my morning shower opportunity at Greg Koch's old house, and chose to make highway time instead. I was tired of driving on Interstate freeways, although for this marathon section of my trip, they are mostly necessary. I'd been given recommendations to take Hwy 8 or Hwy 10 toward Phoenix, but I picked some 2-lane highways to take me toward Hwy 10 in a more direct line to Phoenix.

If you are following along on your map, I took Hwy 78-East from San Marcos to Hwy 15-North to Hwy 79-South to Hwy 371-North to Hwy 74-East to Hwy 111-South to Hwy 10-East. Whew! Are you dizzy yet?

Hwy 74 was a beautiful winding twisting road through a pretty desert with lots of rocks, shrubs, and outcrops. Lots of motorcyclists were out enjoying a sunny Father's Day ride. The photo above is from the Cahuilla Tawanet overlook. Hwy 74 dropped me into the town of Palm Desert. What a change of scenery. Palm Desert and Indian Springs are possibly the most beautiful and unnatural creations of mankind foisted upon an arid environment. So much green grass you'd think you were in Oregon (except when you spy the barren hills on the horizon.)

Finally I made it to Hwy 10. What a long hot ride to Tempe! I watched the engine temperature carefully, and when it tried to creep above 235 degrees, I had to turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows to keep the van from overheating. Good thing I didn't waste time going to get a shower this morning!

Arrived at Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe around 5:30 pm. Owner-Brewer Andy Ingram was busy enjoying Father's Day with his two kids, so I enjoyed a beer newspaper and a sampler set of 8 beers. Andy then joined me for dinner, and gave me the quick tour. Looks like I'll be able to park within extension cord distance tonight, so I can run Big Buddy's air conditioner. I'm happy about that because most of today's drive was at 109-112 degrees. Four Peaks doesn't have a shower for me, so tomorrow I plan to wash my hair in a 5-gallon pail of warm brewery water. Stay tuned for photos.

P.S. Thank you to Andy Ingram and Four Peaks Brewing Co. for letting me take over his office to update this blog.

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