Douglas Arizona Day 0/Copper Canyon Ride

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all the familiar comforts of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things. – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky. – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

– Cesare Pavese (1908 – 1950)

In addition to the USA, Canada has now issued their own travel alert warning its citizens to avoid nonessential travel to parts of 13 Mexican states due to high levels of violence and organized crime.

I just read that travel warning right after reading about a guy that plead guilty to 17 counts of murder for the 2018 shooting massacre at a Florida high school. And then I moved on to the story about New York declaring an emergency to tackle the increasing gun violence. And also today in California news a man died after he tried to run people over on a sidewalk with his truck. Apparently a group of spectators ran up to him and literally beat him to a pulp. So, are more people now dying of gun violence than Covid?

The way you might see it: Tomorrow we cross the border at Douglas Arizona and head straight into the heart of cartel land and subsequently our demise. Hopefully not at a Gpskevin planned donut stop!

The way we see it: Tomorrow we cross the border and start our motorcycle riding journey towards one of the 7 natural wonders of the riding world.

I now decided that Copper Canyon made my list and so does our Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon in Peru; the 2nd Deepest Canyon in the World; then Mount Everest, the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Victoria Falls, and finally the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Can we do a ride to all those natural wonders you might also ask?

I don’t yet know but, when I get done talking to GPSKEVIN I’ll find out and get back to you.

Today turned out to be a fairly uneventful day except for the part where I missed the turn off on the 10 freeway; then the Garmin quickly routed me through the Phoenix airport terminals 3/4.

Just as I began cursing my gps I saw this black car that resembled a police car so I quickly slammed down a few gears to slow way down to the 35 mph posted speed limit.

The car acted even more strangely when I let go of my handlebars and quickly removed my right glove and inserted it into my front left zippered pocket.

The black car then bolted straight at me before making a quick getaway; I’ll just bet he thought I was a hit man on a motorcycle-reaching for a gun.”

The temperature was now a toasty warm 92 degrees. The mysterious car turned out to be a black sporty Rolls Royce. Welcome to America I said to no one in particular.

Usually, the hardest part of a ride with a group of new friends is learning everybody’s name. Today I met Sean who arrived from San Clemente on a Honda Africa Twin. When I meet a new face, the name just seem to float right through my head, or, as often happens, my brain starts to assign the person a new name similar to what my eyes saw or what I think I heard.

Sean quickly noticed that, and said to me, to think of him as 007. Sean Connery was the first actor to portray British secret agent James Bond on film. He starred in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983.

Today I got the good Motel 6 room and 007 ended up with the crappy one. Luck of the draw I guess. Sean asked me to come have a look. My final analysis I said is that your room, judging by its fragrance and shape, had only recently been vacated by a horse.

It had a sag in the bed so severe that if you sat in the bed you could see the TV at its foot only by splaying your legs to their widest extremity; sort of like lying in a wheelbarrow. I think you should go to the next door Speedy-Go (sort of like a 7/11) buy an iced six pack and place the six pack on your chest.

He didn’t seem amused. It doesn’t look like a hot night I said. The aged Philco unit was now making a noise like a steelworks factory yet, only the feeblest of any air was been emitted with an occasional puffs of cool air.

Sean’s room is also missing a smoke detector, a refrigerator, a microwave, plus his bedsheets have dozens of cigarette holes burnt into them. We both scanned the area for bedbugs but, didn’t see any.

I told Sean not to worry, the rooms always get nicer towards the final half of our Copper Canyon ride – that’s if the cartels don’t get us first. We both laughed.

This Douglas Arizona town seems like an agreeable enough town in a thank-you-God-for-not-making-me-live-here sort of way.

Yet a short distance away, like a beacon of red neon light, was the Gadsden Hotel. Why non others than Pancho Villa and his horse also visited.

Upon entering the majestic lobby the first thing you notice is the impressive staircase made of white Italian marble and the massive pink marble columns.

The Gadsden Hotel

The column capitals are hand layered with 24k gold leafing. To add to its beauty, the window at the top of the grand staircase was designed and crafted by Ralph Baker. The stained-glass mural depicting the southwest desert runs a full 42 feet long and 6 feet tall.

Baker studied under Louis Comfort Tiffany and his style is of Tiffany heritage. Encompassed by the mural is an original painting “Cave Creek Canyon” by famed artist Audley Dean Nichols. There is also stunning stained-glass skylights that bring in the golden Arizona light and illuminates the lobby.

Tonight’s dinner was at the Gadsden and so will tomorrow’s breakfast and coffee.

Have a pleasant evening and remember that there’s no such thing as foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.

And when you too finally retire from the stressors of life; your goal should be to keep both mind and body well entertained, regardless of age.

Trawlercat 10/22/2021