Alas the wind returns, and the going is slow down to Globe for breakfast. But then an amazing thing happens. The wind shifts behind me. An Easterly.
The day gets hot as I sail by the copper mines and last dry mountain passes. Dropping into Devil’s Canyon is a thrill ride. I hit my maximum speed of the trip and my trusty blue sleeping pad flies off somewhere. Then the desert flattens out into strange green Palos Verde trees, giant Saguaro cactus, and Jumping Cholla. My tailwind pushes me all the way to Apache Junction, and from there I explore my way into Mesa.
It’s 80 degrees and the air is dry and full of new smells – the grassy Palos Verde, citrus, desert flowers, chocolate, all sorts of things. I’ve entered a new, much more comfortable universe. I admire the town and decide to look for a room. In no hurry, I shop around for a while. In the end I pay $50 for a Motel 6 room, not the cheapest but free of hassles. Other places want deposits, or charge extra for using a credit card. Next door there’s a tiny stand where I get a plate of some of the best Mexican food I’ve had on the trip for $5.