Day 1 Scottsdale to Pinetop Arizona
The Patriot’s Pack geared up at MWA HQ, had a great lunch and a nice sendoff from MWA employees. Stramaglio (Paco), Williams (Gordito) and Slawetsky (Slaw) hit the road, officially kicking off their third straight ride. Pack showed us several photos of Jillian and her scarf, which will will carry with us again this year as we cross this amazing land. After hugs, some pictures and last minute checks of the bikes, we hit the road. Incidentally, the Pack set a record, making it through the first day (the first hour, actually) without dropping a bike for the first time!
The ride was beautiful as we made our way through the dessert, said goodbye to the cacti and hit elevation. We were in elk country and according to Gordito, there were tons that he saw. Also a deer. Maybe a Sasquatch, 4 lions and a giraffe. Paco and Slaw saw none of these, although they did see cows and horses.
With Gordito on point, Slaw and Paco wondered if he’d ever stop to put some sleeves on as the temperature dropped steadily from 87 when we left to a chilly 61 by the time we pulled in.
We (FINALLY) stopped at a rest area called Mogollon Rim Vista, i picturesque overlook. The Pack tried to calm Paco down as this was his first run-in with an outhouse. How can this be? Oh, it be. Paco was traumatized, exclaiming “OUTHOUSE!” at sporadic moments throughout the rest of the day. He may never be the same.
180 miles down and day one complete, riders safely arrived in Pinetop AZ at a cute, rustic motel. We had a great dinner down the street, way too many cocktails and were in bed early.
KSU (kickstands up) at 830 AM Sat, destination? Roswell New Mexico!
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