After the new rubber was on the bike, we left Henderson towards Phoenix, AZ, with plans to pass through Tucson and then hit the border close to Douglas/Agua Prieta crossing. Since we have been bums while in Vegas and Henderson (fully blaming the delay in tire arrival, of course), we didn't want to have too big of a riding day. Looking at our free visitor's center acquired map of AZ, we targeted some BLM lands and National Forests on the NW side of Phoenix. That took us through Wickenburg, AZ, but the last 8 miles before Wickenburg looked something like this:
Road construction kept us on the road for about an hour to travel that last 8 miles into town. Finally there, we picked up a couple of items at a motorcycle shop and found some dinner at the Bashas' grocery. Buffalo Chicken flavored rice with canned chicken and hot sauce. Best one pot meal yet!
We asked in the moto shop about places to camp for free and they weren't too familiar with easily accessible options. The salesman mentioned a pull off near Lake Pleasant that had a big parking area about a mile off the highway. We found that turn off - an access road to a boat ramp into Lake Pleasant - and saw the parking area with a few makeshift fire rings. That was after passing it originally, turning around where 2 guys were firing rifles and handguns into the hillside. The parking area was heavily used, and not well maintained = Trash Canyon.
As we were eating our Buffalo Chicken goulash, those same two firearm toting gentlemen came into the parking area and starting firing there. At first we couldn't see them, as we were in a slight depression, but thankfully they were not using the hillside behind our slight depression as a backstop. Nonetheless, we were wondering if small arms fire was going to keep us awake all night, but they took off just after dark.
We slept well and were both happy to be on the road again!