May 25, 2012 - The ride today was rather dull, mostly highway and then we hit Scottsdale. After battling about 10 miles of washboard, dust and heat, we arrived at my friend Stephen's house. It is in the desert, half an hour from civilization and absolutely beautiful and serene. We intended to spend a few days here but stayed five. In that time we caught up with all the chores deferred to quieter times. We'd also shipped some tires, but by the time the tires were on, numerous other items were fixed, cleaned up and installed.
In the evenings, we enjoyed the absolute silence of the surroundings.
Stephen is a motorcycle aficionado, to say the least, and his workshop is testimony to that.
My list of bike chores was short. Set valves, change oil, change tire, remove dead bugs. Jan's included a fork seal replacement, electrical changes, throttle linkage issues and replacing the broken side stand. That was before we found the cracked exhaust.
All in all, it got fixed, but we certainly needed our time. One of Stephen's specialties is designing aftermarket parts for old BMWs and Jan's bike was fitted with production series #1 of the new Toastertan fork brace.
Scottsdale and its surroundings are beautiful, both by nature and by design. Vast areas of widely spaced low-slung houses embedded in the desert, accessible in a lot of cases only by dirt roads. There are no highway billboards, cell towers and McDonalds signs. Cell towers are hidden in fake Saguaro cactus along the roads and store fronts are tucked behind native greenery, well out of sight. We didn't see a single high rise or office tower.
The next major stop is San Diego before we disappear into "Cartel Country", as Stephen calls it.