Springerville, AZ to Heber-Overgaard, AZ
As usual, the day started out with beautiful climbing in the mountains. However, I was feeling very fatigued from my cold and not getting great sleeps that I quickly fell behind from Casey and Jeff. Luckily, we had started ahead of the pack and I just met up with another group for the rest of the gradual climbing. We stopped a few times to take pictures before we reached first lunch.
Right out of first lunch I realized that I had a flat tire. How does this keep happening?! Andrew waited with me to change it, but when I put the tire back in place I could hear that it was leaking again. Luckily we weren't going very far to a cafe in a town called Show Low. I made it to the cafe and switched my tube again and this time it held up just fine. While at the cafe we had heard that there was a great lake up ahead that we should stop at. Great was an understatement. It was amazing. I think I spent almost two hours there. The water felt amazing and laying on the dock made it feel like a real summer. We had a bunch of fun jumping off the dock and railing--it reminded me of swimming in the bay in Stone Harbor.
I didn't want to leave but eventually we had to, so Emily and I set off to second lunch. There were a few more long gradual hills we had to climb to get there. All today I felt like I was thinking about and talking to a lot of friends from home so the time passed quickly. At second lunch we heard that there was a crawfish festival going on in Heber-Overgaard. We thought we would get to the host site first and then find the festival, but it turns out that we biked right by it so Emily and I stopped in and met up with other riders. It was an interesting festival. Apparently Heber-Overgaard is primarily a tourist spot and not many people actually live here--they just want to best the Phoenix heat.
There were tents set up everywhere and Emily and I grabbed a plate full of crawfish. They looked like mini lobsters and had a spicy Cajun flavor to them. It was an awesome way to end a longer, harder day.
Once we got to the host site we discovered that there was only one shower for everyone so we made a line with our shoes. I was in the back and for the 5th night in a row I had a cold shower. At least it wasn't from a hose though!