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Sleeping in my tent is satisfying in a number of ways. There’s plenty of room for me and my stuff (and everything’s within arm’s reach); it’s comfortable on my air mattress; I can see the stars through the mesh; and it usually costs nothing.

The downside is the desert heat until the sun sets.

I was on the road at 5:55 am and reached Copper Mountain Motel at 10:30 am—13 miles in 4.5 hours, pushing my kart. Much of it was uphill, but not an overly steep climb. Even with the newer blisters (which are healing nicely), this progress speaks to what 30 days of walking can do for one’s physical strength.

My room was not ready, so Amy put me in Room 4 (which contains 2 beds) “at no extra charge.” It’s an old motel, but it suits my needs. There’s a fridge and microwave, and there’s a Family Dollar store across the street where I bought some things—a gallon of Crystal Geyser water for a dollar, a few cans of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup, pretzels, and some chocolate TastyKake mini-donuts that remind me of the chocolate covered donuts of my youth. Because of the calories I’m burning on this walk I have the luxury of indulging my food cravings.

My “real life” has not disappeared—I’m still dealing with issues related to my father’s March 7 death. But I know these things will be resolved in time.

I’ve continued to maintain a personal news blackout. Sure, I’m aware there’s political noise going on out there, but I can assure you that life is really sweeter without it. I prefer the noise of the highway, the freight trains, or anything, really.

Just beyond Superior, Arizona is the 42′ wide Queen Creek Tunnel. Built in 1952, it’s 1,217′ long, and I’ve been warned to not walk through it. Since I hear the mantra, “Be safe” every day, I’m planning to get a ride through the tunnel.

The next towns after Superior (pronounced “Sperior” by locals) are Top-of-the-World, Miami, and then Globe, where I’ll be staying. It’s currently 89° outside. Me? I’m inside.

(Later) I’m having a pizza and salad at Edwardo’s. The temperature has dropped precipitously in the last few hours to 87°. (I’m sure it will really drop when the sun goes down.) The pizza is surprisingly good, but it’s the salad that I craved.

@ Superior, Arizona

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