After my stop at Salton City, I begrudgingly had to continue on to make it to Phoenix by any decent time. As soon as I left Salton sea, my radio starting humming as the RPM's of my car inceased (indicating a bad ground or loose cabling). It got sooooo annoying, soon my audiobook was almost impossible to listen too, so I tried my best to mess with my 4-channel Alpine amp's wiring while remaining on the road. The issue came and went and eventually I just accepted it and switched to music.
A few miles went by, then the damn humming started again! I began hitting my dash this time, desperately trying to get rid of the sound that was beginning to aggravate me and spoil my mood (along with being behind schedule and now hoping to be in Phoenix by 1am. I forgot to consider the timezone shift). It was then I noticed I was passing an exit and subsequently a gas station right off the highway. As the gas station shrank in my rearview mirror, my low fuel light came on, so I had maybe 60 miles before I ran out. I quickly pulled up my GasBuddy app to check if there was another gas station ahead or if I should try and turn around. According the app there was one 15 miles up the road though not as close to the highway. I decided I would aim for that station.
I pulled off at that next exit and headed towards the GPS coordinates another 7 miles down a quickly darkening road. I thought about why It would be so far from the highway and looked again at the name...it said "Kennedy Raceway"...wait is this place actually a gas station??? The answer came when I called the number (at 11pm) and they answered! I was heading to a racetrack, and technically yes they have fuel, its just race car fuel, and its $6 a gallon for the cheapest stuff. At this point I didn't have a choice, I went down the long road leading to the gate, signed the waiver, drove out to the track, and cringed as I carefully only pumped enough fuel to get to the place that sold fuel for non-race cars. Lesson learned, pay attention to the fuel gauge!
Troy had picked a few hikes in the area to choose from. After discussing it, Myself, Troy, and his wife Katrina all headed out to Echo Canyon to do a simple 1.2 mile trek up the canyon and then back down. Easy right? If you said yes than you have thighs of steel and a impressive heat tolerance. For our little group the answer was HELL NO! But it was fun.
The hike was intense. Though I had been resting (relatively speaking) the last few days, compared to my time in national parks a week prior, that hike was incredibly draining. I can now say that my last few experiences in dry desert climates have led me to the conclusion that my sinuses may not be able to handle the desert for extended periods of time. It's a bummer, since I love the southwest, the terrain, and the dry heart (compared to muggy Minnesota) but my sinuses were in revolt. Bleeding, scabbing, itching, and I think I may have gotten a little sick due to the dryness.
Also, Phoenix drivers suck. I spent less than 48 hours in the area and had 90% of the bad driver experiences of this trip. Every time I looked to see who was driving in such a manner it would be a senior. I think more later in life driver testing may be needed, because there were a few close calls that could have been really bad if I wasn't driving defensively!
I feel like the universe has been laying a path in front of me this whole trip. The synchronicity of the whole situation is almost too coincidental, yet its continued happening when I let go of trying to control my experience and instead enjoy the moments and let them happen. My visit to Phoenix along with other parts of this trip I've shared have all shared a theme...adventures happen everywhere and in every moment. You only have to be able to notice them. And when life holds the reigns, its amazing how things can line up just right to make some wonderful memories and experiences.
I don't typically discuss my faith, but these experiences have really shown me that the universe guides us when we don't fight it. I see the universe, nature, and God as being synchronized. When we surrender our worrying to faith, I think it acts as a much better guide. We can only plan for our future, not "control" it. I've almost felt the sensation of being "watched over" as I've traveled all these miles so far. As I continue to venture out on my own, I haven't felt alone for one moment...Lead with love, and life will take you where you need to go...
...speaking of which, next up is probably one of the most impacting and interesting parts of my journey. Keep an eye out for it ;)