Something is rustling outside. I'm lying in the tent and my thoughts circle around bears. But bears here in this semi-desert area of Arizona? Can't be! I just want to continue sleeping. no way. The strange visitor outside rustles more. I shout through the canvas of my mobile accommodation, shake the tent's walls. Doesn't bother him. Finally I decide to get out and scare the harasser away.
When I open the door the sight is scary. A hungry bear could not have been worse. In the brightest moonlight I’m looking directly into a white backside and a lifted tail both belonging to a skunk. If I don’t want to throw away my tent and anything else the little devil would likely hit with its biological warfare, I have to retreat. Immediately. While I’m cursing about never leaving any empty food cans in front of the tent again, the skunk finally finishes his play close to an hour later.
Prescott: a Desert Oasis
Lying in my tent not thinking about the skunk gives me time enough to ponder about the day’s ride, which was beautiful. The morning hours found me heading towards Prescott, where the Weaver Mountains arose on the horizon. Still the 2770-foot high Merritt Pass was rather a hill. After the town of Wilhoit, Highway 89 came alive – perfect corners without a pause for more than ten miles. They led me directly into Prescott, a bustling town that offers everything a traveler yearns for in the deserts of Southern California and Arizona: trees, parks, cool air, and nice street cafés. The surroundings were beautiful too. Just out of town, red granite knobs, an unexpected and fascinating sight, encircle Watson Lake. The next highlight was waiting just around the corner – historic 89A climbing up Mingus Mountain.