The Flight of Bear Canada

Day 29 - May 11th
Van Nuys, CA to Phoenix, AZ

I rode east starting in the maze of freeways that passes for the Los Angeles area. After getting out, I rode east through the desert. This was now my fourth crossing of the mountains. Funny how each crossing was different. Crossing north around Bakersfield was cold, positively freezing cold. The crossing in Mexico was awesome, riding through a nice twisty road and a moonscape of rocks. The crossing east of San Diego was rocky but greener. And the crossing east of LA was open desert with no real hill climbing.

I had stopped at the General George Patton museum to check out the exhibits and the tanks parked in the yard. The museum was commemorating the US Army's Desert Warfare training Center that was operational during WWII. The US response to the Nazi threat against the Suez Canal was to land in Africa in 1942 and stop Rommel. But before the invasion, the US Army sends Patton and the Third Army to the desert to train.


Statue of General Patton.


And one of his favorite tools, the M4 Sherman tank. I had watched a Canadian documentary on Canadian tank crews during WWII, the Valor and the Horror. They stated that the 75mm gun on the Sherman was inadequate for killing some of the bigger German tanks. The solution was to hit the German tank on the underside of the mantlet, which is the armor plate where the main gun is mounted. Once the round hit the mantlet, the round would bounce down through the thinner armor and kill the driver. Then the Sherman crews could maneuver around the back of the German tank and destroy it. Remembering that, I salute anyone of any nationality, who drove those tanks into battle.


And his namesake, the M60 Patton. (For some reason, the paper guide to the tanks listed the M47 and M60 as both being called Patton. Hope Generals Sherman, Pershing and Abrahms aren't pissed.)

Then I rolled east to Phoenix.

Day 30 - May 12th
Phoenix to Tucson

Today was not much of a travelling day. I had mucked about Phoenix. I did hit up a few bike shops looking at getting a Zumo. Only a Harley dealership had one. It looked nice in black and orange. I also stopped in the old town district of Scottsdale.


Old Adobe Mission in Scottsdale.


Now there is a workshop with character.


Public Art.

I then headed east towards Tucson. I had planned to check out Tombstone, but I hadn't read the map too well and discovered that Tucson was still a ways away fron Tombstone. Well at least the motels in Tucson were cheap.

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Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.