Before turning in last night, we shared some good laughs, reminisced on some of the great parts of the adventure, and celebrated with a deep glass of Middleton Whisky. I awoke as the sky began to become bright experienced one of those amazing desert sunrises. The temperature was a cool 61 degrees and the silence was broken by a distant rumble of a lone Harley Davidson rider as he rode across the deserted desert road.
I made coffee, packed up the tent for the last time, and prepared for the 4 hour drive to Las Vegas. Carl was flying back to San Antonio today to get situated a couple of days before normal life starts again. His best flight options were from Vegas so I would finish the last leg of the journey to Mesa solo.
It was 102 degrees when I dropped Carl off at the airport. It was a contrast to the 60 degrees in Colorado Springs at the beginning and the 30 degrees and snow in the Arctic 12 days into the trip. I fueled up the truck, picked up some quick food, and drove down the newer Interstate 11 towards Phoenix. The views along the road are dynamic and contrasting and completely different than the majority of the journey. A beauty all of its own.
I stopped at a small campground about half way through when I saw the sign that it had water. It had been a couple of days and I wanted to clean up a bit before home. The pools looked inviting for a swim and after a quick dip, I used my bucket and the campsite water for a makeshift shower. The desert water source was about 80 degrees and comfortable, another contrast from the glacial pools.
It took about 90 minutes to get across from the northwest entry into Phoenix to our home in eastern Mesa. Traffic was moving fast and I matched the music to the tempo. I backed the truck into the driveway at 6:20 PM. It has been a full 42 days, almost to the hour, since I left my previous home in Colorado Springs and camped my first night in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot.
The Overland trip lasted 42 days. We traversed over 10,966 miles on and off road. We crossed international borders 6 times between Canada and the USA. We traversed a total of 11 states: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona. We spent time in, walked on, and experienced the 4 of the 5 types of climate types on this planet; Dry, Temperate, Continental, and Polar, missing only the Tropical. Within these types, we drove through all of the 4 sub categories of the Dry type; one of the Polar types, 5 of the 9 Temperate climate sub types, and probably 6 of the 13 sub types of Continental. What a blessing.