Erica suddenly burst upon me.
She was able to obtain a flight on Thursday evening. A one stop from SeaTac to Portland to Phoenix with a change of planes in Portland. She had to run to make that connection.
It was very windy in Phoenix on Thursday. Wind gusts in excess of fifty miles per hour. I worried that her flight would be delayed or cancelled. I watched the arrival board in the cell phone lot at the airport for information about her flight. Suddenly her flight was no longer listed on the reader board. It turned out her flight landed almost a half hour early, thanks in part to the wind.
She climbed on the back of the Harley and we were off. Did I mention the wind? Most of the ride home was at a port list of about 10 degrees (we had to lean in to the wind to go straight down the hiway). We encountered some of those micro bursts along the way that tried to lift our helmets off of our heads. Clouds of dust slammed in to us. Maybe I should have borrowed a car... By the time we got to the RV park, I was exhausted - Erica was tired, too. A beer and a pizza and it was time for bed.
On Friday, after breakfast, we rode to Tortilla Flat. Erica met her first Saguaro cactus. She was amazed at their size. I pointed out the Cholla, Prickly Pear, Barrel and Ocotillo cactus as well. I warned her that everything in the desert either bites you or pokes you.
She sat in the sun for a bit and got a light burn, then we went for barbecue at Waldo's. I took her picture on the pig out front and we had some good sandwiches. From there we headed west in to the setting sun for Chester's Harley Davidson and the Charlie Daniels Band at "The Backstage Biker Bash" - a pre-Arizona bike week party. A local group named Mogollon (mugyon) opened for CBB. There was an awful lot of black leather in that parking lot. It was a big party crowd.
After breakfast on Saturday, we headed for a Mariners spring training game against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The game was sold out so we paid more than we should have for a ticket in the grass (no seat) then watched from a picnic table near the concession stands. The Angels had most of their stars on the field, I knew almost none of the Ms - no Ichiro or Griffey. I think they were using batting practice pitchers as the Angels won 16 - 9.
We returned to the park for happy hour and burgers off the grill with Dave and Paige as guests. That gin and tonic sure was refreshing after a day in the sun. Erica will return to Seattle with a little color added to her complexion.
Sunday we went to see the new 3-D film "Monsters vs. Aliens", followed by dinner with Dave and Paige. It was agreed that probably the best part of the movie was the reactions of the audience - mostly under 10. Erica got to ride in a 4 wheeled vehicle and her butt got a break from the passenger seat of my bike. I didn't build my bike with passengers in mind and she has suffered the consequences.
She forgot to turn off her cell phone alarm, so she was up at 7 on Monday morning. Way too early for a girl on vacation. We lazed around a bit, went to breakfast at "The GoodEgg", then found our way to the airport. As usual I was way too early, but she arrived on time and I don't have to worry about her missing her flight. I borrowed Dave's AirHawk cushion for the ride and Erica was appreciative.
Just as suddenly, she was gone.
Paige said she could tell it was a good visit by the fact that I hadn't stopped smiling all weekend.