I will freely state that I got this idea from the photography thread ‘A Capitol Idea.’
I live in Laramie, Wyoming, where the winters are hard and long. One problem I have with that is that it gives me WAY too much time to plan trips. This year I plan to visit every state capitol I can ride to, which of course leaves out Honolulu (island) and Juneau (no road). Rather than try to do it in one long trip, I decided to do three trips, working it into my schedule. This one is the first of the three. I wanted to try to get the southern capitols in before it got too hot in that region. (Yeah, right.)
I happened to leave home at 9:11 on April 13 – not auspicious numbers with which to begin a trip, but a snowstorm was supposed to be moving in and I wanted to leave while I had a chance. It was 31?? and foggy, but the roads were clear and dry so off I went.
First stop: Cheyenne:
They were replacing the plaza in front of the building. I’ll have to go back when the dump truck isn’t parked there.
A little construction going on here, too.
Then it was an easy ride to New Mexico. At Raton I picked up a fierce crosswind that I fought until Las Vegas (NM). One problem with that stretch is that there is really no place to stay, so I kept going. I thought about staying in Las Vegas until the wind died but decided to keep going. West of Las Vegas the pi??on forest moderated the wind somewhat, but it was still pretty bad and cold.
Santa Fe was chilly and windy, but there were flowers and some of the trees in front of the capitol were in bloom.
Since I had been fighting a NW wind most of the day, I figured going south would be OK. Wrong. The wind shifted to the west, and I struggled the short distance to Albuquerque. After checking into the motel, I checked the weather and found the wind to be 35 mph with gusts to 45.
The next day I headed west, with a detour on a nice two-lane through the Zuni reservation. And of course I had to spend some time Standin’ on the Corner.
Rather than take the interstate through Flagstaff, I took a shortcut (AZ-87) through Payson. It’s a nice road, mostly two-lane, with some good sweepers along the Mogollon Rim and coming down from it. There’s even at least one hairpin. But it starts off like this:
The north end is 51 miles with no services. The south end is 43 miles with none. Despite the 60 degree temperature, there were snow patches in the shady spots above 7,000 feet. South of Payson the road is divided:
Coming down Saturday morning, lots of bikes were headed uphill to play.
In Phoenix, the street in front of the capitol was closed (permanently?), so I had a hard time finding a place to park for the picture. It’s not a good picture of the capitol, but my aim is to have the bike and maybe me in each picture. Unlike many of the capitol buildings, you can’t go around back for a better view. The Phoenix capitol complex is designed to be viewed from only one side.