We needed new tires before a long dirt ride two days further on. The rear TKC was bald after only 2700 miles, mainly due to long sections of cut rock road surface. So with a day to kill we headed out west across the desert to Kitt Peak.
After a straight haul across desert that had a hostile tag to it, Kitt Peak is up an exhilarating road 6880 feet off the desert floor to a mess of impressive telescopes with an excellent interpretive centre. The beautiful telescopes go from 500′ underground (a solar telescope) to 187′ above ground in the exposed and completely isolated situation. It’s the largest observational installation in the world. The view on the way up
Twelve miles of cliff hugging bends, big drop offs and a big temperature drop
Then the finals curves
We rode another 50 miles out west before turning around, through some desperate villages, but outside of them. No-one tries to live off the land here, it’s empty and hostile. And it’s all border patrol stuff, trucks with people-cages and dogs driving around, and the most badass border police checkpoint of the five or six we’ve been through.