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Day 11: Top of the World, AZ to Globe, AZ

17 Miles - Short Rain-Drenched Ride To Globe; Meeting Mike Cisneros - February 19, 2017

Lawrence and Stephanie


In Miami, I paid Leonard and Stephanie some gas money to shuttle me to Top of the World.

With the bike in back and me scrunched with them in the bench seat, I got to know this friendly couple who live Peridot on the San Carlos Reservation.

Top of the World, AZ

Top of the World, Arizona

The forecast called for intermittent rain throughout the morning and afternoon, and all I planned was to ride from Top of the World to Globe -- a mere 17 miles and most of it downhill.

When I got to Top of the World at 11 a.m., it was raining hard. It was a stark contrast to what things were like in Miami just down the road. Obviously I couldn't ride in this. To make matters worse, the trading post wouldn't open until 12:30 p.m., so I had to wait under an awning for either the rain to subside or for the store to open.

I kept waiting. An hour went by, and it was still raining. Once more I was feeling like an idiot for daring to ride today.

Top of the World, Arizona


By 12:30 p.m., the owner Ken arrived. For 90 minutes, I had stayed dry but was still cold. My fingers and toes desperately needed a warm up.

I told him Ken how excited I was that he had this store and was now open. I bought a coffee and snacks. I explained how I was biking across America and waiting for the rain to break. For over an hour, I stood inside and checked out his merchandise. I kept buying small stuff so I wouldn't feel like I was loitering. Ken was okay with my presence though. He was a good guy and it was obvious from all the homemade signs outside the store that visitors were welcome. Ken is a disabled veteran with a devout love for God who's interested in meeting and encouraging people like me. He's retired from normal work (whatever that means) and has been living out his dream of running this trading post and living in Top of the World.

Near the end of my stay, I got a picture of Ken in front of this store and bought a snazzy Top of the World Trading Post t-shirt. I gave him extra bucks to mail it to my home in Colorado. :)

If you happen to be driving through on Highway 60, I suggest you stop by. Along with a variety of antiques and used items, he has coffee, snacks, ice cream, and other refreshments. Why not visit? Why would you be in a rush to get to Phoenix anyway? :)

The store website is www.topoftheworld.biz.

Mike Cisneros By 1:30 p.m., it was still raining hard. Would I ever get out of Top of the World?

Around that time, Mike Cisneros of Phoenix called to inform me that he was on his way to see me.

When he arrived, I shoved my bike into his SUV and got inside. I was torn. He was willing to drive me to Globe, but I explained my situation. I did NOT want to cheat, not after what happened in Yuma on Day 5. We talked about it more, and then when the rain lessened from a "torrential rain" to an "average rain," I pulled out my bike and went for it. I knew I'd be soaking wet and miserable, but I had to go and at least Mike would be a support if I needed help.

The good news was much of the route was downhill. The most important thing was to frequently pump my brakes.

Under a Triumphant Sky Book

Happy Cycling

By the way, when I got into Mike's passenger seat, I noticed a copy of Under a Triumphant Sky. Now THAT scores points with me. He asked me to sign it too. :)

Heck, this might be a good time for a commercial. Have you read my story about my first trip in 2008? It's available in print and kindle formats.

Globe, Arizona It was a wet and soggy 17 mile ride into Globe. Once I crossed into Miami, the rain subsided. (It was crazy how the mountain region was being continually hammered!)

Here's a nice shot of clouds and mountains as I biked on the main drag.

My Friend and Brother Mike Cisneros
Steve Garufi and Mike Cisneros
Me and Mike at the Drift Inn Saloon in Globe.

And now, let me give a more formal introduction to Mike Cisneros, my friend and brother. I met Mike a few years ago when he was researching biking across America and had come across my tutorial videos on YouTube. Over the years, Mike has taken up cycling as a primary form of exercise. He absolutely loves it and sometimes he'll ride his bike to work in Phoenix. When I was planning this particular journey, I informed Mike that I would bike across Phoenix from Buckeye to Apache Junction, and he was jazzed to meet me and maybe ride with me. By a stroke of bad luck, he was out of town and could only free himself from his obligations to his job, wife, and four kids to meet me now. I'd also like to remind you that Tolleson, a western suburb of Phoenix, is 100 miles away from Globe, so this was a big deal for him to make the effort to meet me.

Mike is a special guy with a heart for the poor and hungry. He started a charity named Open Arms Outreach, a team that goes out and gives food, toiletries, free haircuts and pretty much anything to the poor. It all started with Mike -- growing up poor and hungry as a child in Juarez, Mexico -- seeing people on the streets of Phoenix and having an intuition that they were poor and/or hungry. He'd boldly go out and meet a need. He'd buy a kid a pair of sneakers. He'd give food to someone who looked like they needed it. He'd give bottled drinks to homeless people. Soon, people were helping hime and it turned into a growing charity. Mike even made the news once on CBS 5 Phoenix News.

I learned so much from Mike who shared freely about his childhood experiences, his family background, and lessons he learned with serving the poor. He's one of those guys where you listen to him and think, "This guy needs to write a book!" Also, I don't use the term "brother" lightly, and in fact, I generally don't appreciate when others casually call me their "brother," but I put the title "my friend and brother" at top of this image. At the Drift Inn Saloon in Globe, I had to celebrate our meeting with a beer. Day 11 was a good day for sure.

Driving Around Globe

We drove around Globe and had some fun. :)

Globe, AZ

Globe, Arizona

Globe, Arizona

Once you get off Highway 60 and head into the neighborhoods, you realize how scenic and mountainous Globe really is.

Second Photo: There was a BIG mountain range that was mostly covered in clouds. I don't know its name, but this Coloradan respects it.

You are welcome to stay connected with me on my author page.

Not Too Shabby Videos

Cruising with Mike

Gila County Rabies Control & Animal Shelter

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Other Resources: Steve's Book About 2008 Trip - 2011 Trip Journal - Steve's Help & Advice


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