Day 29/13-The Apache Indians
Written by Jon on 12 April 2010
We went to the same grocery store for breakfast we had attempted to go the night before. This time they were open and we were able to eat before a big climb we had ahead. The lady who snubbed us the night before walked in as we were eating. She tried to tell us her boss makes her close down the registers early which was obviously a lie so I just continued eating and ignored her. The climb was close to 10 miles right from the get go and wasn’t bad, but just long. When we got to the top there were many taking photos of the poppis that had recently flowered. We coasted down the backside of the mountain for some time and then hit some flat land. We had lunch in Safford and picked up some supplies at Wal-mart. Our goal was to make it to the campground at the Apache Gold Casino which was approximately 60 miles away. All of the road from 45 miles before the casino to 5 miles after was Apache land. We had already been warned that we could have our bikes and gear confiscated if we got caught camping on Apache land without a permit. We pedaled on through the reservation, but were still about 30 miles from the casino when dusk approached. We pedaled on fast and reached the city of Peridot on the reservation a little after dark. It was a Saturday night and the traffic seemed out of control. Both of us were getting bad vibes about continuing on and started to search out a place to get a permit in order to camp. Samuel went inside the grocery store and I stayed outside to guard the bikes and gear. An indian man walked up to me and told me it wasn’t safe for our kind to be around these parts on bikes this time of night. He also said it wasn’t safe to camp. I waited outside another 15 minutes for Samuel to tell him the news. He walked up to be with a smile on his face and told me to grab my bike and gear and to load them in the van of an indian lady he was with. Apparently she had overhead him inside the grocery and offered for us to camp at her families house. I was a little adiment at first, but was out of choices and loaded my bike in the van. She drove us about 5 miles up the road on the reservation and we arrived to a group of indian men sitting around laughing and drinking beer. She took us inside to meet her parents. They made us dinner, let us take showers, and pitch our tents in the yard. The men said they would be back in about 45 minutes from the store and wanted us to drink a beer with them. We chatted with the family and got settled in until they got back. We were treated extremely well by all of them and sat up until about 12pm chatting with them and exchanging stories. They referred to us as the white men a few times which I thought was funny.