Wed. March 11, Day 5, Yuma to Dateland AZ 70 miles
I slept deeply and well last night. I tried some earplugs which really seemed to help.
Today's ride was a steady uphill grade, mostly very slight. We also had a light headwind. We started out under overcast skies which provided a welcome respite from the heat of yesterday. Initially we rode through a large valley called Dome Valley. Our speaker that Bubba arranged for us last night said that 90% of the salad crops come from this area during the winter months. We saw every kind of lettuce possible, in all stages of growth. We also saw broccoli, cauliflower, green onions.
The workers are primarily from Mexico. There were numerous busses with trailers with Porta potties on the trailers. The women wore quite pretty headscarves with lace around the edges to protect from the sun. They also worked under a shaded canopy that was on a truck that moved ahead as they harvested. It still looked like very a difficult job with the heat and how fast every one had to move.
While we were watching some harvesting a car pulled up. Two Asian people came out, a man and a woman. The man had a camera and motioned the woman over to the field. She then picked a head of lettuce, he took the photo. She threw it on the ground, walked back to the car and they drove away. I was dumbfounded!
Last night's speaker also told us interesting history about how the water was distributed at the turn of the century. It involved a siphon that was constructed that is something like 80 feet deep and 600 feet horizontally that is still used today.
The sun came out later and it did get hot, but not unbearable.
We had a surprise this afternoon. Just after we left our lunch stop a car passed us and the driver leaned out and said "are there some MUTS here?" It turned out to be Carolyn and Greg from our tandem bicycle club in Michigan! They had been following our blog and were in the area driving to Tucson. They had also driven over the same pass we came screaming down!
Tonight we are camped next to a train track that we followed all afternoon. The trains run by every half hour to 45 minutes. Gotta get that salad to the grocers. Brings back lots of memories of our Northern Tier trip last summer. Earplugs again tonight. Hope they help!