Yesterday we noticed that Dan's back tire was making a funny noise so we stopped to check it out. We found that 3 of the spokes had broken, we don't know where, when or how it happened, but they have completely snapped off. We think that the new wheel Dan bought after the pannier incident was cheap and just not cut out for hauling heavy loads over long distances. Nothing that we know of hit the spokes or anything, so it must have been the wheel. We were somewhat in the middle of nowhere when we noticed the spokes, so we decided to keep riding on it, hoping it holds until we can get somewhere where we can do something about it.
We ended up camping about 8 miles outside of Bagdad. Today we rode into Bagdad with Dan's wheel becoming more and more warped. We had hoped that we could rent a car or u-haul or find a bus or someone to give us a ride into Kingman, but no such luck, once in Bagdad you are stuck unless you have your own transportation. Oh...and there are no bike shops here either. So after much thought we decided we had to head to Wickenburg where they supposedly rent u-hauls.
About 2 miles outside of Bagdad Dan's back tire got a flat due, of course, to the spoke bolts that are no longer holding the missing spokes. We removed the bolts from the wheel and fixed the flat, hoping that the tire will hold all the way into Wickenburg, which, by the way, is about 50 miles from Bagdad. Luckily the tire appears to be holding (knock on wood) and we have about 43 miles left. We are now camped along Hwy 93 on some BLM land. There are a bunch of cool cactuses here. We ran into our first Big Saguaro today, which is cool to see, it's definitely starting to look more "deserty" the further south we go.