Today was a rough one. New Mexico doesn’t really have a great way for bikes to travel East to West. The roads are long, many towns are small or non-existent and if you get on a road without following it through to the ultimate destination, you may have to backtrack which is never fun.
Today’s route was touted to be 111 miles. The first 40 miles had two stops for liquids and there was nothing for the last 62 miles except for wonderful scenario. To give you a feel of the scenery, I kept thinking of John Wayne movies like Chisum, The Shootist, and my all time favorite Big Jake. In the movie Big Jake, John Wayne had been away from his estranged wife for 15 years when his grand child is kidnapped. The scenery made me think of this movie and I hummed the theme song for many miles. For the record, and not to be a spoiler, you don’t kidnap John Wayne’s grand son.
In any case I left 4:50 this morning to go to a McD’s (where I met the nicest people). I got there at 4:55 a.m. and found out the doors are locked till 5:00 a.m. (only the drive up window is open 24/7. I ordered and ate my regular sandwiches and started for 70 W at 5:30. The time change allowed me to get a jump on my travels so I wouldn’t be in the sun later than usual.
The 40 miles went without a hitch and at the 40 mile mark I filled up with 4-48 ounce Gatorades in addition to my two bike bottles that were 24 ounces each. In the next 60 miles I drank ever bit of this liquid and won’t have minded a bit more. The temperature rose to 95 degrees and while the bike keeps the wind coming you could feel the heat rise from the road. By the time I pulled in looking for a place to stay (3:00) I was wasted. Even my legs were telling me that they had had enough.
Ignoring my petty whining the scenery was spectacular. The prairies were huge and went on forever. I was told that the reason there were no towns on the 60 mile stretch was that two rangers owned all that property. I can only imagine how you control that much land.
A fair question is “what do you do when the scenery is the same mile after mile”. The answer is you look around at anything that is strange. Just about every car and truck that went by looked at me. Their faces kinda’ said it all, “stupid kid don’t you know there is nothing out here”! Even the cows looked at me as I went past.
Tomorrow I think I am headed for Carrizozo, NM which is about 89 miles away. I like being able to get started at 5:30 a.m.
- Yesterday I was on the road to Clovis. Miles and miles ahead on the opposite side of the road I could see emergency light flashes. It was by a train track and silos. I was sure there was a terrible actual and I was saying a prayer for those involved. Then I noticed that the parade of cars was moving. It turns out that they is a campaign on to get donations for military families. The poster on one of the trucks said, “3000 miles, in 120 days, across 19 states. In the middle of the cavalcade were 3 runners. I am guessing that the organizers of this event has runners in and between all cities to run the 6000 miles to solicit donations for this charity. They even had an ambulance in the group should anything happen. Could’ve taken some lessons from these folks. Keep an eye out. I am sure you will hear about them in the near future.
- At the top left of my shadow is a New Mexican snake that welcomed me into Elido by sticking out his tongue at me.
- The West has strong ties to cowboys and steers. This is a sculpture in a Roswell plaza.
- Picture of the Pecos River as I crossed a bridge just short of Roswell. After a hot day on the bike I get very tempted to ditch Miracle Go, take off my bike helmet and jump in.
See you tomorrow!