First the pictures:
- This picture doesn’t do the scene justice. This is a scene in the city of Ruidoso, NM. There are about six horse sculptures (3 should be in the picture) that are jumping over bushes and “playing”. It was extremely lifelike and I am sorry the picture didn’t capture the magnificence of the scene.
- Well I couldn’t find Area 51 but I did find “Area 52” and sure enough there was an alien and his space ship right out there in the open.
- Today I found myself humming John Wayne movie music again but also had a surprise. I went through Hondo, NM and remembered that John Wayne had a movie of the same name. As I recall Billy the Kid was in it trying to figure out if he was going to be hero or criminal. If you like John Wayne movies this might be one you should see. Billy the kid was all over the Hondo/Lincoln county areas. There are several museums that have bullets, bullet holes and other artifacts of his era.
- This morning about 20 miles outside of Roswell I found myself in the foothills of the Rockies (at least I think I was). I spent all day going through, around, up and down them. See summary below.
- The “road picture” is me coming down from Apache Summit at 7591 feet to 4600 feet. Just as I came to the bottom of the hill in the distance was a white band that looked like clouds had touched down on the earth. These are the famous “White Sands” I couldn’t believe the contrast. This picture is taken about 10 miles away and the white band was clearly seen.
Summary: Today I was able to knock out 115 miles. In yesterday’s note I said I would be going to Carrizozo. Turns out in last night’s mapping session, if I got to Carrizozo and then Vaugh, I would have a tremendous amount of traveling with no stores. I changed my destination to Tularosa last night and then, since Alamogorda was only 13 miles away, stopped there. While the wind and hills were a factor most of the day at about 2:00 okay I was at the top of Apache Summit. From there I enjoyed a 10 mile descent where I did very little pedaling and a lot of enjoying. The stops between towns were about 40 miles apart which is longer than I like but I just started stopping by the side of the road eating some trail mix (M&Ms, nuts, raisins, etc) and drinking a bottle of Gatorade to ensure I was fully hydrated.
Tomorrow I will go to Las Cruces (I think before my mapping) which is only about 65 miles away. I will have to stop there because the next town is another 60 miles out. I don’t want to try and cross 60 miles without any support in the expected high temperatures. Should be out of New Mexico in the next 2 days. New Mexico is giving all of my navigational skills a real test because no roads go where I want them too and I seem to have the choice to backtrack, go where it is really hot, or where it is still likely to be cold. Anxious to get to Arizona!
A couple of you asked what I think about while I am on the bike. Wish I could say I was thinking deep thoughts and solving universal problems. The truth is much more basic. I am trying to keep going. Riding the bike takes a fair amount of attention all the time. You have to stay on the road (dodge automatic tire deflators, stay off the rumble strips, decided whether to be in the road or on the berm, listen for traffic behind you and ensuring you are on the right road). While this might sound easy the road surface and berm size are constantly changing throwing in pot holes now and again. There have also been times when I feel like Han Solo piloting through an asteroid field of glass wondering how in the heck my tires stay intact.
If things are smooth and I am comfortable then the scenario tends to guide my thoughts. The terrain is magnificent and very different than what I know in Ohio. The bird songs, the different animals, the very different plants all cause me to wonder why and how they can live in the New Mexican climate. The scenario also causes me to remember John Wayne movie music which I find myself humming now and again.
I will also think of things I need to get done or think about this post and figure out what I should say. I might see a “blue soccer ball”, “one boot”, or a “hairbrush and wonder how in the heck it ended up on the side of the road.
There are also many, many memorials on the side of the road. I wonder what happened. Was it a kid texting or drinking or just unlucky. I wonder if it was a father, mother, son, or daughter whose life was cut short. Please, please, please, hug a loved one tonight and make sure they always drink safely and in perfect control. Tired of memorials.
Lastly my trip has many similarities to life or to someone that may be going through cancer treatments. When I think along these lines I always resolve things to the point where:
- Life isn’t always fair
- No matter what happens you can work through the pain
- Never wait for something to happen, you should make it happen
- Going through life with people you love makes it MUCH easier
- There are many paths, choose the one that is right for you and reserve the right to try something else if it doesn’t work.
Long winded as always. Going out to pick up some provisions for the coming week and then figure out tomorrow’s trip.
Love everyone out there – my best, as always to you!