Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tailwind and mostly downhill!

This was one of those days that every bicyclist dreams of. As we get further east we are getting into some very isolated country. The cars become few and far between
The elevation chart looked a little daunting until we realized it was a 1000 foot scale instead of a 5000 foot scale like it has been for these past two weeks. There were some ups and downs but quite gentle.
We biked in cool weather with sunshine. Clouds were wreathing the mountains which looked forbidding but not close. The landscape was a broad open valley with mountains in the distance.
We saw many border patrol trucks. A few of them had some type of portable radio tower.
There are many "washes", dry river beds where there has obviously been raging water since the banks are deeply cut. Not sure when they get that much rain, I assume that melting snow adds to the rainfall to produce the flash flooding.
We rolled in late to every SAG stop since the hotel staff seemed to have trouble serving all the people all at once. They started with waffles but the waffle iron was too slow so they switched to pancakes and eggs. The folks manning the SAGS are pleasant and friendly, always asking us how we enjoyed the ride so far and how we are doing. There is always a lot of joking and laughter; a true oasis in the middle of the desert.
The trouble that the hotel staff had in getting food out for us gives renewed respect for our tour chef Ann who produces so much good food for us with her quiet unassuming manner. She also accommodates special food needs as well. Everything comes out hot and fresh to the buffet table where 43 hungry (and anxious to be on the road)
bicyclists are lined up.
We continued on, enjoying the day. The only concern I had was that I was developing a sore area in my left calf. I had made an appointment with our massage therapist for 5:30 after riding and it looked like we would easily make that.
Then we entered an area where the wind started to shift and become a headwind. Over to the left of us there were sheets of rain coming down over some mountains and moving rapidly towards us. And there was the sign announcing that we had reached our third state, New Mexico! We quickly had our picture taken by Rose who was in one of the support vehicles. They were following us pretty closely because they wanted to pick us up if it started to lightning. And less than a half mile later, as we heard the rumble of thunder, very close, we flagged them down and loaded the bikes in the trailer. Just in time because it started to pour!
We got a ride up to our lodging which is the former estate of McAfee of the anti-virus software company. Apparently he has been convicted of killing a neighbor over a barking dog and he is on the run, internationally. Meanwhile his estate (or I should say one of his houses) has been confiscated and is now a "resort" out in this town that is just a speck on a map. Some folks had been randomly chosen to stay in the house and guest house. The rest of us bunked down in the hanger! The ultralight aircraft that was left in the hanger became an expensive clothesline!

New Mexico. The clouds are moving in!
The hanger and "clothes dryer"
After the storm.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the wonder of creation you are privileged to experience on this journey