There are some benefits to being in the middle of nowhere…
Today we leave behind Arizona and enter the bottom Southwest corner of New Mexico for a few days. The trek is now 1/4 over. In some ways it seems like yesterday that I was dipping my tires in San Diego, in other ways it is a lifetime ago.
As we head out the landscape quickly reverts to the desert floor, the Gila River Valley left behind. The life sustaining River curves to the east and up into the mountains. In a few days as we cross the most southern range of the Rockies we will ride along the mountain streams that make the headwaters of the River.
Todays ride includes a gradual climb over several miles which will take us to a high desert plateau. Here cattle roam over an open range of scrub with the new dominant cactus, the yucca.
We are lucky as the summer heat has begun to break and the intense heat fading in memory. The monsoon season with moisture coming up from the Pacific across Mexico has been mild this year yet all across the desert floor is standing water , strange to see. The ground is so hard here it just sits until it evaporates. Flash floods are common this time of year with evidence of washed out gullies ad large patches of mud on the highway in lower spots.
As we enter New Mexico
two quick changes, the roads are much better with wide safe shoulders, and beer bottles everywhere. I kid you not, for 40 miles there must be millions of broken brown glass bottles along the road. I think it must be some sort of sport joke to line the highways so but it is embarrassing for a state with such beauty to have so much garbage along the roads.
The trip into Lordsburg is very fast. There are two mountain ranges , one on each side of the road.
Cool winds come rushing down and give a 15 mph tail wind for most of the way.
Lordsburg is a remote railroad town isolated from much of the rest of New Mexico.
It is so remote that during WW II it was use during as an internment camp for Italian Prisoners of War. Escape was useless as no no one could survive in the desert with the nearest community 40 miles way.
We end up staying in a city park for the night infested with red army ants but we manage to camp on a large central cement block. The park is surrounded by a tall fence with locked gates making us feel a little safer being in a rather seedy part of town. No one feels safe to go out to find a restaurant so we all chow down on Raman, tuna, potato chips and some fresh tangerines.
We know tomorrow will lead to a rest day where we will be able to reset our diets to healthier food. This day of riding we have burned maybe 4500 calories and eaten 2000…this is what I call a fat melting day. We each have lost a stick or two of butter from our waists…
To our south a desert storm gives way to a beautiful double rainbow.
As I get ready to turn in I look up to the sky to see the most magnificent portrait of the Milky Way and billion stars of stars twinkling above. There are some benefits to being in the middle of nowhere…