Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DiViDe RiDE PaRT FiVe RoCkY CaNyOn to BeAvErHeAd WoRkCenTer

In the Middle of the night I had to get up to get my sleeping bag.

The Canyon was warm the first part of the night, but suddenly in the middle of the night the temps dropped dramatically.

Another point during the night through my eyelids I saw a bright light, only to peak out of my bivy and see the moon was bright in the night sky.

I would sleep on my one side till I felt sore, and then move to the other when I got tired.

The pillow riddle continued to elude me and swore if I ever spent that much time sleeping on the ground again I would bring an inflatable.

Eventually I opened my eyes and noticed that daylight had finally come.

I got up and it was freezing cold. Immediately changed into warm clothes finally putting on my knicker bibs that I had brought.

As I packed up I was impressed by how efficient I had become with the process and choked down more food. I took inventory of my water count knowing full well that I would have to pray and hope that Black Canyon creek was flowing cause that is as far as I would be able to make it with the water I currently had.

I completed my morning ritual and rolled out. Once again the trail kicked up. I thought to myself, why didn't I camp on top of a climb, but then remembered how cold the canyon had become over the night and it would have been way colder at the top of a peak. Before long I was in my granny gear churning along wondering if it was going to be 8 miles or 4 miles to black canyon.

I could see fresh bear tracks all over the road. That's funny I thought, they were going uphill coming from the canyon I had been sleeping in. Interesting. The next thought that crossed my mind was that I didn't think there were bears in New Mexico, guess I was mistaken.

Onward and upward, till I was forced to walk. The going was slow and my feelings of illness returned. Nausea, exhaustion. I took breaks and did my best to keep moving.

I was trying to eat, trying to keep my motivation up, but all that had happened up to this point had put a harsh crack in my resolve. I could feel my desire for wanting to be out there all alone in the middle of now where feeling ill, slipping fast.

I'm hunched over my top tube after spending what seemed like another straight hour going uphill. I think finally all my ill feelings have reached a peak and I am about to expel a symphonic technicolor yawn.

Just the I notice a truck ascending up the road. A man who is clearly a Fellow Native mature and seasoned stops and ask me if I was OK.

I had to tell the truth of course.

He offered to shuttle me ahead as far as he could, told me he had work to do in the Gila and that was how he could help me out. So I accepted.

My race was finished the instant I started moving forward on the route under powered assistance.

There was nothing I could say. I was not feeling well and mentally the ordeal had hurt me. I was in a different event but got caught in circumstance. I had spent what felt like almost two entire days averaging 3 miles per hour. Mentally I disqualified myself for moving too freaking slow.

And Jorge, eventually turned off the main road to take care of his business and I was back on my own. I felt better. I don't know why. But I did. I changed my clothes, Put on regular shorts put away arm warmers and such, and started rolling again. Started the sacred Gila mountain dance that had me hiking and biking up mountains and down when the downs did come.

I saw signs talking about this being part of the Geronimo trail. I remember when I was a sales coach in one of my past careers I would talk about how much of a bad ass Geronimo was. I didn't think it was any coincidence that I was on the same path of a warrior that I had spoke of so highly so many times.

I passed a resort, counting down the remaining miles to Beaverhead work center.

I finally arrive tired, walking. I see a soda machine and an Old school pay phone in the front of the place. I also see an out of order sign. Ya, a soda would have been too much of a reward...pfft..

There are your typical compose bathrooms with a fresh water pump. Behind the main building was the garages that housed all the equipment these gentleman would use to fight the fires.

I am naive I freely admit, and It seems after spending some time observing the Firefighters that there are two types. The firefighters we know off rush into homes and use hoses to fight urban death traps in an effort to save life. These firefighters were more like Fire Horticulturist experts in chocking a fire to death by digging, using heavy machinery cutting, whatever it took.

The firefighter in charge responsible for caring for all the extra fighters that had come down to assist with the wildfire crisis, fed me, gave me drink and let me make several calls.

Lloyd said he would come get me. Told me things would have been different had I had not such a rough start. And that he would be there in the morning, would I be alright.

I told him of course.

So I cleaned my clothes, ate my food, observed my surroundings and the people around. Spend the day reading Jill Homer books on my kindle. Almost wishing I had started reading the book sooner than that day feeling that reading about her adverse moments made me feel a lot stronger than when I had arrived in my weak mental state.

The night was beautiful. Comfortable. The sky, full of stars. I even saw what I would call a slow burning shooting star. It was a moment of beauty after all the suffering.

Before I drifted off to sleep I even figured out the pillow riddle, stuffing my spare clothes in the stuff sack of my Bivy. Worked perfect.

More soon....

The NaKeD InDiaN

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DiViDe RiDE PaRT FoUr PaLoS ALtOs To RoCkY CaNyOn

That Night was cold. The coldest so far. The first night I didn't even have to use my Sleeping bag, and I tried to sleep just in my emergency bivy alone, but in the middle of the night I had to fetch my sleeping bag.

I am not used to sleeping on the floor, repeated nights in a row. The biggest issue I was having was a pillow. The smarter man would of probably purchased an inflatable version and brought it along, but I thought I could make do. For a moment I wondered if there was some ingenious way I could with my current kit solve the Pillow Riddle.

I added layers and packed up then sat on my tyvek groundcloth and put down some chocolate calories, knowing that if all went well and I made it over the CDT as planned I would be heading into the Infamous Gila forest.

I was not intimidated by what I had heard about the Gila. It would be the first serious off road climbing of the route, but after the TNGA and the rumored Appalachian type nature of the climbs in the Gila I felt it would not be a problem.

Again the day started on a climb.

As I made my way off the mountain I tried to look at the scenery and not obsess on the approaching turn off pavement I could see on the GPS taking me towards the CDT.

Finally I see dirt and I make my way.

Immediately the track turns upward into a wicked 4 x 4 jeep crawler type track. I'm loving it, enter the 22 ring!

I'm pedaling along, enjoying the jagged off road track thanking god that I was riding something that was more a kin to my preferences. Up and over I go, and then, something I didn't expect happens.. I peak out to a mountain top and I am way off track. I think for a second that maybe it was like the TNGA and the green track was not 100% accurate on skinny trail, but after some back tracking, I top out again, descend and then spend some more time searching and searching, this time trusting the green track instead of doubting it.

AND finally, I find the entrance to the CDT!!!!

Excited I jump right in, ascending and riding narrow track with exposed side cuts that punished you severely for any margin of error.

Up and down, a hike a bike here and pedal there I was in Singletrack Nirvana.

I stop to layer down and prepare for the heat of the day that was rapidly approaching. The sun launches into the sky fast in the desert. Amazingly fast.

I continue on the track, enjoying the views and snapping pics watching the green line and seeing where this fun will end, Singletrack is HARD to come by on the Tour Divide.

Eventually the fun does end and the track dumps out into a group campground. I had planned an off route detour to re stock on water. I had intentionally metered how much water I took up and over signal peak CDT to avoid carrying extra weight.

Every pump I checked was not ready, or working. So on I moved and I continued with my original plan. The heat was beaming off the pavement. But it was mostly downhill as I made my way to a section that the map called Lake Roberts. Interesting enough.

I had ridden a couple of miles and was starting to wonder if I would see this ranger station. Just as I wonder I notice a cafe to my left. I approach the door and although its not open it says to ring bell.

I press the button and a bell goes off in the house on my left.

A lady rushes out and ask me what I needed and I ask if I could purchase some soda. She is nice and conversational, and after going through the usual particulars that I usually get about what I am doing and where I am going she ask me how much water I am carrying.

She apparently is very familiar with the direction I am heading and she tells me I don't have enough water. She gets me an extra container and offers me Ice and water for all my bottles, my bladder and the extra empty bottle she just gifted me.

I had a moment of clarity and asked her if she would sell me a sandwich. Frances handed me the menu and told me to order whatever I wanted. Indeed this was a cafe, but business had been slow, but she was more then eager to help out a fellow traveler and adventurer.

Frances was a marketing professor from Chicago who decided she wanted to change her life and come live out there in New Mexico. A better life. She told me stories about other people who she had to save who were bike touring and did very poor planning.

It was the best cheeseburger I had ever had. I ate and we talked, I used the bathroom, paid and left.

Before leaving I soaked my Specialized Sun arm protectors in water, my under shirt and the bandanna I was wearing under my helmet. I put this all on.

For years I have done lots of studying on how to survive and thrive in various conditions and I knew that in the Dry desert moisture gets sucked out of everything so even though it was hot, I was putting on as much layers as I would wear if the weather was cold.

I made my way towards the Forest road that would start my Trek across the Gila. After several miles I turn off the pavement and begin the climb up to the plateau. And just then I hear a familiar sound as my phone starts chiming from receiving voice mails and sounding off from receiving text messages. The symphony of sounds eventually subsided, for the first time in a day and half I had cell signal so I took a moment to respond to messages and make a few calls.

I was already feeling not so good. Was I still suffering from sleep deficit? Had I ate too much to late in the day??? No matter I persevered.

I got up on the plateau thinking the trail would flatten out, but no. I kept climbing. Once the climbing subsided, I then started hitting the absolute worst washboards I had ever encountered.

My motivation was low. My arms were experiencing fatigue similar to ripping out repeated push ups to muscle failure. I got into my aero bars but the position was hard to maintain in the washboards and it was just not as comfortable as I remembered or preferred.

I resorted to weaving left and right across the road trying to find the less washboarded spot. Tried to surf the very edge where the road was smooth, but they sharply graded the roads on the edges to form a drainage and I slipped and fell into the ditch.

This continued for several hours and my feelings of exhaustion persisted. I took breaks. Thoughts of quitting came into my mind and I would eat gummy worms and they would go away, and then I would repeat. I feared my arm fatigue would mean me slipping my grip and hitting my face on the bars.

The day persisted. I would spend hours going up only to finish the rewarding downhill in less than 3 minutes. I kept thinking how much easier this would be coming from the other way, how much more downhill I would have.

It was hard to gauge my progress and where I was on the map. I was really beating myself up cause my progress was miserably slow. Although my pace had been fine at the beginning I had really lost some serious forward momentum this past day and a half.

Its funny how the your own mind will kick your own ass. And I was in full on ass kicking mode. Just beating myself up about it all.

After what seemed like an eternity I was descending when I spotted a campground and a sign that said Rocky Canyon. Along with that sign I saw a car of all things.

I spoke to the campers. Chit Chatting mostly. I asked them how far Black Canyon was and he said 4 miles and she said 8 miles. I looked at the elevation profile sheet and felt at my exhaustion level it was better to just camp. This spot had a picnic table and a porta pottie, why not.

Thinking strategy I felt it best to go to bed early again and see if more rest would make me feel better. I felt so defeated, so tired, that continuing the race was mentally in serious jeopardy.

I had no appetite. I did my best to choke something down and then when I laid down, It took all my concentration to not throw up what I had just ate.

More to come.


The NaKeD InDiaN

Saturday, July 09, 2011

DiViDe RiDE PaRT ThRee SiLvEr CiTy to PaLoS ALtOs

I opened my eyes and there on the opposite couch was Jamie Thomson possibly working on something city related.

Jamie is a former Tour Divide finisher, owner of the bike house and city council man and bicycle advocate.

I felt feverish. I looked at my droid, I had slept four hours. I had hoped to sleep alot more but that's what I got and I needed to get going. The plan for the evening was to camp somewhere up on signal peak as I made my way across the new CDT addition to the Great Divide Mountain Bike route.

Before I left town though I had a list of things I wanted to do. Grab an espresso, grab something hot for dinner, grab about 2 days worth of food. The little things.

Everything went perfectly smooth, but I found it so hard to buy 2 days worth of junk food and then carry it all. Eventually I sorted out all my kit and got going out of town, up and up into Palos Altos.

By the time I made the town of Palos Altos darkness had firmly planted itself for the night. I could not located the rumoured spicket. I was feeling incredibly tired still. Just out of gas. Had my Coyote run the night before been too much of a sacrifice after sitting around for two weeks and doing nothing? Would I be able to recover from this? These are the games my mind was playing with me.

I was conflicted I had just spent what seemed like a lifeless trip up the mountain into the Palos Altos and now I didn't much feel like going forward. My clock was all messed up too, technically at 6pm at night I had started day two, LOL. Hilarious.

SO, instead of going forward I followed my own sage advice, listened to my body and pulled into the Buckhorn allegedly the oldest Saloon in the universe. I sat outside for a minute, reflecting. Trying to figure out why I felt so crappy? Was it sleep deprivation?

Just as I am sitting contemplating my lack of well being, three intoxicated gentlemen stumbled out of the saloon, one drunker than the next.

Noticing a guy in cycling clothes with a fully loaded bike always inspires a million and one questions.

So there we are, I'm pulling out maps, I'm letting them lift the bike, I practically laid out my kit for them to look at. One of the guys was worried about my safety and spent a good 30 minutes warning me about fires which I assured him if they were in my path that I would be re routed.

Two more people came out, one of them a cook, and feeling hungry I asked if they were still serving dinner, I figured I was out of energy, at a pit stop, I might as well, eat and have some drinks and enjoy this tour as much as possible.

BUT, much to my disappointment they had stopped serving. I had picked up a Giant Burrito before leaving Silver and I asked if I could eat go inside drink some beer and eat my food. They said of course and I pulled out my jacket and went in and sat and ate and drank and listened to them converse.

I like people watching, I'm an anthropologist so its something that I do often not only as a citizen of this planet, but as a social scientist. And the best way to people watch is for me to blend in the room and be seemingly invisible. As weird as that may sound considering everyone in the place was dressed to be hanging out in a bar and socializing and me all decked out in cycling attire.

It seemed like they were starting to close up and the guy asked if I wanted another drink. I declined and paid my fair, got layered up cause the night had become chilly and went off on my way.

Feeling a Lil buzz of beer, I quickly discovered that the town of Palos Altos was the peak of profile and I went downhill Immediately after leaving the saloon. Then a Lil rise and even more downhill. The moonlight was revealing a forest. TREES actual TREES I hadn't seen TREES in weeks.

I kept rolling on, and then started seeing people who were camping at the Roadside available sites. Kept my pace going and when the road started turning uphill the fatigue started to return. I zoomed out on the GPS and I saw where the turn off was for the CDT. As tired as I was feeling I had to think about the long haul. This was not a 300 mile race this was a nearly 3000 mile epic and I needed to conserve, invest and think about the future.

SO, I decided to try and spot a bivy spot. Kept my eyes open and noticed a spot to set up camp. I hiked across a dry creek to a nice wide open spot next to a rocky out cropping. For the first time I was using the inflatable mattress that Jeff Tomassetti's nephew had been nice enough to lend me. Usually whilst bikepacking in Florida I either use a hammock or hobo camp on benches, I had never used the mattress. Even the first night I bivied at Soldiers Retreat I didn't use a pad, I just laid up on the sand. Thankfully it was very user friendly and after some adjustments and trying to figure out what to use for a pillow I fell fast asleep hoping that some healing rest would re energize me and give me strength for the next day.

To be continued,

Take Care,

The NaKeD InDiaN

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

DiViDe RiDE PaRT TwO SoLDiErS ReTreAt to SiLvEr CiTy

I sprung from my sleep like a jack in the box that had reached its peak of full crank and clown music.

Looked around and could see nothing but desert sand in all directions, speckled with cacti and mountains.

It had been 2 hours since I had fallen asleep and I immediately packed my things and did what I had to do to get on my way.

My clothes were covered in salt as was my face. Considering I had been riding all night in what I thought were tame conditions I felt filthy as if I had been wallowing in a sand box at the local playground.

I took a second to soak it all in.

The remoteness.
The crisp chill in the air.
But didn't linger long before I was up and pedaling.

Although I had only slept for two hours I felt very rested, and immediately dug into my top bags for food.

The chocolate was still in a hard state as I pedaled along wondering when this sandy section would end, secretly cursing myself for not doing better route study. Time was just hard to find as my busy life wash drain spiraled into this event.

I continued on and before long I saw a street sign of all things in the middle of nowhere. AN animal that was long like a goat but ran like a deer, two of them tearing off after they spotted me. Climbed some big climbs and then dropped down a sweet canyon before I finally started seeing actual trees.

Some bigger climbs came along followed by some white knuckle rutted dirt road downhills that were bringing a smile to my face, leaving me thinking that finally I was seeing some variety from the previous hours efforts.

Finally I found the end of the dirt and hit pavement once again. I took a bit of time to eat a little more food before my chocolate returned to a melted state and drank some water before riding the pavement section all the way into Silver City.

AS I made my way down the pavement I started to feel fatigued. I didn't know if it was the fact that the temperature had gone from cool to hot so fast or the fact that in the past 30 hours I had only slept two, but I was hurting. It bothered me that I was hurting so much so early into this 20 plus day epic.

I was contemplating all this in my head when a car sped by and quickly stopped. I wondered if I was already being SPoT Stalked, but that wasn't the case at all as I saw Lloyd's familiar face emerge from the car.

He gave me a run down of everything I had done in the past 14 hours, which I smiled at, and asked me if I was OK, before he jumped back in his car on his way to complete the errands him and his wife were performing.

I cant say enough about Lloyd, truly a superstar. A Former Sheriff for the entire area, Judge, etc, this guy was all around Bad to the Bone.

The climbs were long riding into Silver City. I kept thinking wow, this would all be downhill if I was coming from the north. But I kept the cranks turning and geared down intently looking at my GPS and that way point that let me know I was getting closer to my goal.

Here I was climbing what seemed to be the longest climb of all stretching for what seemed an eternity. When I got to the top I felt dazed and dizzy, dismounted from the bike and literally sat there on the hot pavement with my eyes closed hiding behind my bike since it was the only form of shade for miles and miles.

I couldn't understand why I felt like warmed over crap so early in the race. I was hungry but couldn't eat, thirsty but tired of drinking so I chalked it up to sleep deprivation.

After a few moments I commanded myself to get up and go forward. And just like that I crested the hill and off in the distance maybe a mile or more away I could see a gas station/convenience store. The only thing I could think about was getting a DR. Pepper. Yes, sugar and caffeine that's what I needed to recharge my body.

I got to the store ran in and bought a giant Dr. Pepper. I asked the lady behind the counter how far was Silver City and she said, its right at the bottom of the hill. Wow, I was not even a mile away and it was all downhill.

I rolled into Silver City at 1030am, turning left towards the Gila Hike and Bike shop to have my Rear Derailleur adjusted. That took no time at all, and I backtracked to where I had turned off to sit down and eat a gigantic burrito and drink even more sugary laced caffeinated beverage.

One advantage to having been stranded in Silver City, I knew exactly where I wanted to go and after my meal I pedaled toward the hostel, greeted and chatted with the people inside as I washed my clothes and took a shower before laying down to rest a little more.

It had been a LONG night, and although I was not 100% satisfied with my effort it was time to attempt to recover from the pain I had experienced on my way into town.....

Part 3 Tomorrow,

Take Care,

The NaKeD InDiaN

Monday, July 04, 2011

DiViDe RiDE PaRT OnE AnTeLoPe WeLLs To SoLDiErS ReTreAt

There I sat in the Lobby of the Comfort Inn all dressed up waiting on UPS and FEDex. Both companies were locked in an Overnight delivery battle, unbeknowst to them.

UPS won, and my Cargo Net showed up first.

Fed Ex second and I Installed my pedals and finally after 4 full days of waiting I had finally put my bike back together, although with a set of borrowed pedals and a lent front wheel.

As I rode around the parking lot the Aer0 bars just didn't feel right. They felt off center or a little too low, I really couldn't nail down what adjustment I needed to make to make them feel as sweet as they once felt when I had them installed on My Mamasita. As it was I didn't have much time to tinker with it either as I needed to make sure I had my last hot meal for what till I made my way back from the border to Silver City.

Circumstance is a funny happenstance, and be things as they made, the week before I left I tapered off the bike and then, little did I know I would get another full on rest week before I could roll out. I was happy nonetheless cause I finally got my bike and I was feeling so foolish and so sad about everything that had happened.

Those first few days I spent waiting where an endurance test all of their own. I would spend all day and all night listening for the bus' breaks and then sprinting from my hotel room to the Grayhound out back, with my heart full of hope, only to be let down when I discovered I was still bike less.

Eventually I got so so tired of that process of let downs after let downs that I left Lordsburg and decided to put all my faith in the hands of the universe and see what dreams may come. My time table was tight, and my patience was gone.

So, regardless that the adjustment could not be made to my liking I ran across the way an scored a big meal of nuggets and fries and sat and ate and chatted with a guy who wanted to do the same ride I was doing but on a motorcycle, access permitting of course. Either way, whether motor powered or not the route would be nice to do.

He was a gold miner of all things. AND eventually he wished me luck and was on his way and Lloyd showed up to give me a ride to the border.

I was all a ball of Nervous anxiety but I tried to keep my cool. I did my best to not think how horrible things had gone up to this point. Did my best to dismiss the feelings filling my head wondering why after so much dreaming and preparation the Universe would feel fit to throw me such a huge curve ball minutes before embarking on lifetime stroll I had long desired.

Lloyd and his clan are truly the salt of the earth. Enthusiastic about the route, he probably day dreams more about it more than I do, but alas, as I have the actual ability and chance to out and do it, He admitted to me that he did not. Sure he may be able to ride some of the flatter sections, but his health would not allow him to ever complete the route as its laid out from either north or south.

Before long we were on the stretch of pavement that last a good 65 miles and takes you to the border. Seemed like every five minutes we were passing Border patrol agents of all types. AND as I counted down the mile markers and listened as Lloyd imparted his detailed knowledge about that part of the world, I saw in the distance Antelope Wells, rapidly approaching, knowing full well that I would finally, after all I had been through, get to start the adventure I had longed for.

Once we arrived I packed up my calories consisting of chocolate candy bars, I looked at the time and saw that I could easily start at 6pm, there was simply no way I was going to sit at the border for 2 hours to wait for my advertised 8pm start time. So I went with it, got ready, got saddled up, had Lloyd take my pic and I was on my way, finally rolling north.

Immediately the first thing I noticed was that it was damn freaking hot and this cross wind from the west was already dragging me down. My legs who had not put in any real efforts in two weeks were sending messages of complaints, but I kept the pedals going.

Instantly my chocolate melted, not something I had planned at all, but still, I did consume a good 1200 calories so I had plenty of food in my stomach to last me at least a good 50 miles and if needed I had plenty of body fat built up on purpose to push farther without food. Not all my calories were chocolate either and after a few hours I opened up the bags of gummy worms I had and began consuming those bit by bit.

When I was traveling perfectly north, my pace would be massively impacted by the winds raking across the flat desert plain. But when I would go north east, my speed would be equally increased by the deflecting crosswind.

Quickly I watched as the sun started descending to my left and to my right I could see that the moon, a full one at that was starting to climb over the summits of the tallest peaks. I didn't even know it was going to be a full moon that night and was pleasantly surprised and full of child like joy that I would get to ride in the full moon light.

It seemed like every 15 minutes I would have to stop to speak to a border agent and explain what the hell I was doing out that late and where I was from, etc, etc. BUT I felt safe knowing they were out there watching and doing there job.

There were cows everywhere. Bats, flying their crooked sacred dances in the sky all around, the biggest I had ever seen. Jack Rabbits with tall sail like ears sprinting in every direction, and my progress was quick, and my energy was high.

Its funny how sometimes I have these great moments of clarity. I had over 1000 calories of melted chocolate, but the night air was cooling down exponentially fast. So I decided to zip open both bags hoping the chill of the night would reconstitute my food, an activity I named "leaving the fridge door open".

I was stopped by a border patrol agent once again and asked him if he knew of any publicly accessible water spickets in Hachita. He said NO, but then said, here and handed me a cold Gatorade from his cooler. I attempted to refuse the offer, explaining the race rules, to which he responded that I didn't know he would be there and that he would offer this cold drink to anyone he would see along the desert, so no rules were being broken.

In Hachita I did a hard target search and found no public water sources available at the time I was crossing. I had decided long ago, that I wanted to get going the first chance I got and it just so happened that the first chance I got was at night. In contemplating that I only saw positives, as crossing that hot wide desert plain in the middle of the day without taking the necessary precautions could prove to be a painful experience.

There was a grocer that would open early, but I had plenty of supplies to get to Separ and beyond if needed. I had been careful to plan enough food for the trip to Silver City and only needed one water top off in the 125 mile distance.

I found a remote electrical source, but NO water source and quickly made my way further north to Separ. I was sure that the Continental Divide store would have supplies.

Finally after 60 miles my tires were crunching dirt as I made my way onto the Service that ran parallel to Interstate 10.

Not long after I rolled into Separ. The parking lot was full of Semi Trucks parked for the night. I found the water pump on the side of the building and let the cold water run for a bit before filling all my bottles and my bladder. I ate chocolate and watched cars roll by, thinking that this bench would be a good place to sleep till first light. BUT no, that was not the plan, the plan was to pedal all the way to Silver City.

I rolled out again finally on Dirt and no longer on pavement for a good long while.

The Tall Palmetto pointy trees that lined the dirt road looked like Conquistadors holding lances. On the Horizon, several times I thought I saw, Ceremonial Adobe round houses. But all were mirages, my mind playing tricks on me. I was a little surprised that I would be seeing such things, but maybe these were the circumstances that Desert riding facilitated and a necessary part of the experience.

I was a man on a mission, big ringing everything since I started at 6pm, and attacking every small rise that came across my path.

Up and down, more riding into the distance that seemed to have no end. It all reminded me of riding the Ocala National Forest in some strange way, and it brought back memories of riding the Lake Okeechobee scenic trail. I thought of my friends, I thought of my family, thought of Rob and things from the past. And then I noticed I was weaving all over the road. At some point I had become dazed and had reached a point that I felt the only choice I had was to sleep for a bit and not risk a silly crash.

On my way to the start, Lloyd had told me to watch for goat heads and thorns if I needed to get off the road, I scouted a clean spot, threw down my Tyvek Ground cloth, rolled out my bivy and instantly fell asleep.

Part two tomorrow,

Take care,


The NaKeD InDiaN