Day 23 Adios Albuquerque 7-7-18
Albuquerque, NM to Grants, NM
After two full rest days with the whole family, I got back on the bike today. The rest days were fantastic, and consisted of hanging out with extended family, swimming, eating (probably too much) green chile, going to an Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game, ice skating (Addy now plays hockey, and we had been promising her a night of skating since the start of the trip), and more. Kelly's hometown didn't disappoint, and I think we were all a bit bummed that it was time to hit the road.
We were staying on the far East side of Albuquerque, which meant I had to ride from one end of the city to the other, just to get out of the area. I fought my way through a little bit of traffic, and stopped for breakfast at the Western View Steak House and Coffee Shop. One of the other patrons recognized me from an article in the Albuquerque Journal newspaper, and came over to talk. This caused the staff to start asking questions about what I was doing, and eventually I left the diner with a free meal, and $70 in cash donations! Thank you to all at the Western View!
As for the ride, It was about as "easy" as 93.7 miles can be. I had some climbing to get out of the Albuquerque valley, but after that it was incredibly scenic, with nice rock formations everywhere I looked. The heat was tolerable (or maybe I am getting used to it), but other than a few moments of heavy wind, it wasn't too bad. I did have to ride for 23 miles on I-40, as all of the other options in the area were dirt roads. Terrifying is not nearly strong enough language to describe my fear. Having semi trucks whizzing by at 70mph plus is something I don't recommend to anyone looking to ride a bike. There was also so much stuff on the shoulder (nails, screws, bolts, broken glass, wood, and tire pieces), I was waiting for a flat tire. Luckily, I never had one!
I saw my first two prairie dogs of the trip, as well as my first roadrunner. I suppose this makes me the coyote, as I didn't even get within striking distance of him/her, and my ACME rocket let me down, again. (Kids ask your parents about this reference). The afternoon had some very welcome clouds, and I was even sprinkled on by 27 raindrops. Late in the afternoon a strong tailwind kicked in for 6 miles (probably with 30-40 mph winds), and it was the perfect way to end the ride. I stopped the ride at a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, and Debi spread her brother Denny's ashes. If I haven't mentioned him before, he was a lifelong mechanic, Marine, and also one of the inspirations for this trip. Debi has been spreading his ashes at most of the historical, or fun, stops, and we miss him dearly!
Miles on the bike today: 93.7
Total miles on the bike: 1,107.0