Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Into the Arid Zone

I'm a bit pushed for time right now as it's approaching 3pm, and I've got about 18 miles to do to get to my camp where I'll have a layover. I've been pushing steadily for a week since Sante Fe, and it's time for a break. New Mexico was fantastic, dare I say enchanting? Last night was my coldest of the trip, 24 deg. F. I slept out in the open in a grassy region with a few stunted pinyon pines and not a breath of wind. It was a solid 12 hr. lock down in the bag. I probably have a few more nights like that until I get to lower elevations. I'll be over 7,000 ft. again tonight as far as I can tell.

So I've finished my last "new" state as I've explored and biked some in Arizona before--though not in the eastern half of the state, so this will be new country. I am feeling strong and riding well, but I'm starting to feel the pinch of shorter days, and these cold mornings make early starts pretty uncomfortable, so I'm usually scaling back my mileage. It's fantastic country, so why not?

I'll write more when I've got the chance. I may be able to post once more before I get to Prescott. My concerns right now are whether or not I'll be able to bike over the mountains to San Diego. I didn't bring my fire resistant cycling togs with me!

Be well. Biker Scotty signing off from the wilds of Arizona.

New Mexico mountains from a high camp:

The big wide open outside Socorro, NM:

Working the grade towards the Continental Divide:

Mountains north of Route 60, NM:


Anonymous said...

Saw you in Show Low, AZ today, Friday at the Safeway store. I do admire your grit and endurance. Going coast to coast on a bike takes a lot of both.

Rebecca said...

Scott - welcome to Arizona! Hopefully the fires will have died down for your trip into California. Good luck.

henk said...

Hey Scott,
Hope you still remember us, Ine and Henk, while sliding down the coast more than a year ago. We are following your quest into the heart of America and enjoying your observations of your fellow Americans. We admit it is a great country you are traveling, and actually we envy you quite a lot. We tried to imagine ourselves how it would be to do such a big ride all alone, and decided that this isn't "our thing", but also realized that it stimulates to make contact with other people and thus add a dimension to the trip. But even then: your preparation seems to have been very good and the cycling must have been very rewarding. We will enjoy reading about the rest of your epic journey. No doubt you will be finishing as scheduled. We hope you will succeed in finding an editor to turn your stories into a book. We will be buying for certain.
Good luck, and by the way: in Dutch it is "Twee bier, alstublieft", according to the book "Dutch for Dummy's" pronounced as: "Tvay beer, alst-u-bleeft". In most café's (where Dutch people drink beer, while "coffee-shops" are synonym for drug-shops) the only thing you have to do is hold two fingers in the air, while looking at the waiter.

Ine and Henk

Scott Wayland said...

Anonymous: So that was YOU? Thanks for checking in. It's neat to have people find the blog as I ride through.

Yo, Rebecca! I'm in Prescott. All's well. California is in trouble now.

Henk and Ine: I'm so glad to hear from my Dutch bike buddies! I certainly remember you two. Our time together was one of the high points of that tour. It's good to know that even if I lose my voice, I can get a couple of beers in a Dutch cafe.

Be well, keep riding, hoist a beer to your American cycling friend.



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