New Mexico, where are you?

June 25, 2010

Continental divide. It make me feel divided, east-west, where do I belong?

Got the bike washed. Phew! it was FILTHY! I went into one of those gigantic american car washes with multiple stall, 15 choices of sprays and washes. I had to unpack the whole thing, saddle bags and all.

I normally do this in my driveway sitting on a little stool, with a bucket a hose and a bunch of rags, a brush for the mags and all the different bottles of de-greaser, wax, polish, & lube for all the little places that need it… A labor of love.

This was a violent cleansing with nasty smelling chemicals but it was effective in a way that the bike looked revived… and white again.

I have been poring over the map wondering where the heck to go. I have avoided major Interstate Highways like the plague as they end up being a boring race to the finish which is not what this trip is about. But on the map there were no roads that seem to go anywhere.

I had such expectations about New Mexico… and now it seems I can’t find my way.

I’ve tried three different times to get off the I-40 and the first time it was a dead end, the second time the road practically disappeared and the neighborhood was not inviting, the third time I ended up on this road and there is more and more potholes… more and more dirt and gravel and the ride is getting pretty rough. I am now cruising in 1st or second gear, trying to avoid holes… then all pavement disappeared. Red dirt and the whole surface is like a cheese grater… My bike is NOT a dirt bike. Holy crap…. It goes on and on… gravel, rocks, holes, it’s so bumpy it goes frrrrrrr, I am down to a crawl, my feet down trying to ease the way for the bike.

Finally, a sign : HWY 6.

on one of my dead ended detours, this sky

I get on there and redemption is at hand : perfect pavement. As if I had to pay some dues to get to this.

leaving the I-40

We always forget about the value of good, flat, even, blacktop until we run out of it.

The views were breathtaking, the going was speedy, and there was little to no traffic.

little friends along the highway

It went on for almost an hour. An hour of road bliss.

I got to the bottom of it reaching the 25 North. Albuquerque, here I come. I got there at around rush hour. I followed the signs to the only to end up into skid row… It reminded me of the downtown Eastside in Vancouver. Flashy buildings of big businesses surrounded by homeless, druggies and really, really poor neighborhood.

And the traffic lights… every 200ft, stop, stop, stop. By now I am starved, steaming hot, tired and I don’t find this funny.

While trying to get out of town all together I found the Old Town.

old town Albuquerque

always the Church present

I had food (finally) water ( ahhhhhh) some rest (phew) and took time to walk around. There was some entertainment in the gazebo some ladies past their sixties having a blast with songs like Fever playing with boas, wearing high slitted skits and heels.

Fever and boas

a horse in a boutique

But something is not right. I wanted so badly to see New Mexico, I thought it would bring some sort of revelation. But so far apart from HWY 6 it has been mostly the man-made, dried up depressed scenery blanketed with billboards about indian art, cheap gas and budget hotels.

Is my intuition off?

Was I wrong?

At the Hostel I met John, a fellow from Northern Carolina who lived in Oregon and is now working here for a while. He is a rider.

He got me to take my map out and showed me where to go. This loop, this way, that pass… I am on the right road. My intuition actually did take me exactly where I had to be.

Then he told me more about where to go and what roads to take and what roads not to take as I head towards Austin, New Orleans… “take the Natchez trace from Mississippi it will take you directly to Nashville”…

I feel re-purposed and reassured.

Body wise I am a bit of a wreck. Somehow my hands became super swollen over the last two days and it gets worst during the night. I woke up to two big painful paws instead of hands this morning. I feel a bit rundown.

Stuff wise a few things have broken down, like the clip for my helmet strap : completely disintegrated by the wind, I lost a glove, which does not help my left hand at all. My yellow raincoat is now a strange shade of greenish-gray dirt around the sleeves and edges and the lining inside is starting to peel off. It’s a dirty world that is for sure.

So next I am heading up North on the 14 towards Santa Fe, John at the hostel said that biking nirvana awaits me up there.

I roll on.

ready to roll


2 Responses to “New Mexico, where are you?”

  1. Josee Says:

    I was totally waiting for you to reveal to big revelation of New Mexico!!! Are you staying there for a bit, or are you moving right along? Man I’m excited for you! What an adventure 🙂

    • I am staying for a while for sure, It is as if things are revealing themselves slowly, got to earn them… , I will do at least two loops up in the northern mountains and possibly head south and do the mountains , I’ve just been through OMG… I felt the call, I see it, the colors, I love what people have to say, I wonder, I wonder… I could totally see myself work here… wildness. I’ve just been totally drenched in the rain, thundershowers… wow… I am at starbucks drying out. Not sure where I’ll sleep tonight. I might go back to Ghost town (I am in Santa Fe right now..)

      big hugs to you.

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