Texas beat us up pretty badly over the last week, but we finally made it out and we are well into New Mexico. Riding yesterday with only a slight breeze was great. The desert sun feels extra warm, but we apply zinc twice a day and most of the time we don't rub it in in order to look extra cool. We rode fast yesterday because the headwinds were so light. I think we were trying to get in all the miles we could before the winds picked back up. We stopped in Las Cruces, NM to get some work done on Del's bike and to eat Cici's pizza buffet, all with white zinc cover noses of course. The desert is still really green from a wet winter and the scenery is something out of a postcard. We pulled into a campsite in Radium Springs after 87 miles of riding and we realized we barely had enough cash, including coins, between us to cover the cost of primitive camping, which was only $8. We couldn't find the primitive campsites and were too tired of looking, so we settled into a developed site and re-hydrated. Pretty soon the camp host came by and asked for our receipt, which of course was for a cheaper site. As luck would have it the host "Mud Hole" and his wife "Sunshine" were quite friendly people. We chatted for a bit and Mud Hole mentioned that he was towing a fifth wheel recently and the wind almost stopped his truck in its tracks. Then he went on to say that he wished he was on water so he could have tacked into the wind. We told him we had been dreaming about tacking on the bikes that day too. Mud Hole and Sunshine wished us luck and then they told us we were fine in the developed site for $8.
Today we started gaining elevation on our way to Kingston, NM. We are currently at 6200ish feet above sea level and we will start the riding tomorrow by gaining 2000feet in 8miles, yikes! Del is still fighting a chest cold, but he has been hanging in there and riding hard. We met our next host, Bob, on the road to Kingston and he rode the last 9 miles, uphill with a headwind, with us. Bob used to own a bike shop in Southern CA and moved to New Mexico 7 years ago. His shop specialized in touring bikes and he had toured a bunch. He is very hospitable and has offered to cook us salmon for dinner! I can't believe how lucky we keep getting meeting all these really cool people who keep taking us in and treating us like family. Staying with all these new friends has been the best part of the adventure. Most of them have personality traits that I have as well and they are living lifestyles that I admire. Tomorrow will be tough for an hour or two, but then it should be a total blast to ride down the other side of the continental divide. I smell salmon and olive oil in the kitchen so that is all for now.
Tomorrow is my nephew A.J.'s birthday so I wanted to wish him a good one and I will give you your birthday gift when I get home!