(this is Megs)
We've had a really great time being in Albuquerque for the past four days hanging out with Clare (my friend from Macalester) and all her friends. Getting here took us about a week from Vegas, with some pretty crazy climate changes from Vegas to here. First we left Vegas heading towards the Hoover Dam, which was pretty cool to see. They had recently sold tons and tons of water the California (water politics sure are complicated out here), so the river was really low and you could see the line where it was before. Then we started riding down I-93, and it got hot. Seriously hot. Like 110 degrees hot. I've never really been in the desert before, and my body was just not having it. We were drinking water like crazy, but it's hard to argue with the Mojave. Eventually I started to get nauseas and seeing stars and we realized we needed to get a ride to the town we were trying to get to. After stopping for about thirty seconds a pick-up truck pulled over with a family from Vegas who offered us a ride to Kingman, the next town we were headed to. I was really relieved to be out of the heat for a while.
After that it did get better, but the kind of heat that's out here is something I'm really not used to. You forget how much you're sweating because it evaporates right away. We would rub our skin after being outside for a little bit, and feel some kind of weird flour-like stuff all over us. We realized eventually that it was just salt building up on our skin because our sweat would just evaporate immediately. We also were going up to pretty high elevations. We crossed the continental divide in Arizona, at over 7,000 feet.
For me, Arizona had a lot of long long stretches, with very little anything to see. I was pretty happy to cross into New Mexico, "The Land of Enchantment". Next we're heading to Austin tomorrow. I was really hoping to be in New Orleans by my birthday next Monday, but we'll probably be just outside of Austin.
Yeah the Mojave Desert sure was a different kind of riding experience. I enjoyed Arizona a little more than Megs did, althought it was a challenge adapting to the heat. It was a very beautiful state, the low, HOT desert, then climbing up over 5-6-then 7,000 feet. Flagstaff was at a high point and we camped just outside the city at a State Park called Lake Mary. Rolling into Winslow, Arizona and I could'nt get that old Eagles song out of my head. Turns out that's about all the town was clinging to.. Just a few tourist shops selling t-shirts with those lyrics on them... kinda funny.
Route 66 thru Arizona and New Mexico was pretty cool, while alot of the shops and motels from the '50's-'60's are run down and/or closed, the ones that are open were cool. And I liked to see all of those old signs and the arcitecture from that era.
So we've stayed a few days longer in Albuquerque than we had planned, but thats because we've been having such a great time here. We went out and hiked around the Petroglyphs Nat. Monunent. Ancient carvings in lava rocks that can be as old as 2,000 yrs. Fortunatly for us we have been here over Memorial Day weekend, so lots of back-yard cook outs, and such, and Clare has been so wonderfull, and hospitable, introducing us to all kinds of great people. Thanks to all of the Albuquerque folks who helped us out in one way or another...
Looking forward to seeing Austin, I've been hearing alot of really great things about the city. Looking forward to seeing some good shows, and running into a really great bicycling scene. Thanks for checking in on us. Hopefully we'll be able to update in Austin, if not I know some folks were talking about meeting up with us in New Orleans, we are planning on being there on June 15-16-17th.. so hopefully that will work out.
Oh and we managed to pass the 2,000 mile marker just west of Albuquerque. The 1st thousand took us about 96 hours, and the 2nd only took around 90... so we're getting faster!!
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