05 October 2008

Where I Have Been

Day 1: San Diego, CA to Descanso Junction (left Anna V.'s house to go to ocean; climbed up mountains; camped outside church; made dinner in dark)
Day 2: Descanso Junction to Ocotillo (went down mountains; rode on interstate for first time; slept outside bar in pool of my own sweat due to desert heat)
Day 3: Ocotillo to Holtville (got to El Centro by 9:00am to get to bike shop; left there at about 4:00pm; biked below sea level; settled down outside fire station)
Day 4: Holtville to Yuma, AZ (started biking at dawn to avoid desert heat; riding on Old Highway 80 was awful due to the fact that it hadn't been paved in a long time; realized my shoes were too small; pain in feet made me have to drop $120 on a new pair; somehow, I'm a 12 in normal shoes but a 13.5 in bike shoes; rode through sand dunes; found Yuma to be mostly a retirement community, so no RV park would allow tents but one; had to pay $30 to sleep on a gravel spot; decided we didn't like Yuma)
Day 5: Yuma to Dateland (got randomly offered an open house by a woman at a gas station; ate sloppy joe's with olives in place of meat)
Day 6: Dateland to Gila Bend (got another random offering for housing by a librarian; stayed with her and guy, "J," who sometimes rents out room; J is ex-Delta Force who now hops freight trains and uses his military training for a variety of activities that I'm sure he would appreciate me not mentioning on here)
Day 7: Gila Bend to Picacho (woke up at 4:30; biked in 100+ degree heat; had lunch in Casa Grande; stayed in RV park in Picacho on grass for a much more reasonable price than the place in Yuma)
Day 8: Picacho to Tucson (woke up at 4:30 again; biked on a slow incline into Tucson that made me miserable with Burley; had a tractor trailer's tire swipe Burley and leave a tread mark; got into Tucson around noon; got slightly lost due to dead ends not indicated on a bike map; finally found the house of Emily F., a girl I never met from Oberlin who vaguely knew my two riding mates; ate at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant for first time on trip; talked about the like three episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation I've seen in my life)
Day 9: Tucson to Exit 297 of Interstate 10 (slept in until 7:00; left Tucson in early afternoon; went by Air Force field that had thousands of planes in it; realized there was nothing on the road ahead of us for awhile; camped behind a gas station just short of Benson)
Day 10: Exit 297 of Interstate 10 to Willcox (giant grasshoppers/locusts started to become more frequent on I-10; found Clif Bars at a grocery store; watched Con Air with no sound while making dinner; charged cell phone battery)
Day 11: Willcox to Lordsburg, NM (locusts were now all over the place, making an awful crunching sound when I failed to avoid them; rained on us while riding for first time; by the time I got my raincoat on and covered my panniers, it had stopped raining; found a church in Lordsburg; rang doorbell of neighboring house and probably woke up the priest; convinced him to let us sleep in church yard; felt totally scared with cars constantly passing, so clutched bike multi-tool to my chest the whole night, because it has a knife on it)
Day 12: Lordsburg to Deming (I remember nothing from this day; I'll update this later if I remember anything; I assume I rode my bike somewhere; UPDATE: went over the Continental Divide; rode through more locusts; stupidly bought very green avocados)
Day 13: Deming to Las Cruces (had fun riding down hills into Las Cruces; went to library to use computers; got nothing done due to slow connection caused by all the kids streaming video on the other computers; got kicked off due to time limit, vacating computer for a child to use MySpace; went to bike shop to get easy fix for cable tension; mechanic offered his house for the night; went to his home and met his parents and six of what I remember to be ten siblings; his mom made us food; his younger siblings talked about tigers and animated movies with me;
Day 14: Las Cruces to El Paso/Horizon City, TX (woke up and ate more food made by bike mechanic's mother; rode through a bunch of pecan orchards, easily the best leg of the trip; got into El Paso and took the worst possible route through the city for a bike, easily the worst leg of the trip; saw bridges to Mexico; rode on Border Highway during rush hour; did a skid-stop worthy of that part with the kids at the end of E.T. to avoid taking an awful fall, making me feel like a total bad-ass; stayed with retired/sort-of-retired teachers who do bike tours on a tandem bike; ate a good dinner for the second night in a row)
Day 15: Horizon City to Fort Hancock (ate another good breakfast for second day in a row; started to stay away from main roads for the first time in awhile; made the easy ride to Fort Hancock; met Maurice, a guy from England doing the route from San Diego to St. Augustine, FL, a person I'm sure we'll see a lot more times on this trip; met up with couple putting us up for the night; fired a gun at a piece of paper with the outline of a person on it; ate burritos; slept in a bed for the first time in awhile)
Day 16: Fort Hancock to Van Horn (rode up some big hills/mountains to Sierra Blanca; rode down some small hills into Van Horn; noticed I got my first flat, which put me in a rotten mood; saw Maurice a bunch of times; stayed in an RV park owned by a guy who hated Van Horn with all his heart)
Day 17: Van Horn to Marfa (met another Brit, this guy going east-to-west and enjoying all the tailwinds that have been our headwinds; stopped in Valentine and ate lunch outside an abandoned restaurant; got to Marfa, an art town inside a bubble)
Day 18: Rest Day (took tour of Chinati Foundation; ate really good vegan sandwich at a restaurant called Squeeze Marfa; went to pro-choice party at night and realized bubble was even bubblier than I thought)
Day 19: Marfa to Marathon (kept eyes open for Lance Armstrong after hearing rumors he would be training in mountains in area; stopped in Alpine for lunch/laundry; rode 30+ miles into wind without stopping to Marathon; talked to a guy from Minneapolis about to open a restaurant after I heard him listening to a Naked City album; met Guil, a retired airline pilot, and stayed in his top-notch houses made out of some combination of cement and paper; stayed up way too late making a stupid weblog post)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

got your postcard. suhweet. -Ragu, Catalina, and little Guiseppe