Little Tent On The Prairie

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Wild Camping

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Sunday, July 10, 2011

We went back to Denny and his camp kitchen for breakfast. The Jewish Yorkshireman, born in India and now living in New Mexico cooked up a couple of great omelettes with onions, chillies, cheese and anything else he could find.  Over breakfast we met a wonderful man. He was also on his bicycle and touring around the states.  He had a great bike and some seriously good gear.  Today he was to do the ride which we found tough going yesterday, 60 odd miles to Santa Fe.  The remarkable thing about this guy was that he was 79!  Cerillo Martinez had started cycling 20 years ago and had been racking up the miles ever since.  He told us many touching stories like how he has to call in with his daughter every 2 days to let her know he is OK.  He said he would look up our blog on his iTouch. To hear a 79 talk about using his iTouch is hilarious.  We wished him well and left late morning.

We have decided on a change of strategy.  Partly due to the fact that we have been exhausted from so many 70/80/90 mile days but also because our research shows that for the next few hundred miles there is very little on the map.  We have decided that we will not kill ourselves trying to reach towns and campsites but will just do 50 miles and see where we are.  If it looks OK, we will set up camp.  This also means that the day is much less rushed.  Therefore, after only 8 miles we stopped in the town of Las Vegas.  A million miles away from the last Las Vegas we visited, this was a quiet old town with some lovely architecture. Being Sunday morning we found the only café open and enjoyed a very relaxed hour in the aptly named Travellers Café.

On our way out of Las Vegas we prepared for a night out in the sticks by stocking up on food and drinks.  We finally left at midday, far too late on a normal day but knowing we were only doing 50 miles the pressure seemed to be off.

Much later in the day we started to think about camping.  The ride had been really nice.  The scenery is now very different to the desert of Arizona and New Mexico and there are miles of green prairie as far as the eye can see.  We saw Wagon Mound in the distance and having just had one puncture and sensing we both had another on the way we were pleased for the stop.  Here we spent a good couple of hours trying to get on top of the flat tyre problem.  Just as we had fixed the third puncture of the day Polly's back wheel exploded.  The force of the blow out was such that it has caused us another problem of a bent wheel rim.  This does not fit well with the brakes and is another headache.  Such was the bang from the blow out that a very, very old man hobbled over from the garage 100m away to see if we needed help.  Like so many others around his native tongue was Spanish and we had a lovely chat with him as we battled with our bikes.  He was 77 and had come over as he had a bike he is too scared to ride now, and thought we might want the spare tyre from it. He wasn’t in nearly as good shape as our friend from this morning, but very friendly and kind.

We left town at a good time to find a camp.  We found a good spot but then, intrigued by a sign saying 'Wagon Mound Wildfowl Area’, found a dream spot.  We sat back safely sheltered by some rocks and enjoyed a perfect evening as the sun went down and an almighty electrical storm crashed down on the horizon.  Our first night of wild camping since the mountains of China and this one is looking a much better deal.

Miles Cycled:  52 miles approached in a very different way
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