Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bicycling Deming NM to Las Cruces, NM March 28

71.07 miles in 4:36.....The weather forecasts are saying that today and tomorrow are going to be the picks of the litter, then it is going down hill, mostly wind involved predictions of dust and fire danger. We had toyed with the idea of spending a  day in Deming, but I decided a good travel day shouldn't be wasted on as unworthy a sight as Deming. Nothing personal, but there wasn't much going on there, and the Escapees campground we were staying at was also a disappointment ( read as ' no hot tub'). So, on the road it was, heading out of town on NM 549 with a 15-20 mph wind perfectly at my back. NM 549 pretty much runs parallel with I-10, sometimes a little closer, sometimes not so close. The surface was a little bumpy, but from what I could tell, the shoulder on I-10 wasn't any better at this point. The thing I like about 549 was that it climbed just enough so I could look down over I-10 and the railroad tracks that parallel it, to see the trucks and the trains off in the distance. There were a few roads going off of 549, but mostly farm roads and one road to Rock Hound State Park. Only a few cars shared the  32 mile stretch of road with me, as I whizzed along with my tailwind. I watched as the nothingness passed me by. Same flat, browned off grass and dead scrub brush that I've been seeing for three days now. Not even any critters to see. At one point, I did come to a motorcycle race track, that was fully involved, with about fifty motorcycles racing it out, full throttle, on a Friday morning. That was cool, but not cool enough for me to stop for very long.
After 32 miles, I finally was forced on to I-10, and even though the shoulder was nicely paved, it was pretty dirty with tire shrapnel, so I had to be on the alert. I still love my 'flack jacket' tires, because I know I'm hitting some steel belt wires, and I'm also in the middle of goat head country, and I'm having not a single problem. As I approached Las Cruces, the road comes off the high plains, and the town is 500 ft down, in the Rio Grande River Valley, and it was all laid out right in front of me for a fantastic view. I descended into the valley, and before heading to our Walmart, where Pam had set up for a free night, I headed south, down stream about 10 miles to check out New Mexico State University. It is another nice campus, and the kids were on spring break, just like when I was a Arizona and Arizona State last week. I rode through the walkways that would normally be filled with students, but the place was dead. I followed tradition and found the football stadium, which was small, maybe holding 30-35,000, with a  dormant live grass surface. I read their wall of fame, and I had never heard of anyone. They compete in the WAC, the Western Athletic Conference, which is a notch below the big boys. The facilities were also nice, but a notch below the larger programs. I found the track, and it was nothing to write home about, but I still liked the campus, with some big mountains serving as a backdrop. 
After my ride through the town, I had added on about 20 miles to my trip, but it was worth it to check out a pretty big town that seems to be still growing. 
Pam and I took advantage of being in our last town of any size for a while, and went to Best Buy to get a new TV for the front of the RV. The old one croaked a couple of days ago, so we spent the evening in the Walmart parking lot installing the new one. We had to do some remodeling of the metal bracket to get a Samsung TV to fit on a Sharp bracket, and Pam made to trips into Walmart to buy a drill bit and a hack saw, but the job got done, and we have a new TV.

Descending into Las Cruces

The Rio Grande Valley and Organ Mountains

The Rio Grande - wide and dry

NMSU is located in Las Cruces

Football press box

Of course Mike got into the stadium!  But the grass is beat up.

Panoramic of stadium

All the buildings at NMSU have this type of architecture

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