Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rodeo New Mexico to Lordsburg, NM March 26

46.83 miles in 3:26....The wind howled all night long, and the forecast says it's going to get worse as the day went on today. Armed with that information, we decided it would be a short trip today, and we would get settled early and ride out the wind and the dust storms and whatever else came along. Our stopping points are limited now that we are in the middle of New Mexico. There is not really much here.  I had a choice between doing a 40+ miler or over a century (100 miler), to the next town of Deming. There is probably somewhere to stop in between, but you just never know, so Lordsburg it was. As I pulled out of Rusty's RV Ranch in Rodeo, I had a dead tailwind that literally blew me down the road for the first seven miles, still on NM 80. In Arizona it was AZ 80, and in a long ago time before that it was US 80. I just learned that the sections of 80 I've been on since leaving San Diego are the last remaining fragments of the Dixie Overland Highway, which was built from coast to coast in and around 1927. It was replaced, for the most part by Interstate 10. Anyhow, as I was getting assisted down NM 80, I did not have a vehicle pass me until I had ridden eleven miles. I had maybe 20 vehicles pass me on the thirty mile trip, until I hooked up with I-10. I started, like I said, with a seven mile stretch without a car or a turn in the road. At that point I went around a curve to the right, and started about a 500 ft. climb over the next five mile straightaway. It was a huge difference, with the wind blowing in my right ear hole, and an elevation gain. Once I peaked that climb, it seemed like it was all down hill, with just a roller or two all the way to the interstate. NM80 provided smooth asphalt and a decent shoulder, and at the terminus of the road at I-10, there were some gas stations and stores, but every single one was shuttered, a modern day ghost town. The scenery, just like yesterday, was fantastic on NM80. Once I got on I-10, the mountains were all off in the distance, and the grasslands were replaced by very flat terrain of seemingly hardened mud. It looked like it was the bottom of a dried up lake, even though we are at an elevation of about 4100 ft.
The next 16 miles were headed east on I-10, the ONLY road in this desolate area. The wind was picking up a little, but not as much as I expected, and it was a tail, if anything. I probably could have been blown the additional 60 miles to Deming, but the signs warning of dust and zero visibility, discouraged any thoughts I might have had about stretching it. Pam set up in a KOA, and when I pulled into Lordsburg, I spent some time riding up and down the streets looking for something interesting. The only thing I found was the high school football field and track, which was as nice as any I've seen anywhere. Other than that, the town was pretty boarded up. There was a courthouse, a Dollar General, a Family Dollar, a strip of motels, both chain and mom and pop that served the interstate, and not much else to hold my interest. It also served as a freight train yard, as there were two trains parked along Business 10, which was the main drag. As I searched for the KOA, I came upon a McDonald's, and the Jeep was in the lot. Pam had gone out investigating also, found nothing, and decided to eat lunch there. I stopped in and said 'hi', and we headed for the KOA. 
The wind did rock the rest of the day, but we didn't see any haboobs, as we had suspected in the worst case scenario.
"Ghost" mining town along the road as Mike climbed out of Rodeo

Great mountain views along the ride


We were warned about them, but didn't see them



The New Mexico flag

Downtown Lordsburg - don't blink!

What's wrong with this sign????

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