Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Friday, April 11, 2014

Roswell NM to Portales NM April 2

94.36 miles in 6:00.19..... I knew starting out that it was going to be near a century ride, because there is NOTHING  between Roswell and Portales. The threat of 20-30 mph winds with bigger gusts is with us all week, but boy, did it work out for me again. I had a push in the back all day long, and it got stronger as I got more tired at the end of the day. I've had a tailwind ever since I left San Diego. I'm glad I did the ride across the country into the wind, first. It makes this trip seem easy. I remember how I hated New Mexico last year because of the headwinds.
I started out by cruising through Roswell, seeking out little green men, to pose by bike with them. I also cruised by New Mexico Military Academy, which is where the soldiers were from that we saw at White Sands National Monument sand sledding when we were there. Then I headed out of town on US70 once again. The entire length of the ride was four lane, smooth asphalt, and light traffic, just like previous days. Great road if you don't mind the boring scenery and if you have a tail wind. I would NOT want to ride that road going the other direction! Roswell is in the Pecos River Valley, and I crossed that river a few miles out of town. Last time I saw the Pecos, in southern Texas last year, it was a big, majestic river. This far north, with this much drought, there wasn't much water in the Pecos. I'm surprised there was anything at all. 
After crossing the river, I began a long, gradual climb out of the Pecos River Valley. Including the rolling hills, I climbed 1680 ft today, about 1000 to get away from the Pecos watershed. I knew I was out of the valley, when i came to a ridge with well over 100 big white wind mills on a wind farm. There were also many radio towers in sight. After passing  that ridge, it was all down hill into Portales. For about the last 30 miles, I averaged over 20 mph. There was one  town that had one convenience store for the entire length of the trip. My temperature gauge on my GPS registered 102 degrees at one point. It was not that hot, but that's how hot the sun was when there was no wind to cool things down. At the time of the reading, I was going about the same speed as the wind, and it felt like there was no wind. It was a weird phenomenon that only lasted for about a half hour, then the thermometer went back down to the real temps, which was in the high seventies and low eighties. 
The scenery on the trip was absolutely devoid of anything besides dry browned off grass and a few yucca plants, until I got close to Portales, where the soil turned red, and there were some farms with the plowed up red dirt. I saw random cattle,  so there had to be some water out there somewhere. There just is not much of anything in this area, which I believe is called the high plains, which stretches into the Texas panhandle, where we will head tomorrow if the 'high wind and dirt' forecast lets us roll.

Alien tried to steal Bike in Roswell!!

New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell

NMMI looks a lot like VMI

More Roswell aliens!

Even western aliens!

The Pecos River

Pecos River isn't too big here!

Someone's old homestead

Check out the bottom left corner! The thermometer reading

It's very flat here!

A few hardy cows were out there grazing

Red farm soil


Plowed farm land

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