Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20...Moriarity , NM to Santa Rosa, NM

We'll get this out of the way first....Santa Rosa means Saint Rose, but it wasn't named after me.
80.3 miles in 6:13...1936 ft in elevation climbed...3530 ft in descent. Average speed 12.9 mph... Maximum speed 43.4!!!!!!     Total trip miles 630.59..... Total climb....19133 ft.
 I got a late start this morning because it was so cold. I'm not going to ride when it's in the thirties if I can help it. I didn't really dress for the cold, no gloves, no long pants...just socks and two shirts. It was almost 10 when I got going, on a trip that was going to be 100% on Interstate 40. There was a mild headwind, but it turned to a side wind for a while, then a great tailwind. The cold was not a factor, even though it only got into the 60's, and sometimes fell back into the fifties when storms were near, or when the cloud cover was over top off me.
I was mentally prepared for a long, easy descent, which I eventually got, but it took 20 miles to begin. I was averaging under 10 mph for the first two hours, and one rise seemed to lead to another. I thought it my be tired legs, but I was glad to see that I climbed 900 ft out of Moriarity, before I saw radio towers, always a sign that I'm at the top. After some miles of rollers, things started to go downhill, literally. 
One of the first billboards I saw on I-40 was for a Dairy Queen that was about 40 miles down the road. About half way. I really was looking forward to a banana split, but a series of circumstances kept me from having it. As I began to descend, the tail wind was really kicking up, and I was loving it. The reason that the wind was kicking, was because there was a big black cloud behind me, and it seemed to be forming a cone right down to the road, where I had been. I couldn't tell which direction it was going, but I figured that no matter which direction it was going, the wind was going to change at some point, and I wanted to continue to get haboobed down the road for as long as I could. Also, if it came up behind me, I was probably gonna get wet. I did pack with rain in mind this morning, but I'd rather stay dry, thanks just the same. I carry big zip lock bags with me that I really batten down when there is a chance of rain. (Which there hasn't been on my entire trip, but I figure I'm going to get plenty in the future.) I also figured if I stopped at DQ, I might be under the storm for a while, so I may as well see if I can outrun it! The storm ended up going south of me, but it ran parallel to me for the rest of the day. It seemed to get a little further south as it went, and it seemed to be breaking up, but I did feel a few drops, and the side wind really rocked my steering for a while, but it didn't slow me down much.
At the peak of the wind, and descent, I averaged over 22 mph for about 40 minutes. Nice, clean shoulder and smooth surface with no frost bumps made the speed possible. The moral of the story is that I would rather have a tailwind than a banana split. Unreal. Who'd a known. 
I saw some notable and interesting things along the interstate as I rode. First, just a crazy amount of fed ex trucks, but no triple trailers of any kind. There was an hour when a dozen or so race crew trucks passed me. Not NASCAR, but there were some real fancy rigs. I also saw The Band Parry 2015 Tour truck go by. I saw about a half dozen antelope pretty near the road, but I spooked them, even though all the trucks didn't. I also saw some random pieces of road off to my right that were probably original US66. It was fun to think that I may have ridden on that very road in 1963, and again in 1968, when I drove across the country with my family to visit my dads brother and family. I would have been eight the first time, thirteen the second. That was a long time ago. 
The landscape was flat as a pancake in spots, but mostly long gradual up or down grades. I actually went down a hill today that was longer than the state of West Virginia is wide, between Bridgeport Ohio and West Alexander, PA. I don't know why I thought of that, but there's a lot of time to think out there. Finally, the drying up historical US66 town of Santa Rosa came into view. It's claim to fame seems to be the 'blue hole' where people scuba dive. It's billed as the diving capital of the southwest. Really? The southwest is all desert. It's supposed to be clear, and 61 degrees year round. Hmm.
I walked around near my motel, and snapped a few pictures before settling in for forecasted headwinds tomorrow.

Bill board contest for tourist dollars between Santa Rosa......

and Tucumcari.  Sorta flat, eh???

Storm and tailwind building in the distance behind me.

It's nice to see antelope when you're out on "The Range"

A monument under an overpass in the middle of nowhere!  Notice the full 12 pack of water and the jug.

Storm passing to my south

I think this is a cedar bush or Pinion Pine.  They are everywhere

Along with cholla chain cactus

I could see forever over the rolling hills

Storm that chased me across the high plains of  New Mexico


Original Rt 66 to the right

The Pecos River

Santa Rosa/Guadalupe County Courthouse

Sign in the downtown area

Bike is resting on the bench at my motel

Notice the sign - American Hospitality!

Joseph's Bar and Grill, a landmark

Club Cafe, a closed landmark according to the Internet


My room - $27.99 and really nice.  Old school - notice the wall heater on the right

Notice how low the doorknob is!

I stayed 300 yards east of the Pecos, and this is the law west of the Pecos!!!

Old signs abound!

Old gas prices at a shuttered gas station

Sun and Sand is also closed.

Imprint in the sidewalks

Ate dinner here at Joseph's

Ate dinner here

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