Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 11 - Deming NM to El Paso, TX

102.04 miles in 7:45 ( century in 7:35)...average milage per day , 74.87 over six days. Ascent...673 ft ( 7685 ft for entire trip)
I had a little rumble with my GPS girl as I pulled out of Deming, as she told me there were three ways I could get to El Paso, but wouldn't take me on the one I wanted to go on. She kept trying to take me through Columbus, NM, which is right on the Mexico border. We went that way on our first trip west, and I was not interested in doing it again. I rode about four miles before I figured out what she was doing to me, and I turned around and finally got on track. I also could take I 10 all the way to Las Cruces, then south to El Paso, which became NY plan 'b' if plan 'a' didn't work out.
I started out with 30 miles on NM 529, which turned out to be a nice local road which basically paralleled I 10. It was nice because I could look at some local ranches, and count jackrabbits, instead of watching for steel belt shrapnel as I rode on the interstate. After 30 miles of paralleling I 10 ( more or less), my first choice of travel, which would cut off about 20 miles, turned off on a perpendicular path from the 10, but as I suspected, it was a dirt road. The decision was made easier when I waved down a pick up truck, and the guy knew his way around very well. He was a blessing, because he told me that the county roads on my intended path were about 30 miles of dirt roads, sometimes very soft, and the hard pack was washboard in many places. I decided that the potential for disaster, dirty bike, and bouncing over washboard, would take more of a toll than an extra 20 miles. I ended up getting on I0, and riding into las Cruces.
It all worked out real well, because I had a great tailwind out of the west, as well as a downhill ride as I descended into the Rio Grande River valley,  in las Cruces. It was about 40 miles from Las Cruces to my motel in El Paso, and I followed the Rio Grande the entire way. I was basically on NM 28, which took me through all farmland in the Rio Grande bottomland. Mostly pecan trees, but also cotton fields which hadn't been planted yet, and some onions and some green chillies. The last 15 miles or so we're on a bike trail, right along the river.  The motel was not very far into el Paso. There was a Texas Roadhouse not far from the room, and it got my attention right away. I walked about a mile, and my Achilles tendons did pretty well. Now we'll see if I can move when I get up in the morning!


Road runner near the Rio Grande
Welcome to Texas. There was no sign wherever I entered Texas, so this was the next best thing!
Mountains near Las Cruces
Flooded pecan trees. This is how they irrigate them. 
One of the hundreds of roadside memorials I've seen. 
One of four Mexican farm towns I rode through between Las Cruces and El Paso. 
Farm house with a tree stump carving in San Miguel. 
That's me with a pecan 
Mountains above Las Cruces 
The Rio Grande
The first 30 miles of my century day was on this road out of Deming. The 

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