Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 3 - Reserve, NM to Quemado, NM

Matt finally got a day with no rain today. After a dinner in the plush laundry room of the RV park consisting of jerky and other items that didn't need to be cooked, he was ready for a break from the rain.

He called this morning to check in from the tiny town of Apache Creek. He is keeping a bird list this year and has already seen a lot of species.

He is spending the night tonight at a motel in Quemado (with HBO!), and may check out a local restaurant in search of some good New Mexican cuisine. The payphone he called from this afternoon was only working as a listening device for him until he banged the handset on something hard. Working payphones are becoming increasingly hard to find. But since he can't charge his cell phone regularly and coverage in rural areas is spotty and battery-sucking, payphones are still his best bet.

What do you mean I can't keep cold beer in stock on my bike?

Tomorrow he is off to El Malpais National Monument and parts unknown. He'll be riding through a very lightly populated area and will decide his next day's route tomorrow night.

Day 3 – 47 miles, 4:05, 11.4 AVG

Said goodbye to Jim and Manny and took off toward Apache Creek. Left the verdant valleys and headed up into the PJ and pine over the pass to Quemado. Only one really steep section (where the NMDOT guys told me to find a smaller gear) then slowly downhill into the headwind to Quemado. Nice little New Mexican town here, a bit run down but genuine. No where else to go but the motel in town. I’ve got a good view of the mountains and fields behind my room. Lots of birds in the cottonwoods and the chorus of toads to fall asleep to. (along with the sounds of my construction worker neighbors enjoying their post work beers).

Feeling pretty low on energy today, will get some good rest before the hot, lonely ride to the Malpais tomorrow.

House Wren - Red–winged Blackbird - Yellow Warbler - Ash Throated Flycatcher
Pine Siskin - American Kestrel - Common Yellowthroat - Brown-headed Cowbird
Lesser Goldfinch - Summer Tanager - Song Sparrow

Today's route map:

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