We hit the snooze button until about 8 am because rarely do we get three beds and a cozy room like we did at the Coronado Motel in Fort Sumner. Once we got our bikes loaded up and bags packed we knocked on the office front door so Mr. Gonzalez could get the photo of us he requested when we checked in. Apparently he gets a lot of cyclists coming through in the summer and wanted to add our photo to his collection.
He was such a kind person and so were the other locals at the Rodeo Grill. We spent the next 3 or 4 hours eating and talking with the owners as we waiting for the winds to calm down. We learned our lesson on Sunday and will do our best to avoid any 35 mph winds when possible. By 1pm the winds were supposed to drop to the teens so we gathered our things getting ready to finally leave but when we asked for the check we discovered that a lady who we had just met bought our meals.
Ilene was driving down Main St towards her motel called Billy The Kid Inn when she saw our bikes. She came in knowing exactly who we were because Roxanna called her the night before asking about a room for us. She was all booked so she sent us to Mr. Gonzalez instead. She introduced herself and said she wanted to make sure we were alright. She went straight into how she lost her husband a year and half ago and is running the business all by herself. She said that she likes how it keeps her busy but I know it must be tough. Secretly Ilene went into the other room to pay for our meal while we stuffed our faces with the delicious food that Jeff made. On her way out she told us about a country singer who walked to all of his shows one tour to raise awareness about foster kids who age out of the system. He even walked to his last show on a broken foot.
She said we should read the book and gave us the title “Walk To Beauty” as she left. I think I owe it to her to read it someday. I gave Cathy a photo with our website stamped on the back for her to give to Ilene and another to keep for herself. It’s crazy how after just a brief encounter with a stranger you feel like you could just give them a big hug as you say goodbye. I bet Ilene, Cathy and her husband Jeff make lots of people feel just as warm and welcomed each day. They took our photo in front of the restaurant and we finally hit the road towards Santa Rosa where Roxanna had already lined up another hotel for us at the Holiday Inn Express on that Roxy discount!
Knowing we had a cheap and clean place to sleep made the ride even more enjoyable. The normal speed wind was another factor that made us all remember how much we enjoy cycling. The weather was great. The roads were great. The views were unreal. The broken chain and flat tire we had to deal with on Dave’s bike were not so bad either! We worked tougher to fix everything and kept moving at a solid pace making it to our final destination around 6 pm.
These two less-than-70 mile days are going to have to be made up for at some point and Day 43 is set up to be that 100+ mile day. As long as the chain repair holds up and the winds don’t get too rowdy we should be in Arizona in 3 days!
Even though we waited out the severe weather conditions yesterday we know that we have to ride no matter what today to stay on course to reach our goal. We don’t have any more days to rest or do less than 70 miles. Yesterday was an exception because unless we wanted to camp on the side of the road we knew the only town with lodging was 45 miles away and then nothing for another 80. Up next is Albuquerque 100 miles away if we can start pedaling in this 38 degree sunrise! Ride. Eat. Repeat!