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Day Four Recap: Two Lane Blacktop

Today I rode over 500 miles and the only thing that stopped me was the dark. Even then, I still rode on and on. If you've never felt the pure joy of riding (or driving), you probably will shake your head - but today was one of the reasons I'm on this trip.

Imagine seeing a road stretched out before you for miles, smooth and clean. Cattle ranches and desert scattered on either side, with fences to keep strays from the road. Now take everyone off that road in your mind - because it's yours. To do with as you please. For hours and hours. The only thing to interrupt you is the occasional slowdown through a one-block small town and stops for gas - and the little worry in the back of your head about the gear strapped on your bike.

It was intense, awesome, beautiful. Whether staying steady at 85 or ripping it wide open past 100, all day was amazing. The last few days I thought riding into the west as the sun went down was annoying - today, watching the sky turn to fire in front of me against a crystal clear blue sky and the earth spread out before me as I rode into the sunset was an indescribable experience. I literally had chills rippling up my spine at the power of it. The craziest part was me, almost completely alone, on a FOUR lane blacktop in the middle of nowhere as the sun went down.

Why do they build these roads? They seem to have no purpose... Except to which I put them today - I'm glad they built these roads.

Random thoughts for today:
  • Warmer weather means more bugs! I had to clean off my helmet at every stop, at some points it was so coated with splatters it was hard to see. Best part - my jacket and jeans are splattered too. Haha. It's a weird experience as your brain processes a big bug flying right at you then PACK! into your helmet before you can even blink. At one point, a little bug's legs were still twitching on my visor, ew.
  • Some of these small towns were kinda depressing. Literally 200 people according to the signs, but they looked so broken down and old. I always forget people in the US live like this, it's like they're still in the 1960's.
  • What is up with Sonic? Some of these towns have no gas stations, no stores, nothing... but there's a Sonic!
  • People in Texas seem to drive politely. They drive in the right lane and move over when you pass and stuff. And I don't recall anyone sticking themselves five feet off my rear tire today! Wow. Neat.
  • It's Halloween and I'm holed up in a motel by myself eating KFC (don't ask) about to crash while my girlfriend is out "trick or treating" as a giant banana with her friends. My only solace is that at least I escaped being banana #7 or something. Hope she's having fun.
Okay, so this time around I think I'm going to start planning my trip tomorrow! Looks like I'm right near New Mexico and hitting the real reasons I headed out here starting this weekend. Victory!


Anonymous said…
Pete, I don't know when you read these comments, but I want you to think about the fact that back in the 30's, in Dust Bowl times, Laura's family moved from OK to this area of NM. Incredible, right? If you get to Alamogordo, just be aware that there are still relatives living there. No, you don't have to meet them, but please be sure to take lots of pictures for me.

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