63 Miles - State Highway 549, Tailwind, Bowlin's Old West Trading Post, Las Cruces - February 24, 2017
Henry in Deming
Before leaving Deming, I had some business to do in a bank.
While waiting in line, I met Henry. He saw my cycling clothing and asked if I was going skiing.
My guess is that was his polite way of saying
I looked weird. Ha ha.
Anyway, we got to talking and he shared his wife died only two months ago. He's 80 (but doesn't look like it)
and he was married for 56 years! He said his grieving process has been like a "nightmare that never ends." :(
There's a lot more I could say. I just hope I showed that I cared and affirmed his feelings of sadness.
Everyone grieves differently.
Nobody should tell you to "just get over it."
It always helps to have empathic friends to talk to.
I got a photo of Henry and me outside the bank. Meeting him was a good start to the day.
State Highway 549
I headed east on Highway 549. Like yesterday, I would bike mostly on frontage roads between
Deming and Las Cruces, with the exception of an 8-10 mile section.
It was cold early on. Around the point this photo was taken, I was wearing all three layers,
but the sun did warm things enough.
Tailwinds = Cycling Heaven on Earth
Akela, New Mexico
It would be another banner day with those strong tailwinds.
Akela didn't have much except a tourist-trap strip mall that was closed.
Highway 549 veered away from the Interstate for a while. It looked like no man's land.
So I was biking towards a bridge when I saw a person standing there.
As I got closer, I asked if he needed help, and he said he was fine. Still, I had to ask with a chuckle, "What in the world were you doing out here?"
He explained he's a railroad enthusiast and this is a good spot to watch and photograph the trains. With his binoculars
he can spot a train coming from miles away. His wife dropped him off at the bridge
and was in the vicinity if he needed help. But he was happy and at peace.
You see a lot of tacky billboards like this when you're riding along the Interstate.
Don't get me wrong: I *LOVE* chile of all kinds -- red, green, and Christmas-style. Mmmmm.
Somewhere on Highway 549 ...
I had to bike on the Interstate for nine miles.
I was nervous about all the junk that could cause a flat, but my tires were okay.
Bowlin's Old West Trading Post
Even with the wind at my back, it still did a beating on me. Call it "wind burn" or whatever. When I got to
Bowlin's Old West Trading Post, I knew I was due for a break and to get inside.
Beyond the trading post, there's a frontage road on each side of the Interstate. It is all downhill. I'm talking a generous and steep downhill. I was easily cruising in the 25-30 mph range for about six miles.
Here's a shot of Las Cruces with the Organ Mountains in the distance. What a scenic region.
It's hard to show a video of the wind pushing me, but here's my attempt ...
When I arrived at the Rio Grande, I was elated to reach this major landmark.
Although odd that the riverbed was empty.
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