March 12, 2016: Day 3

We spent last night in Silver City, NM at The Murray Hotel, an Art Deco Era hotel that is doing a valiant job to keep things together. The only other hotel guests were a raucous (and highly entertaining) wedding party of gay men and a geriatric Harley Davidson gang.Brantly felt a bit like Switzerland during a rather tense interaction in the elevator where sentences like “my husband has a Sig Sauer” were spoken.

Well, it all turned out just fine and everyone played nicely at breakfast.

Woke up at 5:30 sore and bleary-eyed but ready to face the day! Wait…it’s not 5:30? It’s 6:30?

Here I am in the lobby of The Murray Hotel (which kind of reminded me a bit of that hotel in the movie Barton Fink, now that I think about it.) Snoopy, my bike, was not allowed into our room at The Murray and had to spend the night downstairs in the luggage lockup.

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Oh, well. So we hit the road a bit later than expected, which is fine because today is the “day of rest” day with only 44 miles.

I loved today’s ride for many reasons.

1st while it was very hilly right up until the last 5 miles, it was not a hair-raising vertical climb that made my lungs explode.

2nd the shoulder was unbelievably wide and the pavement is new!! I couldn’t believe I was actually in New Mexico. New pavement? How did this happen? Except for a small section of old road and excessive gravel (see below) it was delightful almost the entire way to Lordsburg,NM.

3rd I saw things like this along the way:

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Look closely! See the shy pink one, hiding behind the weeds?

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There were dozens and dozens of them. Who knows why they came to this particular spot?

It was . . . magical. Especially when one considers there are no toilets listed between the towns of Silver City and Lordsburg. I paid my respects and moved along.

The drivers on this stretch of HWY 70 were unfailingly polite and gave me a wide berth even when they didn’t need to.

I had music plugged into one ear and listened to wildlife with the other. I’m pretty sure the bizarre shrieking I heard at one point came from this guy:

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Yes, there is a bird in this picture. You have to look closely and you can see his little head with his entertaining head gear. This photo is really on here for my friend Tammi, who will spot and identify him for us.

Here is another:

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He watched me for a little while but didn’t seem nearly as interested as my flicker boyfriend the day before.

I have a confession to make. Today marked the first time I fell off my bike. Stopped for a drink of water and to take a picture of something (can’t recall what after the trauma) and decided I didn’t need to un-clip both feet (You were right, Zach– ALWAYS un-clip both feet!!)

I don’t know what happened but suddenly the bike was tipping over and I was going with it. Once you are horizontal with a bike on top of you it’s twice as hard to un-clip. On a stretch of road that maybe only had a car every 10 minutes there were at least two nearby to watch my ignominious accident. I can’t even call it a crash. More of a “tip”. Anyhow, I was glad to get that out of the way.

Oh, and here is a picture of the shoe that contributed to my embarrassment:

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Not long after that my SAG driver stopped and we shared a bite to eat. Here he is, posing beside one of the ubiquitous yuccas along this stretch.

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Not long after this delightful break I came upon a section of heavy gravel that lasted for several miles. I could bitch for days about gravel. Instead, I’ll just say this:

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More about the delightful town of Lordsburg, NM tomorrow…

 

2 thoughts on “March 12, 2016: Day 3

  1. I think I just accidentally zapped my verbose comment before it posted – *&^%$#%$. Anyhow, been chuckling through your blog here. Been enjoying the scenic dry views; send some DRY up here for Christ’s sake! Good on you for photographing the bird life. I’m still trying to find the bird in the first pic., but the second one appears to be the elusive Southwestern Tree Topper (aka Red-tailed Hawk). Any photos of your flicker boyfriend, the “Red-tailed Flicker”? Could it be a cousin of the commonly seen Red-shafted Flicker? Better send this before I zap it again……

    – Happy peddling!

  2. Hey there (it’s me, not Brantly)! You should pat yourself on the back for figuring out how to post a comment. The system has stymied everyone else. I think the bird is a quail of some sort. A male with some reddish-rust feathering on his head and that little thingamajigger on his head was white and black (if I recall correctly).

    There were tons of smaller ducks with big heads– black and white with some really bright orange eyes. Too damned hot to photograph much today.

    Saw a roadrunner today but this one didn’t have the blue-gray crest like the others I’ve seen.

    There is your customized Phoenix bird report, such as it is…

    I’d take some rain and cold right about now.

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