Day 44 - Rodeo, New Mexico

Panorama (25K)

I am in the bootheel of New Mexico, in the tiny, tiny town of Rodeo. There are very few people down here, and it is awesomely beautiful.

I am down off the mountains and back in the desert. I am hoping that because I am 2500 feet lower and 90 miles south of Silver City, I won't have to start the day in this:

Brrr (191K)

This is right when I was starting out. A half hour earlier, when I walked by there on my way to breakfast, it said 22.

The local newscast this morning said tonight will be the coldest night of the year. The picture above was when I was just starting out this morning. I was dressed for it, and it felt like I was skiing. I was fine. It eventually got up into the 40s.

I rode 25 hilly miles, and then I crossed the Continental Divide.

Divide (225K)

There's a big milestone! Then it was payback time, an 18 mile hill to the small town of Lordsburg. This was very painful payback, since it was still in the 30s, and riding 30 mph in 30 degree temperatures is pretty brutal. The panorama at the top of the hill is halfway down to Lordsburg, which is in a broad valley with purple mountains around it, like on the Arizona license plate. I think those mountains are in Arizona, you can see forever.

I ate lunch at a diner that I forgot to photograph attached to a Super 8 in Lordsburg, and then I had to ride 15 miles on I-10 to State Route 80, which goes through 85 miles of nothing to get to the next sizable town.

Rodeo is not a sizable town. It has two RV parks, a tavern which is only open three days a week, a cafe, and a real estate agent. There is no cell phone service. Rodeo is in a broad valley, maybe 20 miles across, surrounded by mountains. The floor of the valley has cattle ranches, and there looks like there is some water. I am off the Adventure Cycling route, and I think that nobody ever bicycle tours through here because you have to do a stretch of interstate, and the vast distances between towns.

But it's really beautiful. Here is a shot about 15 miles from Rodeo looking back the way I came. The road goes between the mountains, and there is not much of a hill.

WideOpenSpaces (175K)

Today was a really great day of riding. It was cold out, but there was no significant wind and the scenery was spectacular. Here's the route.

Actual44 (194K)