We apologize for the every-other-day approach to the blog recently, but the West has been winning.
It's Dry Bones again, and I'm blogging because the cyclists are out on another long, narrow stretch of road - this time between Clayton and Springer, New Mexico.
A strong storm front has been assaulting the east, but the weather is changing out west as well. I imagined New Mexico would stay warm throughout the year, but it shouldn't have been a shocker that it gets awfully cold in the desert at night. Last night the high winds and freezing rain took out some wires in the mountains and left the whole area without power for about six hours.
The northern air that's pushing down has been averaging a constant 25mph clip this week, reaching 40 at times. This means that the cyclists, who normally average 15mph on a flat stretch, have trouble topping 10 downhill. I watched them try to make it up some inclines yesterday and I can tell you that this is exactly why people normally cycle from West to East when doing a cross-country tour.
Tailwind = Good.
Headwind = Bad.
Last week we added a third cyclist, Alex, to our team, and his presence has been a valuable aid. The high winds, cold nights, and solitude during the stretch between Wichita and Santa Fe have been very demoralizing for all of us. There aren't any people out here, let alone bands. We were spoiled by all of the college towns back in the Midwest. But Alex is usually quick to remind everyone that things aren't that bad.
After all, we chose to do this project. Most people think it's cool, at least in theory. Some of you reading this probably wish you were out here doing it too. We come from lives of such comfort and ease that we were able to quit our jobs and embark on this ridiculous quest. So let's cut the complaining.
But, if I told you we never feel sorry for ourselves out here, that would be a lie. This is hard. It's lonely. It's long. It's never comfortable. We eat, sleep, work, and hunt firewood with the same five people. Every. Day. We feel like we've been out on the road for a year, and often it seems like the trip will never end. But we aren't soldiers. We aren't risking life and limb for a higher cause. We have homes to go back to if we want. And although we're sick of cold cut sandwiches that sometimes get soggy from melted ice in the cooler, none of us are going hungry.
There are mountains on the horizon and last night was one of the best sunsets I've seen in my life.
- Dry Bones
Pop Culture Reference for Google: Donald Duck
Distance Biked: 126 miles (3 days)
Distance Biked to Date: 2050 miles