|Biking the Pageant Trail
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time to rotate the tires. hey, forget mount rushmore
(ok, don't forget it, it is amazing), there's a family
building a sculpture of crazy horse just outside
custer, sd, that when finished will be the biggest
sculpture in the world.
speaking of mount rushmore, i was feeling pretty
good about making it this far, until at the base of
mount rushmore i met pat and cat patterson, taking
1000 days to ride their bikes AROUND THE WORLD.
i didn't plan it this way, i promise - but the miss
south dakota pageant happened to be in town. i
couldn't resist (besides there wasn't much else up)
so i went to the preliminaries.
i heard the contestant ms rushmore say: "this is my
little sister courtney, who peed on a rock for me for
good luck." ms hot springs seems to have added:
"ezerclampsio artist where i plan to thalabee the
audience." ok, maybe the sound just sucked in the
gymnasium, which was decorated with fake records and
poster paint, a la 5th grade play.
all feminist-minded people will be happy to know that
the "swimsuit" competition has been changed to the
"lifestyle and fitness *in* swimsuit" competition.
it now consists of the contestants parading around
in swimsuits and high heels.
hearing a rendition of "you really got me
now" by tenor sax capped off the night, at which
point i left early. overall, the whole experience was
like having your skin slowly stripped off, and salt
now does it sound like i'm not having fun? i am!
i enjoyed the hell out of it! go miss south dakota!
the ride i did today is one of those ones that
i pictured when i thought about this whole trip,
a 15 mph tailwind, cool temps, through forests and
sand dunes, neither of which i knew existed in
nebraska. windmills in the hills. endless skies.
the people in the panhandle are quick
to point out that their part of the state (and
they themselves) are very different from the rest
quite a change from yesterday when i got my ass
thoroughly kicked by a 25-20 mph headwind, taken
down by a dog, and pelted by small black biting
the people continue to impress me - got a personal
tour of the
, including their hundreds
of pencils and pens, by evelyn.
my favorite sign so far, outside of bridgeport:
"guns & ammo, minnows, leeches, snacks".
back to that cow thing. really, it's odd. a cow
that will completely ignore big rigs flying by
15 feet away, will stop chewing, look up, and
stare until its own ass blocks its view of me.
then it'll swivel around and stare until i'm gone.
i think it has something to do with being not a
vehicle and not a person - therefore some kind of
odd animal? maaaybe it's because my bike is covered
in fur and has bar ends that looks like horns?
the same thing seems to go for deer, antelope, and
prarie dogs. all staring. staring staring staring.
hey bud, what did i ever do to YOU? not to mention
that i caused a panic in a goat farm
yesterday, just riding by....
It's weird. People in Nebraska are the friendliest on
the trip so far. Met more people in the last couple
days than on the rest of the trip combined.
At least half the people on the road wave as they drive
by, which is cool.
Got a complement from someone in a bar a couple nights ago
about the trip. He said
"i ruhspec th' livin' hell outta that".
With a few hours of listening to the radio each day,
I'm getting a view of the world that most everyone else
is not getting. Just wanted to bring everyone some
news from this side of the world. Wheat is just turning
color. Winter wheat is about 50% turned out. Nebraska
hogs are up a couple dollars at about $40.
The Nelson farm will have about 40 fancy black face
from 800 to 925 pounds for slaughter next week.
- 15-Jun-2002 - 16-Jun-2002:
No notes from these stages.
"denver, finally. successfully outran the damn fire.
out of the mountains. halfway point - looks like the
trip changes now from deserts and mountains to
grasslands and prarie."
@ - crash in Fairplay, CO. Didn't get my foot out of
the peddle clip as I came to a stop at a supermarket.
Fell over in front of the supermarket. Not much of a crash,
but I wanted to use one of the symbols from the legend and
at this rate, it wasn't looking like it was going to happen.
- i'm in salida, co, trying to
outrun the massive fire just northeast of me. i was going
to ride the plains on the front range; never intended to climb
up into the mountains. however, in trying to avoid the smoke
i've climbed a 9100 foot pass into salida, and tomorrow will have to cross
3 different 10,000 foot passes to get to denver - that is unless the
fire gets to highway 285 before i do....
- Wow. I found it. Hell on Earth.
Its name is Mosca, CO. If I'm not mistaken, Mosca
loosely translated means housefly. A great name for six blocks of broken
down shit and cigarette burns on the side of the highway.
The post office is a double wide in a trailer park. The
only thing open after 7pm is a coke machine outside the gas
Now wait. I want to find something
good about this place. The sunset. The sunset was phenomenal.
Oh wait, that is because the whole state is on fire. Speaking
of which, I've gotta go now. The motel fire alarm is going
- A couple things struck me today.
First a giant beetle (about two inches long) hit me in the
upper lip as I was riding and landed in my lap. He and I looked
at each other for a couple seconds. Then I smacked him. Also,
it's amazing how long some cows will stare at you when you
ride by them on a bicycle.
Hit my highest speed of the
trip so far...51 mph. I was coming down the hill into San Luis, CO.
San Luis is a beautiful old town in a green valley...an amazing
change from the desert I've been riding through for quite a while.
- This space intentionally left
- Day of rest in Santa Fe, NM.
- rode from moriarty (the unofficial
"armpit" of new mexico), up and over the dirt roads through the mountains
south of santa fe, into the city. it's amazing how empowering it is to be
able to go 70 miles through the desert on a dirt road that has no services,
knowing your equipment is ready, you are trained, and you have everything
you need with you. until the dirt road bounces one of your two remaining
water bottles off the rack and it drains into the desert next to a fist sized
horsefly. now in santa fe where the whole world's supply of 50-something
new age women "artist"s exist.
Note: There is an update to June 5th in Corona,
- Came down out of the first set
of mountains in Corona,NM to the most amazing high desert
with eels, antelope, rattlesnake and a roadrunner. A couple
things came to me at this point:
- No more roadkill reports.
It's just too depressing looking into the eyes of each mangled lump
- It's impossible to look at a roadrunner without thinking "meep-meep".
Editor's note: I don't think
he really said eel. Maybe eagle. But I liked eel
too much. Very ironic.
- corona's an amazing town - very peaceful.
10 storefronts - 6 boarded up, 4 closed. one bar that shuts at 2 pm, and
a motel run by a mennonite family, who made sure to ask me if i was sure i
was "on the right road".
- Back at the internet cafe this
morning, hoping to wait out a stiff headwind.
- Finally, off the highways. Off
onto a small two lane road through the desert. Of course
it turns out to be the route for trucks going to Santa Fe.... A couple of
thoughts as I was riding along through the desert: first, I haven't passed
a single other bicycle in 3 days, except for one guy
in El Paso who looked drunk. Second - it's funny how
significant some songs can seem when they come on a
scratchy radio in the middle of the desert...C'mon,
feel the noise, Mr. Porcupine! Oh wait, he's dead.
Note: Today's update is verbatim
from the mouth of Bill. Yes, there is an internet
cafe in Carrozozo, NM. And that isn't all
- Great scenery (on the road and
off). Hotel in
Alamogordo is hosting the Miss New Mexico Pageant.
- Managed to reassemble the bike.
Rode to Las Cruces, NM. Temperature was 105.
There was a headwind, which unfortunately was blowing against
me. Going to Canada? What was I thinking?
Editorial note: Subject sounded
disoriented and confused. Likely from adjustment to New
Mexican way of thinking.
- (Will leave from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on Sunday.
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