Sunday 30th August
Unbeknown to me we’d camped right next to the Oklahoma/New Mexico border, and as soon as we crossed over it the scenery changed.
Farmland gave way to gentle rolling hills spotted with dark green bushes, and gravel and dirt roads took us gradually higher. There was the odd short and shallow bit of sand here and there, and some really rocky areas thrown in for good measure.
As we were riding up a gentle hill Ed’s gear lever broke, but he managed to fix it with a hacksaw and some brute force.
We continued on through a ranch then past beautiful yellow flowers and rocks both sides, and it reminded me of Spain for some reason, it was a really pretty area.
We had a bit more sand to navigate but nothing too deep, and as we carried on up a hill a gorgeous view came out of nowhere.
It really was beautiful, we’d seen nothing quite like it since the beginning of the trail. Things were really starting to change, and I got excited about what was to come, while still enjoying what was around me right there and then.
We rode down the winding road which took us to the bottom, and found ourselves on Flat dirt and gravel surrounded by big red hills covered in green, it was fantastic.
With our bottles empty and both gasping for a drink, we stopped at a house to ask for some water. It was there that we met the lovely and kind owner called Danny, who had sadly lost his wife six weeks ago at the age of 68. It was really sad and you could see the sadness in his eyes, but he still smiled and chatted to us, showing us his horses that he breeds for racing.
We had a good chat and met a couple called Keith and Jenna who were helping him with his truck as he hit an elk the day his wife was in hospital. I love all the different people that you meet on the trail, often people that you would never cross paths with in everyday life. It’s also a reminder that you never know what other people are going through until you chat to them, so be kind and thoughtful, and take the time to talk.
The ride from Danny’s house was fairly steep and rocky but provided beautiful views out over the valley, which I couldn’t help but stop to admire.
My bike randomly started smoking from the breather pipe as I struggled to get it going on the steep hill with no front brake, but thankfully it didn’t blow up and I continued on up the hill. It had been a fairly comfortable riding temperature all morning, but as soon as we started the climb up it became absolutely sweltering and unbearably hot. My top was soaked with a dead straight line of sweat, and I couldn’t wait to get to the top of the hill so I could get a decent bit of speed up to help with the cooling.
We finally made it to the top, and the terrain levelled out and became endlessly flat with hills in the distance. It was unbelievably dry and dusty, and I spent the last hour of the ride daydreaming about an all you can eat buffet, with my eyes streaming from the dust and suncream.
We arrived in Trinidad around 5pm, and much to my disappointment we couldn’t find a buffet.
We did find a Chinese restaurant though, and after I had a massive plate of chop suey and Ed had a plate of unidentifiable brown slop we were absolutely shattered and wiped out. It was probably a combination of heat, dehydration and copious amounts of Chinese food, but whatever it was it was enough for us to sod the budget and get a cheap motel room. I had lots to do as far as writing and admin goes but I really couldn’t be bothered to do anything at all, so I didn’t and it was lovely. You really can’t beat flopping on a bed in front of a film when you’re completely shattered, it’s a little slice of heaven at that particular moment in time.