Since we left Springerville a few days ago, we have not seen any semblance of civilization. Between there and Socorro, NM (where we are now) there was a grand total of 4 motels in 154 miles. Since it has been storming like mad in New Mexico, we had to plan our route around these motels instead of camping, as we had originally intended.
We left you off in Quemado, where 2 of these motels resided. A few interesting things happened in Quemado. Our waitress at dinner did not know which way East was even though there is only one road in Quemado and it goes East-West. In the morning, before we headed out, Joe broke his pinky toe. Shortly after Joe broke his toe, we left for Datil, NM. Halfway to Datil there is a place called Pie Town, and what do ya know it was the annual pie festival. We stopped to get some local Pie Town culture and within 2 minutes of arriving at the festival, someone asked if they could buy pot off of us. Lovely. We watched a hay bail rodeo. In a hay bail rodeo, children run around roping a cow-shaped bail of hay to the delight of the crowd. Great stuff.
Shortly after leaving Pie Town we crossed the Continental Divide and reached the highest elevation of the trip at just over 8,000ft. Then it rained on us. Really hard. Then it hailed on us, even harder. Freezing and blinded by precipitation, we decided to stop and hitchhike the last 9-10 miles to Datil. A truck full of nice elderly people picked us up, but we had to ride in the bed with our bikes because there was no room in the cab. Getting hit by rain drops going 50mph hurts. They dropped us off in Datil because we were too afraid to ride all the way to Socorro in the bed of a truck. Datil is the worst place known to mankind. The only motel/store/restaurant/gas station is filled with stickers that say things like, “If it’s endangered, just clone it” or “Defeat Obama or defeat freedom” or “Eat meat because wars aren’t won eating salad.” Also, the satellite tv wasn’t working so we couldn’t watch ASU beat the badgers. We hated Datil and you should too. Never go there.
Today was our longest ride so far, 65 miles, but the road to Socorro was nice and flat. We stopped at the Very Large Array to talk to some aliens, that was outta this world. We stopped for lunch in Magdalena and got to talk to a few people about our journey. The last 10 miles into Socorro were all downhill – it was sweet. We are finally below 6,000ft! There is a local carnival going on close to our motel (storming for the 5th night in a row so no camping) so Joe and I rode his favorite ride, “The Zipper” for nostalgia’s sake. Nothing like being 60 feet high in a metal contraption while a lightning storm is going on. Also, if you thought carnies were creepy, go to a carnival in a town with less than 10,000 people. Yikes.
We are ready to be in Albuquerque in two days time. Or at least for it to stop raining so we can camp and enjoy some nature. I still owe you guys some Aldo Leopold stories and a general post about the wildlife. That will come soon, don’t worry.
Love from Socorro,