I’m the first up in the house, reading and quietly packing. Ann is next. She makes me a latte without asking, then worries that she’s forcing it on me. I hug her and tell her I’ll miss her coffee almost as much as I’ll miss her. I know I’ll miss her deeply, but right now it’s hard to believe I’m really leaving. All too soon, I do. We take some pictures with Ann and Wes in pajamas, and I stumble down the steps with my bike. I have to force myself to do it, getting it over with, like pulling a tooth.
Then I’m riding in the sun and breeze, leaving Sante Fe for the Sandia mountains. I keep hoping Ann will chase me down and have breakfast with me in San Marcos. But no, I dine alone. I also realize I’ve left my bike lock at Bill’s and must leave the bike unsecured until I find a replacement.
It’s windy and uphill. Madrid looks like a crazy little town, but I’m not in the mood to explore it. I ride straight through, wondering how Ann feels about our encounter. Perhaps she’s forgotten me already, and I will pine away for her alone.
Climbing into the peaks I stop to let a stranded motorcyclist use my phone. He offers to put me up for the night and draws me a map to his house. It’s about 30 miles away, perfect.
This road is high, small, and quiet. I soon see the ski area across a wide valley, then slowly approach and pass it. The wind is cold up here, and progress is slow.
In Cedar Crest I stop for another coffee and a snack. I realize how cold it really is outside when I get warm. I bundle up a bit more for the ride down to I-40. There I switch from highway 14 to 337, winding my way slowly up a canyon for six miles. Then I turn and find the motorcyclist’s home just before dark.
My stomach is upset. I get the runs, and have to interrupt my conversation with Dave and Wendy with trips to the bathroom. They’re gracious about it. I shower, do my laundry, and watch a movie.