Day 200

Cedro, NM to Socorro, NM
11369 mi

Dave and Wendy are off early to work, so I bundle up and ride before sunrise. I climb some more to Escabosa, just high enough to be snow covered with some Ponderosa pines among the pinon, juniper, and cedar.

The wind comes up from WNW, not too debilitating. I twist, rise, and fall to Chilili. This morning I worry that Ann will think I’ve lost interest in her and write me off. I feel so lonely that I start singing a Tom Waits tune at the top of my lungs to keep myself company.

My head is a spinnin’ round
My heart is in my shoes, yeah
I have set the Thames on fire, oh
Now I must come back down
She’s lauging in her sleeve at me
I can feel it in my bones
Oh, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere I lay my head
I gotta call my home.

Now I see that the world is upside down
Seems like my pockets were filled up with gold
But now the clouds came and covered everything o’er
And the wind is blowing cold
Now I don’t need anybody
Because I learned, I learned to be alone
Oh, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere I lay my head, boys,
I’m gonna call my home.

I’m hungry, but none of these little towns have a store or a soul in sight. I lose some elevation and the hills turn to endless plains on my left. I have to turn west on 55 to Tajique, and I can barely pedal at all into the wind. It’s an excercise in patience, creeping like a snail to the point where the road bends south again. I continue through Tajique, Torreon, and Manzano without seeing a place to eat. At Manzano the road at last turns east a bit and descends so the wind really flings me. I decide I can make it to Mountain Air. But the wind criminally shifts to the south, and I am creeping along again. I get to the cafe in Mountain Air at 11 am. I’m very happy that they’ll still serve me breakfast.

Now I head west on 60, downhill but again into the wind, which cancels it out. When at last I enter the Rio Grande valley I’m stunned. It’s huge, not a little canyon like it is at Dixon. There are seas of fiery golden grass arching up to mountains on all sides. It takes a long time to reach the river, then I-25.

I keep thinking that a simple right turn on I-25 would take me back to Sante Fe. If I knew she’d be happy to see me I’d do it. But I go left, reach Socorro by nightfall, and hole up in a room feeling depressed.

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