Day 10, Ride across America Las Vegas to Tucumcari, NM

A quotation about Growing Through Grief:

What an inspiration and great program to support! As the wife of someone who lost their father at a young age, I wish there had been more resources out there then. – A HealthPartners Employee

Dear Readers, please share this blog with friends who are interested in Growing Through Grief, who may be affiliated with Park Nicollet and HealthPartners, who want the program in their school or anyone interested in helping our school aged kids grow through grief.

Nearly ideal is the best way to describe today’s ride. Simple -turn left out of our hotel parking lot, left onto route 104 and left into the parking lot of our hotel in Tucumcari after riding for 109.5 miles. Visually stunning- we started on a butte with prairie grassland and scattered shrubs as far as one could see. Then, we rode fast down the face of the butte trying to watch the road and catch a glimpse of the valley floor and other buttes in the distance. (No place to stop and take phots!). Under overcast skies we saw muted colors of red rocks – the erosion face of multiple buttes we passed, pine green of the shrubs and brick red centers and orange petals of local cone flowers and other perennials with blue, white and red flowers. Aromas from farms and ranches were also present to intermingle with the natural scents from the landscape vegetation.

Our day was challenging, too. We found a 15-20 mph head wind beginning at the bottom of the butte, about 35 miles into the ride. We had several steep climbs, also. 4 percent grade for half a mile becoming a 9 percent grade for 0.7 miles. Glad I had the extra 6 teeth on the big gear in back. (see photo in video). Another 8 percent climb for half a mile later in the ride – into the wind – to keep us honest. As they say back home, “you don’t have to pay extra for the headwind.”

Multiple birds and hawks flew near us including; several Cooper’s hawks, a Northern Harrier and possibly a goshawk. Another local bird we saw was the western kingbird with its yellow breast. Of course, the road runner – the state bird of New Mexico – ran across our path.