Day 75 – Escape from El Paso (January 23, 2021)

Night 75- Las Cruces, New Mexico

Or a better title (which I used on Strava) would be “escape from El Paso”. This one was a test of both planning and adaptability.

Before rolling out of our hotel, I contacted a guy from Warmshowers about hosting. Unfortunately he couldn’t host us, but he had some route advice for the second half of our 60 miles this day. Trouble was getting to that road.

See, we were south east of the large patch of mountains. Because of this we had three options. 1) cut around the east side, climb an extra 1000 feet, and have no resources on this barren stretch. 2) tough out the first 10 miles of I-10 as it separates from the other highways and hope there is a shoulder or no construction. Or 3) weave through the foothills and the suburban Mesa while trying to convince Google maps that it was a good idea.

So we took option 3. Constantly adapting our path and being forced on the craziest sidewalks I’ve ever been on. Twist, turns, spike traps, dramatic 4 foot drops down a 45 degree slope, and most of it being up hill. Crossing over the mass I10 super highway marked the end of that maze and the beginning of the long ride along a river of sand and getting pushed around by gated communities. Communities that Google does not recognize as existing.

Section 3 of this great escape was a bike path. A pretty nice ride down a gently weaving path. Only issue was what lay in the grass and occasionally on the path. Goat heads and spike strips. These are some mean pieces of greenery. Thorn/daggers strong enough to puncture my anti-puncture treads…multiple times. Throw in one extra flat tire from a bad patch job and you had a sad and frustrating afternoon for Collin.

Part four of the day was pretty nice. The large mountains to our right, eventually lit up by the sunset and swallowed by the following darkness. Pecan orchards everywhere. At times the perfect grids of empty trees looked pretty spooky with night falling as fast as it was.

With a late entry to the town and being pretty burnt out from the labors of escaping the labyrinth, we grabbed another cheap hotel. McDonald’s next door had a closed lobby, but we were told to just walk up the drive through. So we did. Probably one of the goofiest things I’ve done this week, for sure. Standing at the microphone, we had to enlist the help of the guy behind us to roll his car forward to activate the pressure pad that tells the employees we were there. The guy was a champ because he rolled forward and back for both of us without being asked. He seemed to get a kick out of the situation. Standing in line with a could of cars feels a bit more natural on bikes in traffic. But on foot… in the drive through? Just kind of weird.

So here we are in New Mexico. No eventful state line sign this time. I think we straddled the line for a bit of the afternoon, but we are in now. Texas is over. Tucson is the next target location, but for now we have New Mexico. I’ve had my coffee and wrote two of these posts already, with clear weather and easy directions, hopefully today is pretty chill. Have a great day everyone!

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One thought on “Day 75 – Escape from El Paso (January 23, 2021)

  1. I met you by Houghton Road on Jan. 30, on the east side of Tucson. I pulled up in my gray Honda CRV and asked you about your tour, and we talked about bikes, Salsa Journeyman I have and your Surly bikes. Let me know if you need anything while in AZ.


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