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New Mexico Lightning

A few weeks ago we finished our last 200 miles of the Great Divide from Abiquiu, NM to Del Norte, CO. It turned out to be some of the hardest days we have had on the Great Divide. The tail end of the monsoon season gave us rain, hail and thunderstorms that battered us for hours as we huddled in the tent. A couple of hours of continuous lightning and the pounding of thunder can really scare the hell out of you. There really is no place to hide and we are way too slow to outrun the storms. The rains had also washed away much of the soil on the roads so the exposed rocks made for difficult riding. We started out carrying a lot of food and wound up eating everything but the oatmeal before we had to bail back to Chama, NM. We regrouped and rode the last miles over Indiana Pass to Del Norte, CO supported by the van.

New Mexico rural small towns have a distinctive feel that is like no other place in America. If you landed from space you could instantly tell that you are not in Colorado or any other neighboring state. The crumbling adobe walls, the sense of poverty and resilience at the same time as well as some seriously unique local art make it obvious where you are. The barking dogs that chase you down the street add another local element to the mix.

In spite of the difficulties and slow pace, much of the landscape we rode through was incredibly beautiful. We enjoyed the views across the high plateaus and groves of aspen trees as well as the startling varieties of mushrooms. Every day we woke to sunshine and got to watch the march of clouds across the sky until the storms closed in around us. It was pretty great until it wasn’t and we had to take shelter.


I am finishing up this post during siesta time at our Airbnb in Girona, Spain. This picture is a moonlit view out the back window. In two days we will start our ride across Spain.

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