Wednesday, November 3, 2010
On Wednesday, I headed out from Rio Rancho, NM, only to have to turn around a mile down the road. My bike was giving me troubles, out of nowhere. For those that know bikes, the derailleur hanger was bent inwards, throwing off the real axle, the derailleur, and the brake rotor. Things I couldn't fix. But Cris is kinda my hero, and he gave me a life to a bike shop, which fixed it for free. Sweet!
After that, I left for good, and rode through Albuquerque, down south to Belen. It was an odd type of beauty that New Mexico has. The mountains run in a line from north to south, and Albuquerque is nestled at the foot of Sandia's Peak. Sandia's is some kind of desert mountain I suppose, with impressive height in the midst of arid plains, but unlike the Colorado mountains, there's little greenery or snow on it. It's a red-brown protrusion in the ground, like someone took a chisel and punched a dent in the earth from the other side. And the string of mountains continued down all the way along my route. A beautiful accompaniment under the desert sun.
Thursday night and Friday morning were full of weird experiences, mainly just interactions with people. I was asking around town about a place to camp out, and I met a guy named Mike who was super sympathetic and helpful. As it turns out, he's with the Army, and does black ops in Afghanistan, most of it he can't even tell me about. I was totally taken off guard, since he's such a chill guy, not giving off any stereotypical rough-and-tumble feel. But he drove me to the fire department, let me use his sleeping bag, and promised me some MRE's for the ride the next day (freaking sweet!).
The guys at the fire department were cool that night, and let me use a side lot to camp out in. I got to chat with some of the guys there - all in all a good night.
Next morning, though, things changed, I suppose. I was relaxing, eating breakfast at the fire station, taking my time, when one of the firemen, off-duty I think (maybe the chief?), drove up to me, and told me to get off the property. I was still waking up, not completely coherent but completely taken off-guard, and I just said, “huh?” He said something along the lines of “We can't have you all sprawled out like that.” Apparently, I was sprawled out too much. Whatever. So, I started packing things up, which took another 30 minutes, and he watched me from the other side of the parking lot.
Not only that, but Mike, who said he would call me the next morning, never called me or came by, which was totally weird since he kept saying he would at least come by. He's left a message on my phone since then, so I'm assuming something came up. Weird though.
I stuck around for a while, as I also had to make a decision about what I was going to be doing come January. I sat outside the Belen library for over an hour, mentally debating, weighing my options, going back and forth, trying to figure out God's voice. After I finally made a decision, which I didn't feel completely confident about, I left and headed south.
I cut through the New Mexican mountains, and headed across the desert for home, finally heading back east. Fleeing the sunset, I suppose.