4th May 2016 Santa Rosa, NM to Tucumcari, NM 97 kms - 60 miles Up = 463m - Down = 677m
4th May 2016 - Santa Rosa, NM to Tucumcari, NM
I had really found yesterday pretty tough going, so was pleased to be going less kms today!! Overall we would drop a further 200m in altitude, so once again, I hoped for more downhill than uphill.
It did turn out to be a pleasantly "undulating" day - with a bit of effort required on the uphill sections - but with no winds (until very late in the ride) the downhills were great reward for such effort!! We were "tricked" by 2 names that looked like little towns on the map. The first was Cuervo - all we found were several "dero" houses yet a recently re-roofed church!! The "self-proclaimed" "Mayor" rocked up in his pick-up to inform us there was nothing here!! The second place only seemed to be the entrance to a "ranch". There were houses over the freeway and we sent Pat to investigate - but they appeared uninhabited and derelict.
Oranges, energy bars and water were taken on board from the van to sustain us through the morning's ride. . We made it to Tucumcari, about 1:00 pm - so extra nice to get an early shower, get the tent set up, and have a relaxing rest in warm sunshine.
After days of travelling through very barren landscapes - suddenly our first sign of "agriculture" with an irrigation channel along the side of the road, and right next to the Tucumcari KOA campground, a farmer was ploughing a large field. Luckily for us the wind was blowing the other way, so we were spared a dusty afternoon. I think we are only just getting rid of the red dust that infiltrated everything when we stayed at Red Rock - so we didn't want more!
We drove back into Tucumcari - another long strung out town, full of closed down businesses to buy van supplies, petrol and get some lunch/dinner. These small town centres have been well and truly hit by the large "Service Centres" right on freeway off/on ramps that are all side by side with fast food outfits like Macca's, Subway, Carl Jr, DQ's etc etc.
Luckily we found a great local food bar and enjoyed huge sandwiches, salads and massive milkshakes! We don't seem to be able to find this type of eating place often enough, and it is a welcome change from having food at the big chain outfits.
I have to say, the food availability compared to last year's ride the length of the UK is so vastly different. I felt very "at home" in the UK and loved ending the day with a beaut "pub" meal and a beer. Here - I haven't even seen anything like a "pub" and certainly not the great roast meals they did. Alcohol is available for sale everywhere it seems - the chemist, service station, grocery shops - but no pubs?!?! It is funny what the taste buds do after you have been on a diet of "fries" and burgers for a while!
The wonderful news again - we didn't have any "flats" today!!