We loaded the Sprint 26 for the last leg of this year’s Ride.
As a treat, Jeffrey let me ride on top of the bag.
Michael and Susie, driving west from suburban Milwaukee, stopped to talk about our machinery, our travels and theirs. Susie worked for Harley, but doesn’t ride a motorcycle. They are glad that Human Rights First is looking out for refugees.
Lisa and Ernie are headed for Alaska, where Ernie grew up. Lisa grew up in Connecticut. Her grandfather, a cobbler from Lebanon, worked hard and was grateful to the United States. She knows today’s immigrants, including refugees, share the same values.
A short distance from the motel, we rode onto the first of a long series of paved bikeways. Through residential and industrial areas, alongside concrete “arroyos” to channel rainwater, we rode for miles and miles. After the roaring trucks, swaying motor homes and racing cars on I-40, we relished the quiet and the feeling of safety.
Alongside a housing development at desert’s edge, we stopped to talk to Chris (I’m on his shoulder below) and Dale. Dale preferred not to be photographed.
Chris took photos of us to show to his kid. Dale and Jeffrey discussed politics. Dale displayed his libertarian bent, which means he should favor giving refugees at least benign neglect. That would be better for them than the current system, which forces traumatized people to navigate a complex legal maze, often alone, to find safety here.
We crossed the Rio Grande. It’s same river that farther south marks part of the U.S.-Mexico border. Here, before much of the water is diverted or evaporates, it’s a river to be reckoned with. You see only half the river; this branch is matched by one of similar size on the far side of the island at the left.
Rio Rancho! City of Vision.
Erlene, a full-blooded Navajo, said she left Navajo territory to better herself in the city. Regarding immigrants, she said no one lives forever, and no matter who we are or what we do, soon the world belongs to others. She is fine with refugees and other immigrants coming here to make a life. She said a man running for president, whose name she couldn’t recall, should mind his own business and stop trying to say who should, and should not, come to America. Remember our new Cherokee and Cheyenne friends from earlier in the Ride? Both are on the same page as Erlene!
Erlene directed us to cross this sandy, tumbleweedy strip to avoid construction that had closed the road to motor traffic. A push, a slog, and we got through.
L to R: George, Harry, Peggy. Sights for sore eyes! George and Peggy are friends of Irene and Elisa, two of the biggest boosters of our annual Rides. And they have shade, and drinks, and food, and good conversation. Over three weeks after leaving NYC and pedaling ourselves 1416 miles (2294 km), we feel at home again. We parked the Sprint 26 in their garage and ended the Ride to New Mexico.
Peggy made wonderful pasta and ice cream, from scratch.
George (in white) took Jeffrey (in red) to see the nearby Petroglyph National Monument, with inscriptions made by First Nations people 700-1200 years ago.
The view from atop a Petroglyph site. The Sandia mountains in the background are over 2 miles (3200 meters) above sea level.
This Ride has ended, but not our journey. We are a long way from home. The adventure continues . . .