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Old 05-05-2004, 11:14 PM   #51
MikeO OP
Wage slave...
 
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,768
1st April

Didn’t surface until 10ish. For some reason, there’s a Mariachi Band playing in my head. Oh yes – it’s all coming back to me now… The power went off at 1830 yesterday, so I wandered down to the restaurant to find out what was happening, to be told that the whole valley was out. The chef, Jason, offered to make sandwiches and, in company with Chris, from Rhode Island, and his family, I agreed. We sat outside as the evening drew on, when we suddenly discovered that the draught beer was still on. After several pitchers of cold Bud, Jason, unexpectedly finding himself with a night off, went to his trailer and brought back some tequila and scotch. My recollection gets a little hazy after that…

Never mind – a couple of Nurofen and a shower get me feeling better and, after a Texas Omelette (like an ordinary one, but bigger) I’m riding the dirt road down to the 118. I turn right and head North towards the town of Alpine, some 60 miles away. The weather has changed and, although it’s still warm, a breeze from the South is keeping it bearable. The road runs as straight as an arrow for miles, but the clouds on the distant horizon look threatening…



After some excellent curves, the road suddenly drops to the right and Alpine appears on the flat valley floor below.



I ride through the town and push East towards Marathon, where I turned off for the National Park 2 days ago. To my left the clouds I saw earlier are depositing some serious rain 15 miles North. I get the occasional couple of drops and put the ‘shower cap’ on the tank-bag as a precaution. Thankfully the wind is from the South, and I don’t get wet. After filling up with fuel at Marathon, I ride South down the 385 again, but, just before entering the park, turn left down the 2627.



This road leads to an abandoned mine, 29 miles away…



…which is on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. Post Sep 11th, security precautions have dictated that the bridge across the Rio Grande now be closed…



…making this a 29 mile dead-end. By the bridge is a payphone. Without much cause for optimism, I pick up the handset and, to my surprise, get a dialling tone. I ring my girlfriend - trying to describe where I am…



I ride back to the Ranch – on the way, just before the junction with the 385, a snake chooses to slither in the wrong direction as I approach, and I run it over. I’m not sure what kind of snake it was (reddish copper in colour, about 3 feet long – similar to the one I saw yesterday), but prudence dictated I didn’t go back and check to see if it was OK…
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All text & original photos Mike Oughton 2004 - 2014

MikeO screwed with this post 12-11-2010 at 02:35 PM
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