Day 12: Chambers to Gallup

Chambers, AZ in my rear view:


That was it. ?The whole town. ?A Mobil gas station and a Days Inn.

First things first. ?Remember Nipton?


When I left there I would have?sworn?on a stack of Bibles I’d left the room key on the dresser. ?A few days ago I got a polite email from Brenda who said, “You stupid ass. ?Why’d you take our key? ?I hope a coyote eats your face.”

Naw, that’s not true at all. ?She was very polite and asked if I’d mail her key back to her. ?I promised I would . . . but I was a little short on mailing supplies. ?Plus, circumstances have been against me to get to a post office when it was open.

Well, this morning, I managed to send these:


Back to Miss Brenda.


Obviously Karma is saving up for some huge disaster for me. ?Cuz you simply couldn’t have asked for a finer ride than I had today.


Blue skies. ?Temps in the low 70s. ?No humidity. ?Flat roads. ?A 25MPH (at least) wind?pushing?me down the road. ?45 miles of that.

The bike performed admirably. ?I was more than a little concerned with the front tire. ?This morning when I checked the pressure, it had lost a third of its air. ?The back tire had held up pretty well, losing about 10 of 80 pounds. ?But I had no mechanical problems. ?Yay, two days in a row! ?(That “get stupid” point must be north of 50 miles. ?Last two days have been under 50.)

The picture above was from an overpass getting to Indian City:


It sounded like a good place to get breakfast at 10AM.


While I was eating, two different guys came up to me. ?First one said, “The wind blew your hat off your bike. ?I fastened it around the bike seat for you.” ?I’d barely gotten done thanking him when another gent came up to tell me the wind had blown the bike?over. ?”Yeah, everything’s spilled out. ?Money, tablets.”


I had been broken-hearted that this place hadn’t worked out:

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I’d sent this tweet:

But nobody wanted to admit to being old enough to remember F-Troop. ?So I Googled it once I got to my stop. ?I’ll be damned.


Here’s an odd coincidence. ?Melody Patterson, who played Wrangler Jane, died less than a month ago at the age of 66.


The power of punctuation. ?This sign was for the defunct Fort Courage’s restaurant. ?But it was only up close that I could see the apostrophe after?Ortega. ?From a distance, without being able to see the apostrophe, it looked as if the restaurant was serving up something called ORTE-GAS TACOS. ?Gas Tacos? ?Wasn’t sure I’d consider that “fine food,” as the sign was promising.


For the first time since California, I got “thrown” off the Interstate. ?Right after I entered Gallup there was this sign.


I know I’m going to have to do that around ABQ, but I didn’t think there was any other place in NM I couldn’t ride. ?Eh, no big deal. ?I’ll stick to secondary roads until I’m around Gallup, and then hop back on 40.

Oh, yeah, I’m in New Mexico now!


I can’t “claim” NM yet because I’ve only ridden about 17 miles within its borders so far. ?I suppose I could sneak out later on the bike and get those last 3. ?We’ll see.

Arizona’s landscape started to perk up nicely as I was reaching the far eastern side of the state. ?For the last 1/3 of the state, it was rather bland. ?But it redeemed itself nicely as I headed for the exit doors:

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New Mexico didn’t slack on the good scenery, either:

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I made excellent time getting to Gallup. ?Which is good because I “lost an hour” in crossing over to New Mexico.

I’ve been in the Mountain Time Zone since Arizona, but AZ doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time. ?I was three hours behind my Eastern Time Zone-conditioned body while crawling across AZ. ?Now I’m just two hours behind.

I pulled up at the Motel 6 at 2:30 this afternoon . . . but it was only 1:30 based on AZ’s time. ?1:30 is the time I used in the chart at the bottom of the post to calculate elapsed time.


Getting in so early allowed me to get laundry done and do a lot of catch-up work for work-work. ?I feel like I’m caught up!

I thought I was going to have to break the emergency glass and get to my Spam tonight.


There’s not a restaurant anywhere around here. ?(Ok, there are none I’m willing to walk to.) ?Instead, I blew the entire day’s food budget on Pizza Hut: