Rob Stansfield

Philomorph with a sense of adventure and lots of curiosity

Reserve, NM to Santa Fe, NM – 305 miles

It was a shame to leave the beautiful San Francisco mountains. At the North end of the Gila wilderness, this is an area where Penny and I plan to backpack, soon, maybe in July.

“Watch out for Elk” they said, and I did, but no luck, and no bad luck either, which is good luck, right?

I adore landscapes where rocks push out of the sandy earth dry as biscuits, surrounded by fir and scented scrub. Where the rocks and the earth are red or white and the sand is all white-yellow-orange.

But we left that behind, me and the big beautiful bike, and turned East into great vastnesses of wind and plain. When you can see a mile either side and three miles ahead in a dead straight line it’s time to twist the throttle, “jump the halyard”, catch the wind, and sail.

But the wind was strong throughout the day, and it was chilly at six and seven thousand feet. Yesterday started at 68ºF and then varied between 55 and 85 but I didn’t have to change clothes. A good adventure touring suit accommodates a range of fifty degrees Fahrenheit or more, but I still put on an extra layer today.

Zooming down from Datil in a windy flatness I came across a Very Large Array of radio telescopes.

How to put a radio telescope where you want it.

I had thought of meeting Phil in Amarillo, TX but half way through the day, when I looked towards the flat lands of East New Mexico leading into the flat Texas panhandle, and remembered two years ago (see Phil’s blogpost), then Nah. “Mountains and Deserts” is the purpose of this trip, and on the other side of I-25 I took a scenic route Northwards up to Santa Fe.

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