Going out to check the bike as soon as I wake is the normal routine. The temperature has dropped again. It’s 22F, nearly -6C. This is a shame because I’ve another reasonably long day ahead. So I decide I’ll leave as soon as it’s 0C, measured by smoke/no smoke and go back in to call DT to chat about tires, etc.
Then we’re into the hills and shortly before entering the Jemez canyon, the town of Jemez. This all you get because the town is on the other side of the street and there’s a big wooden sign that says:
No video cameras
No cassette recorders (I’ll have to ask Siri, my new BFF, if she knows what this is)
It’s an Indian reservation and old, dense and lived in, like a favorite pair of shoes. Washing hangs out to dry across the streets, dogs sit in the sun, kids totter on bent bikes, homes are randomly aligned, power cables are haphazardly supported, bright red peppers hang on strings everywhere. Gorgeous. But no pictures.
Then the unexpected perfect riding thing happened and we were in twisties for miles, gaining altitude until at 9000′ the trees opened up and a high altitude grassland plain appeared, the Valles Caldera. It was one of those moments when I Whoop! in my helmet.
Then a special diversion, to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Much larger than I’d imagined, there are over 10,000 employees on a campus at the edge of the forest in pristine buildings, pouring out to their cars; I’d arrived at 5:00. I was passed through security without any questions and headed down the main drag, brilliantly named Bikini Atoll. That’s the spirit guys!