T-minus Six Days and Counting

So the Bear did a pretty epic recap since Kerville. Props bud. I write to you from Tempe, AZ (Phoenix area) on the couch at our new mate Graeme’s house. That’s Graeme like Graham. And ya, I said mate. He’s Australian, and now we’re mates. We are taking a day off today to get ready for the final 420 mile homestretch into San Diego. We are going to finish (weather/intangibles permitting) in San Diego on Saturday, March 1.

Tay roughin' it at Graeme's place in Tempe, AZ.

Tay roughin’ it at Graeme’s place in Tempe, AZ.

Thor trying on Graeme's hat that he got in China.

Thor trying on Graeme’s hat that he got in China.

I’ve got some pictures and videos from the past couple weeks. Wanna see?

Good. I’ll give a quick little description for a few of them.

Here I am in El Paso at our Warm Shower’s host for the night. As you’ll be able to tell, I was very excited when I discovered that we reached our fundraising goal of $25k. I decided to celebrate by jumping as high as I could on a trampoline. Emma, the 11 year old daughter, not only decided to join me, but was happy to offer her launching assistance. Thanks, Em.

The guys with Mike (our host)in El Paso. He geared up and rode with us most of the way towards our next destination, Las Cruces. Apparently he didn't get the black on black memo for the uniforms.

The guys with Mike (our host)in El Paso. He geared up and rode with us most of the way towards our next destination, Las Cruces. Apparently he didn’t get the black on black memo for the uniforms.

The wolf pack started with a tight-knit two. Then it grew to three with Mike. He called two of his homies, and soon enough we were five deep. Holler!

The ride to Las Cruces was great. There wasn’t any wind, and for the first time we could really tell just how strong endless pedaling into wind vortexes had made our legs. We busted out 40 miles in about two hours. We were giddy with joy.

Pecans make you STRONG!

Pecans make you STRONG!

Pecan trees in New Mexico

Pecan trees in New Mexico

Earlier in Texas, we were stuck in Valentine and decided to check out a roping.

That afternoon we were kind of just sitting on the side of the road because we had run out of water and didn’t want to test the 45 mile stretch to Van Horn without agua. Enter Yvote–a short woman around 50 years old sporting a tie die tee, a headband and a pair of “Shaq” high-tops (Shaquille O’neal’s sneaker line). She talked Darren up and took a genuine interest in our fatigue. Next thing we know we are crashing at her house with Cosmo and Aki–her two cats. Taylor forgot to lock the door behind him the next morning when he ran out to the garage to grab some supplies. Cosmo and Aki both escaped. My heart stopped. “Have you seen the cats?” Yvote asked us. “I think I saw one of them step outside for a second,” Darren replied. I was too embarrassed to reply. I was like a dog with my tail between my legs sitting in front of his owner after pissing on the carpet that has been in the family for three generations. The cats were found, eventually.

The dudes with Yvoty (her spiritual name). This welcoming hippie took us in after we ran out of water in Valentine, TX (a town with a population of 217). A self-proclaimed psychic, Yvoty explained to us the up-and-down journey of her life, and how she came to find herself through the discovery of metaphysics. Taylor accidentally let her cat, Cosmo, out the front door which prompted Yvoty to frantically search and call for the feline for 45 minutes at 7am in the morning. Later, she gave Taylor a free psychic reading. Apparently, he is going to marry a foreigner that he is going to meet in South America. Stay tuned!

The dudes with Yvoty (her spiritual name). This welcoming hippie took us in after we ran out of water in Valentine, TX (a town with a population of 217). A self-proclaimed psychic, Yvoty explained to us the up-and-down journey of her life, and how she came to find herself through the discovery of metaphysics. Taylor accidentally let her cat, Cosmo, out the front door which prompted Yvoty to frantically search and call for the feline for 45 minutes at 7am in the morning. Later, she gave Taylor a free psychic reading. Apparently, he is going to marry a foreigner that he is going to meet in South America. Stay tuned!

The day’s ride into Valentine the day before was gorgeous. We had just left the McDonald’s Observatory and taken the 55 mile scenic route to Valentine. The bear almost ran into some serious trouble on a steep descent.

Rocks leaving McDonald's Observatory.

Rocks leaving McDonald’s Observatory.

In New Mexico, we decided to stray off the ACA route a little. We had to shave some time off the trip, because we had fallen behind on account of the terrible weather. We made friends with the I-10 highway which was a three day straight shot across the state. Not a fun ride at all, but ran into some pretty hilarious situations, some of which include getting a free magic show at a rest stop for 30 minutes.

Leaving Las Cruces, NM. Because of our time constraints, we decided to avoid a mountainous route and a breathtaking view at Emory Pass and have off a couple days riding by riding the I-10. I do not advise anyone to ever do this. Sorry Mom!

Leaving Las Cruces, NM. Because of our time constraints, we decided to avoid a mountainous route and a breathtaking view at Emory Pass and have off a couple days riding by riding the I-10. I do not advise anyone to ever do this. Sorry Mom!

Las Cruces sunset.

Las Cruces sunset.

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Ride to Safford, AZ.

Ride to Safford, AZ.

Thor, happy to be in Las Cruces!

Thor, happy to be in Las Cruces!

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Soon enough we crossed into Arizona. Now THAT was some desert. Lots of cactus and plains, great rock formations. This next picture has an amazing story behind it. The cliff is called “Apache Leap.” A long time ago when the Americans were pushing out all of the natives during the Trail of Tears, a group of Apaches had evaded the American troops all the way to the edge of this cliff. Instead of surrendering, they rode their horses right off the edge and fell to their death.

Apache Leap in Superior, AZ.

Apache Leap in Superior, AZ.

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View from Gonzalez Peak. Leaving Superior, AZ

View from Gonzalez Peak. Leaving Superior, AZ

Our host in Superior, AZ. He is wearing a "Settlers of Catan" themed t-shirt. The cat says, "I got yarn for tuna." You kind of have to understand the board game to get it. But the three Americans in Paraguay play about three times a night.

Our host in Superior, AZ. He is wearing a “Settlers of Catan” themed t-shirt. The cat says, “I got yarn for tuna.” You kind of have to understand the board game to get it. But the three Americans in Paraguay play about three times a night.

We have had an unbelievable and memorable 50 days on the road. Somehow, the Bear and I aren’t sick of each other. #blessed #besties. If you haven’t found this post entertaining, I leave you with this video to trigger your chuckles.

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