Sunday, May 9, 2010
Window Rock to Mesa Verde-
We woke to more wind and predictions of 50 mph + winds by the afternoon. Even though it's Mother's Day, we managed to get Derrick to ride with us for the day and we headed out after saying goodbye to Linda (Derrick's mother in law). She was so sweet to us and we basked in her hospitality.
We went to Mc Donalds to get "the best coffee in town", unload our bikes, use the bathroom, load up on water and head out of town.
The first 25 miles or so were up a wide valley with smooth, rounded red rock cliffs just on our right. It was some of the most spectacular scenery we have seen and our friendly tailwind kept us smiling. Derrick was a delight. He enjoyed every minute of the ride and added his knowledge and fun commentary to our day.
We turned east and headed up the pass that would drop us into New Mexico. Again, tailwinds helped us up a somewhat challenging pass and we stopped to picnic right below the summit where the rest of Derrick's family met us. It was great hanging out with them and Sean played in the snow with the three kids until his hands hurt from making and throwing snowballs.
At the top of the pass, Catherine turned over the reins of her steed to Sean to avoid the long steep windy downhill. And it was a long, very steep downhill. I used my brakes most of the way down and had trouble keeping myself below 40 mph.
Sean disappeared immediately and I won't say how fast he went. Almost at the bottom, I got my first flat tire and did a roadside repair with the help of Catherine who stayed behind us and was able to stop and help me fix the flat.
We reached our destination and it was obvious that our path forward was full blown sandstorm again. So, after a fond farewell to our new friends Derrick and his family, we loaded up all the bikes and detoured up to Mesa Verde where I am now sitting in a campground while Catherine cooks mutton stew and we are looking forward to spending most of the day tomorrow exploring Mesa Verde.
It's sad to be leaving Navajo Country. The limited services and lack of internet barely registered on our radar when compared to the warmth and beauty of the Navajo lands and people. I will need to come back and I will never forget the strength and warmth of the Navajo's we were so lucky to get to know.
While rolling - Pretty good huh?
Yet another roadside attraction
A happy green rider - Derrick
I-phoning the route
Green Riders in front of a green mountain
Sean and Logan playing
More snow play
Derrick wants an electric bicycle - And so does Jessie
Yet another dust storm