Friday, January 30, 2015

New New Mexican

Around November, 2014, almost a year to the day of my arrival at The College in Tsaile, Arizona, I was promoted and asked to move to the New Mexico Campus of The College - so I've just basically moved over the mountain to the NM side from the AZ side.  

I flew to Kansas for Thanksgiving and to attend my niece's wedding in Tulsa, Ok.  So after, I started packing up my Tsaile place, and then the next few weeks moved it to my new place in Shiprock.  After getting moved, I left from NM around 12 December 2014, and so being finished there, drove cross-county back to Kansas for almost three weeks of paid leave.

On my return to report to work in early January 2015 - I simply arrived back in NM.  I did this because I wanted to relax and have a good holiday, and not have to move during the heavy snow. I am glad I did thing because on my drive back in early January, there was a big snow storm through NM and West Texas. I stopped in Tucumcari, NM for the night, and the next morning, me and all the other folks that stayed at the motel had to all help each other dig out of the parking lot the next morning - about 8 inches of snow!

The good news is that Mesa Verde Nat'l Park is in my backyard.  Cortez, Colorado is about an hour north of Shiprock, and then Mesa Verde about 10 miles east.  I went out exploring, bought an annual MV pass, and scoped out where I could be riding.  I will be able to ride from my new place in Shiprock, NM to Cortez, Colorado - pretty safely North on Hwy 491 (old Hwy 666) and so from here to there will be about 40 to 45 miles one-way.  At about mile 20 there's a Ute Tribal Casino - a place to stop for water and what I might need. Then on to Cortez which is a funky little mountain town.  Great bike shop there, and some of the guys there let me in on where to ride.

So Colorado looks like it will be the safe bet for riding.  Shiprock is a busy Rez town and I will really have to be careful.  Durango, Colo is another hour off - but now the men and women there have switched to skis and road bikes later I'm sure.

No tourists yet!  They will arrive in April - so I'll have a bit of time to try and ride from the Park entrance up to where the Cliff Dwellings are - a very scenic 20 mile ride - but will be too busy come the peak season.  If you have done this ride, or ridden up in this area - let me know some good routes!

I am the Branch Librarian at the Senator John Pinto Library - opened in November of 2011.  Brand new place and really the Crown Jewel of The College, and of Shiprock.

I have a nice office - but rarely am I in there!  Oh yeah, I live very close and ride my bike to work - it only takes about four minutes.  Good thing is - Farmington and Cortez are much closer - no more driving two hour to go get two or three weeks of groceries!  Also, not as high in elevation, at least not Shiprock and Farmington - so no snow and cold like up in Tsaile.

If you are ever this way, please stop by and say hello!

Cheers!  Bruce

Post Card from Tucson 2015

After some time off the bike, back in the saddle!
Happy New Year!  The blog has been inactive for a bit - this part due to my move to New Mexico.  Over MLK Holiday, I was able to make a quick trip down to Tucson, enjoy the sunshine and the saguaro, and catch up with my Old School Chum, Le Tigre!  

Really have missed the bike, and missed the blog - so much happening!  

A trip down to Tucson would not be complete without a ride!  Le Tigre is still the fastest cat I know - so he's a good sport and does not drop me!  We do a great ride on what LT tells me is the newly complete bike loop around the City of Tucson!  So we'll go on some very new and fresh parts of the bike path to check it out.

I want to let you know that I have been so busy with work - and now Tucson is a 9 hour drive from Shiprock where I have taken hold as of January 2015.  I am still working for The College, but they have promoted and moved me to New Mexico!

Although sunny and warm, I am feeling run-down and actually have a bit of a fever.  Well, not the start of 2015 I wanted, so we decide to cut our ride short because, Gentle Readers of This Blog, I'll have a 9 hour drive back and I can't do it if I'm in bed and out of commission.  Still, it was great getting caught up with my buddy here!

Yeah because I'm feeling a bit sick and flu catching hold, we take a short cut to get back to our starting point at River Ave and Campbell Ave...  not my neck of the woods, but Le Tigre knows the way.  

You know I've been riding at 7200 feet, on a Rez Road with almost no traffic - so here I am right at home in fast Tucson traffic - with that little bit of black (bike lane) to zip down through the city.  

I used to work around this old Historic Part of Ft. Lowell - near the Desert San - and this part of Tucson, like Tsaile and Canyon de Chelly, have their Western Military past.  

Hanging in there!  

So, we are back at our start - and the sun is warm and feels good.  We decide to stop, have a coffee, and chat about things before I need to take off back for Dog Mtn.

Le Tigre clipped a Palo Verde tree - and the have very sharp spines or thorns - and it gashed his finger open.  There was a young guy riding kind of reckless and was not watching where he was going (no big deal really) but Le Tigre swerved to keep from running into him and clipped the tree - ouch!

I hope you keep reading my blog - was a long stretch where I was traveling, and then the Holidays.  After the ride I went back home and slept from like 3 pm to 9 pm, only to be woken by Little Egypt!  Good thing because I had to pack and be ready to roll for that long drive back up to the Navajo Nation.

Cheers!  Bruce