"Ride Like The Wind"
Lordsburg, NM -
4:58 riding time
3 Passes Today
Today was the last day of bagging Continental Divide
passes -- 50 total! -- and the beginning of our long trek back to Seattle
via Los Angeles. Singing the lyrics of Chris Cross' "Ride Like the
Wind" hit song, we finally rode the last stretch down the Great Divide to
touch the border of Mexico. The
moment was a combination of elation at achieving the primary goal of the
trip, to ride the Great Divide from Canada to Mexico, tempered with the
bittersweet certainty that the trip will soon be over. Nevertheless,
it was a great day of riding in southern New Mexico and Arizona.
I wanted to add some commentary about overcoming my fear of commitment—don't worry, I'm not going to start talking about marital relations—and finally affixing my 'Gizmo Pass' plaque to a tree somewhere in southern New Mexico. When I spotted the sign indicating that Ted Nugent himself was cleaning that section of highway 60, it just seemed that fate had intervened. I knew that laying claim to my piece of infamy, with Ted as janitor, was the right decision. Thanks Ted! And by the way, do you read Ted's sign the same way that I do; that there's only one person in that organization, a single 'Sportsman' and not 'Sportsmen', albeit clearly of one mind?
The final leg from I-10 down to the Mexican border was desolate. We saw plenty of evidence of how harsh life can be out in the desert. There were very few signs of human life in this area. We saw several herds of cattle grazing along the road. We had to slow to 15-20 mph to make sure they weren't going to bolt into the road. A hawk were circling with snake in claw, looking for a place to settle down and eat its prey. Whizmo spotted a tarantula on the road and stopped to take a picture.
When we got to the border at Antelope Wells, there was nothing there but a small building defending the border. I went in and said hello to the border guard, interrupting his newspaper reading. I gave him a W&G card, and told him we wouldn't be crossing. Somehow he managed to contain his disappointment—he nodded. I then told him that we had just completed a border-to-border trip along the Great Divide from Canada to Mexico, and that we'd be headed home now. Somehow me managed to contain his curiosity about our grand feat—he nodded again. (Antelope Wells is the southern terminus of the Great Divide bicycle route, so perhaps he gets more intrepid souls than us all the time. We're a dime a dozen.)
Whizmo and I shook hands and congratulated each other. Months of planning had paid off nicely. What a nice feeling of accomplishment. As our thoughts turned to the long journey home, Whiz pointed out that we were also at the farthest point from home - 1340 miles from Antelope Wells to Seattle as the crow flies. (By the way does anybody know why this saying specifies a "crow"? Why isn't it "as the turkey vulture flies." Hmm.) With that, we turned our Teutonic ships north and west towards home, and began the conclusion of The Great Divide Tour. It felt great to be heading in a new direction, heading home to spouses, family, and friends. And home to the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest. Traveling is wonderful for a variety of reasons, and one important one is that it makes you appreciate home, wherever that may be.
Coming into Tucson, we experienced the highest temperatures we've experienced on this year's tour. Freezing our fannies at Rogers Pass in Montana (30°) seems like it occurred last century. We have a long ride to LA tomorrow - 520 miles. We're going to leave at about 3:30 am so we can get most of the miles behind us before the heat of the day catches up with us. You can't ride too long in this high heat without suffering consequences.
Rummaging through the mailbag, I find a few items that may be of general interest to our audience. I thought it might be a good time for the ...
Whizmo & Gizmo Public Service Announcements
Up first, John Nave wants to let everyone know that there will be an LA to Barstow motorcycle ride the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. The Speed Channel will be covering the ride, so you might be on TV if you go, unlike poor W&G. If you're interested in more details, contact John by clicking here. John is going to be the emcee at the awards ceremony. John, can you just FedEx us our awards? Thanks!
Colin Mackintosh dropped us a line to let us know that his Hungry Wolf Cafe is for sale in the Canadian Kootenays. You cannot imagine a more beautiful spot than where the Hungry Wolf is located and Nelson, one of our favorite all-time small Canadian towns is close by. He suggest that anyone interested in a change of lifestyle should get in touch with him by clicking here. We met Colin two years ago during the Spaghetti Tour. He promised us he would buy us a big slice of lemon meringue pie and large cup of coffee if we'd help him sell the cafe. Colin, can you just FedEx us the pie? Don't worry about the coffee. Thanks!
John Helms has been pestering us with funny anecdotes, hoping that we'll eventually print one. So here you go.
And finally, I received this mail a couple of days ago offering me millions for just a bit of effort. Check it out:
In a fit of W&G generosity, I'm passing this offer along to you. You see, I don't need the money because the Powerball Lottery is up to $21M today, and I figured out that the winning numbers will be 23 - 1 - 14 - 4 - 7 (w-a-n-d-g). After you collect your money from MR. DAVIDWEST ISAAC, just FedEx me my fair share for giving you the lead on this exciting opportunity.
Contest #11 - Creative Caption Contest Results
Like our previous caption contests, it was another outstanding effort from all our contestants. It really brightens the day for us road-weary souls to have a great chuckle at the end of the day reading the submissions. And the winner ..... drum roll .... Steve Dolan of Park Ridge Illinois. The raw simplicity of Steve's caption reveals a profound understanding of the inner turmoil the artist must have felt while painting this work. Steve, you 'da man!
Half of a cheek off of plumb
While selecting Steve's caption as the winner, several other captions elevated themselves from the pack during the three-hour deliberations::
|Dan Newell (Medina ,Washington)||Forget botox, all-natural free-range organic bees eliminate pesky wrinkles, frown lines and flabby skin|
|Tom Boyle (St. Paul, Minnesota)||Moon Light O'er the Till|
|Glenda Revelle (New York City, New York)||Cover illustration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's
"The Great Ass-Bee"
|Dale Pestes (Troutdale, Oregon)||Fifteen consecutive days in the saddle had left Whizmo with a festering case of monkeybutt. After dismissing Botox as a potential remedy, he came to the realization that natural injections would be the only effective treatment.|
!!! New Contest - Music From the Road III - New Contest !!!
OK folks, here's the final music contest, 'Music From the Road III'. We have assembled an even more challenging series of musical clips for you to identify. We're going to help you with a few hints.
Hint #1: There are 12 selections.
Hint #2: Two of the selections are from soundtracks.
Click here to hear Music From the Road III.
Here are the rules:
When you have assembled your best guess, click here to submit your entry.