The school semester finally finished and now I’m back home in Chicago. I only have two weeks until the trip begins. Here’s what the plan is for the first few days.
First of all, I found two riding partners with the help of Adventure Cycling’s Companions Wanted list. Both are gentlemen from the Netherlands. Mathieu van Rijswick is from Eindhoven and Auke van der Weide is from Heerenveen. Mathieu is a scientist/engineer in his 60’s who did mountain climbing back in the day. Auke is an architect nearing his 40’s who, I’m told, has a talent for photography. They are flying into Tuscon, AZ and will ride three or four days to Hachita, NM (the first town on the route where we will meet). Their ETA in Hachita is May 23 or 24.
To get to the start of the route, I am taking a Greyhound bus from Chicago to Deming, NM. The bus leaves May 20 at 21:30 and arrives May 22 at 09:00 (yes, it’s a 36 hour ride). When I arrive in Deming (hopefully on time, but probably not), I will likely rejoice that bus ride from hell is over. Seriously though, I’ll assemble my bike, pick up food and last minute supplies, check for updates from Mathieu and Auke at the local library, and ride to Rock Hound State Park where I’ll spend the first night. It’s only 15 miles from Deming so even if Greyhound runs late I’ll be able to get there. Worst case scenario – I’ll find a hotel in Deming.
The next morning (May 23) I will affix all my gear to the bike and ride back into town to check the status of my partners. Hopefully I’ll find out whether they’ll be in Hachita that night or the next. I’ll either ride to Hachita (60 miles) or back to Rock Hound for another night. When I get to Hachita, I’ll finally meet my riding partners. I think the plan is to leave much of our gear in town and ride to the border and back (90 miles) that next day. Beyond that, I have no concrete plans. As Lau Tzu said, “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.”
A lot could go wrong in those first days – the library closes early on the day I arrive in Deming and is not open the next day. I may need to find alternative ways to access the internet. Even then, Mathieu and Auke may have the same problem and not be able to let me know which day they’ll get to Hachita. We certainly have to work out some contingency plans so we can successfully meet.