Sometimes you have to see a storm to appriciate a pretty day
A crash in the early morning put all of us in a somber mood; however, everyone is OK, which we should all be thankful for.
Soon, we started to hit the mountains! I don't think any of us expected to come up out of the desert in New Mexico, but we began to climb. Soon we saw dark clouds moving in on the jagged horizon. Before we knew it we were stuck in a cold thunderstorm and were forced to take cover under the tin roof of a house on the side of the road. A super cute dog and tiny kitten joined us as we waited it out. For some reason, listening to summer rain on a tin roof and hearing thunder roll is just so refreshing - its just a little bit of life. When the thunder stopped (though we had no such luck with the rain), we rode on shivering after having 3 weeks straight of not having a day under 100 degrees.
Then, the skies cleared out of nowhere and it became unbelievably beautiful with amazing rock outcrops visible. We hit the town of Lincoln, where a Billy the Kid festival was occurring. It turns out that my great grandfather, Louis Bousman, was part of Pat Garrett's posse who helped capture Billy the Kid at the Lincoln jail before he escaped and killed two guards. It has been wild to be riding through so much family history on this trip.
Then, we ascended and hit 7,050 feet before descending to 5,000 feet in the last 10 miles. I descended the first section of the mountain and turned the corner to see the sun sinking low in the sky, past clouds and a single thunderstorm on the horizon. The sights were some of the most amazing of the trip - those that cant be captured in photos...
We woke up in the early dawn in the shadows of the mountains as the light just curved and peeked over their summits. Finally, the sun crested the mountains, sending piercing rays of light over the smooth streets and stray dogs of town to bring on the day. We headed west through the Valley of Fires, where I realized had been before - camping a few years ago to study the black basalt lava flows that cover the valley floor for miles.
We continued to have amazing scenery in the Land of Enchantment - again, photos just can't capture the vastness of the landscape and the hugeness of the mountains at the same time. In one valley, tens of fighter jets from a nearby base flew over us in what appeared to be mock battles happening at what must have been approaching the speed of sound. These jets would fly over my head and in a matter of seconds disappear over the horizon.
New Mexico has been nothing but amazing. And, tomorrow we climb to the Great Divide.