4 April 23-29 Deming NM-Tucumcari NM
April 23, Day 16 Deming -- Las Cruces NM
April 24 Day 17 Rest day in Las Cruces NM
April 25 Day 18 Las Cruces -- Alamogordo NM
April 26 Day 19 Alamogordo -- Carrizozo NM
April 27 Day 20 Carrizozo -- Corona NM
April 28 Day 21 Corona -- Santa Rosa NM
April 29 Day 22 Santa Rosa -- Tucumcari NM
"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark
..." That's the
first verse of John 20, the account of Mary Magdalene's arrival at
the empty tomb. It seems appropos today, Easter 2000.
Scott and I accompanied Pastor Greg and June back to the church,
where our bikes had been stored. We attached our handlebar bags and
trunk bags, prayed, with Greg and June, then set off for Las Cruces
(Spanish for The Crosses.)
Again, a tailwind ... Praise the Lord! The view of the Florida Mtns
South was neat (they pronounce it Flor-EE-da), so jagged and craggy.
One part reminded me of the plates on the back of a stegosaurus
dinosaur. We rode a parallel road to the I-10, not great, but not as
bad as "Chuck-hole-a" between Chiriaco Summit and Blythe
CA. We merged onto the I-10 again, and about 17 miles out we passed
Akela Flats, a Bowlin Enterprise Trading Post, on the N side of the
I-10. It was painted like storefronts from the Old West. However,
Scott and I were both tired, and couldn't find it within ourselves
to ride the overpass and check it out, so we rode on.
Pretty flat, deserty scenery, slightly downhill. We ate our PBJ
under an overpass, in the shade. Finished the last of the carrots
Benson (Thanks, Tom and Nancy).
Both of us were feeling a bit slap- happy, so we kept each other
laughing as we rode side by side. Scott is very amusing, a real
story teller. I got to
laughing so much I could hardly ride! When there's a tail wind and
relatively flat, Scott usually rides with me, whereas on hill climbs
rides ahead, with his youthful vim, vigor, and vitality.
We needed a water refill so when we got to Bowlin's Old West Trading
Post, we forced ourselves to ride the overpass. We purchased some
Gatorade, which immediately we scarfed down, and passed out 4-5
BFTC2K brochures. Our next stop was at a lovely rest stop
overlooking Las Cruces, which is nestled in a valley, at 3890'
elevation. Just as we entered the Interstate, we noticed a "No
Bicycles" sign, so we exited the next opportunity, after an exhilarating
downhill. Stopping at a gas station to confirm directions, we met a
fellow bicyclist, with a totally-laden mountain bike. This homeless
man has been riding around America for 6 yrs. He told us he used to
have a BOB trailer, with a Coleman stove on it, but a big 4X4 truck
ran over it, and didn't even stop! I felt badly for him, but he was
gone before I thought to offer him some money.
We rode to the home of the Robert Welo family, from the Ev. Free
Church. Robert is a West Point graduate, who served 20 years in the
Army, and now works at the White Sands Missile Range as a civilian.
He trains daily for triathlons, and does a couple of competitions
each month, always placing in the top 1/3. His wife Mardi is a Unit
Manager for Creative Memories, a home-based scrapbooking company.
Their older son Hans is an Army ranger, and their younger son Lars,
who's 16, is a true Renaissance man. He's done with high school, and
attends the local Dona Ana Community College. He's a gourmet cook,
too. He prepared dinner, lamb, potatoes, and onion in celebration of
Easter. He loves classical music, closes his eyes, and conducts it!
A colorful young man, with a beautiful head of hair!
We went to Evening Service at the church, where we were invited to
give a brief testimony about the ride. It gave both of us an
opportunity to share how we first found out about HD, compassion
turned to passion for helping to raise funds/awareness for research,
how much we feel at peace, doing the will of God, and how He brought
Scott and me together to do this ride.
It was great to go to sleep at night, knowing that we didn't have to
pack up and ride the next day.
Yours still Biking For The Cure, in Las Cruces NM,
Marie (and Scott)
What a pleasure it was to be able to sleep in, past our usual
4:00 am rising
Scott had a telephone interview with his hometown newspaper in
That was very cool. We are getting more publicity this year because
two of us being involved.
A little after 10:00 am, Scott's friend Shelby from Albuquerque
the Welo's home. Scott was glad to see her. Scott and I rode our
Outdoor Adventures, where we had some preventative maintenance on
our bikes. Shelby then chauffeured us to Walgreen's to drop off film
to be developed.
Shelby brought me back to the Welo's, and then she and Scott left to
out." About 12:30 pm, after Mardi woke up, she took Larz, his
and me to a "local color" Mexican restaurant, Nopalito's.
The New Mexico
style food was very good.
We ran a few errands, including dropping a photo, a press release,
proposed itinerary off to the editor of a local newspaper. On the
passed one of the famous muraled water towers in Las Cruces.
When it was time for Larz to go to college class, Mardi took me up
suggestion that I accompany Larz, since he only has a learner's
was tired, so it gave her the opportunity to rest before her
Memories class in her home. So I got to drive their nice white van,
picked up my photos from Walgreen's too.
When I got back, Shelby and Scott were there, and Scott said the
ready. So Shelby drove us to the bike shop. My bike computer was now
working, but it lost the 7000 plus miles that were on there. The
had gone flat, so I had to wait for it to be fixed.
Shelby left for the long drive back to Albuquerque. Soon after I
back at the Welo's, Mandy Adams arrived after a very long drive from
Colorado Springs. What a great feeling to see someone from
"home." Mandy is
going to SAG with us for 5 days through New Mexico.
We didn't stay up too late, because of our early hour for rising.
fell asleep, I had a great time showing Mandy photos from earlier in
Tomorrow we're "on the road again," a fairly long day over
Thanks to all who write me personal messages. I am still trying to
caught up on them.
Yours readying to Bike For The Cure again tomorrow, from the desert
Southwest city of Las Cruces,
Marie (Scott, and now Mandy too)
"On the road again ..." We bade farewell to Larz after we
parents were still asleep) and set out for the long-anticipated ride
San Agustin Pass, across White Sands, and into Alamogordo. It is
having Mandy with us; she stopped for ice and groceries while Scott
rode on. What a great SAG person!
Las Cruces (or "Cruces" for short) is 3,890' elev. We had
a long, somewhat
grueling steady uphill to the top of San Agustin Pass elevation
Again, I was surprised that I made it without walking. Scott and
waiting at the top, taking in the view. A long downhill of 8 miles
On the flat, we stopped to observe a missile launcher tank cross
quite impressive! A bit later, we decided to take our lunch break,
miles into the ride. Scott scampered across the Hwy to use the porta-potty,
and came back jogging and waving $52 which he found on the floor! He
BFTC2K brochure with information for anyone to contact him to
money by a certain date; otherwise it will be donated to HDSA!
A Border Patrol 4x4 stopped to check on Mandy; someone had reported
vehicle aside the Hwy and he was just checking it out. Three times
flats, Mandy drove ahead and then rode back, for a total of 15
Closer to the Border Patrol checkpoint, at about 52 miles into
the ride, we
stopped and visited with a homeless man, who was pushing a shopping
full of gear. He was from Long Island NY, and is on his 4th shopping
He said it had taken him 1 1/2 years to get that far, and he was
Arizona. We gave him some extra water. Hope he makes it!
We passed through the Border Patrol checkpoint at 57 miles, then
over across the Hwy to the White Sands National Monument, but didn't
We passed through Holloman AFB. As we were approaching Alamogordo,
noticed many billboards in German. When we asked our hosts Virginia
and Fred Nielsen why, we were told that members of the German Air
Force train at
Holloman, flying over the desert. There isn't enough open air space
We rode to Trinity Lutheran Church, where we were met by Pastor
Bergman, two of his children, Fred Nielsen, and a man from the
We followed Fred to his home. 77 miles, our longest day yet!
prepared a great dinner of salad, brisket sandwiches, and date
and Virginia are a delightful, young-at-heart couple who spent many
Laborors for Christ, a primarily Lutheran retired folks group, who
their RVs to help build church projects. Fred has also restored a
A Ford, and Virginia makes quilts with the church ladies group, for
Scott, Mandy, and I were exhausted from our day, so we were tired
"fading" by 8:00 pm.
Four more days with Mandy ... how we are cherishing her servant
her SAGging for us. Some have asked what SAG means. It means
gear." The driver supplies the riders with water, food, does
enabling them to "just ride."
Your "Three Muskateers" in the high desert in New Mexico,
Biking For The
Marie (and Scott and Mandy)
A somewhat frustrating day that started and ended well ...
We bade fond farewells to our dear hosts, Fred and Virginia Nielsen,
headed North on Hwy 54, past the New Mexico School for the Visually
Handicapped. We passed pistachio nut farms on the way to Tularosa (elev
4520'). Saw a big black dead cow along the road, between Tulatosa
Rivers. Two Hispanic DOT employees were trying to figure out what to
do with it. Finally arrived at our midway point in the ride, the 3
Post. When Mandy and I came out, we found her bike had a flat front
Scott had already ridden ahead, so it was up to me to play bike
patched 3 holes (lessons from you, Jeanette) and thought we'd gotten
all, but ... there were 4. Mandy couldn't ride. So I rode up about 4
to where Mandy's car was, loaded my bike, and drove back to pick her
decided to drive towards Carrizozo to find Scott. No sign of Scott
When we arrived in Carrizozo, there was Scott, sitting at a picnic
the City Park! I called our contact person Barbara Culler, jokingly
"She can probably see us" and she could! Barbara walked to
the park, we went
to her house, and she chauffeured us to the hardware store where
bought 2 new tubes from their meager supply. We returned to
Scott took out the old tubes and put in new ones. I patched two more
in the old tubes, for back-ups.
Welda and her son Jordan arrived at Barbara's about 3:45 pm. We caravanned
to their ranch 12 miles W on Hwy 380, then 5 miles S on dirt road.
On the way,
Jordan spotted a pregnant oryx. Years ago, some general from the
Base imported some of these deer-like creatures from Africa. They
increased and multiplied in numbers and spread away from the
Base, and the
population is about 1,000. Jim and Welda's ranch is about 15,000
("small" by NM standards, we were told.) Mandy and I were
housed in the "old house" where Welda grew up; Scott
stayed with the Griders in their new home.
The "old house" was great, with a kitchen with a Holstein
cow motif and cute
denim placemats with a jeans pocket for a bandana napkin. They had
napkins with many NM cattle brands, and a ceiling fan in every room.
antique type things too; my favorite was a pair of metal roller
Welda had invited 2 couples for dinner, a dentist and his pre-school
wife, and another couple. Great food - spaghetti, ham, and stir fry
grits with cheese and chilis, bread, and carrot cake. We went back
"old house" about 8:00 pm. Jordan came down with us and
wanted to chat. I
showed him the TM-20 and let him type a message to Scott. I also
some of the change we've found along the way. Great kid, so sweet,
grade, 9 years old.
Finally at 9 pm we told him we needed to go to sleep because we had
up so early! Wished we could take Jordan with us.
Tired, content again, near the Malpais and Valley of Fires lava
Still Biking For The Cure,
Praying for a cure for HD,
Thanking God for His protection and provision,
Marie (Scott & Mandy)
4:00 am came early, as usual, but we still had a 18 mile drive back
Carrizozo, to rendezvous with Barbara Culler and get our bikes from
Stopped at the main intersection in Carrizozo, where Hwy 380 and Hwy
intersect. Guess who we came across? One of the Hispanic men from
cow episode yesterday.
Scott and I started riding, and about 3 miles N it became EXTREMELY
and cold. We removed our handlebar and trunk bags to have the least
of wind resistance. After 4 miles of that, we conferenced with Mandy
decided on a "tag team" effort to get to Corona.
Scott would ride 5 miles while Mandy and I (and our bikes) would SAG
5 miles out. We'd stop, unload my bike, and I'd start to ride 4-5
miles. When Scott got to where Mandy's car was parked, they'd load
up his bike, and they'd
drive 4-5 miles, and unload Mandy's bike. She'd start to ride 2-3
miles. When I arrived at the car, we'd load my bike, and Scott and I
would drive 2-3 miles. Then we'd unload Scott's bike, and he would
start riding. When Mandy got to the car, we'd load up her bike,
drive 5 miles, and this process was repeated 3 times! About 6 miles
from Corona, Scott and I decided to ride together while Mandy drove
ahead to Corona to find the motel.
While we were riding, the NM state bird, a roadrunner, ran across
This was our first roadrunner sighting! We also saw a big bull -
It had been a gradual uphill the whole ride, with downhills and
From the looks of the vegetation (pretty similar to Glade Park above
Junction CO) I had guessed the elevation to be 6400. Later we found
was 6600 ft.
We rolled on into town on Main Street to the Corona Motel, where
hostess Beverly Kent were waiting. Beverly wears skirts all the
of a "plain folk" Christian, as are the motel owners who
were away at a home
school convention in Albuquerque. We were given 2 rooms, one for
Mandy and me, and one for Scott.
The motel office has a little gift snf quilt shop; so quaint! I
items, including a holstein/bandana print lap quilt.
The railroad runs parallel to Main Street, freight trains. The first
one rolled by I thought it was coming through our room!
Mandy needed to finish a term paper for one of her college courses,
needed internet access. I found the high school, and asked the young
principal, Travis Lightfoot, if she could use one of their
said that'd be fine, that it was a public school. So I went back to
motel, told Mandy, and we drove back up there. She finished her term
and E-mailed it to her professor at Regis College, much to her
When she returned, Beverly had prepared a "do it yourself"
tortillas, cheese, seasoned beef, lettuce, black beans, onion,
salsa! Dessert was pistachio pudding! We had a great time with
sharing stories from the ride. As usual, Scott had everyone in
What a character!
Later, Scott knocked on our motel room door. He had a box of
drumsticks, and gave one to each of us. He had promised to treat us
cream when Mandy found her first coin along the road, so he was
his promise. The Schwann's man was staying in the motel also, and
GAVE Scott the box of drumsticks!
Although I only actually rode 25.59 miles (Scott rode a couple miles
farther), I was pleased that we made it safely to Corona. We got
1:00 pm so we had a good rest after battling the wind all day. Scott
to get a Corona beer in Corona, but was discouraged from getting a
the local saloon, 'The Road to Ruin.'
Another day, full of surprises and the Lord's provisions.
Praying for a better day of riding tomorrow, Still Biking For The
raising awareness and funds for HD research, your friends Marie,
"Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer
and the antelope
play." Saw lots of them, amongst the juniper trees, as we left
and went into Torrance Co. The scenery most of today reminded me of
Although we had a steady descent from Corona to Vaughn, there were
many downhills and uphills those 30 some miles. There was a wide
divided Hwy that came into Vaughn, then petered out into their main
street. I wondered if Pete and Rita Larson come through there on
their way to Farwell TX to see their daughter Kristen, son-in-law
Tim, and grandson Dalton.
Vaughn is about half-way between Corona and Santa Rosa.
The Hwy turns N, and we caught a tailwind (praise God, especially
yesterday). We continued to see caravans of Mexicans driving S, with
vehicles from the auction in Denver. We were told they drive to
Denver in a
van full of drivers and tow bars, buy cars with cash at the auction,
drive the better car and tow another back. Hwy 54 seems to be a main
Scott rode out ahead, but I was still making good time. The weather
cold for Mandy, so she was just driving SAG today. About 6 miles
Rosa, she pulled up to tell me we had to be at the newspaper office
Rosa by 2:15 pm, so I should SAG to catch up with Scott, so we could
together. I consented, but had wanted to ride the full 74 miles, and
got to ride 67. When we got to the newspaper office, we were greeted
Silver Chavez, the editor. I gave him a copy of our PR release and
itinerary. While we were waiting, Michael Montoya, a Democratic
for one of NM's 3 congressional seats, came in, stumping for votes.
in the entourage, all in dark suits. I asked one if he was a
he said he didn't carry a gun. I had my picture taken with Montoya
Rev. Luis Orozco of the Methodist Church met us there, and after a
the newspaper, he lead us to the parsonage. His wife Ludid is in
Amarillo TX so he is here much of the time by himself. Luis is from
City. He's bi-lingual, a talented multi-media artist, who sculpts,
works with wood, and plays guitar. His works seem to have very
hands, while Luis has 5 fingers on 1 hand and 3 on the other.
Luis took us to Denny's for an early dinner, and then to the Blue
where folks were scuba diving in this 80 ft. deep, 60 ft diameter
where the underground river surfaces. Santa Rosa is the "scuba
capital of the Southwest."
A rain and wind storm blew through just as we arrived back at the
First rain we've seen in 3 weeks on the road.
I am now caught up to date on the daily messages. I know each of you
them, and sometimes it's a challenge to write when I'm tired. But
hear from folks that they're enjoying the messages, looking forward
each day, it spurs me on. I hope the messages continue to bring a
encouragement to the families afflicated with HD. I love and care
all; especially for HUnt-Dis folks, we're family.
Your "Road Warriors for HD" (what Ron C. from HD called us
today) Biking For The Cure,
Marie (and Scott and Mandy)
"Get your kicks on Route 66 ..."
Some may remember the glory days of Route 66, which was created in
1926, running from Chicago IL to Santa Monica CA. Originally the
Ozark Trail here. It is pure 40's and 50's Americana nostalgia. Last
year, Bike For The Cure followed Route 66 from Santa Monica CA to
Santa Fe NM. This year, it's just Santa Rosa-Tucumcari NM-Vega TX.
Bright and early, after breakfast with Methodist Pastor Rev. Luis
Orozco, we rode to Route 66 and were immediately faced with a huge
hill to climb. We made it up OK, then headed out of town to the
I-10. There wasn't a parallel road, so Scott and I rode along on the
shoulder for about 18 miles, where we spotted a brown & tan
Route 66 sign, and took the exit to Cuervo. Once again, on the
"Mother Road" which was in pretty good shape. In Cuervo,
we mailed some postcards in the post office, which was a mobile home
with tires on the roof!
A few miles farther was Newkirk. I was thrilled that I was able to
Kevin and Justin (our two sons) via cell phone. Mandy left to go
down the road and ride back. Just as she left, Scott, who was riding
shouted "Oh no, a flat tire." Thinking it was mine, I
stopped, but it was
his bike's rear tire! We lost about 1/2 hr - 45 min there, but
started riding again, and met up with Mandy. She'd wondered what had
We ate lunch in the shade of a tree in Montoya, where we could see
Montoya Mesa. Caliche from it was used to build the road bed for the
Mandy drove on to the Palomas exit, with Stuckey's, another
carryover from the nostalgic days. She rode back to us, and told us
there were cows on the road up ahead, but when we passed through,
narry a moo!
After a brief rest, once again Route 66 ended, and we had no choice
ride the I-40, disregarding the warning of "No bicycles"
on a sign near the
entrance. Less than 1 mile along, we hear a siren and stop, and a NM
State Patrol had pulled us over. (Charlotte, don't you love it?) He
told us we were breaking the law riding the I-40, but he couldn't
tell us another
alternative road when we asked. We finally agreed we would exit the
first Tucumcari exit!
We rode on into town, along Tucumcari Blvd. and passed the Phillips
station which has been operated from the Route 66 era to the
We arrived at the "La Casa de la HOPE" mission/food
pantry. Nice place, with individual rooms, showers, etc. The couple
that manage it, Jesse and Vicky, were very cordial. We had to fill
out some paperwork for their records.
After we got situated, we had lunch, showers, then Mandy drove us
around to see some of the historic spots.
We enjoyed the 1920's era Spanish Colonial Revival Style
architecture train depot. Remodeling plans are underway for shops,
etc. We also drove back to see the Route 66 'Roadside Attraction'
created in 1997. It has a metallic fin with taillights, a 66 atop
the fit, and a terra cotta pyramid below, with a row of tire and a
row of road motif. Rather striking. Saw many of the nostalgic
buildings like the Westerner Drive-Inn, the Best Western Pow Wow
Motel, Del's Restaurant, and the Blue Swallow (on the National
Register of Historic Places).
We returned to the mission for hamburgers, rice, and corn, plus
watermelon for dinner. Jesse's a good cook!
Mandy said she'd SAG our gear to Vega tomorrow, before she drives
back to Colorado Springs, so we had to reorganize to just keep bare
minimal gear with us. First time we won't be fully SAGged.
Love from Tucumcari, along Route 66,
Marie (Scott, and Mandy)