Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Week Four

Home Up Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Week Nine Week 4 April 23-29 Deming NM-Tucumcari NM


Sunday, April 23, Day 16 Deming -- Las Cruces NM
Monday April 24 Day 17 Rest day in Las Cruces NM
Tuesday  April 25 Day 18 Las Cruces -- Alamogordo NM
Wednesday  April 26 Day 19 Alamogordo -- Carrizozo NM
Thursday  April 27 Day 20 Carrizozo -- Corona NM
Friday  April 28 Day 21 Corona -- Santa Rosa NM 
Saturday 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 to the
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 sandwiches
under an overpass, in the shade. Finished the last of the carrots from
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 it's
relatively flat, Scott usually rides with me, whereas on hill climbs he
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 Celina OH.
That was very cool. We are getting more publicity this year because of the
two of us being involved.

A little after 10:00 am, Scott's friend Shelby from Albuquerque arrived at
the Welo's home. Scott was glad to see her. Scott and I rode our bikes to
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 "hang
out." About 12:30 pm, after Mardi woke up, she took Larz, his friend Karen,
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, and a
proposed itinerary off to the editor of a local newspaper. On the way, we
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 on the
suggestion that I accompany Larz, since he only has a learner's permit. She
was tired, so it gave her the opportunity to rest before her Creative
Memories class in her home. So I got to drive their nice white van, and
picked up my photos from Walgreen's too.

When I got back, Shelby and Scott were there, and Scott said the bikes were
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 back tire
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 arrived
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. Before we
fell asleep, I had a great time showing Mandy photos from earlier in the

Tomorrow we're "on the road again," a fairly long day over another "dreaded"
mountain pass.

Thanks to all who write me personal messages. I am still trying to get
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 prayed (his
parents were still asleep) and set out for the long-anticipated ride up over
San Agustin Pass, across White Sands, and into Alamogordo. It is awesome
having Mandy with us; she stopped for ice and groceries while Scott and I
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 5,719'.
Again, I was surprised that I made it without walking. Scott and Mandy were
waiting at the top, taking in the view. A long downhill of 8 miles followed.
On the flat, we stopped to observe a missile launcher tank cross Hwy. 70;
quite impressive! A bit later, we decided to take our lunch break, about 35
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 left a
BFTC2K brochure with information for anyone to contact him to identify the
money by a certain date; otherwise it will be donated to HDSA!

A Border Patrol 4x4 stopped to check on Mandy; someone had reported a
vehicle aside the Hwy and he was just checking it out. Three times along the
flats, Mandy drove ahead and then rode back, for a total of 15 miles!

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 cart
full of gear. He was from Long Island NY, and is on his 4th shopping cart.
He said it had taken him 1 1/2 years to get that far, and he was headed to
Arizona. We gave him some extra water. Hope he makes it!

We passed through the Border Patrol checkpoint at 57 miles, then moseyed
over across the Hwy to the White Sands National Monument, but didn't do the

We passed through Holloman AFB. As we were approaching Alamogordo, we
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 in

We rode to Trinity Lutheran Church, where we were met by Pastor Bergman, two of his children, Fred Nielsen, and a man from the newspaper.

We followed Fred to his home. 77 miles, our longest day yet! Virginia
prepared a great dinner of salad, brisket sandwiches, and date bread. Fred
and Virginia are a delightful, young-at-heart couple who spent many years as
Laborors for Christ, a primarily Lutheran retired folks group, who go in
their RVs to help build church projects. Fred has also restored a 1931 model
A Ford, and Virginia makes quilts with the church ladies group, for needy

Scott, Mandy, and I were exhausted from our day, so we were tired and
"fading" by 8:00 pm.

Four more days with Mandy ... how we are cherishing her servant heart, and
her SAGging for us. Some have asked what SAG means. It means "support and
gear." The driver supplies the riders with water, food, does errands, etc.
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, and
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 and 3
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 Rivers Trading
Post. When Mandy and I came out, we found her bike had a flat front tire!

Scott had already ridden ahead, so it was up to me to play bike mechanic. I
patched 3 holes (lessons from you, Jeanette) and thought we'd gotten them
all, but ... there were 4. Mandy couldn't ride. So I rode up about 4 miles
to where Mandy's car was, loaded my bike, and drove back to pick her up. We
decided to drive towards Carrizozo to find Scott. No sign of Scott along the

When we arrived in Carrizozo, there was Scott, sitting at a picnic table in
the City Park! I called our contact person Barbara Culler, jokingly we said
"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 Mandy
bought 2 new tubes from their meager supply. We returned to Barbara's and
Scott took out the old tubes and put in new ones. I patched two more holes
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 Missile
Base imported some of these deer-like creatures from Africa. They have
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 acres
("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 paper
napkins with many NM cattle brands, and a ceiling fan in every room. Many
antique type things too; my favorite was a pair of metal roller skates from
the 50's.

Welda had invited 2 couples for dinner, a dentist and his pre-school teacher
wife, and another couple. Great food - spaghetti, ham, and stir fry veggies,
grits with cheese and chilis, bread, and carrot cake. We went back to the
"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 showed him
some of the change we've found along the way. Great kid, so sweet, in 4th
grade, 9 years old.

Finally at 9 pm we told him we needed to go to sleep because we had to get
up so early! Wished we could take Jordan with us.

Tired, content again, near the Malpais and Valley of Fires lava flow,

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 into
Carrizozo, to rendezvous with Barbara Culler and get our bikes from her

Stopped at the main intersection in Carrizozo, where Hwy 380 and Hwy 54
intersect. Guess who we came across? One of the Hispanic men from the dead
cow episode yesterday.

Scott and I started riding, and about 3 miles N it became EXTREMELY windy
and cold. We removed our handlebar and trunk bags to have the least amount
of wind resistance. After 4 miles of that, we conferenced with Mandy and
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 the road.
This was our first roadrunner sighting! We also saw a big bull - maybe a

It had been a gradual uphill the whole ride, with downhills and uphills.
From the looks of the vegetation (pretty similar to Glade Park above Grand
Junction CO) I had guessed the elevation to be 6400. Later we found out it
was 6600 ft.

We rolled on into town on Main Street to the Corona Motel, where Mandy and
hostess Beverly Kent were waiting. Beverly wears skirts all the time, kind
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 bought three
items, including a holstein/bandana print lap quilt.

The railroad runs parallel to Main Street, freight trains. The first time
one rolled by I thought it was coming through our room!

Mandy needed to finish a term paper for one of her college courses, and
needed internet access. I found the high school, and asked the young
principal, Travis Lightfoot, if she could use one of their computers. He
said that'd be fine, that it was a public school. So I went back to the
motel, told Mandy, and we drove back up there. She finished her term paper
and E-mailed it to her professor at Regis College, much to her relief!

When she returned, Beverly had prepared a "do it yourself" dinner; flour
tortillas, cheese, seasoned beef, lettuce, black beans, onion, cilantro, and
salsa! Dessert was pistachio pudding! We had a great time with Beverly,
sharing stories from the ride. As usual, Scott had everyone in stitches.

What a character!

Later, Scott knocked on our motel room door. He had a box of Schwann's
drumsticks, and gave one to each of us. He had promised to treat us to ice
cream when Mandy found her first coin along the road, so he was fulfilling
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 there about
1:00 pm so we had a good rest after battling the wind all day. Scott wanted
to get a Corona beer in Corona, but was discouraged from getting a beer at
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 Cure,
raising awareness and funds for HD research, your friends Marie, Scott, and


"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 Lincoln Co.
and went into Torrance Co. The scenery most of today reminded me of Grand

Although we had a steady descent from Corona to Vaughn, there were still
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 after
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, then
drive the better car and tow another back. Hwy 54 seems to be a main route.

Scott rode out ahead, but I was still making good time. The weather was too
cold for Mandy, so she was just driving SAG today. About 6 miles from Santa
Rosa, she pulled up to tell me we had to be at the newspaper office in Santa
Rosa by 2:15 pm, so I should SAG to catch up with Scott, so we could ride in
together. I consented, but had wanted to ride the full 74 miles, and only
got to ride 67. When we got to the newspaper office, we were greeted by
Silver Chavez, the editor. I gave him a copy of our PR release and proposed
itinerary. While we were waiting, Michael Montoya, a Democratic candidate
for one of NM's 3 congressional seats, came in, stumping for votes. 7-8 men
in the entourage, all in dark suits. I asked one if he was a bodyguard and
he said he didn't carry a gun. I had my picture taken with Montoya in case
he wins.

Rev. Luis Orozco of the Methodist Church met us there, and after a photo for
the newspaper, he lead us to the parsonage. His wife Ludid is in college in
Amarillo TX so he is here much of the time by himself. Luis is from Mexico
City. He's bi-lingual, a talented multi-media artist, who sculpts, paints,
works with wood, and plays guitar. His works seem to have very expressive
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 Hole,
where folks were scuba diving in this 80 ft. deep, 60 ft diameter "hole"
where the underground river surfaces. Santa Rosa is the "scuba diving
capital of the Southwest."

A rain and wind storm blew through just as we arrived back at the parsonage.
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 enjoys
them, and sometimes it's a challenge to write when I'm tired. But when I
hear from folks that they're enjoying the messages, looking forward to one
each day, it spurs me on. I hope the messages continue to bring a ray of
encouragement to the families afflicated with HD. I love and care about you
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 reach
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 behind me,
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 finally
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 I-40.

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 but to
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 66
station which has been operated from the Route 66 era to the present.

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)


For more information or if you have comments send mail to me, the webmaster.