14degrees off the beaten track
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March 12th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (New Mexico)

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Today’s distance / ???????: 45 miles / 73km
Average speed / ????: 8.8mph / 14.2km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 5h 08m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 3386mi plus 280mi (?) / 5449km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: 145m
Descent / ??: 195m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N32.29.59.6, W108.51.36.1

I woke up at my normal time of 7am this morning; about 15 minutes before the sun itself starts to appear out of the horizon. At this time of the morning here in New Mexico, mirages are the most prominent. Hills that I could see in the distance at dusk last night are gone, only to slowly appear from the top down as the sun rises. They begin as brown dots hovering above the horizon, and as the sun rises, they drip a steady flow of colour down onto the horizon until they finally make contact with the brown line of the earth in the distance. They then slowly begin to take shape, the brown dot elongating horizontally, while slowly moving upwards, leaving a normal-looking hill in its wake. The elongated brown dot eventually disappears as the hill takes over prominence on the horizon again…trippy stuff…

Another dry, sunny day today, with no wind whatsoever in the morning.

Train near the Continental Divide, New Mexico, USA

Even more exciting was crossing the Continental Divide. Admittedly, it was probably the lowest crossing there is in the US, at only 4,500 feet / 1,300m. But what a psychological boost! All downhill from here! Well, in spirit, at least. There’s still a heck of a lot of flat country out here!

Continental Divide on I-10, New Mexico, USA

Continental Divide, New Mexico, USA

The headwind, as if on cue, started blowing at 12 noon. The same thing as the last few days. Calm, a little tailwind even, in the morning, and then the westerly picks up in the afternoon. It was a long slow push into Lordsburg, where I met with local reporter Helen from the Hidalgo County Herald. This interview comes hot on the heels after a report in the Deming Headlight paper in New Mexico (see article here). The interview with Helen over, I snuck into the local library and sheltered from the hot dry wind for an hour before rather begrudgingly set out again.

I left the big noisy I-10 interstate highway, and set off on the wide-shouldered highway US70 in the direction of Arizona. Again the surrounding landscape was bare and desolate.

Desert scenery in New Mexico, USA

I stopped for dinner on the roadside at about 6pm, 1.5 hours before sunset. I used my hammock/parachute as a windbreak and enjoyed tortilla wraps with tuna, blackeye peas, and Tabasco hot sauce, washed down with Gatorade (I buy the powdered drink mix).

Another hour and a half of skating saw me about 15 miles from the next town, so I found a spot next to a disused water tank to set up camp.

Campspot on US70 near Duncan, Arizona, USA

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    Permanent Link     Comments (2)

Comment by Timmy C — March 16, 2008 @ 11:46 pm | post a comment

why didn't you take any photos of the mirages?

Comment by Aunty Les — March 17, 2008 @ 2:51 am | post a comment

Another good newspaper article.

You're right about the desolate and bare landscape. I wonder if there were ever any trees growing there thousands of years ago?

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