Days Thirty-Nine to Forty

Roswell, NM

Day Thirty-Nine

Roswell again. With 30+ mph winds predicted around Capitan, it just didn't seem like the right time to make my mountain debut. Besides, I could catch up on a few things in town.

I went out for my first real breakfast in nearly a week at the Nuthin' Fancy Cafe (" Home Cooking Without The Mess" ). It was exceptional--a thick omelette stuffed with ham, bacon and a mix of grated cheeses with more cheese on top hash browns done just right an English muffin with real raspberry preserves (from a dish, not a sealed plastic container) and washed down with free refills from a very good waitress, the personable, efficient kind who does everything so well that it's obvious she's been doing it for a long time (there is a big difference between students working part-time and " career" waitresses).

When I had checked into the National 9, I noticed an unusual amenity, at least for an inexpensive motel: " on site beauty salon." Since my hair had been a little long for the past week or so, I took this as a sign that it was time to get it trimmed. After breakfast, I stopped in at the Mane Street Salon and got a haircut. I found it a little disturbing that the first question about my trip from two people there (who asked separately)  was whether anyone had messed with me or tried to rob me. No one else had started out with a question like that thus far.  After she was done cutting, the hairdresser started putting on gel and hairspray. I mentioned that I hadn't put any gel in my hair since I started my trip. She gave me a look of horror as if I'd said that I hadn't taken a shower in that time. She started sculpting and spraying. Uh-oh, I just knew I was going to walk out of there looking goofy. I paid for my cut (only $9 plus tip) and headed back to my room. I posed for a photo to remember it by, then made a beeline for the bathroom sink where I washed out the junk and combed my hair back into the style I like. I got what I wanted, though--short, fast-drying hair.

In the afternoon I walked a few blocks to a laundromat. It was the second time I'd seen a sign in one saying, " We are not responsible for accidents." I suppose someone could slip on the floor or something, but I kept imagining someone getting sucked into one of the machines and being  spun or tumbled. When my laundry was finished, ominous gray clouds were gathering, so I strode quickly back to the National 9.

I returned to Nuthin' Fancy for dinner. It was a shame that I wasn't a beer drinker. Not only did they have Shiner Bock (Lance Armstrong's favorite beer), but they also had Fat Tire Ale.  I ordered a " roadhouse chicken sandwich" (BBQ chicken breast  with cheese and bacon). That was really good, but then I made the mistake of ordering the apple cobbler for dessert. Contrary to my belief that one could not screw up a cobbler, they screwed up the apple cobbler. It was more like a mashed up apple pie. There were pieces of pastry, too little sweetness (the apples were tart) and no cinnamon, rather bland. It may have been  okay  as a pie, but with my taste buds primed for cobbler, I was disappointed. To top it off, it was served at room temperature, not warm. I think it was the first time I failed to finish a cobbler in my life. And remember my comment earlier about waitresses? Well, the dinner crew was mostly comprised of students working part-time, and it showed. Things were going wrong all over the place. Then, although the crowd had thinned out quite a bit, I waited a good 15 minutes after pushing aside my cobbler  before the waitress came back with the check--I even had to ask for it.

According to the Saturday evening weather forecast, Friday would have been the best day to ride to Capitan. I had to decide whether to wait for a calmer day or just go for it. I was starting to enjoy Roswell, so I wasn't in a big hurry to go.

No riding today.

Day Forty

I decided to hang around another day and see the sights. For breakfast, I walked up Main Street to the Golden Corral for the buffet. I really should have known better, but at least I didn't go to the Denny's across from the National 9. Besides, cyclotourists are magnetically attracted to all-you-can-eat buffets. I had plenty to eat at the Golden Corral, but it wasn't exactly great stuff. The best thing was the strawberry sauce at the French toast/pancake/waffle bar. I found that everything tasted better with that sauce, and soon I was mopping it up from my plate with everything--eggs, ham, bacon, etc. When I had finished eating, I went to get a glass of orange juice. All they had left was grapefruit juice. I figured I was due for a reminder of why I don't like that stuff. I took a sip, winced, then downed the rest like a shot of whiskey.

Back in my room, I worked on the web site for a while using the local dial-up number. In the afternoon, I walked downtown and took a lot of pictures. I didn't go to the UFO Museum and Research Center. I thought that I should since it was Roswell's number one attraction, but I just had no desire to do so. Ditto for all the alien gift shops. It was just too goofy. Of course, that didn't stop me from taking plenty of pictures. I also discovered a lot more in Roswell that had nothing to do with aliens. Two hours and more than sixty photos later, I returned to the National 9.

Click here to see Roswell photos.

Copyright 2002-2013 David Johnsen. All rights reserved.