Day Forty-One

Roswell, NM

This was a rather strange day, déjà vu in many ways. I decided to spend one more night in Roswell, but not at the National 9. Tomorrow was supposed to be less windy, but I would ride no matter what. It was a nice break to stay in one place for awhile, but I had to get going. Besides, I think some people back home were starting to worry that the aliens were going to get me.

I started the day with another breakfast at the Nuthin' Fancy Cafe. I ordered the same thing as on Saturday morning from the same waitress. At least I was at a different table. I told the waitress that I'd come to the conclusion that trying to wait out the wind in New Mexico was like trying to wait out the rain in London. She agreed, but she also understood that it would be hard to ride in high winds, especially toward Ruidoso because " they all drive crazy up there." That wasn't the first time someone in Roswell had told me this. Again, breakfast was excellent, especially the omelette. I went back to the National 9 and checked out. I hadn't slept that well the past few nights, and either it was because I wasn't riding or because of the motel room (perhaps the bed or something in the air/heating system). Besides, I figured it would be good to position myself once again for an assault on the mountains.

I wanted to get my legs moving  today, so I rode around and took more pictures. In some cases, I revisited things that I photographed yesterday to shoot different angles with different lighting. The awe-inspiring statue of legendary cattle driver John Chisum was well worth seeing again. I went into the Roswell visitor's center, which is located in a classic Conoco station that many people had wanted to tear down. Score one for preservation and adaptive re-use. After seeing more of the city, I headed west on US 70 for a few miles just to get a taste for what tomorrow would bring. Then I turned around and rode back to the Leisure Inn to check in. Déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.

This time there was a different clerk, but she said she recognized me. I said that I had been there on Thursday night, but she thought I had stayed there some other time. People always seem to think they've seen me before. I expect that someday, somewhere,  I will walk into a room that will be filled with men who look just like me. I just hope none of them have done anything that will get me arrested.

She asked many questions about my trip, but one thing stood out. When she asked if I call my wife every night, I said, " Well, no, I usually call her every few days. Our schedules don't really match up."

" You should call her every night. Being out on the road, anything could happen to you."

" Well, if something did happen, there probably wouldn't be much that she could do about it anyway," I reasoned.

Then she caught me by surprise. " What if you got amnesia or something?"

I looked at her. I couldn't tell if she was serious.

" You hear about it all the time. Somebody's just walking down the street, then suddenly they don't know who they are or where they are," she said matter-of-factly.

Wow, she was serious! I still couldn't see how it would matter if I had called my wife the night before I lost my memory, though. And even if she came and found me, I wouldn't remember she was my wife anyway, right? Then her phone rang, so I said goodbye and made my escape. How bizarre.

So there I was at the Leisure Inn, headed toward my toughest day yet. My next goal was Capitan, 70 miles away and, more importantly, some 3,000 feet higher than Roswell. Sound familiar?

If I have a hole in my tire tomorrow morning, maybe  I'll just stay in Roswell forever.

Totals for the day: 13.18 miles in 1:10:00 for an 11.2 mph average.

Click here to see Roswell photos.

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