Continental Divide Trail - Page 14
I got a fairly decent night’s sleep curled up under a bush. As luck would have it, a border
patrol truck sat in the driveway about 100 feet from my tent all night. He didn’t know I was
there, but it was good to know somebody with a gun was within yelling distance. I started
my ride early while the air was still cool and the wind hadn’t picked up. I rode at a nice easy
pace and watched as the mile markers slid past from 21 to 0 at Antelope Wells.
There isn’t much at Antelope Wells. Just a tiny border crossing station with a few nice guys
with big guns. I took a short stroll into Mexico, ate lunch, and asked the guys in the station
about the best way to get to Demming, since the Greyhound doesn’t stop at Antelope Wells.
They told me it was really too dangerous to be riding down there and that I should wait for
the shuttle. That sounded like a great idea, but I didn’t have any cash on me. No problem.
The customs guys picked up the tab. What a great way to end the trip! The van covered the
65 miles back to the interstate in an hour. It would have taken me the better part of a day.
|9.04.2010 - Morning phone message
I went from Silver City to Antelope Falls,
and have finished the trail. I went
across the US/Mexican border (maybe
six feet) briefly at Antelope Wells. I
camped last night under the
supervision of the border patrol, and
they suggested it may not be safe to
ride back to Deming, NM, on the same
road, so I rode a shuttle.
I'm having a little trouble making
arrangements to get home on a bus.
They don't have to take my bike, and
they let the drivers decide if it goes.
|9.04.2010 - 6:30 pm phone message
Pizza tasted great tonight, because I
haven't had it for a long time. I may
have solved the problem of getting my
bike home. I visited Walmart and now
can box up my bike so the bus won't
question my cargo. They'll have to
Crossed the border!
I made it home!
I checked out of the hotel at 6:30 this morning. I grabbed seven doughnuts from the free
continental breakfast and started riding south. My day started with a long 1,000-foot climb
that I didn’t want to deal with, but at least it wasn’t steep. Then, I rode 30 miles of way too
sandy gravel with lots of pushing the bike through “sand traps” before reaching the
interstate and the paved 65 miles road through the desert to Antelope Wells.
The ride through the desert has been long, lonely, windy, and hot. The only vehicles I’ve
seen have been border patrol trucks, but nobody’s hassled me, so that’s good. I was able
to buy an unexpected ice cream bar at the one horse town of Hatchita about 30 miles back,
which made my day. From Hatchita, it’s been just the road stretching out in front of me and
the occasional border patrol truck passing. This is a lonely place.
I rolled my bike about 50 feet off the road to a nice stealth camp in the bushes. Once I got
comfortable, I found that both tires on the bike had gone flat due to thorns. It took seven
patches to fix them. I guess I need to carry the bike through the desert in the future.
I don’t think I’ll sleep well tonight. There are too many things to worry about. I’m only 20
miles from the border, so I have to worry about illegals and drug smugglers, but also
border patrol finding my camp. I had to climb over a gate with a huge “no trespassing” sign
to get here. I also had an argument with Kelly about moving to North Carolina today, and
we didn’t completely make up before I left cell coverage. It’s my fault, but it sucks. On the
bright side, Antelope Wells, and hopefully, no flats tomorrow. For now, I need to try to sleep.
I still had to ride 30 miles to Demming, but it was pleasant. I got a nice cheap hotel room
and cranked up the AC. I have to ride the Greyhound all the way back to Iowa. It’s going to
be nothing but awful. When I stopped at the Greyhound station, they told me the bike
needed to be in a box, so now I have that to worry about tomorrow.
I retired to the hotel room with a large pizza to relect on the last 3,000 miles of riding. It’s
been nice. I’d have rather hiked, but then I’d still have 3 or 4 months of walking before I
finished. New Mexico has been hot, dry, and windy, so that’s definitely helped me feel
ready to go home. Now I have a horrible bus ride in my immediate future, then the move to
North Carolina. I’ll be glad when that’s over.
I don’t know what my next adventure will be. A hike would be nice. We’ll see.