Things are getting a lot better now. I had two fantastic days riding through Arizona from Phoenix, especially new year's eve camped by a beautiful reservoir in the middle of the Apache reserve. I spent most of my evening chatting to the one sober Apache in the entire place. The rest seemed to be driving around drunk getting arrested. I got a drink of pink champagne the next morning from three Apache girls who were sitting in their car outside the store.
The weather got bad again as dad's described in the previous posts, so I'll not bore you with the details.
Things got rather too exciting yesterday morning - I GOT HIT BY A CAR! My first concern was with my bike - it had a smashed front wheel and bent forks and handlebars. The woman driving the car was more concerned about me, but I'm fine apart from a rather bloody knee and various scraped limbs and shredded clothes. Luckily it was really cold at the time so I was padded by my gloves and layers of clothes. The woman drove me to the nearest bike shop and paid for my bike to be fixed, so all is now pretty much fine. Though I'm feeling rather vulnerable and fragile! It was wierd being knocked down - I don't really remember it. It was a straight road without any shoulder, and the woman didn't see me because of the low morning sun - she just went straight into the back of me. All I remember is finding myself in a tangle of bike by the side of the road.
Yesterday evening I had a rather horrible ride through the busy highways of El Paso, Texas, and more of the same this morning. But once I got out of the urban areas today I had a lovely ride in the sun through cotton fields and pecan groves back into the desert of yuccas and creosote bushes and finally up an unexpected 1000ft climb into the mountains. It was another 90 mile day today and I got pretty tired out. I'll take it easy tomorrow because I've got another 90 mile day the next day with 2500 feet of climb. The riding's a bit like that through this part of Texas - the towns are few and far between so I need to make sure I've somewhere to camp and get food and water. Although tonight I'm just camped next to someone's house - they let me stay there for free because there's no campsite's in town (Sierra Blanco, 4500ft up in the mountains of Texas, just off the Interstate 10). I treated myself to my first hot evening meal in a week this evening in a quiet cafe, which has the first computer with internet I've seen.
It gets dark really early - about 5.30pm, so when there's not a cafe near by there's very little to do except lie with my head sticking out of my tent staring at the stars. It's a very relaxing and therapeutic way to spend some time. I'm feeling very chilled (at least until I got hit by that damn car!) And tonight I'll be feeling very chilly too, probably another frost ahead.
Cheers for all your emails, it's great to hear from everyone.
Hopefully I'll not get hit by any more cars...
Happy new year! Stay safe,