Today was another long day on the pavement and into the wind. We crossed out of the Navajo lands and after a short rest stop at Jay’s, one of the bars thankfully noted on our maps, we arrived in Grants, NM, essentially a large highway reststop, orginally on Route 66 and now I-40. Originally settled as a railroad camp, it later became the “carrot capital” of the U.S. before uranium was discovered and the town underwent a mining boom. When the mining dried up the town fell into a depression, which is pretty much the current state of things. Tacky Route 66 souvenir shops, a few dilapidated hotels and some outdated restaurants are the only reminders of Grant’s hay-days.
One of our first experiences in Grants was being solicited for money by two vagabonds. Being on bikes, and looking the way we do at this point in journey, we found this quite amusing. While there must still be a remnant of discernment between us and them, we’re guessing that line is becoming increasing murky.
Having been on the road for almost two months now and with less than 400 miles to the border, we are all starting to think about the end of the trip. It is bittersweet. On one hand, it will be nice to wake up in a warm bed and not have to bike 50 miles before a convenience store dinner. On the other hand, we have almost complete freedom out here in some amazing country. Our only real worries are pretty basic – food, water, shelter. Despite our anxiousness to get to the border, we have decided to take tomorrow off as our final rest day. We have a pretty remote 260 mile stretch and need to put in some long days to conserve supplies.