Off to a great start!

We got a bit waylaid this morning – a delicious Morgan-prepared breakfast, some last-minute packing, an emergency REI run due to a buckle giving out on my 16-year-old panniers, and finally dropping off our rental at Santa Fe airport (which involved us all cramming into Morgan’s minivan along with 3 bikes +gear, clown-car style. We finally made it to Santa Fe around 1pm, and after bidding adieu to Morgan (she’ll be joining us on Thursday) and a quick trader joe’s run to get some swedish swimmers and peanut butter pretzels, we were finally off!

We ride approximately two miles to downtown Santa Fe when we succumbed to the delicious smells coming from the restaurants, and decided it was time for lunch. Great open-air meal on a rooftop – green chili burgers and veggie tacos – only sightly soured when I checked the score of the Browns’ opening game.

We had a quick ride around Santa Fe’s historic central plaza, and then lovely ride out of town and into the high desert along quiet side roads. What a great start! Beautiful scenery, perfect weather, and the first 15 miles were downhill! We rode through several small pueblos (native-american villages), along cottonwood-shaded lanes, past hoodoos and standing rocks, over hills where we could see what seemed like a dozen layers of rock ridges before us. The contrast between the pink and taupe rocks against the ever-widening blue sky is just amazing, especially as the light of the setting sun makes all the colors pop.

We made it to a BLM campground perched above a lake, and we’re the only ones here! A few beers as we watched the clouds roll in, some dinner, and a bit of stargazing to top it off. Now we’re in our tents, ready for whatever tomorrow brings us.

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