Thursday, March 19, 2015
Day 13: Rodeo, New Mexico
Last night at the rider meeting, we conducted our first “lodging lottery”. The accommodations in Rodeo consists of one main house with five bedrooms and two guest houses. The winners of the lottery will get to sleep in a comfortable bed in one of the seven bedrooms. The rest of the group will be staying in the airplane hanger, sleeping on our standard air mattresses. My number was selected; Lisa and I will be sleeping in the main house with a bathroom three yards away.
Rain was in the forecast for the ride from Douglas to Rodeo. Our mission for the day was to beat the rain and get to our fabulous lodging, the Painted Pony Resort. It was constructed by John McAfee, computer software fame, for $11 million.
Our luck continued in the morning as we were one of the first tables to receive our breakfast and thus were able to exit the hotel before some of the riders had received their waffles, eggs, and potatoes.
I guess we should feel fortunate to have seen sights that few visitors or locals see: rain, stream beds with water flowing, and rain clouds obscuring the mountains.
Before we got to the lunch stop, we hit a break, it stopped raining and brightened up, though the horizon showed a foreboding dark clouds. We rode with Bruce1 and Jim and were treated to a tailwind on the final 18 miles of downhill riding. It was fantastic to be able to soft pedal at 25 mph with little effort.
We crossed a milestone after 49 miles when we crossed into New Mexico, our third state. Only five to go.
Shortly thereafter, we hit Rodeo, our home for the night. We rode past our accommodations from 2 years ago. This year, we are staying in a beautiful resort with a large main house and several other smaller guest houses. Only so many bedrooms which we drew numbers for the night before. Jeff was lucky and his number was drawn, so we have a lovely bedroom. The trade off is we who havebedrooms share our bathrooms. Small price.
After pedaling 3 miles down a gravel road to get to the Painted Pony Resort, we are already worrying about the ride out tomorrow and the ensuing 95 miles to Columbus. Nothing we can do about it now; just relax, rest and enjoy. Jeff took full advantage of our accommodations and was able to rest his muscles in the hot tub with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. The water jets massaged sore muscles as he relaxed before the foreboding clouds eventually reached us and let loose a downpour, while many riders were still en route.
UK Update: Although he did not want us to share this, Graham also won the “lodging lottery” and is enjoying a posh bedroom in the main house.
Note: This property was originally owned and built by John McAfee, creator of the anti-virus software, and a colorful oddball, and who ran into some trouble in Belize accused of shooting a neighbor who had poisoned his dogs (allegedly), so I am sure it will be a movie at some point. He was never charged, and he long before sold his software company. This property in Rodeo was meant to be a place where he could fly his Ultralight planes, which is a perfect setting for that, and there is a great, looking unused hangar for the purpose--apparently he had a lot of gliders or planned to bring others here to partake in his hobby. Either way, this is a beautifully furnished, spacious property, in the middle of nowhere (you cannot even see it from the highway) and we 60+ riders and staff have made very good use of it.