With the carjacking on Monday and then being busy all of Tuesday, I hadn’t got round to fixing my puncture. I got up around 6:30, packed my things up and pumped up my spare tube to confirm that it held pressure. While waiting to see what happened, I borrowed Kyle’s clippers and cut my hair for the first time since Washington. It’s definitely been needing it recently and I’m glad to get round to doing it. As barbers charge $10, which is more than I’m willing to pay, I just wait until I stay with people who have clippers and then borrow them. The tube seemed to be holding pressure, so I swapped it with the one that had gone flat and fixed the puncture in the other tube.
After breakfast, I went to start packing my bike up and noticed that my tyre had gone down a little. I wasn’t sure what had caused it, but didn’t want to spend the next 30 minutes fiddling with it so went to my backup plan. Christy had mentioned a train from ABQ to Santa Fe and I decided I might as well just take it. The ride up to Santa Fe was about 60 miles and heading out past 9 would mean that I’d get minimal time to look around the oldest and highest elevation capital in the US.
The situation reminded me of our last stay with Jennifer & Kyle. We had said our goodbyes, ridden out with Jennifer and then a couple of miles in C had run over a box cutter which sliced her tyre. Being unable to find a replacement tyre, we ended up on the train from South Bend to Chicago. Thankfully the Rail Runner, named as a tribute to the Road Runner, wouldn’t require me to pull my bike apart. If it had, I would have worked out a way to get my bike working.
Jennifer & I rode to the station together and waited for the train. Although we were on a large road, there was a decent shoulder so it was a pleasant few mile ride. We got there with plenty of time before the train arrived and were surprised to see just how many people were at the station. A good amount of the people had suitcases or big bags and so I guess that being the day before Thanksgiving people were travelling for the holiday. The most important thing for me was that there were no other cyclists who might want to take the limited spaces for bikes on the train.
The train came and I said my goodbyes to Jennifer for the second time. I had had a wonderful time with her and Kyle and was so glad to have taken the diversion up to ABQ to see them. I rolled the bike onto the train, found a seat and pulled my laptop out happy to find that the train had WiFi which I used to study Spanish. It went through some Indian reservations and I was surprised to hear the conductor announce that passengers were not allowed to take pictures out of the window. I understand the need for cultural sensitivity, but it’s not like I would have been taking candid pictures of people.
I arrived in Santa Fe and found that I was very close to Rachel & Loic’s place. Between the station and their place however was an REI and so I went in and wandered round. With my tent poles being bent I’m looking to get a new tent, but I’m hoping to wait until the 2012 models get released.
Having taken the train it meant that I got to Rachel & Loic’s before noon. It meant I could meet Loic before he had to work and Rachel before she needed to go grocery shopping. They gave me some suggestions about places to go and Rachel highlighted a suggested route for me to go on round the highlights of Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico.
I headed out to central Santa Fe and was impressed with what I saw. It was unlike any other place I had been to in the US, the Mexican influence was obvious. The buildings were all adobe.. or at least made to look like it. There was a really interesting vibe in the town with the mixture of history, artists, native Americans selling their wares and tourists. I went to the Cross of the Martyrs which celebrated the history of Santa Fe and liked to point out how old it is with comments like “In 1776 the US was just being founded, while Santa Fe was 166 years old.” I spent a couple of hours exploring and then met up with Rachel for dinner and then a lovely evening back at her place. It was the night before Thanksgiving and I was glad to be in such a beautiful place with lovely hosts to spend the holiday.
In the cathedral