David Johnson's Travel Blog
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04/18  Release the Cows!
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07/27  3250 Miles
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Armpit of America

2014-07-03

tl;dr: I biked through El Paso, then along the Rio Grande up into New Mexico where folks aren't paranoid.

I once heard somebody refer to El Paso as the "armpit of America." An apt description. The roads are busy. The city is dingy. And everything is gated and locked (much like the rest of Texas). Border Patrol helicopters patrol the sky continuously. There was construction all along my route, and the road was mostly too narrow for bicycles, and the sidewalk was intermittent. I didn't even see a Walmart until most of the way through, and that was just one of those Walmart Groceries. I soldiered through the bowels of this city for hours following Google Lady's directions, which at one point directed me through a new gated community that had all of the exit roads locked.

Suddenly, the Google Lady dumps me on the Rio Grande River Trail, an actual bike path along the river. It was pleasant. I rode that trail all the way to New Mexico.

It's strange what a difference an arbitrary border can make. Suddenly houses along the road weren't all gated and locked. Some were, but the farther north I traveled the less common this was. No Trespassing signs existed, but were less frequent and appeared to be focused on protecting pecans.

The road was just narrow enough and just busy enough that I had to pay attention to the cars and trucks, but it wasn't bad. There were a variety of crops along the Rio Grande. It's been so long since I have smelled alfalfa that it actually smelled good. At one point I biked by some field of herbs and the aroma was almost intoxicating.

Once again, I found it was easier to get a motel than camp, so I stopped in Las Cruces.



Border Patrol


El Paso


Rio Grande River Trail


Rio Grande


roadrunner


Beware!


horses under a bridge


Welcome to New Mexico!


corn and mountains


pecan trees


no nut picking


more flooded pecan trees

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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