I got almost no sleep. The rain never let up and the wind was cranking. Which made my tent super loud. Plus I was so paranoid about my tent flooding. And mentally I was just somewhere else. The thought that in less than 24 hours, I will have finished my ride, was just incredibly overwhelming, along with all the emotion that comes with that.
At around 5:30am I just couldn’t sleep anymore so I just tossed and turned til around 6:15, then I mentally motivated myself to start packing up.
All night it was raining so hard. It was pretty much dripping inside my tent, because when my fly portion gets stuck to the bug net from condensation, water starts dripping in. This doesn’t usually happen but when I pack a wet tent for days on end, everything just gets wet, and stays wet.
Which is pretty much a summary of how all of today went. Oh my gosh today was hands down the hardest day of riding on my entire trip. Mainly mentally. But also the rain never let up, and even though I had rain gear on I was still soaked from sweat. All in all I was just absolutely miserable. Lol.
Here’s what the morning looked like. In fact that’s what the entire day looked like. Except sometimes it was a light misting rain, but more often it was coming down hard enough to sting my face.
Seriously, if I had to describe today in one word it would be “miserable”. Lol! Oh man what a way to end the journey. Here’s a pic of my very last continental divide crossing. Quite a difference from the near 12,000′ passes from just a week ago. 🙂
Since there was no scenery really to look at, and the rain hurt my face I pretty much just put my head down and pedaled. It was hot under the rain shell. It wasn’t too long before my shirt was just soaking wet from sweat. And that’s how it went. For 65 miles… Oh but it gets better! The last 47 miles I had a straight headwind. At times it blew hard enough to slow my progress down to about 6mph. That definitely did not improve my mood. And the wind never let up.
Plus, after leaving Silver City I noticed a bulge on my tire. The tread was starting to separate. Oh man. If it burst it would be beyond anything the Stan’s sealant could fix. So I was mentally freaking out that my tire would burst before I could finish. My poor bike Mochi. What a trooper. Just a few more miles Mochi and then we’re done!
It was raining so much a lot of the road was even washed out. I had to do some water crossings. Most were relatively doable, one in particular was nuts. Water was deep enough I couldn’t ride through it, so halfway across my bike stopped rolling, I almost fell over. That was scary. The water was running so fast it was hard to move against it. I was so relieved when I finally made it across!
I was also relieved when I saw this sign.
And then when I saw this sign, I nearly cried.
So….now what? Lol! I need to get outta here! I’m soaked and I need to dry up. I tried hitchiking out of Columbus (border town) and it was futile. No one would pick me up. Which is not surprising, it’s a border town…
It was about 30 miles to the town of Deming. After a couple hours of trying to hitchhike, I was at a point where, I could still get to Deming before dark if I started pedaling now. So I did.
And it absolutely sucked. It rained so hard the hwy was startin to wash out. It rained harder than any other time on the entire trail. It totally sucked. The rain let up for a few minutes and I decided to stop and eat. I was starving and in an absolutely horrible mood. I learned that when you’re in a bad mood, it’s better to at least not be hungry. Haha.
And that’s when I noticed it. A huge tumor-like bulge on Mochi’s front tire. It wouldn’t roll past the stanchion of the fork. Oh man, I just kind of had a breakdown. I never generally lose my cool but I had such a crappy day I just sat there and cried. I was still about 15 miles out of Deming.
And then, as the Universe always does, an Angel was sent my way. Guy with a pickup truck stopped and see if I needed help. He said he stopped for me because he’s been in a situation on the side of the road before where he needed help and people have helped him. Oh man I was sooooo stoked. I thought I was so screwed!
I got a ride into Deming. Of course the only (kind-of) bike shop in town in town was closed til Monday… Crap, where was I gonna get a 29″ tire?!?
There was a walmart in town. It was worth a shot. Lo and behold, they had one 29″ tire! JOY! My bike will be able to roll again!!! 😀
I got a room at a random little cheap motel. STOKED to finally be able dry off all my soaked gear. Lol!
Holy crap what a day. Funny, when I first started my ride I thought finishing at the Mexican border would be so boring and anticlimactic. I couldn’t be more wrong. Lol!!
As they say, when one journey ends, another begins! Tomorrow I gotta somehow get to Tucson, and then to Sedona. Whoo hoo for Adventure Part II! 🙂