GNABRT Day 6 – The long and winding road


GNABRT map - day 6Marathon time.

Only the run from San Fran to Seattle will be longer than today’s run and hopefully I will do that one on more than 4 hours (maybe a tad less, actually) sleep.  Surprisingly, I seemed to hold up well early.  Heavy traffic leaving Houston probably helped my focus.

There were a couple of times I had a moment’s weaviness, but it passed instantly and I made sure to add extra breaks…except for the last stretch leaving Texas and into New Mexico.  There really wasn’t anyplace to stop, so I made a 4 and a half hour marathon run.  My bladder kept me awake for that one.

The city:  In a new twist so far, Artesia took three tries to get its name, with the first two being from early employees in the town to the final version based on the discovery of mineral (artesian) water wells.  Just as these wells began to dry up in the 1920’s, oil was discovered and still provides a healthy industry today.

My history:  None.  This is my first appearance in the state of New Mexico.

The Game:  No MLB team in New Mexico.

Miscellany of Day 6:

– This was my first experience with 80 mph speed limits.  Man, that sure seemed fast to me.  I was wondering why I kept passing people at 75 and 80 while only driving the speed limit.  I got a possible clue when my friend, after I talked about the 80 limit, asked me whether I was driving that speed.  I figured it was my duty to do so…who drives under the speed limit on the highway?

But, then I thought, maybe some people don’t care how fast they go and others wanted to improve their fuel economy or safety.  Of course, then I wondered why people drive in excess of those speeds in crowded, dangerous city highway stretches but would “slow down” on open highways.  The question confused me, so I stopped thinking about it.

– Following on that point, this trip is sure turning into a fine baptism for the new car.  I was intrigued by the engine’s performance at 75 mph.  At 80, the mpg really began sinking!

– Following on the follow on, I never have gotten motion sickness.  Not air, sea or land.  I’m not so happy with open heights (not through airplane windows), but I’ll worry about that when I have to drive the PCH.

Those hilly, curvy roads – driven at 80 mph – came as close as anything to making me dizzy.  Maybe it was because I was also tired or maybe because of the speed and incline, but it was beginning to feel like a roller coaster and I don’t like roller coasters.

– One thing about driving alone (and at high speed), you don’t get to do much sightseeing.  Not if you want to stay in your lane.  Or out of the embankment.

– After 2,000+ miles on America’s interstates, I can see why infrastructure funding is one of the few things democrats and republicans can agree on.  Now, how about spending some of that money!

– It’s comforting to know that while my friends and family have trouble connecting with my via cell as I drive through some of these remoter locales, I can still get a call from someone wanting to give me a “free” home security system.

– By the way, writing all these notes while driving downhill at 80 mph with a semi on one side of you is not easy.

– I saw a whole lot of sheep at one point.  I didn’t want to count them owing to the fact that I was already in danger of falling asleep.

– Many people told me this drive would be boring, but as a first-timer through these areas I find all sorts of things interesting.  From the unique topography to the farms to the wells and derricks, it’s all new to me.

– A nice upside to the long, but uneventful, drive is that I could go a few hours without wearing the glasses.  t’s a nice break for my eyes (not to mention my nose upon which the glasses rest).

Despite my successful completion of today’s journey, I think I will try to “catch up” on my lost sleep and turn off the alarm on the phone.  Hopefully my body will overcome my internal clock (which would wake me up at 3 am in this time zone) and let me sleep in.

I don’t think I needed to spend 8 hours at the caverns tomorrow anyway and I could also use tomorrow night to fully revitalize before another long run (over 600 miles) to Phoenix.  An added benefit is that, unlike my previous stops, I don’t pass through a major city on my way to Arizona, so I don’t need to beat rush hour traffic.

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