WanderlustBy Sam Lepore

Subject: Wanderlust 2000.18 - Cortez, Colorado
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 16:52:51 -0700

    Well, it happened again, and I am beginning to detect a pattern. The day after a longer distance day is a bit of a let-down. There was nothing wrong with the day or the route ... but there wasn't anything particularly memorable either. It is a bit of a surprise, actually, since I've been on these roads before and I like them. Maybe because I wrote about a previous passage through here last year I am "tapped out". Anyway, it was a day of contemplation so quiet even I didn't hear it. I suppose the only way to follow a long day ... is to ride another long day. Hey, that's a habit I can develop!
    The only episode worth mentioning all day was my little bit of free range herding on a BMW. North of Española the traffic on the four lane highway was stopped by a steer who commandeered the median and made short charging runs at any vehicle that tried to pass close. Four excited men, shouting and waving arms, were trying to get around the steer to usher him back, but he turned as each moved.
    Seeing this get nowhere for about a minute, I deployed a sneak attack. I crossed the median and went the wrong way up the opposite shoulder until I was directly behind (astern a steer?). Then I cut the engine and rolled across the lanes to about 20 feet from him. Simultaneously sounding my substantial horns and starting the engine (for escape) scared the steer into leaping forward and doing his best to emulate a chipmunk scurrying across the road. He ran at a good trot into the corral they had open. Then I noticed the corral was for a "large and small veterinary". Maybe if I had seen that first I would have helped him escape ...

    Route 84 and 64 cross some of the prettiest country in New Mexico, but the land is hardly awake from late winter in the high country. By the time I turned left at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, the mountain snow pack was very obvious and almost within reach, which made it too close. Durango is still, in my experience, a town going down hill. That's a poor joke, but Durango is long and narrow, built on a distinctive slope - and every time I've entered from the east, going down hill.
    By the time Cortez appears, I have spent too much time and traveled too little to make this a worthwhile day. Cortez is at the foot of what I consider the most scenic route in Colorado, CO145 over Lizard Head Pass, but that is too far north for this trip, so I'll just settle in with a decent bottle of red and answer some neglected email. (Comments always welcome.)

268 miles
Santa Fe US84 US160 Cortez
Sam Lepore, San Francisco

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