Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Great Divide - Chama, Abiquiu, NM

From: Mary
Sent: Saturday, 9/6/03
To: Friends and Family
Subject: Ojo Caliente to Abiquiu


September 4 - Ojo Caliente to Brazos Estates (39 miles, 2200 feet)

Jim and I mapped out a loop that would take us on a 40- to 50-mile ride out of Ojo Caliente.  Most of it was on a paved road with a slight shoulder and light traffic.  I was looking forward to a stretch of dirt west of Vallecitos.  We had only ridden a few miles on dirt when three motorcyclists on very muddy motorcycles passed us and shouted a warning about the mud ahead of us.  I wanted to see for myself so we pressed on.  We turned around when the mud started sticking to Jim's tires.  This meant we would have to take an alternate route to avoid this same stretch when we got back on route after tomorrow's rest day. (Our detour to Ojo put us off route by many miles.)

Since I lived in New Mexico for a couple of years and my parents still do, I take a certain pride in the beauty of the state.  It's the same sense of familiarity that causes me to be embarrassed by the trash along the highway, just as I would be embarrassed if you came to my home when it needed cleaning.  The litter along the roads in this section of New Mexico is an eyesore.

We soaked in the hot springs after our ride, then we headed to Dwayne Dickerson's house south of Chama.  Dwayne lives in Denver most of the time, and he built a beautiful home in Brazos Estates.

September 5 - Brazos Estates (rest day)

Dwayne pampered us with delicious meals, a comfortable bed, and warm Dwayne, Mary and Jimshowers.  Showers in the motorhome are brief -- get wet, turn the water off, lather up, rinse off, turn the water off.  Knowing this, Dwayne told us to use "an obscene amount of water" for our showers. I did.  I think my hair is the cleanest it’s been in months.

My friends are amazing.  Judy left a message on my cell phone saying that today at 3:00 she had invited some friends of Corey's to her house to make "prayer bracelets."  Corey was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her friends will wear the prayer bracelets until she is cured.  The bracelets will serve as a reminder to pray for Corey.  I called during this gathering of wonderful women.  I feel truly blessed to count them as my friends.  My prayer bracelet should catch up with me next week.  I called Corey earlier in the day and talked to her until my cell phone battery died.

September 6 - Brazos Estates to Abiquiu (45 miles, 1730 feet)

Tom and Charlotte Saponas arrived at Dwayne's house last night so they could Tom and Charlotteride with us today.  Our alternate route to avoid the mud took us right down the highway.  Tom and I rode together while Charlotte and Jim drove the vehicles to Abiquiu.  The wide shoulder allowed Tom and I to enjoy the ride while talking most of the way.  Jim and Charlotte rode back to meet us.  Tom and I had an easy ride, mostly flat or downhill, while Charlotte (who wanted an easy ride) and Jim had an 8-mile climb.

Happy trails,

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