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  • Writer's pictureAlana

32. Madrid to Los Cerrillos, NM

Updated: May 19

May 15, 2024

Today was supposed to be an easy day—just 30 miles up to Santa Fe—so I indulged in a late start.

This proved to be a tactical error, as I gave the wind plenty of time to pick up speed. Just 10 miles into my ride, a gust blew me clear off the road. I didn't crash, but it gave me a good scare.

As it happened, a brewery was just up the road. I fought the breeze to the entrance, to the admiration of the diners within.

The Weather Channel clocked the wind at 25 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph, but predicted that the wind would die down by 5 pm. So I decided to hang out at the brewery until then, rather than fighting an adversary stronger than myself.

The most punk-rock woman in the world, a server named Melitza, offered to give Louise and me a ride up to Santa Fe in the back of her 1957 Chevy Fleetside. I should have said yes just for the experience of riding in that truck. But I still naively believed the Weather Channel, and demurred.

Wise to the ways of the New Mexico wind, Melitza gave me her card.

As the day wore on, the wind indeed only grew stronger. By 5 pm, it was howling at 35 mph. I called Melitza, who schelepped back to the restaurant to rescue me from my misplaced faith in meteorology.

On our ride to my hotel on the outskirts of Santa Fe, Melitza shared a little about herself, including about her Bay Area childhood, her career as a server to the Hollywood stars, her travels in India, her love of her horse. An open soul and gifted storyteller, she made the miles click quickly.

As was the case with Lonnie in Madrid, I could have chatted with Melitza for hours. But I was trying to rehabilitate my dilly-dallying ways so that I could get ahead of the weather. In retrospect, though, I regret not having a leisurely dinner with her.

When we parted ways, I noticed the bumper sticker in her rear window: "In Goddess We Trust."

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Distance: 9.44 miles

Climbing: .75 K feet

Totals: 1,457.4 miles, 55.1 K feet

1 comment

1 Comment

May 21

What a cool person to meet! Melitza sounds like someone I would meet at one of your parties :).

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