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  • Writer's pictureAlana

35. Romeroville to Santa Rosa, NM

May 18, 2024

In these parts, the Mars soil turns the rivers red, and free range dogs serve as mayors, inspecting all newcomers as they roll past.

After hours of pedaling in temps above 100, I arrived in Santa Rosa exhausted and a little out of it. I pulled into the Comet II Diner looking forward to destroying a milkshake. I asked if I could bring Louise in, too.

"No," the proprietor said, without explanation.

When I protested that there was no place outside to lock it, he pointed to the door, raised his voice, and said:

"I'm not going to argue with you."

This unpleasant (and unprecedented) encounter shaded my view of Santa Rosa. It became just another four-lane climb lined with derelict storefronts under a huge, hot sky.

I consoled myself with nachos at a cheerful taqueria that welcomed Louise and me, then made my way to the Econo Lodge. I left the next morning before dawn, aware that I must be getting pretty fatigued if one cross word can ruin a place for me.

Distance: 61.78 miles

Climbing: 1.31 K feet

Totals: 1,593.10 miles, 60.16 K feet

Song: "Running to Stand Still" by U2


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